The Instigator
MouthWash
Pro (for)
Losing
106 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
132 Points

The user known as Danielle used dishonest tactics in her same-sex parenting debate.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 58 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 131,133 times Debate No: 27612
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (349)
Votes (58)

 

MouthWash

Pro

Many people on this site know about me and Danielle's same-sex parenting debate, in which she won by a large margin and I accused her of using dishonest arguments (lawyering, strawmen, etc) in order to gain victory.

In case you haven't, here's the link: [http://debate.org...]

I accuse her of avoiding the resolution, misinterpreting my arguments, lying about my burden of proof, repeating arguments that had no bearing on the debate, and assigning absurd burdens of proof on things that should require none. Think of this as an unofficial trial of sorts, albeit one where only honor is at stake.

She has just agreed debate me so that this can be answered once and for all. Obviously there will be n
o lawyering, semantics, strawmen, or any other sort of avoidance tactics, and I will quickly and explicitly call out any such behavior.

Please note that we are not arguing whether I should have won the debate, or if my own arguments refuted hers. We are simply settling the question of whether she used dishonest tactics to a large degree in the debate. R1, as agreed upon, will be for resolution and rule clarification. In addition, there will be no character limit in this debate- each of us is free to extend our arguments as long as we want (within reason).

I look forward to hearing this defense.
Danielle

Con

Usually I thank my opponent when challenging or accepting a debate, but I'll begin this round by thanking the READERS for taking the time to even entertain the notion that I was somehow intentionally "dishonest" in my last debate with MouthWash. Obviously this is a very immature debate that I feel almost embarrassed to participate in, but my opponent absolutely refuses to debate me again (not surprised) on a new resolution of his choice. Instead he wants to re-hash this old debate. Fine.

For those of you who don't know, we debated the resolution "Homosexual couples can raise children just as well as heterosexual couples." I won that debate, and my opponent accuses me of "lying" by using semantics to exploit the word can in the resolution. Of course that isn't remotely true as I will demonstrate. Considering the fact that I gave my opponent the opportunity to change the resolution BEFORE the debate, as well as clarified that I would not be relying on the word can (and pointed out throughout the debate that his obsession over the word can was irrelevant), it's clear that Pro cannot rely on this single desperate objection to make his case. As such, he apparently wants to argue that I won not only because of the faulty resolution but by using "dishonest" tacctics (fallacies, repetition, etc.).

I think most people on DDO understand that I won the debate on gay parenting because 1) I'm a better debater than Pro and made good arguments; 2) My position was simply the correct one - gay parents can raise children just as as well as heterosexual parents. Again, I explained throughout the debate that by "can" I don't mean that they are simply able to, but that they generally do. The main point of my case was that there is no attribute inherent to heterosexuality that makes straight people better parents. Pro couldn't provide evidence to the contrary, and that's why he lost. I didn't need to rely on any type of fallacious reasoning or dishonesty to win such a simple debate.

For those of you who have the stomach to withstand this sore loserness, stay tuned.
Debate Round No. 1
MouthWash

Pro

Con deserves a conduct loss for her opening rant and insults. Mocking a mutally agreed upon debate when her solution was to simply argue about it in private messages is ridiculous. She agreed to it, and I think that she has an obligation to debate without mockery because she was upset I wasn't willing to do it in private. Hope it was worth it.

Now, on to the debate (please note that in the quotes I am Con and she is Pro).

Danielle's first tactic was the resolution exploitation. There may be some confusion over this one; let me clarify that I am not accusing her just of holding up examples of successful gay parenting but also forcing the burden of disproving it onto me.

"None of these qualities are exclusive to heterosexuals. There seem to be no qualifications of a good parent that a gay person can not possess."

My response: "Technically they can, but I am saying that this is generally not the case. If you are saying that it is "possible" that gays can raise well adjusted children, I point out that it is also possible that beating kids is a good method for discipline (seeing as there must be at least a few success stories in the world). Wasn't this mentioned in the comments?"

Her response: "There are no parenting traits a heterosexual can possess that a gay person can not. Con wasted space saying I was exploiting the word "can" in the resolution (based on Mirza"s comments). My point is that any quality or trait you associate with good parenting - i.e., responsible, caring, loving, etc. - can be possessed by gay people. Ergo, good parenting qualities or techniques are not limited to heterosexual parents. Con never negated this idea; he dropped this contention and chose to whine about something irrelevant."

My final response: "We were discussing if homosexuality was harmful and whether children needed a mother and a father. Simply because homosexuals CAN possess those attributes does not mean that they necessarily will, and it completely ignores the fact that the capability of having those attributes does not mean that a proportionate number of them WILL have those attributes."

This is quite obviously lawyering.

Her second exploitation was to say that same-sex couple could raise families more effectively than SINGLE-PARENT families: "There have been numerous studies indicating that children raised by 2 parents have more success and less emotional or behavioral problems than their single-parent counterparts."

My response: "Of course having a two-parent family is better than one. The economic benefits alone help children. Irrelevant."

Her response: "No, it's relevant because two gay parents can raise children just as well as two staight parents. I've included a psychological study that confirmed this. Con seems to agree. The point goes to Pro."

Later: "I included a study validating that 2 same-sex parents provide the same benefits to parenting that 2 heterosexual parents do: double the resources, emotional support, etc. Con said this too was irrelevant, but it proves that what parents provide and not their sexuality is what matters."

She lied. The source was purely about two parent families vs single parent families. While same-sex couples were tested, te study was neither designed nor capable of establishing that same-sex couples could raise children "just" as well as tradtional couples, and never claimed to be. Here it is: [http://turnstylenews.com...]

Here's another golden argument: "There are plenty of people raised by gay parents who have had great experiences and turned out very well adjusted."

And, quoting someone who was raised by same-sex parents: "My parents can throw a baseball and take me hiking just as well as any man could. I've always had a plethora of male role models. I never felt that I was missing anything by not having that dad for me." Kids with gay parents aren't missing out on these things."

Me: "Anecdotal evidence only shows the limits of what is or can be possible. Pro concedes this later on and I'm baffled as to why she brought it up in the first place."

Her: "The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits."

"Just because someone *can* turn out well adjusted, it does not follow that most will. You have reached a generalization based on insufficient evidence."

Now look:

"The exact same comment can be applied to kids with heterosexual parents. They CAN turn out fine, but there are no guarantees."

This is an obvious smoke-and-mirror tactic.

Danielle then made this argument: "On that note, much like adopted parents, gay parents typically have to go out of their way to have kids (i.e. in vitro fertilization). Meanwhile 50% of heterosexual babies are unplanned. Psychologist Abbie Clark explains, "That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement"."

I responded: "This is ridiculous; simply because it is a problem does not mean it is inherent in that entire style of relationship, nor does it mean that such a flaw will never be fixed or that unplanned pregnancies will never be stopped. By this logic the argument about kids getting teased is perfectly legitimate."

Her response: "Basically Con just negated the entire idea that gays would make subpar parents due to potential depression (as he insinuated at the beginning of the debate). If Con doesn't think we should consider this fact, then Con cannot take anecdotal instances of depression or any negative factor and apply it to gay parenting as a whole."

This is not only another blatant smoke-and-mirror tactic, but also a strawman because I can't recall using anecdotal evidence to show that gays suffered from depression at all. In fact, I conceded the depression argument later when it became too time-consuming to argue, but I still don't understand what this has to do with it.

Next, she repeated pointless arguments that I conceded and had no bearing on the debate.

"It seems to be that a parent's sexual endeavors have little to no impact on their ability to raise a child; instead what's important is the attention and care that child receives."

This was not an argument I was going to make; indeed, sex lives (whether gay or straight) do not have any bearing the ability to raise children. But then she said: "Con dropped this, so the point goes to Pro."

Of course I did. I never argued against it and it was not necessary to establish my case.

And here's my response: "I can't understand why you think you've won anything here. My case has been about homosexual relationships (not necessarily who they have sex with) and the impact of not having a mother or a father. Irrelevant because I never even brought it up."

She then repeated herself: "Whether a parent has sex with a man or woman doesn't affect their parental judgment. Con dropped this in R2, and in R3 responded that it's "irrelevant." Clearly it isn"t " it proves that one's sexuality doesn"t impact their ability to parent effectively."

Now, this isn't irelevant if you're arguing whatever resolution she thought she was arguing, but not this one. We were talking about children being raised by a same-sex couple. Obviously what they do in bed is completely irrelevant to whether they have a stable, healthy relationship or whether children need both a mother and a father. She simply repeated herself and pretended that she had won something.

More: "Con mentioned that "rough and tumble" play with their fathers provides children with a variable resource. In looking at the source from Con, there is absolutely nothing in there that explains why a child's biological father is necessary or even more valuable than having simply a male figure and role model around."

"Simply the fact that fathers are more dedicated to their children much more than anybody else would be by their own natures as fathers."

She said: "Con never mentioned this before, let alone proved it. We have no reason to accept it as a legitimate fact."

She was essentially saying that any role model, whether an uncle, friend, teacher, babysitter, or just a guy down the street could replace a father. I pointed out how ridiculous that was because fathers have a paternal instinct and in general care for their children more than someone else would. This is extremely obvious and should require no studies or evidence to back it up any more than the existence of the moon does. Why did she demand one? It was an attempt to distract me and the voters and avoid giving a genuine response. Let's continue.

"PRO: Environment in general plays a role in a child's upbringing; it's not limited specifically to the parents.Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior.

-->Con dropped this. The point goes to Pro."


Me: "Again, you've avoided any real debate by strawmanning me. I have stated, very clearly, that it was an unhealthy relationship and the lack of a father or a mother that affected children. Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it. Please stop this; I am on here to have a serious debate and your own resolution is being undermined by the fact that you cannot keep your arguments relevant."

Her: "First, because Con didn't respond to several arguments when I typed my last round (notably 2, 5, 6 and 7), I assumed he wasn"t going to challenge them due to agreeing with me rather than exhibiting poor conduct by ignoring them. That's why I suggested he agreed - I wasn't straw manning."

The evidence suggests otherwise.

Then she has the chutzpah to continue on and say: "by saying "Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it," Con basically has conceded the entire debate."

I destroyed this semantic in the final round: "I'm getting sick of this. I was establishing that there was a difference between being gay and having a gay relationship or raising kids in a SS home. I was avoiding semantics, and I was wise to do it, because you literally said "Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior."

Still not enough:

"I expect my opponent to make the argument that kids with gay parents might get teased more. There are two fundamental arguments against this premise. First, kids get teased for a plethora of reasons. Kids with parents who are fat, ugly, dumb or heck even "normal" for all intents and purposes get teased just because that's what kids do. However fat people or people with red hair (Gingers) aren't considered inherently inferior parents just because their kids might get made fun of due to qualities their parents have. Second, the reason that kids might get teased is because gay parents are still the minority. However, history shows us that through exposure, cultural norms and expectations shift. After awhile what is once obscure becomes familiar. That is why in bigger cities like New York and L.A., kids with gay parents are barely given a second thought, whereas that might not be the case in culturally stunted places like Arkansas."

No, I never intended to make this argument and told her so. But why did she say:

"Con dropped this, so he must agree."?

I ignored this. Then, she went on to repeat herself in Round 4: "Just because the child may get teased has nothing to do with a homosexual's ability to parent. Con dropped this contention twice, therefore the point stands."

My response: "Of course it stands. It's a complete strawman. I never brought it up; you did in the first round and pretended that it was essential to my case."

Why did she bring it up in the first place? I find it hard to believe that this was an honest mistake. She pretended to have gained victory over some irrelevant point so that the less attentive readers would vote for her. She just repeated herself: "Con dropped this." "Con dropped this twice, therefore the point still stands" hoping that no one would notice that it was a complete strawman. Notice that I brought up an irrelevant point in the first round- that homosexuality was not natural or biologically caused- because I anticipated that she might argue that point. When she instead conceded it, I didn't repeat myself or pretend to have won some sort of victory. Speaking of which, let's take a look at that:

"Con begins his round by trying to establish that sexual orientation is not hereditary and subject to a large number of variables. While I do think that biology plays a part in sexual orientation, I definitely agree that nature AND nurture play a role. The study Con presented (Exotic Becomes Erotic) explains the same thing, with the author noting that children's temperment is influenced by biological variables such as genetic factors that contribute to their childhood gender identity. Regardless, this is entirely irrelevant to the debate. What causes homosexuality is not up for question; whether or not gay people can be good parents is. As such, I don't need to respond to any of this unless Con explains why it's relevant."

My response: "I was trying to establish that homosexuality was unhealthy and a product of emotional and social abnormalities. Again, I must quote: "This is primarily to make the point that homosexuality is not "natural" in the sense that it is unavoidable or part of human instinct."Your argument was literally "homosexuality is not a disorder" so I'm not really seeing anything pointless about it."

Her response: "Homosexuality is found in 1500+ animal species [8]. They did not make the conscious choice to have a same-sex attraction given their extremely limited cognitive abilities."

My response: "Here Pro tries to divert attention away from my actual argument. I never said anything about a conscious choice. She has brought it up for no reason other than that it is a common anti-gay sentiment. Again, classic strawman."

In her final round she made the bizarre claim that I should lose the sources point because "[Con] cited the same source 3x in the last round."

I explained: "I posted three links to my three graphs, which happened to be on the same page and could be confused with each other. I posted the along with the corresponding numbers for each graph (4, 5, 6) so that readers would know what I wanted to cite. What's really sad is why anyone would consider that grounds for a point loss. It seems YOU got confused, because you apparently didn't bother to scroll down and see the different studies."

It honestly sounds desperate at this point. I can't imagine how that could affect anything even if she were right.

"unnecessary comments like "I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of [Pro's] response" is rude and borderline ad hominem."

I made a GENERAL STATEMENT about your response after I had addressed it. I said that I was disappointed in it because of the lawyering and absurd semantics, and I think it was quite justified. It's a bit hypocritical of you to post a condenscending rant after something like this and then try to say that you don't deserve a conduct loss, wouldn't you say?

But this next one is lower still. After giving her my studies [http://www.debate.org...], she ignored them and pretended that they didn't exist. Not an exaggeration. Take a look.

Me: "I urge my opponent to take note of the Sarantakos (1996)study. It compares 58 children of heterosexual married parents, 58 children of heterosexual cohabiting couples, and 58 children living with homosexual couples that were all "matched according to socially significant criteria (e.g., age, number of children, education, occupation, and socio-economic status)." The combined sample size 174, which is the seventh-largest sample size in the research findings above. What's interesting is that all of the larger studies were all adult self-report studies, which means that the Sarantakos is the largest study that investigated the development of children."

Her "response": "Con didn't present any studies indicating harms attributed to gay parenting, which is good because I could have easily discounted those based on bias, faulty sampling and other mistakes. But all we've seen in this debate are studies affirming the resolution."

That's it. Nothing else. She lied and pretended I hadn't given any sources because she couldn't refute it. The level of dishonesty and lawyering seen here is almost beyond comprehension.

And now, we have to address another important point: Why did everybody vote for her?

To be clear, I am not arguing that I should have won, but explaining why people seem to have almost unanimously voted in her favor when the cheating seems so obvious.

My opponent's primary tactic here was the "Gish Gallop." Named after creationist Duane Gish, "it is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time." [http://rationalwiki.org...] The same thing happened here. Many of her strawmen were only one or two sentences long, and she used so many of them I could never address them all within 8,000 characters. Indeed, I quoted her to give her full context each time she used them and wasted immense amounts of space in doing so. Had she debated fairly I would not have had to quote anything at all but could have simply summarized her case. Up until very late in the game I did not realize what was happening. I did consider calling her out on it, but I considered it a risky strategy and kept arguing. Looking back I don't think it would have had much effect at all unless I explicitly pointed out every single abuse as I am doing here. Since there is no character limit in this debate, she cannot accuse me of doing the same (and if I'm lying about all this, I doubt she needs more than three days to debunk me).

But back to the original question- why did people vote for her? Becuase my round were constructed poorly and were too long, obviously. I abbreviated everything I could before giving up and going past the limit, and the amount that I had to refute meant every bit of space was taken up with convoluted details which I did not have time to organize it properly. Meanwhile, Danielle often did not give me full context or ignored my arguments, and thus was able to keep her posts succint enough to be able to fit large, theatrical attacks in there: "On the other hand, it's really sad that Con dropped every single study and every single fact backing up my case for no apparent reason. As we can see, these studies are the meat and potatoes of the debate. My opponent cannot compete with the fact that science and psychology are on my side," or "Con hasn't denied that the vast consensus of ALL studies show that there is NO inherent harm in same-sex parenting. He hasn't denied that homosexuals can possess any quality a heterosexual can in terms of attributes that contribute to good parenting. He hasn't remotely contested the legitimacy of the studies, considering there are dozens that take into account hundreds of cases of kids with gay parents. Ergo, Con acknowledges that research indicates that kids of gay parents show no differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures. Meanwhile, the research also incidcates that there are BENEFITS to same-sex parenting."

Now let's look at the RFDs.

"My point (being that people saw what they expected to see and voted based on what jumped out at them) can be evidenced by the RFDs: "But from there, everything kind of gets jumbled and meaning gets lost between arguments and testosterone/rage levels, so instead of going through things point-by-point, I look for the flow of offense. Looking at the flow of offense (points being extended and defended successfully), Danielle has completely trounced MouthWash." -Zaradi

Again: "Con's case lacked major offense and, as stated, retrogressed into mere references to his case as he attempted constantly to demonstrate that his opponent has strawmanned him (this prevented much insight from emerging in the periphery of the debate), and rested on unjustified premises--the power of the traditional family that, in being disrupted, would not only distend much of the positive relationships between parent ad offspring, the abnormalities of homosexuality that eventually lead the debate to veer into a turn about such, and so forth. All of this were, to be fair, not directly relevant, and thus lacked offense..Other avenues, such as attacking the notion that we could subscribe the values of heterosexual parenting to homosexual couples (perhaps), or undertaking other avenues to demonstrate that the father-mother constituency as role models" was concrete." Man-is-good.

I'm not saying that these people are incompetent voters or insulting them based on their vote. I'm not even saying that they should have voted for me instead (had I been in their position even I might have voted for you because I probably wouldn't have had the patience to go through my convoluted rounds either). I'm just using them to establish that there was a reason why the debate seemed so one-sided.

I send it off to my opponent.
Danielle

Con

I will number each accusation of dishonesty for clarity. I'd ask that Pro please respond to the numbered arguments accordingly, so that we can keep track of the separate accusations. I would also like to ask that since some of these contentions are either completely irrelevant (based on dropped arguments) or just so easily refuted by me, that my opponent please consider eliminating many of them in future rounds for the sake of brevity. It's already absurd that he felt the need to have a 21K+ character first round. As someone pointed out in the comments section, this doesn't seem like a "legitimate need" to utilize the character limit glitch but I digress. I ask that he pease only keep the accusations - and identify them by number - that he truly feels are important to establishing his case. The vast majority of these are indisputably in my favor.

Good luck.

1. My opponent begins by suggesting that I used the tactic of lawyering. Apparently this refers to relying on semantics or "dishonest technicalities," such as one to prove something that should be considered obvious (eg. the grass is green). I reject the notion that I've relied on these tactics to win our former debate. Of course, you'll notice that my opponent did not at all explain how I allegedly lawyered in his first accusation; he simply copy and pasted our exchange (he also manipulated our actual conversation). To me, it's blatantly obvious that my opponent's rebuttal did not at all address my argument. As such, I simply pointed that out and explained why his rebuttal was insufficient and/or irrelevant. I will explain it again here:

Pro points out that my argument was "None of [these] qualities are exclusive to heterosexuals. There seem to be no qualifications of a good parent that a gay person can not possess." His first response was, "Technically they can, but I am saying that this is generally not the case. If you are saying that it is 'possible' that gays can raise well adjusted children, I point out that it is also possible that beating kids is a good method for discipline." He was essentially arguing that just because it's possible for gay people to have certain traits, doesn't mean that gay people necessarily do have those traits.

However... that was not my argument.

Pro is using a blatant strawman. In his copy and pasting of our dialog, Pro completely left out my Round 3 rebuttal in which I explained why his argument did not address mine. What I said in response to his accusation that I was exploiting the word "can" in R3 is that he needed to provide the specific qualities of good parenting that explicitly pertain to heterosexuals. After all, my argument was that there weren't any good parenting qualities that heterosexuals posess that gay people do not (on balance) possess -- NOT that gay people can have good parenting qualities. Those are 2 totally different positions, and Pro only responded to the latter which is irrelevant.

I said that there is no good parenting trait that a straight person can have that a gay person can not also have. Of course no gay or straight person will have every good parenting trait. This entire debate is about generalities. If his argument was that only straight people could be trustworthy, I would refute that. If his argument was that only males (fathers) can teach/ play sports with their son, I would have refuted that as well. The fact is, Pro simply failed to address my contention, which called for him to provide at least 1 single trait of good parenting that gay poeple can not emulate. Since he could not, I was right to keep extending the argument and noting that my opponent failed to refute my contention.

There was no lawyering. This accusation is negated.

2. Next, Pro says that I used an irrelevant study that talked about the differences between two-parent households vs. single-parent households. I never denied this. My explanation as for why this was pertinent to my side is that having two parents is simply better than having one (Pro agreed) as the study indicated. That was never in dispute. I never used this study to confirm that two gay parents were better than having a single parent as Pro is accusing. Once again, this is a blatant strawman.

Instead, my point in highlighting the study on two parents vs. one was that every single benefit included in that study as for why two parents were better than one could be emulated or achieved by gay couples just as well as straight couples. In order to combat this, Pro would have had to pick something out of that study that proved only a male/female dynamic could achieve the benefits mentioned in the article (dual income, more support, etc.) - or that a male/female dynamic would be more likely to emulate certain characteristics compared to gay couples. Of course, Pro could not pick a single thing from the study that explained why the second parent had to be opposite-sex in order for the benefits of two parents to apply or even be more likely. As you can see, nothing about this argument was dishonest. It's a great argument for my side. Once again, Pro simply failed to comprehend the necessary requirements to refute my point.Of course there aren't any, because my argument was valid. This accusation has been negated.

3. It intrigues me how Pro can throw around random accusations of fallacious reasoning without ever trying to remotely explain how his accusations apply. For instance, his third accusation is that I used smoke and mirror tactics when talking about anecdotal evidence. In Pro noting that anecdotal evidence ought to be taken with a grain of salt in this debate - and I agreed - I responded by saying my point was that in neither studies nor individual interviews that I came across in my research provided an example of specific qualities that only heterosexual parenting could provide, or that gay parenting did in GENERAL not provide (making the word can irrelevant).

Pro responded, "Just because someone can turn out well adjusted, it does not follow that most will. You have reached a generalization based on insufficient evidence." He then points out my rebuttal, which was, "The exact same comment can be applied to kids with heterosexual parents. They CAN turn out fine, but there are no guarantees."

Pro says, "This is an obvious smoke-and-mirror tactic."

Ladies and gentlemen, Pro cannot simply assert that a smoke and mirror tactic was used. That is completely false, hence why he provided exactly zero explanation as for how this tactic is allegedly in place. My rebuttal was completely legitimate and Pro failed to address it. I stand by it 100 percent. He said that kids with gay parents CAN turn out fine, and I pointed out that likewise, kids with straight parents CAN turn out fine. The point is that we are arguing based on generalities. Instead of responding to the actual argument - that kids with gay parents such as the one I referenced typically acknowledge that they aren't missing out on anything - Pro decided to once again attack the word "can."

As you can see, Pro was completely desperate to make it seem as if I was exploiting the resolution instead of trying to make a good rebuttal to my contentions. To combat the notion that kids with gay parents were missing out, Pro should have provided specific (including anecdotal) or even theoretical examples of things that kids with gay parents GENERALLY miss out on. Instead, he focused on the fact that kids with gay parents CAN be raised just as well, instead of arguing that they are generally NOT raised just as well. This is simply a testament to Pro's lack of skill as a debater, and not me being dishonest. This accusation is negated.

4. Next, Pro brings up my argument regarding gay parents intentionally choosing to have kids compared to the chance of unexpected pregnancy that heterosexuals experience. This entire accusation is a complete waste of the audience's time and should immediately be dropped. Here's how the dialog went down:

Me: Gay parents tend to exude greater commitment and more involvement considering 50% of heterosexual's pregnancy's are unplanned.

Him: This is ridiculous; simply because it is a problem does not mean it is inherent in that entire style of relationship...

Me: Basically Con just negated the entire idea that gays would make subpar parents due to potential depression (as he insinuated at the beginning of the debate). If Con doesn't think we should consider this fact, then Con cannot take anecdotal instances of depression or any negative factor and apply it to gay parenting as a whole. Instead, we must look at how one's sexuality in general affects the ability to parent. I will agree to drop this contention on the basis that Con's response to it has negated several of his own arguments anyhow.

First of all, my explanation makes perfect sense. Earlier in the debate, Pro said that some kids with gay parents suffered from depression. I pointed out that it was possible but not the norm. In response to this contention, Pro acknowledges that unplanned pregnanices and the subsequent lack of attention or care was also possible but not the norm. My response was that we must focus on the norms only, and not only what is possible. Hence, I agreed to drop the argument all-together, but pointed out why this response from Pro also negated his argument about anecdotal depression. He agreed and dropped that point as well.

As you can see, this makes complete and perfect sense. The fact that I agreed to drop that argument - and Pro is bringing it up here when I agreed to concede it entirely given his concession of the depression argument - is just unnecessary. It should be obvious to the audience that Pro just simply could not comprehend what I was talking about. He said, "I don't understand my opponent's response here at all. Unintended pregnancy is linked to numerous maternal and child health problems, and it is certainly not an unavoidable risk in all heterosexual relationships. I am arguing that homosexual relationships cannot provide a child with a mother and a father. Both are inherent problems in that entire style of relationship. I don't know why Pro seems to think this is self-contradictory."

Clearly, his response had absolutely nothing to do with what I said in the previous round: that if Pro intended to use anecdotal instances of depression of kids with gay parents, that I could use anecdotal evidence to prove that unplanned pregnancies (which account for half of heterosexual pregnancies) tend to result in subpar parenting compared with planned pregnancies, as almost all gay pregnancies are. In the end, we both agreed to drop anecdotal arguments, so Pro is completely wasting our time with this bogus accusation. This too has been negated.

5. Honestly, I am truly baffled by some of the arguments Pro is suggesting were dishonest. He next talks about how I explained that what a parent does in the bedroom has little to no bearing on their ability to parent effectively; instead what's important is the attention and care that a child receives. By his own admission, Pro completely failed to make a rebuttal to this point. When I pointed that out, he said he didn't have to because it was irrelevant and unnecessary to his argument. On the contrary, Pro had a responsibility to respond because it was a contention for MY case. If Pro didn't negate it (and he didn't), then it counts as a point in my favor. My point - as I repeated - was that since what a parent does in the bedroom has no relevance to parenting capabilities, that who one chooses to have sex with (the only differentiation between gay and straight people!) has no relevance to parenting capabilities. This was one of the most important arguments of my case, and Pro never negated this in our entire debate. There is nothing dishonest about this contention, though Pro is telling a bold faced lie in suggesting that my bringing up his lack of rebuttal was irrelevant. Clearly it helps establish my case.

6. Pro notes, "She was essentially saying that any role model, whether an uncle, friend, teacher, babysitter, or just a guy down the street could replace a father. I pointed out how ridiculous that was because fathers have a paternal instinct and in general care for their children more than someone else would. This is extremely obvious and should require no studies or evidence to back it up any more than the existence of the moon does. Why did she demand one? It was an attempt to distract me and the voters and avoid giving a genuine response."

It's completely untrue that my intention was to distract Pro and the audience. It's also ludacris to suggest that Pro not have to back up a broad psychological assertion without any evidence. Sorry, but asking for sources is not lawyering. Even if Pro's assertions were accurate (and paternal instincts definitely exist), I needed to see the specific points mentioned in a given study to explain that while a father might have certain biological compulsion for care giving, that kids with gay parents would not necessarily miss out. Biological ties alone do not signify good parenting traits, as evidenced by the millions of children with absent fathers. Pro has to explain that biological ties were significant determining factors in one's ability to parent.

I explicitly stated in R3, "Nowhere did he establish that biological ties to parents were significantly important. He presented a study that demonstrated the quality of care infants receive affecting their development. This source never said that the care had to come from biological parents. The same thing applies to Con"s other sources-- the study indicating the benefits of rough and tumble play never mentioned the importance of the father figure"s DNA. Instead it noted the benefits of the interaction, but did not discount the same benefits from similar interaction experienced by kids with two moms or two dads"

As you can see, this was entirely relevant to my case as it effectively argued against one of my opponent's contentions of the importance of a biological mother and father (or rather, inability for a non-biological parent to replicate similar benefits). Pro was absolutely responsible for providing evidence to back up his assertions of biological necessity or even staggering relevance, as my role in the debate was to specifically argue against that notion. Moreover, saying biological ties were crucial to Pro's argument means that a mother-father dynamic of non-biological parents (such as adoptive parents) would not be any better than gay couples raising a child, or gay couples where one parent is biologically related to the child.

Yes, mothers and fathers are biologically inclined to take care of their kids, but just because adoptive parents (for instance) aren't biologically related to their children, doesn't mean they can't (or don't, in general) provide the same type of guidance or benefits to their children as actual biological parents do. Similarly, gay couples - even if not biologically related to their children - can and do provide similar parenting traits, and even try to incorporate both sexes in the child-raising process. There was not a single shred of dishonesty on my part here. Pro is grasping at straws, and this accusation is negated several times over, both here and in the actual debate.

7. Me: Environment in general plays a role in a child's upbringing; it's not limited specifically to the parents. [MouthWash] must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior.

Him: I have stated, very clearly, that it was an unhealthy relationship and the lack of a father or a mother that affected children. Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it.

He was basically saying that a lack of both a mother and a father negatively affected children, irregardless of the parent's sexuality. I was not dishonest in suggesting that A) this rebuttal was problematic for Pro's case, and B) that he failed to address the environment aspect of raising a child. The latter is obvious, and the problematic relevance of his rebuttal is that saying sexuality is irrelevant supports other aspects of my case. In particular, it highlights that Pro failed to prove specific traits or qualities that kids with same-sex parents miss out on based on stereotypical gender roles. This is important because general or presumed gender roles of heterosexuals are not the same as the gender stereotypes we apply to gay couples. For instance, if Pro had argued that women provide a certain element of femininty, I would have proven that gay men, on balance, also typically exude a certain element of femininty. As such, Pro couldn't argue "Having a father is important because they tend to provide rough and tumble play." If the father was gay, chances are he wouldn't provide rough and tumble play because he might be more feminine, meaning his sex alone (having a male father) would be irrlevant and undermine Pro's contention. On that same token, many lesbians are more masculine than typical females and therefore would be likely to provide rough-and-tumble play just as a father might. Let us not forget that I've also argued on the basis that male/female bonding need not be from a biological mother and father, but I digress.

More importantly, my opponent cannot assert that I was dishonest by failing to understand his point the first time around. It happens in debates all the time. Going forward, we did talk about his actual point (that sex and not sexuality was relevant). I dismantled it.

8. Regarding my argument about gay kids being teased, Pro's inability to follow a coherent debate structure may have caused some confusion. In the first round, my point #6 was that kids with gay parents being teased was not a good argument against same-sex parenting and I explained why (I had assumed Pro would make that contention). In the next round, Pro responded, "Are you serious? Please give me a little more credit than that." However, he failed to adhere to the structuring that I used for clarity by failing to specifically indicate which of my contentions he was responding to numerically, so I may have glossed over this while writing my rebuttal.

Regardless, my point stands. I wrote in R3 that "Potentially teasing the kids is a terrible and irrelevant contention [against gay parenting]... Con dropped this, so he must agree." This is not dishonest; Con did drop it as I expected him to either respond in agreement that it was irrelevant, OR argue that it was relevant. Con insists that he was "strawmanned." Apparently he doesn't know what a strawman is. Using a strawman is when you misrepresent your opponent's argument. On the contrary, I never said that this was my opponent's argument. I said that it was MY argument, so clearly I didn't strawman. Pro is basically name dropping fallacies to find excuses for his loss. While at best you can argue that I made an honest (not dishonest) mistake in suggesting Pro didn't respond to my argument, it's A) untrue that I strawmanned him in any way, and B) an irrelevant point because Pro did in fact seem to agree with my argument in the first place (hence him saying he didn't intend to argue that teasing was relevant).

9. Once again, MouthWash is bringing up an irrelevant argument that was conceded, and attempting to use it as a "dishonest" point against me when in fact it has been rendered entirely irrelevant for all intents and purposes of judging the first debate. This is another blatant waste of time and should be dropped from this debate, IMO. Here he references the beginning of the debate, where he started out by attempting to prove that homosexuality was not biological.

Me: While I do think that biology plays a part in sexual orientation, I definitely agree that nature AND nurture play a role. The study Con presented (Exotic Becomes Erotic) explains the same thing, with the author noting that children's temperment is influenced by biological variables such as genetic factors that contribute to their childhood gender identity. Regardless, this is entirely irrelevant to the debate. What causes homosexuality is not up for question; whether or not gay people can be good parents is. As such, I don't need to respond to any of this unless Con explains why it's relevant."

As you can see, I have completely used MW's own source against him. The study he presented mentioned biological ties to sexuality, thereby undermining his entire point. In response to me--

Him: I was trying to establish that homosexuality was unhealthy and a product of emotional and social abnormalities. Again, I must quote: "This is primarily to make the point that homosexuality is not "natural" in the sense that it is unavoidable or part of human instinct."Your argument was literally "homosexuality is not a disorder" so I'm not really seeing anything pointless about it.

Now, it's quite clear that MouthWash is completely fighting a losing battle. He repeated that homosexuality was not "natural," though ignores the fact that his own article explained that there are, in fact, biological a.k.a. NATURAL or unchosen causes of homosexuality outside of nurture as he suggested. Further, he completely strawmanned me which I find quite ironic. I never once argued that homosexuality was not a disorder. I argued that there were biological causes. You'll notice that I never once even remotely mentioned homosexuality being or not being a disorder. MouthWash is blatantly lying about what I said, and the proof is in the pudding.

Further, we can once again see Pro intentionally misrepresenting our dialog by intentionally leaving out portions of our exchange. He only included the first half of my response to his argument. How low.

My response: Homosexuality is found in 1500+ animal species. They did not make the conccious choice to have a same-sex attraction given their extremely limited cognitive abilities.

I CONTINUED: Con"s own source admits that sexuality is a byproduct of biology. There is nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality, and Con never proved that there is (he rightfully dropped the point about suicide).

As you can see, I never strawmanned MW's point by saying he argued that a conscious choice was being made (he didn't). That was my own acknowledgment. Instead, the second part of my response DOES negate Pro's point that biology was not a significant factor, as I pointed that his very own source explained that it was. Pro cannot suggest that every single one of my proactive arguments is a strawman of one of his. I explained this in our debate; I have no idea why he has such trouble understanding it. As an instigator, I am expected to make certain arguments proactively in favor of the resolution that I am trying to prove, and my opponent must respond to them even if they are not his own. I brought up the point about animals/ choice/ biology because Pro was initially the one arguing that homosexuality was not natural when in fact it is. Pro is the one being entirely dishonest in this debate by suggesting otherwise. My response was relevant, and I never strawmanned him. This accusation has also been negated.

10. Pro writes, "In her final round, she made the bizarre claim that I should lose the sources point because '[Con] cited the same source 3x in the last round.'" At this point, it's incredibly embarrassing and frankly bad conduct for MouthWash to so blatantly lie and cherry pick portions of my argument to include. Let's see what I REALLY said about why he should lose the sources point.

Me: Some of Con's sources were irrelevant. Others helped establish my case. He cited the same source 3x in the last round, and failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond.

As you can see, I specifically included 4 very big reasons why he should lose points for Sources (since that is a factor that is weighted pretty heavily in the judging process). MouthWash is being completely dishonest in suggesting that I only provided one reason by intentionally excluding everything else that I said. Moreover, the reason I mentioned him referencing the same source 3x wasn't to suggest that this particular mistake ought to be enough to penalize him. Instead, I was noting that he had fewer sources than he appeared to have due to this "mistake." Since I believed that I not only had better sources but more of them, this was clearly a useful argument on my part (me citing more relevant information) because many judges consider not only the quality but quantity of sources. I was simply putting that into perspective, but provided several other reasons why I won the Sources point. MouthWash is frankly proving himself to be completely untrustworthy in his presentation of our dialog. That's pretty sad and desperate on his part.

11. Pro notes that I acknowledged his "unnecessary comments like 'I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of [Pro's] response' as rude and borderline ad hominem." This is not remotely dishonest. Pro is again completely wasting our time with bogus accusations, and this should be dropped immediately. This isn't even an accusation. It's him whining about my explanation as for why I thought I should win the Conduct point. Apparently my opponent doesn't understand that since factors like Sources and Conduct are relevant in the judging process (since they are given points), that I have every right and some might argue responsibility to explain why I thought I won in those areas. Either make an accusation of dishonesty or drop this all-together.

12. Pro thinks it was dishonest of me to say that he didn't present any studies indicating the harms of same-sex parenting. Let's take a look at what Pro posted: http://www.debate.org...

As you can see, it's a convoluted wall o'text that is far too difficult to make sense of. It looks like a bunch of random numbers. It includes zero explanation of specific harms of same-sex parenting (as in why the sexuality of one's parents leads to certain outcomes). It also doesn't give any background information on the actual study, and it is not my job nor the audience's job to go on a scavenger hunt to find information within Pro's sources. It was his duty to highlight a specific point within our debate, and then source it - not simply post a link to a source and say "I urge you to read this." This is standard debating conduct and expectations on DDO.

Also, keep in mind that he made the mistake of posting this same link multiple times. To me, it seemed intentionally dishonest. Maybe it wasn't. Likewise, perhaps my suggestion that he didn't post any useful scientific studies wasn't intentionally dishonest. If it wasn't intentional, it wasn't dishonest (it would instead be an honest mistake). Regardless, let's not play another game of semantics. I will stand by the fact that this was not dishonest on my part, because what Pro presented was not clear. He didn't even provide a direct link to the study he was referencing, but some sloppy chart on another DDO page that didn't make sense nor explain the specific problems with same-sex parenting within his DDO link that I referenced.

Finally, I've responded to every single one of my opponent's accusations, and explained how his assertions that I was dishonest or used lawyering tactics is simply not true.
Debate Round No. 2
MouthWash

Pro

I think that the rounds will be considerably more organized from now. The first one consisted of simply quoting everything I could find that I believe to be dishonest.

Number 1.

"Pro is using a blatant strawman. In his copy and pasting of our dialog, Pro completely left out my Round 3 rebuttal in which I explained why his argument did not address mine. What I said in response to his accusation that I was exploiting the word "can" in R3 is that he needed to provide the specific qualities of good parenting that explicitly pertain to heterosexuals. After all, my argument was that there weren't any good parenting qualities that heterosexuals posess that gay people do not (on balance) possess -- NOT that gay people can have good parenting qualities. Those are 2 totally different positions, and Pro only responded to the latter which is irrelevant."

For all of my opponent's excuses, this is still obviously an exploitation. My case never was that heterosexuals had specific characteristics that homosexuals could NOT possess. By saying that you are essentially saying that some homosexuals have those traits. You were pushing the burden onto me to prove that gays could not have those characteristics. In other words, you could prove that some homosexuals did have those characteristics (and would thus be capable of raising children effectively) and claim that they proved me wrong. If this is not an accurate description of your intentions, then I'd like to ask: What exactly did you hope to gain through this argument other than proving that homosexuals COULD have the characteristics to raise children properly?

Number 2.

"Next, Pro says that I used an irrelevant study that talked about the differences between two-parent households vs. single-parent households. I never denied this. My explanation as for why this was pertinent to my side is that having two parents is simply better than having one (Pro agreed) as the study indicated. That was never in dispute. I never used this study to confirm that two gay parents were better than having a single parent as Pro is accusing."

Let's look at what you said: "A UC Berkeley study finds that data indicates there is a visible benefit to having a two-parent family, regardless of whether the couple is married, heterosexual, or same-sex."

Obviously there will be benefits to being raised by two parents, for obvious reasons (which I pointed out). Con was simply trying to use other gay marriage arguments ("think of the kids they'll adopt!") into the debate which had nothing to do with the resolution. However, whether or not same-sex couples are better than a single parent means absolutely nothing.

"Instead, my point in highlighting the study on two parents vs. one was that every single benefit included in that study as for why two parents were better than one could be emulated or achieved by gay couples just as well as straight couples. In order to combat this, Pro would have had to pick something out of that study that proved only a male/female dynamic could achieve the benefits mentioned in the article (dual income, more support, etc.) - or that a male/female dynamic would be more likely to emulate certain characteristics compared to gay couples. Of course, Pro could not pick a single thing from the study that explained why the second parent had to be opposite-sex in order for the benefits of two parents to apply or even be more likely."

Dual income and more support are advantages over single-parent families. These things are obviously beneficial, but they don't prove anything else. What Con is trying to insinuate here is that these benefits are the only good things that parents can have, which would of course be shown by the study to apply to both traditional and same-sex couples. This is ridiculous for obvious reasons. As I have said, the study was not designed nor capable of finding discrepancies between how effectively same-sex couples parented in comparison to regular ones, or find (as Con said) certain characteristics that would more likely be emulated by traditional couples.

In addition, I'd like the readers to note that she seems to have forgotten all about her previous point in which she demanded that I prove that homosexuals could NEVER have certain characteristics and claims that traditional couples "being more likely to emulate" them was enough. This is enough to prove that it was deliberate rather than a simple misunderstanding. Hilariously, she also used this in the comments after the debate in order to convince people to vote for her: "He was arguing (but never proved) that there are parenting traits that ONLY a man or ONLY a woman can inherently possess, which of course is absurd." Absurd indeed.

Number 3.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Pro cannot simply assert that a smoke and mirror tactic was used. That is completely false, hence why he provided exactly zero explanation as for how this tactic is allegedly in place. My rebuttal was completely legitimate and Pro failed to address it. I stand by it 100 percent. He said that kids with gay parents CAN turn out fine, and I pointed out that likewise, kids with straight parents CAN turn out fine. The point is that we are arguing based on generalities. Instead of responding to the actual argument - that kids with gay parents such as the one I referenced typically acknowledge that they aren't missing out on anything - Pro decided to once again attack the word "can."

First, let's look at what was said:

Con: "There are innumerable people raised by gay parents who turn out perfectly well adjusted, and note that they didn't miss out on any father/ mother figures in their life."

Then she said: "The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits."

Again, she shoved the burden to prove that children NEEDED opposite-sex parents to have proper care. In other words, I now had to prove that they had characteristics that gay couples could never have. But let's continue:

"The exact same comment can be applied to kids with heterosexual parents. They CAN turn out fine, but there are no guarantees. I included a plethora of evidence indicating that the vast majority of kids with gay parents turn out just fine."

You realize, after looking at this, was that she never addressed my rebuttal whatsoever. She NEVER justified her reasoning behind her previous comments (which I rightly pointed out were semantics). Instead, she turned around and made an accusation which had nothing to do with what we were talking about to distract voters.

"As you can see, Pro was completely desperate to make it seem as if I was exploiting the resolution instead of trying to make a good rebuttal to my contentions. To combat the notion that kids with gay parents were missing out, Pro should have provided specific (including anecdotal) or even theoretical examples of things that kids with gay parents GENERALLY miss out on. Instead, he focused on the fact that kids with gay parents CAN be raised just as well, instead of arguing that they are generally NOT raised just as well."

No, you focused on the fact that "kids with gay parents CAN be raised just as well." I did give theoretical examples of things that kids with gay parents generall miss out on, but before I quote them, let me just point out this this rebuttal had absolutely nothing to do with my accusation of it being an avoidance tactic.

Here's what I said: "Mothers tend to speak soothingly and softly in repetitive rhythms to their infants and snugly hold them. Fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation than mothers.As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction."

Recent evidence also shows that fathers differentially impact brain development. Without the father's spontaneous and energetic playing, the child's left hemisphere develops improperly."


I also provided sources to back these up. Nevertheless, these are not characteristics that ONLY straight couples can ever have, contrary to her dishonest claims. Her ridiculous "rebuttal" was this:

"Nowhere did he establish that biological ties to parents were significantly important. He presented a study that demonstrated the quality of care infants receive affecting their development. This source never said that the care had to come from biological parents. The same thing applies to Con"s other sources-- the study indicating the benefits of rough and tumble play never mentioned the importance of the father figure"s DNA. Instead it noted the benefits of the interaction, but did not discount the same benefits from similar interaction experienced by kids with two moms or two dads."

1. My claims had absolutely nothing to do and were not dependent on having the children be biologically related to the parents or sharing their DNA. A blatant lie to disguise the fact that she couldn't even remotely refute my claims.

2. Of course it did not discount the same benefits from similar interaction experienced by kids with two moms or two dads. This is another instance of resolution exploitation as she is saying that gay parents technically could give the same benefits. What she should have done was show that homosexual couples often did give the same benefits, which she obviously did not do.

The above seems to be a separate point from the rest, so I'd like Con to address it as number thirteen to keep things organized.

Number 4.

"First of all, my explanation makes perfect sense. Earlier in the debate, Pro said that some kids with gay parents suffered from depression. I pointed out that it was possible but not the norm. In response to this contention, Pro acknowledges that unplanned pregnanices and the subsequent lack of attention or care was also possible but not the norm. My response was that we must focus on the norms only, and not only what is possible. Hence, I agreed to drop the argument all-together, but pointed out why this response from Pro also negated his argument about anecdotal depression."

I don't recall you saying that "we must focus on the norms only and not only what is possible," but whatever. This argument is wrong because it has absolutely nothing to do with each couples' parenting capabilities, and because unplanned pregnancies are not inevitable aspects of heterosexual relationships. Furthermore, she has completely ignored my accusation of smoke-and-mirroring. She did not address my original rebuttal whatsoever but simply went and used it to attack me on the depression argument.

"Clearly, his response had absolutely nothing to do with what I said in the previous round: that if Pro intended to use anecdotal instances of depression of kids with gay parents, that I could use anecdotal evidence to prove that unplanned pregnancies (which account for half of heterosexual pregnancies) tend to result in subpar parenting compared with planned pregnancies, as almost all gay pregnancies are. In the end, we both agreed to drop anecdotal arguments, so Pro is completely wasting our time with this bogus accusation. This too has been negated."

This is another lie, because I NEVER used anecdotal evidence to establish that homosexuals were depressed. Rather, I claimed that homosexual relationships themselves were unhealthy and led to depression and other emotional or mental problems (I conceded this for unrelated reasons, not because of what Con falsely claims). This means that they were inherently tied with homosexual relationships, in contrast to unplanned pregnancies which are entirely avoidable.

Number 5.

"Honestly, I am truly baffled by some of the arguments Pro is suggesting were dishonest. He next talks about how I explained that what a parent does in the bedroom has little to no bearing on their ability to parent effectively; instead what's important is the attention and care that a child receives. By his own admission, Pro completely failed to make a rebuttal to this point. When I pointed that out, he said he didn't have to because it was irrelevant and unnecessary to his argument. On the contrary, Pro had a responsibility to respond because it was a contention for MY case. If Pro didn't negate it (and he didn't), then it counts as a point in my favor. My point - as I repeated - was that since what a parent does in the bedroom has no relevance to parenting capabilities, that who one chooses to have sex with (the only differentiation between gay and straight people!) has no relevance to parenting capabilities. This was one of the most important arguments of my case, and Pro never negated this in our entire debate."

Con has decided to completely ignore my entire accusation and instead repeat herself. Let me put it in a simpler form.

1. Con claimed that sex lives had nothing to do with parenting skills.

2. I claimed that:
a) kids needed a mother and a father
b) homosexual relationships (not sex lives) were unhealthy

3. Con repeated herself and said that she had won the point.

4. I pointed out that she had won nothing because:
a) I never claimed that sex lives affected parenting skills
b) the fact that sex live don't affect parenting skills had no bearing on my case

5. Con repeated herself again and claimed that she had won the point.

What she was doing here was pretending that she had won something when she simply rehashed an illelvant point over and over again. I said that this was a strawman. As for now, I have nothing to refute until my opponent actually addresses my accusation.

Number 6.

"It's completely untrue that my intention was to distract Pro and the audience. It's also ludacris to suggest that Pro not have to back up a broad psychological assertion without any evidence. Sorry, but asking for sources is not lawyering. Even if Pro's assertions were accurate (and paternal instincts definitely exist), I needed to see the specific points mentioned in a given study to explain that while a father might have certain biological compulsion for care giving, that kids with gay parents would not necessarily miss out. Biological ties alone do not signify good parenting traits, as evidenced by the millions of children with absent fathers. Pro has to explain that biological ties were significant determining factors in one's ability to parent."

I do not have to explain that biological ties affect parenting skills. That was entirely in response to her assertion that moderate interaction with other males could provide the same benefits as close interaction with a father. Had she been arguing that other males could not RAISE children as effectively as a biological father this would make sense. It does not. I am not arguing against adoption. Con is simply attempting to muddle the issue and confuse voters.

"As you can see, this was entirely relevant to my case as it effectively argued against one of my opponent's contentions of the importance of a biological mother and father (or rather, inability for a non-biological parent to replicate similar benefits). Pro was absolutely responsible for providing evidence to back up his assertions of biological necessity or even staggering relevance, as my role in the debate was to specifically argue against that notion. Moreover, saying biological ties were crucial to Pro's argument means that a mother-father dynamic of non-biological parents (such as adoptive parents) would not be any better than gay couples raising a child, or gay couples where one parent is biologically related to the child."

Obviously. Allow me to repeat myself- I was not arguing that a natural father was needed to parent effectively. I was arguing aginst opponent's contention that a lesbian's male friend taking her son out to the ball game somehow replaced a father. This is a strawman.

Number 7.

"He was basically saying that a lack of both a mother and a father negatively affected children, irregardless of the parent's sexuality. I was not dishonest in suggesting that A) this rebuttal was problematic for Pro's case, and B) that he failed to address the environment aspect of raising a child. The latter is obvious, and the problematic relevance of his rebuttal is that saying sexuality is irrelevant supports other aspects of my case. In particular, it highlights that Pro failed to prove specific traits or qualities that kids with same-sex parents miss out on based on stereotypical gender roles. This is important because general or presumed gender roles of heterosexuals are not the same as the gender stereotypes we apply to gay couples. For instance, if Pro had argued that women provide a certain element of femininty, I would have proven that gay men, on balance, also typically exude a certain element of femininty. As such, Pro couldn't argue "Having a father is important because they tend to provide rough and tumble play." If the father was gay, chances are he wouldn't provide rough and tumble play because he might be more feminine, meaning his sex alone (having a male father) would be irrlevant and undermine Pro's contention. On that same token, many lesbians are more masculine than typical females and therefore would be likely to provide rough-and-tumble play just as a father might."

Nowhere in the debate did she make this claim. Con's original explanation for this argument was: "A parent only has so much influence in their child's life. "Evidence indicates that parents have little or no long term effect on their children's personality, intelligence, or mental health. The environment definitely has an effect on how children turn out, but it's not the home environment. It's not the nurture they do or don't get from their parents." Now, while no one can deny the impact parenting has on a child's emotional and behavioral development, the amount of attention and care a child receives is most important."

She were basically saying that it didn't matter what traits parents had, it was environment that affected them the most. But as anyone can see, I provided examples of mental and emotional development from mothers and fathers which she then proceeded to strawman with her DNA argument. Furthermore, even if she was right about this, she would have had the burden to prove that masculinity and feminism directly affected the traits I used as examples. Clearly she did not, and this entire point is irrelevant.

Number 8.

"In the first round, my point #6 was that kids with gay parents being teased was not a good argument against same-sex parenting and I explained why (I had assumed Pro would make that contention). In the next round, Pro responded, "Are you serious? Please give me a little more credit than that." However, he failed to adhere to the structuring that I used for clarity by failing to specifically indicate which of my contentions he was responding to numerically, so I may have glossed over this while writing my rebuttal."

Ah. Now she "accidentally" glossed over it, while conveniently shifting the blame to me for not using a proper format. However, this was done in R2, when the debate had not yet become convoluted. I find it difficult to believe that Con simply missed my response when it was right there in front of her. I encourage the readers to go look for themselves: [http://debate.org...]

"Regardless, my point stands. I wrote in R3 that "Potentially teasing the kids is a terrible and irrelevant contention [against gay parenting]... Con dropped this, so he must agree." This is not dishonest; Con did drop it as I expected him to either respond in agreement that it was irrelevant, OR argue that it was relevant. Con insists that he was "strawmanned." Apparently he doesn't know what a strawman is. Using a strawman is when you misrepresent your opponent's argument. On the contrary, I never said that this was my opponent's argument. I said that it was MY argument, so clearly I didn't strawman. Pro is basically name dropping fallacies to find excuses for his loss. While at best you can argue that I made an honest (not dishonest) mistake in suggesting Pro didn't respond to my argument, it's A) untrue that I strawmanned him in any way, and B) an irrelevant point because Pro did in fact seem to agree with my argument in the first place (hence him saying he didn't intend to argue that teasing was relevant)."

I said "strawman," but a better term for it would have been "red herring." She did not miss it, she merely thinks that this point is minor so she decided to play dumb. However, this is more important than it looks because it was not the only irrelevant point that was repeated over and over and because it shows that she deliberately tried to waste my characters and make my response harder. As I said, this was part of her "Gish Gallop" tactic that forced me to go over the limit.

Number 9.

"Once again, MouthWash is bringing up an irrelevant argument that was conceded, and attempting to use it as a "dishonest" point against me when in fact it has been rendered entirely irrelevant for all intents and purposes of judging the first debate. This is another blatant waste of time and should be dropped from this debate, IMO. Here he references the beginning of the debate, where he started out by attempting to prove that homosexuality was not biological.

Me: "While I do think that biology plays a part in sexual orientation, I definitely agree that nature AND nurture play a role. The study Con presented (Exotic Becomes Erotic) explains the same thing, with the author noting that children's temperment is influenced by biological variables such as genetic factors that contribute to their childhood gender identity. Regardless, this is entirely irrelevant to the debate. What causes homosexuality is not up for question; whether or not gay people can be good parents is. As such, I don't need to respond to any of this unless Con explains why it's relevant."

What I meant by "biological ties" was that homosexuality was entirely biological and hereditary. Biological ties, as the EBE study used them, had a completely different meaning. As Wnope pointed out: "Schizophrenia is also "natural" and it can be used as a reason to stop someone from adopting children." I can understand some confusion on this part, because I was arguing that while certain biological factors played a role in the child's sexual development, they did not determine his sexuality in the sense that he or she couldn't have come out completely heterosexual. Futhermore, this was not part of my case that it was unhealthy. Rather, I simply anticipated that my opponent would argue that sexual orientation was an inborn trait and unchangable.

"Further, he completely strawmanned me which I find quite ironic. I never once argued that homosexuality was not a disorder. I argued that there were biological causes. You'll notice that I never once even remotely mentioned homosexuality being or not being a disorder. MouthWash is blatantly lying about what I said, and the proof is in the pudding."

Yes, the proof is in the pudding. Go look at the first sentence of your first argument: "Being gay is not a mental disorder."

"As you can see, I never strawmanned MW's point by saying he argued that a conscious choice was being made (he didn't)."

Yes, but since I had already claimed support for the EBE theory, it should have been obvious that I did not believe this already.

"Instead, the second part of my response DOES negate Pro's point that biology was not a significant factor, as I pointed that his very own source explained that it was."

I dropped the depression argument because I was unable to find many sources. And when did I say biology was not a significant factor? You are simply redefining "biological" to suit your needs. Throughout the debate you were never able to pick one definition of the word and stick with it.

Number 10.

"As you can see, I specifically included 4 very big reasons why he should lose points for Sources (since that is a factor that is weighted pretty heavily in the judging process). MouthWash is being completely dishonest in suggesting that I only provided one reason by intentionally excluding everything else that I said. Moreover, the reason I mentioned him referencing the same source 3x wasn't to suggest that this particular mistake ought to be enough to penalize him."

Here's what you said: "Some of Con's sources were irrelevant. Others helped establish my case. He cited the same source 3x in the last round, and failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond."

However, these conclusions were the result of strawmen, red herrings, and lies, which I pointed out. I didn't intend to give the impression that she was trying to deduct sources solely because I cited the same source three times, I was simply pointing out how incredibly ridiculous it was.

Number 11.

"Pro notes that I acknowledged his "unnecessary comments like 'I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of [Pro's] response' as rude and borderline ad hominem." This is not remotely dishonest. Pro is again completely wasting our time with bogus accusations, and this should be dropped immediately. This isn't even an accusation."

Taking irrelevant things and assigning them importance fits my definition of dishonesty, especially when it is taken to the point of absurdness.

Number 12.

"Pro thinks it was dishonest of me to say that he didn't present any studies indicating the harms of same-sex parenting. Let's take a look at what Pro posted: http://www.debate.org......

As you can see, it's a convoluted wall o'text that is far too difficult to make sense of. It looks like a bunch of random numbers. It includes zero explanation of specific harms of same-sex parenting (as in why the sexuality of one's parents leads to certain outcomes). It also doesn't give any background information on the actual study, and it is not my job nor the audience's job to go on a scavenger hunt to find information within Pro's sources. It was his duty to highlight a specific point within our debate, and then source it - not simply post a link to a source and say "I urge you to read this." This is standard debating conduct and expectations on DDO."


If you'll click the link, you'll see three studies, each numbered four, five and six. Number four gave a list of the APA's studies on homosexuality. Sarantakos's results showed that there were negative effects on children raised by same-sex parents. The first graph documents how the studies were done. I used it to show that Sarantakos's methods were superior compared to other studies. The second graph shows the results of the Sarantakos study. The third graph shows another study with the same conclusions (at the bottom of the page, I gave the source).

So how was she supposed to know all of this? Because I explained it all in my argument!

"Let's take a look at the studies in the American Psychological Association "Summary of Research Findings on Lesbian and Gay Parenting:" [4.http://www.debate.org......]

I urge my opponent to take note of the Sarantakos (1996) study. It compares 58 children of heterosexual married parents, 58 children of heterosexual cohabiting couples, and 58 children living with homosexual couples that were all "matched according to socially significant criteria (e.g., age, number of children, education, occupation, and socio-economic status)." The combined sample size 174, which is the seventh-largest sample size in the research findings above. What's interesting is that all of the larger studies were all adult self-report studies, which means that the Sarantakos is the largest study that investigated the development of children.

The results: [5.http://www.debate.org......]

Here are some other results from a 2012 study that demonstrate that children of homosexual couples are significantly disadvantaged and why other studies fail to show it: [6.http://www.debate.org......]"


I posted a link to the same page for each graph I wanted to point out. The number on the links correlated to the numbers on the graphs. I explained everything and made it simple.

Con: "Also, keep in mind that he made the mistake of posting this same link multiple times. To me, it seemed intentionally dishonest. Maybe it wasn't. Likewise, perhaps my suggestion that he didn't post any useful scientific studies wasn't intentionally dishonest. If it wasn't intentional, it wasn't dishonest (it would instead be an honest mistake)."

Con is now attempting to abandon this claim without losing too much credibility. The fact that they were so obvious is evidence of her dishonesty, but nothing more so than the fact that I EXPLAINED it in the final round:

"I posted three links to my three graphs, which happened to be on the same page and could be confused with each other. I posted the along with the corresponding numbers for each graph (4, 5, 6) so that readers would know what I wanted to cite. What's really sad is why anyone would consider that grounds for a point loss. It seems YOU got confused, because you apparently didn't bother to scroll down and see the different studies."

I am done for now. This is shaping up to be the most entertaining debate I've done in a long time. It is Con's turn.
Danielle

Con

*** NOTE: I will not be respnding to each and every bullet or sentence in the next round. This debate is WAY too long and already a massive waste of my time as it is. Instead, I will be writing just a re-cap of the entire debate as a whole, for which I feel my opponent failed to prove that I used "dishonest tactics" in order to win. ***

<strong>1. Re: What exactly did you hope to gain through this argument other than proving that homosexuals COULD have the characteristics to raise children properly? </strong>

My point was that they CAN and DO. I have no idea how many times I have to repeat myself. I was the instigator of the debate. I was Pro. I was making a proactive argument that there are no good parenting qualities or techniques that are exculusive to heterosexuals or males and females, specifically. You apparently agree! You've never argued otherwise, and you failed to list a single trait proving that assertion wrong. However, instead of saying "Yes it's true" and conceding that as a contention in my favor, you continuously whine that I am "straw manning" you and that it's not your burden to provide an answer.

You completely fail to see that you can concede an argument(s), and that isn't the same as conceding the entire debate. You should have acknowledged the argument that I made was true, and moved on to explain why you felt it was irrelevant or not enough to win me the debate. Instead, you've wasted everybody's time (and continue to do so) instead of just acknowledging that what I was saying was correct. I personally explained why I believe it's a strong arguent in my favor; you disagree. That's for the audience to decide - not you. Hence the point of a debate. You're being completely dishonest in saying I am "strawmanning" you when it was never your argument to begin with, as you rightfully point out. You don't even know the definition of straw man apparently yet you accuse me of using it. Drop this contention, for everybody's sake. You haven't proven a shred of dishonesty on my part, so it's not a legitimate contention in your favor. It's just you failing to comply with typical debate protocol of responding to all of my arguments, and either 1) negating, 2) undermining or 3) conceding them.

<strong> Re: 2. Obviously there will be benefits to being raised by two parents, for obvious reasons (which I pointed out). Con was simply trying to use other gay marriage arguments ("think of the kids they'll adopt!") into the debate which had nothing to do with the resolution. However, whether or not same-sex couples are better than a single parent means absolutely nothing. </strong>

This is completely wrong. MouthWash STILL cannot grasp the simple point I was trying to make. I guess I have to repeat myself again. Let's go back to square one. First, MouthWash and I both agree that having two parents are better than one. Additionally, we both agree that having two same-sex parents are better than one because two are simply better than one thanks to the additional benefits. Are you following? Good. Now, the article explained the benefits of having two parents - which MouthWash and I agree on - including dual income, additional support, more resources, etc. Still following? Awesome. So, much like contention 1, which explained that there are no particular traits exclusive or inherent to heterosexuality or males and females in particular, I was simply noting that all of the benefits of having an additional partner could be achieved by gay couples as well as straight couples! Get it?!

No, I'm sure you still don't get it. So I'll say it again. Just as my point 1 my argument was that gays and males/females could be trustworthy, responsible, caring, etc. and have all the qualities of good parents (those traits are not gender or sexuality specific), I was acknowledging in point 2 that the additional benefits of having two parents could be equally applied to gay couples of either sexuality or gender as well. I simply cited the study to indicate what the benefits of two parents were, hence the word COUPLES in the resolution. I wanted you to again acknowledge that gays of either gender could provide the same additional support of a second parent. Again, we are talking about gay vs. straight <em>couples.</em>

Throughout the debate, MW intended to prove that a gay couple was in fact inferior to a straight couple. I was using this study as an example of things found beneficial among couples, and challenging my opponent to find a benefit that did not apply to gay couples. This is very easy to understand (for most people). You'll also notice that the "Think of the kids that the gays will adopt!" comment had absolutely nothing to do with my argument. Pro is blatantly lying or misconstruing my argument. Once again he's proven that he is the one being intentionally dishonest.

Re: <strong> As I have said, the study was not designed nor capable of finding discrepancies between how effectively same-sex couples parented in comparison to regular ones, or find (as Con said) certain characteristics that would more likely be emulated by traditional couples. </strong>

And as *I* have said, this is completely irrlevant. The study had absolutely nothing to do with comparing gay vs. straight couples. I never said that it was about that, so the fact that you keep repeating yourself as if you're somehow enlightening us to some discrepancy is just frankly embarrassing on your part. Again, THE STUDY IS NOT ABOUT COMPARING GAY VS. STRAIGHT COUPLES. Instead, the study was about finding specific qualities of couples in general (two parents) raising a child, regardless of their gender or sexuality. The entire point was to prove that like good parenting qualities, none of these qualities (like providing additional resources) were exclusive to one particular sex or sexuality either.

<strong>Re: In addition, I'd like the readers to note that she seems to have forgotten all about her previous point in which she demanded that I prove that homosexuals could NEVER have certain characteristics and claims that traditional couples "being more likely to emulate" them was enough. This is enough to prove that it was deliberate rather than a simple misunderstanding. Hilariously, she also used this in the comments after the debate in order to convince people to vote for her: "He was arguing (but never proved) that there are parenting traits that ONLY a man or ONLY a woman can inherently possess, which of course is absurd." Absurd indeed.</strong>

Copy and paste whatever quotes of mine that you're referring to, and source them accordingly. Why? Because I have no idea what you're talking about. This looks like a stream of conscious rant and does not explain a specific complaint. I'm not the only one who has trouble understanding you. Multiple people in the comments section have commented that you aren't remotely capable of presenting a coherent argument. What's your point here? You're cherry picking random sentences that I allegedly made about homosexualus NEVER having certain qualities. Out of context, I can't remember what we were talking about in order to be able to adequately defend or explain what I was referring to. It's unfair for you to expect me and the audience to re-read this entire juvenile, ridiculously long debate multiple times just because you're incapable of providing a clear contention.

However, what I can say was that I never said you had to prove that homosexuals could NEVER have certain characteristics. What I challenged was to find even a single good parenting quality that was exclusive or inherent to heterosexuality - or - that gay people typically did not posess (or even less likely to posess). My point was that certain traits are not applicable to one specific sex or sexuality.

While men are known to have more testosterone than women, plenty of women have more testosterone than men and vice versa even if that's not the norm. Yes, we only have to argue norms for the sake of this debate to an extent. However, gay and straight people do NOT have the same norms which I've explained multiple times. For example, lesbians are known to have more testosterone than straight women.

http://www.abc.net.au...

http://www.sherdog.net...

http://webspace.ship.edu...

Testosterone is part of the equation that makes guys more inclined to have "rough and tumble" play with their kids, which is a quality MouthWash suggested made having a male/female dynamic more superior. But a woman having more testosterone would incline her to engage in the same type of rough and tumble play that a child could enjoy with a man. As such, the child of a lesbian couple (for example) would probably not be missing out on any rough and tumble play that they would get from having a man in their life. Throughout our debate, I challenged MouthWash to use either anecdotal evidence or scientific studies to provide me with examples of things that kids with gay parents said they were missing out on. He failed to do so.

3. <strong> Re: Again, she shoved the burden to prove that children NEEDED opposite-sex parents to have proper care. In other words, I now had to prove that they had characteristics that gay couples could never have. </strong>

What I said: <em> There are innumerable people raised by gay parents who turn out perfectly well adjusted, and note that they didn't miss out on any father/ mother figures in their life... The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits.</em>

First of all, it is absolutely Pro's burden to either negate or accept the contentions I provided in my favor. That isn't "shifting the burden." That is standard procedure in any debate. It's up to the audience to decide the merit of my contentions. Pro's responsibility is to explain why they are insufficient. The intention of my argument was PERFECTLY clear. Indeed, it was to highlight that two opposite sex parents were not needed for good parenting. Proving that is the entire purpose of this debate - hence why I made not one, not two, but many arguments in my favor. Pro honestly thinks he can say "These contentions don't matter" and not have to argue against them. Quite clearly that's for the audience to decide. His job is to refute, negate, or diminish the relevance of my contentions - NOT whine that I am imposing a burden on him to argure against something he can't refute, and then name drop random fallacies.

<strong>Re: Again, she shoved the burden to prove that children NEEDED opposite-sex parents to have proper care. In other words, I now had to prove that they had characteristics that gay couples could never have.</strong>

Indeed, I said "The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits." It's obvious that Pro is the only relying on semantics and manipulation given I've explained the purpose of my argument multiple times. I won't repeat this again-- My point was that MouthWash completely, utterly, and 100% failed to provide a single reason or explanation as to why heterosexual parents were preferable or better at providing certain qualities. His ONLY answer in the debate was "rough and tumble" play by fathers had certain benefits, which I have already responded to both in this debate and the other many times over. It's clear that he simply failed to meet his burden, and the fact that I pointed that out repeatedly he is now considering "dishonest" based on my outlining of what I meant and what his burden was.

<strong>Re: Mothers tend to speak soothingly and softly in repetitive rhythms to their infants and snugly hold them. Fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation than mothers. As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction." </strong>

Pro has the audacity to say "My claims had absolutely nothing to do and were not dependent on having the children be biologically related to the parents or sharing their DNA." Yes! Pro actually said that in his last round! Of course, referencing a mother or a father absolutely and 100% had to do with shared biological ties and DNA. It's quite obvious that anyone could talk soothingly to a baby; Pro's point was that a *mother* does it - or does it in a certain way - and my rebuttal was that it was not necessary for a mother to do it. Anyone could do it. Pro had to prove that kids with gay parents (I'm sorry... a same-sex couple as parents) are less likely to receive this kind of soothing attention, which of course he didn't.

The fact that he referenced a mother/father and then said that his claim had "absolutely nothing to do with biology" is a blatant lie - one of many. He also said, "The presence of the NATURAL father was the most significant factor in reducing rates of early sexual activity and rates of teenage pregnancy in girls." My response to him was completely accurate and not at all dishonest. He referenced NATURAL, biological parenting in his arguments, and I dismantled them. Then he said his claims had "nothing to do with biology." Is this a joke?

My response: <em> However other studies note that compared to the daughters of heterosexual mothers, the daughters of lesbians more frequently dress, play and behave in ways that do not conform to sex-typed cultural norms. They also have higher self-esteem and confidence, and tend to break rules less, indicating that teen pregnancy is likely not in the cards... This debate is about one's sexual orientation affecting their ability to parent - not whether or not you can have the same biological ties to someone who is not related to you (obviously not). As such, I haven't seen any evidence that fathers and mothers aren't interchangeable insofar as being positive male/ female role models. </em>

As you can see, there's nothing dishonest about my rebuttal or assessment of Pro's bad arguments.

<strong>4. Re: This argument is wrong because it has absolutely nothing to do with each couples' parenting capabilities, and because unplanned pregnancies are not inevitable aspects of heterosexual relationships. </strong>

I said I dropped the point about unplanned pregnancies multiple times in the last debate, and explained that once again in this debate. The fact that he's bringing up a dropped contention (and I explained why I dropped it - in relevance to the contention that HE dropped) is bad conduct on his part. He's desperate. I advised him for my sake and the readers' sake to drop these blatantly dumb contentions that are not in his favor - especially those over dropped arguments which were therefore rendered completely irrelevant to the last debate. They weren't part of the judging process, so the fact that he's bringing them up when for all intents and purposes they were rendered meaningless is just sad and pathetic. He's wasting our time for no reason.

<strong>Re: I NEVER used anecdotal evidence to establish that homosexuals were depressed. Rather, I claimed that homosexual relationships themselves were unhealthy and led to depression and other emotional or mental problems... This means that they were inherently tied with homosexual relationships, in contrast to unplanned pregnancies which are entirely avoidable.</strong>

Saying homosexual relationships lead to depression is anecdotal, because clearly depression is not inherent to homosexuality. If that was Pro's argument, he should have made it. Clearly that's not true - not a single psychological association would ever validate such a broad, untrue assertion. I'm gay and I'm not depressed. I know tons of people in gay relationships who are not depressed. His (bad, DROPPED) argument on the relationship between homosexuality and depression was in fact anecdotal, but regardless, a moot point because both of these contentions were DROPPED. Ergo, they were not relevant to the judging process of the debate so not used as a "dishonest tactic" for me to win. MouthWash, stop wasting our time. I explained this in the last round. Drop the contentions that just make you look foolish and have absolutely nothing to do with establishing your case whatsoever.

<strong> 5. Re: What she was doing here was pretending that she had won something when she simply rehashed an illelvant point over and over again. I said that this was a strawman. As for now, I have nothing to refute until my opponent actually addresses my accusation.</strong>

No. I'm not strawmanning Pro. Look at his hilarious explanation and see how he defeats his own argument.

1. [Danielle] claimed that sex lives had nothing to do with parenting skills.

2. [MouthWash] claimed that:
a) kids needed a mother and a father
b) homosexual relationships (not sex lives) were unhealthy

3. [Danielle] repeated herself and said that she had won the point.

4. [MouthWash] pointed out that she had won nothing because:
a) I never claimed that sex lives affected parenting skills
b) the fact that sex live don't affect parenting skills had no bearing on my case

5. Con repeated herself again and claimed that she had won the point.

Pro blatantly srawmanned ME. If my argument was that a parent's sex lives have nothing to do with parenting skills, then Pro must ARGUE AGAINST THAT. He either has to concede it, negate it or undermine it's relevance. As you can see - by his own admission - he responded by saying kids need a mother and a father, and that homosexual relationships were unhealthy. What does a mother/father dynamic or gay relationships have to do with a parents' sex lives affecting their parenting skills?

I said I won the point because MouthWash failed to explain how a parent's sexual endeavors affect or harm their relationship with their child. Pro also failed to explain how gay *relationships* hurt a child, because, as he admits, he dropped the contention regarding gay relationships and depression. It's pretty clear that any time I called out MouthWash for failing to respond to one of MY arguments, he accuses me of strawmanning his. Look at what he said in 4b - "the fact that sex lives don't affect parenting skills had no bearing on my case."

Clearly, it was an argument for MY case, not his. I never strawmanned him, and his rampant accusations of random fallacies are dishonest on HIS part, not mine.

<strong> 6. Re: Allow me to repeat myself- I was not arguing that a natural father was needed to parent effectively. I was arguing aginst opponent's contention that a lesbian's male friend taking her son out to the ball game somehow replaced a father. This is a strawman. </strong>

Let's see what I said: <em> "As you can see, this was entirely relevant to my case as it effectively argued against one of my opponent's contentions of the importance of a biological mother and father (or rather, inability for a non-biological parent to replicate similar benefits). Pro was absolutely responsible for providing evidence to back up his assertions of biological necessity or even staggering relevance, as my role in the debate was to specifically argue against that notion. </em>

MouthWash literally contradicts himself so blatantly that it's hard to tell if this is a troll debate or not. He said that he was arguing against the notion that a non-biological father (male friend) could somehow replace a father. I pointed out that I was arguing that biological ties were not necessary as Pro seems to indicate, and that they COULD replace a father. This is not a strawman in any way whatsoever. We are literally talking about the exact same thing. I was saying that biological ties were not important. Pro is saying that they are. There is absolutely not a single aspect of this contention that involves a strawman of any kind.

<strong> 7. Re: But as anyone can see, I provided examples of mental and emotional development from mothers and fathers which she then proceeded to strawman with her DNA argument.</strong>

I'm so glad MouthWash keeps arguing against himself; it makes my job that much easier. He said that he argued that child development patterns obtained from mothers and fathers was significant, and then said that I strawmanned him with my DNA argument. I've already provided the direct quotes proving that no such strawman exists. In talking about a mother and father, Pro is in fact referencing biological ties. But let's say he wasn't. Let's say he's talking simply about the various benefits offered by men and women. In that case, he's already defeated his own argument! If biological ties aren't important and only the gender dynamics are, then my point about random men or random women replacing male/female dynamics is completely true. Further, here again is the direct quote where MouthWash references NATURAL a.k.a. biological fathers, meaning he's completely lying in saying that biology was irrleveant to his contentions/sources:

"The presence of the NATURAL father was the most significant factor in reducing rates of early sexual activity and rates of teenage pregnancy in girls." - MW

<strong> 8. Re: Ah. Now she "accidentally" glossed over it, while conveniently shifting the blame to me for not using a proper format. However, this was done in R2, when the debate had not yet become convoluted. </strong>

The debate started in round 2. Your format was terrible and didn't coincide with my numbering for cohesiveness starting with your very first rebuttal. If I missed something, it was an honest mistake and not an intentionally dishonest tactic. Good luck proving that I didn't respond intentionally, when in fact I addressed your points later on as well as explained how my initial rebuttal was sufficient regardless.

<strong> I said "strawman," but a better term for it would have been "red herring." She did not miss it, she merely thinks that this point is minor so she decided to play dumb. </strong>

I'm not playing dumb. Pro just admitted that he lied about what fallacies I've allegedly used against him, but then blames me for not following his unstructured accusations. I didn't use a red herring, which is a vague accusation that only refers to intentional misleading from the actual issue. I didn't mislead against anything. My proactive argument was that kids with gay parents being teased was irrlevant to this debate. MouthWash said this was a strawman and dropped it. I pointed out that it was merely something I wanted to point out as part of my constructive case - NOT a manipulation of his arugment (because it was my argument) - and now he's accusing me of a red herring. I really don't know how to even respond to this. Clearly it's not. Clearly it's yet another example of Pro not understanding that he is responsible for responding to my contentions even if they are irrelevant to his own, or not part of his constructive case. He has simply accused me of "strawmanning" him or using other fallacies every time I pointed out that he failed to respond to one of my arguments.

<strong>9. Re: What I meant by "biological ties" was that homosexuality was entirely biological and hereditary. </strong>

This entire point is irrelevant to the debate as it highlights not a shred of dishonesty on my part. We're arguing over a dropped contention. This is a massive waste of time. He is saying that his initial argument was that homosexuality was entirely biological and hereditary. I pointed out that while it certainly had biological ties, it was not a mental disorder, but I never said that he accused it of being as such (thus, no strawman on my part). I mentioned that it wasn't a disorder before he ever even posted an argument; it was simply something to keep in mind as my argument was that being gay didn't inhibit people from good parenting despite being an inherent part of their identity. For instance, wnope noted that schizophrenia was "natural" but could be harmful. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder. Homosexuality is not. As such, my point was that not being a mental disorder meant it couldn't be considered inherently harmful. There is nothing dishonest about this.

<strong> Re: I dropped the depression argument because I was unable to find many sources. And when did I say biology was not a significant factor? You are simply redefining "biological" to suit your needs. Throughout the debate you were never able to pick one definition of the word and stick with it.</strong>

WhatisthisIcanteven... I don't remember ever defining "biological" in any other way other than the actual definition of biological (as in, biological relationships established through a DNA connection). Anyway, Pro acknowledges that he dropped the argument. It's a moot point. There was nothing dishonest about my argument, rebuttal or explanation.

<strong>10. Re: Here's what you said: "Some of Con's sources were irrelevant. Others helped establish my case. He cited the same source 3x in the last round, and failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond."

However, these conclusions were the result of strawmen, red herrings, and lies, which I pointed out. I didn't intend to give the impression that she was trying to deduct sources solely because I cited the same source three times, I was simply pointing out how incredibly ridiculous it was.</strong>

Whether or not the conclusions were the result of fallacious reasoning is up for the audience to decide. There is absolutely nothing dishonest about what I said. Every single thing I said was true. I explained why his sources were irrlevant (didn't back up his claims); I explained how some of his sources helped establish my case in the debate (eg. Pro's Exotic Becomes Erotic article); it's true that he cited the same source 3x; and it's true that he failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond. As you can see, there was not a shred of dishonesty in anything I said in explaining why the Sources point should have been in my favor. This contention should be dropped immediately.

<strong>11. Re: Taking irrelevant things and assigning them importance fits my definition of dishonesty, especially when it is taken to the point of absurdness.</strong>

Once again, let's examine what Pro is whining about. He's complaining that I brought up his ad hominem attacks against me in my explanation as for why I should win Conduct points. As I explained in the last round, apparently MouthWash doesn't understand that Sources and Conduct are factors of the judging process, which are each assigned a point value. As such, I mentioned his ad hom attacks as an indication that his conduct was inferior to mine. This is completely relevant to the debate, so I would say it's "important" and I didn't bring it up except for in 1 sentence during the final round. I didn't treat it as some very influential aspect of the debate; I merely pointed out that I exhibited better conduct than Pro, and I did. There is nothing "absurd" about this. There is nothing "dishonest" about this.

<strong>12. Re: Sarantakos's results showed that there were negative effects on children raised by same-sex parents. The first graph documents how the studies were done... </strong>

I repeat: It includes zero explanation of specific harms of same-sex parenting (as in why the sexuality of one's parents leads to certain outcomes). Instead, it only provides a number for comparison with no factual data to support the conclusions. It also doesn't give any background information on the actual study (in terms of the demographics and other pertinent information, including class, geography, etc... This is relevant because how a culture reacts to gay couples raising a child will inevitably impact the way the child perceives themselves and their parents). It was Pro's duty to highlight a specific point within our debate, and then source it - not simply post a link to a source and say "I urge you to read this." Throughout our debate, he accuses me of forcing him to go above the limit, when meanwhile he had to utilize thousands upon thousands of characters of extra space just to post and explain his case completely separate from me.

Right off the bat, I shouldn't have had to go looking at all of those external sources as they were presented, so they should have been disqualified from our debate anyhow. By his own admission, he messed up on posting his sources, and what I saw didn't seem to back up his case at all because of the error. I pointed that out, and it was not dishonest. At BEST you can say it was a mistake based on how he misused the Sources aspect of the debate. Of course, all Pro had to do was say "Actually my sources did explain XYZ sufficiently, and here's why/how..." Of course then it would be up to the audience to decide. I didn't do anything intentionally "dishonest." A misunderstanding (even if I had misunderstood) is not dishonest. An accident is not dishonest. To me, Pro's sources were far from clear or cohesive and I'm not the only person who felt that way. Considering he didn't source properly or according to debate rules and standards, it's not my fault if myself or the audience got confused. I also still stand by the fact that he hasn't explained why his sources or studies are superior.
Debate Round No. 3
MouthWash

Pro

I'm sorry that Con evidently thinks this is a waste of time. It seems obvious to me that, since she accepted this, she would have a responsibility to take it seriously.

Con seems to be unable to bold and italicize her round (perhaps she used a different browser?), but she posted it correctly on the forums, so here's a link: [http://debate.org...]

Number 1.

"My point was that they CAN and DO. I have no idea how many times I have to repeat myself. I was the instigator of the debate. I was Pro. I was making a proactive argument that there are no good parenting qualities or techniques that are exculusive to heterosexuals or males and females, specifically. You apparently agree! You've never argued otherwise, and you failed to list a single trait proving that assertion wrong. However, instead of saying "Yes it's true" and conceding that as a contention in my favor, you continuously whine that I am "straw manning" you and that it's not your burden to provide an answer."

I have absolutely no idea what Con thinks she is arguing, or what point she is trying to respond to. You made a proactive argument that there were no specific characteristics that homosexuals could not have. I did not argue. You were right. I conceded this point.

My entire accusation here was that she pretended this was essential to my case. That's what a strawman is- twisting your opponent's position into something it isn't and refuting that. My case never was that heterosexuals had specific characteristics that homosexuals could NOT possess. It is both a strawman and a semantic.

This is what Con said: "None of these qualities are exclusive to heterosexuals. There seem to be no qualifications of a good parent that a gay person can not possess."

My response: "Technically they can, but I am saying that this is generally not the case. If you are saying that it is "possible" that gays can raise well adjusted children, I point out that it is also possible that beating kids is a good method for discipline (seeing as there must be at least a few success stories in the world)."

She said that homosexuals could have any characteristic that heterosexuals could possess. This is true. I conceded this, as you can see from the quote itself. My assertion that this was a semantic is obvious- she was arguing that homosexuals COULD have the parenting capabilities necessary to raise children effectively. What did this have to do with anything? I responded that I agreed with this and that "it was generally not the case." In other words, I was arguing that heterosexual couples generally had those characteristics- as I should have! She then responded to me:

Her response: "If Con thinks that there are qualities or attributes that a straight person can posess that make them a good parent that gay people can NOT possess, he needs to include what those specific traits are. Otherwise this point is in favor of Pro."

Then: "There are no parenting traits a heterosexual can possess that a gay person can not. Con wasted space saying I was exploiting the word "can" in the resolution (based on Mirza"s comments). My point is that any quality or trait you associate with good parenting - i.e., responsible, caring, loving, etc. - can be possessed by gay people. Ergo, good parenting qualities or techniques are not limited to heterosexual parents. Con never negated this idea; he dropped this contention and chose to whine about something irrelevant."

What does the fact that "good parenting qualities or techniques are not limited to heterosexual parents" have to do with ANYTHING I was saying? You repeated yourself and did not respond to what I said. Rather, your claim that I "dropped this contention and chose to whine about something irrelevant" was basically saying that you had won this point. Who cares? It had nothing to do with my case.

"You completely fail to see that you can concede an argument(s), and that isn't the same as conceding the entire debate. You should have acknowledged the argument that I made was true, and moved on to explain why you felt it was irrelevant or not enough to win me the debate."

What does that have to do with ANYTHING? I did concede that there were no characteristics homosexuals could not possess, as you can see by reading my first round. You repeated yourself and demanded that I prove otherwise!

"You're being completely dishonest in saying I am "strawmanning" you when it was never your argument to begin with, as you rightfully point out. You don't even know the definition of straw man apparently yet you accuse me of using it."

This is what a strawman is:

1. Person 1 has position X.

2. Person 2 disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially similar position Y.

3. Person 2 attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Let me put it more simply:

I had the burden to prove that children were generally raised more effectively with a mother and a father than with two of each. It was not my contention that no homosexual couple possessed the characteristics that children needed to be raised well. I conceded this and pointed out why it was irrelevant. You repeated yourself and pretended that I needed to refute this. But it was not and never was my contention. You responded to a assertion I did not make and demanded that I prove homosexual couples could NEVER possess those characteristics even after I explained my position to you. You did not refute anything I said. You have strawmanned me and exploited the resolution.

Con is using dishonest tactics RIGHT NOW. I said this in my previous round! Indeed, when addressing my question, she simply quoted it out of context and left out everything else. She has unlimited characters, so I don't see why she would even need to do that. That question ("What exactly did you hope to gain through this argument other than proving that homosexuals COULD have the characteristics to raise children properly?") makes no sense without the rest of my accusation. Next round, Con needs to quote and respond to my argument in full rather than taking certain statements out of context.

"Drop this contention, for everybody's sake. You haven't proven a shred of dishonesty on my part, so it's not a legitimate contention in your favor."

We have two scenarios here: Con is either the stupidest, laziest, and most inattentive debater on this site, or she deliberately used dishonest tactics. Courts do not let people go because they can't read their minds and don't know for sure what they intended. They require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And that is what I have provided: REPETITION of blatant misinterpretations of my arguments even after I pointed them out. Danielle isn't stupid or insane. We have overwhelming evidence that she did, in fact, exploit the resolution and strawmanned me. May I remind the readers of this little gem?: "He was arguing (but never proved) that there are parenting traits that ONLY a man or ONLY a woman can inherently possess, which of course is absurd."

Yes, she directly lied about her position in Round 2 of this debate by saying that it was only about generalities.

Number 2.

"We both agree that having two same-sex parents are better than one because two are simply better than one thanks to the additional benefits. Are you following? Good. Now, the article explained the benefits of having two parents - which MouthWash and I agree on - including dual income, additional support, more resources, etc. Still following? Awesome. So, much like contention 1, which explained that there are no particular traits exclusive or inherent to heterosexuality or males and females in particular, I was simply noting that all of the benefits of having an additional partner could be achieved by gay couples as well as straight couples! Get it?!

Just as my point 1 my argument was that gays and males/females could be trustworthy, responsible, caring, etc. and have all the qualities of good parents (those traits are not gender or sexuality specific), I was acknowledging in point 2 that the additional benefits of having two parents could be equally applied to gay couples of either sexuality or gender as well. I simply cited the study to indicate what the benefits of two parents were, hence the word COUPLES in the resolution. I wanted you to again acknowledge that gays of either gender could provide the same additional support of a second parent. Again, we are talking about gay vs. straight couples."


Oh, so you were trying to establish that ANY two-parent family, regardless of sex, gives the same benefits of having two parents to their kids? But here's a problem: that's OBVIOUS. It has nothing to do with how homosexual couples stack up against heterosexual couples. These benefits that Con points out are inherent to two-parent families. Both types of couples obviously provide them. There was no reason to point this out.

"Re: As I have said, the study was not designed nor capable of finding discrepancies between how effectively same-sex couples parented in comparison to regular ones, or find (as Con said) certain characteristics that would more likely be emulated by traditional couples."

"And as *I* have said, this is completely irrlevant."

I'm sorry, when did you say this beforehand? If you had, this might be justifiable as a misunderstanding. But you never explained this even after I argued my viewpoint.

"The study had absolutely nothing to do with comparing gay vs. straight couples. I never said that it was about that, so the fact that you keep repeating yourself as if you're somehow enlightening us to some discrepancy is just frankly embarrassing on your part. Again, THE STUDY IS NOT ABOUT COMPARING GAY VS. STRAIGHT COUPLES. Instead, the study was about finding specific qualities of couples in general (two parents) raising a child, regardless of their gender or sexuality. The entire point was to prove that like good parenting qualities, none of these qualities (like providing additional resources) were exclusive to one particular sex or sexuality either."

No, you're just making up a new excuse to justify your argument. I conceded that having a two-parent family was better than one, as anyone who reads the debate can clearly see. You responded to my concession by saying: "No, it's relevant because two gay parents can raise children just as well as two staight parents. I've included a psychological study that confirmed this. Con seems to agree. The point goes to Pro."

There are two things very wrong here.

1. Your claim that it flatly proved that homosexual couples could raise children as well as heterosexual couples (i.e. the resolution). Looking at this by itself, it may have been simple inability to communicate your point, but the fact that you were directly responding to my EXPLANATION that it was not relevant to my case throws this defense into doubt.

2. The fact you said "the point goes to Pro." Yes, I did concede this, but the only context I've ever heard that kind of statement in are real, two-sided arguments where one person refutes the other person's position. In other words, you were pretending that you had won something through this, when in fact you had simply affirmed an obvious fact that I made clear I wasn't going to contest. Had you been honest you would have made it clear to me that you understood it was irrelevant to my case and stopped going on about it, especially after I explained my objections to you.

You later said this: "While 2 parents are better than one (Con agrees), it doesn"t matter if those parents are same-sex (Con disagrees)."

This is a lie. It doesn't matter if those parents are homosexual or heterosexual when it comes to benefits derived solely from having two parents. I said that that was obvious when I conceded it: "Of course having a two-parent family is better than one. The economic benefits alone help children. Irrelevant."

"I included a study validating that 2 same-sex parents provide the same benefits to parenting that 2 heterosexual parents do: double the resources, emotional support, etc. Con said this too was irrelevant, but it proves that what parentsprovide and not their sexuality is what matters."

Again, resources and emotional support are not the be-all and end-all of parenting. I've said this in my previous round, so why do I end up having to repeat myself?

"Re: In addition, I'd like the readers to note that she seems to have forgotten all about her previous point in which she demanded that I prove that homosexuals could NEVER have certain characteristics and claims that traditional couples "being more likely to emulate" them was enough. This is enough to prove that it was deliberate rather than a simple misunderstanding. Hilariously, she also used this in the comments after the debate in order to convince people to vote for her: "He was arguing (but never proved) that there are parenting traits that ONLY a man or ONLY a woman can inherently possess, which of course is absurd." Absurd indeed."

"Copy and paste whatever quotes of mine that you're referring to, and source them accordingly."

I did copy and paste your quote JUST NOW: "He was arguing (but never proved) that there are parenting traits that ONLY a man or ONLY a woman can inherently possess, which of course is absurd."

It is from the comment section of our debate, as I JUST SAID. And this is from your R2 rebuttal to this very same point: "or that a male/female dynamic would be more likely to emulate certain characteristics compared to gay couples."

"What's your point here? You're cherry picking random sentences that I allegedly made about homosexualus NEVER having certain qualities."

I quoted the full sentence. It is actually located in the comments section five pages back in case anyone's interested.

"However, what I can say was that I never said you had to prove that homosexuals could NEVER have certain characteristics. What I challenged was to find even a single good parenting quality that was exclusive or inherent to heterosexuality - or - that gay people typically did not posess (or even less likely to posess). My point was that certain traits are not applicable to one specific sex or sexuality."

First of all, this shold have been in my first accusation, but Con decided to abandon the numbering, so I'll move on. Let's look at what was actually said, for starters.

"None of these qualities are exclusive to heterosexuals. There seem to be no qualifications of a good parent that a gay person can not possess."

This very clearly implies I needed to prove no gay person could possess those characteristics. I responded by saying this was a semantic. Danielle then replied to me:

"If Con thinks that there are qualities or attributes that a straight person can posess that make them a good parent that gay people can NOT possess, he needs to include what those specific traits are. Otherwise this point is in favor of Pro."

Here, she does claim that she was talking about characteristics of the sexes (implying her first statement was just another failure to communicate basic arguments). However, the readers can see that she was blatantly lying about her claim that she was only demanding a parenting characteristic that was simply inherent to heterosexuality (that gay people were less likely to possess). She directly said that she was talking about traits that gays CANNOT possess. Regardless of whatever spin she puts on it here, her own words convict her. Take a look at another response:

"There are no parenting traits a heterosexual can possess that a gay person cannot. Con wasted space saying I was exploiting the word "can" in the resolution (based on Mirza"s comments). My point is that any quality or trait you associate with good parenting - i.e., responsible, caring, loving, etc. - can be possessed by gay people. Ergo, good parenting qualities or techniques are not limited to heterosexual parents. Con never negated this idea; he dropped this contention and chose to whine about something irrelevant."

She has lied about her intentions, even after I explained to her again and again during the course of the debate that this was not about whether gays could possess these parenting skills. It simply can't be denied any longer at this point. The fact that this occured so many times in a row most definitely proves that this was a deliberate and dishonest tactic used to make my response more difficult and shove a completely incomprehensible burden onto me.

"Testosterone is part of the equation that makes guys more inclined to have "rough and tumble" play with their kids, which is a quality MouthWash suggested made having a male/female dynamic more superior. But a woman having more testosterone would incline her to engage in the same type of rough and tumble play that a child could enjoy with a man. As such, the child of a lesbian couple (for example) would probably not be missing out on any rough and tumble play that they would get from having a man in their life."

Con seems to be arguing the previous debate rather than if she used dishonest tactics in it. Regardless, she never brought this up during the debate and it has no bearing on this one. (Also, she would have had to prove testosterone was the be-all and end-all of parenting behavior, disregarding psychological factors to giving birth or being a father, or inherent behaviors programmed into the sexes, as we know homosexuals don't always act like the opposite sex. In addition, rough-and-tumble play isn't the only things males provide, as evidenced by this source: [http://www.civitas.org.uk...] which I provided in the actual debate).

"Throughout our debate, I challenged MouthWash to use either anecdotal evidence or scientific studies to provide me with examples of things that kids with gay parents said they were missing out on. He failed to do so."

Lie. I provided the rough-and-tumble analogy, I pointed out that a mother's close and soft behavior was critical for development, and I gave the above source, which you completely ignored. Let's keep this debate on track and argue only about whether you used dishonest tactics.

Number 3.

"Re: Again, she shoved the burden to prove that children NEEDED opposite-sex parents to have proper care. In other words, I now had to prove that they had characteristics that gay couples could never have."

"What I said: There are innumerable people raised by gay parents who turn out perfectly well adjusted, and note that they didn't miss out on any father/ mother figures in their life... The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits."

"First of all, it is absolutely Pro's burden to either negate or accept the contentions I provided in my favor. That isn't "shifting the burden." That is standard procedure in any debate. It's up to the audience to decide the merit of my contentions."

What the are you rambling about? What does this have to do with my accusation at all? I said that you were "shifting the burden" because you were acting like I needed to refute something that was irrelevant.

She began with an anecdotal argument: "My parents can throw a baseball and take me hiking just as well as any man could. I've always had a plethora of male role models. I never felt that I was missing anything by not having that dad for me." Kids with gay parents aren't missing out on these things."

I responded: "Anecdotal evidence only shows the limits of what is or can be possible. Pro concedes this later on and I'm baffled as to why she brought it up in the first place."

Her: "The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits."

(Notice the word "needed" is another semantic. I try to point this out below).

Me: "Just because someone *can* turn out well adjusted, it does not follow that most will. You have reached a generalization based on insufficient evidence."

Her: "The exact same comment can be applied to kids with heterosexual parents. They CAN turn out fine, but there are no guarantees."

Con's responsibility was to explain why she used the anecdotal evidence. She claimed that it was to refute the notion that homosexuals could NEVER have characteristics allowing them to parent effectively (note that this essentially affirms my previous point about her using the characteristics argument to exploit the resolution). When I pointed this out... she pointed out in turn that children raised in a traditional family also had no guarantees of success. The problem was that this was obvious. Yes, my demand that she not use examples to prove that homosexuals *can* parent effectively applied to me as well.

The problem is that this had absolutely nothing to do with MY accusation of her semantic use and that I never used the alleged semantics I was talking about. It's a completely unexpected and bizarre turnaround- one second I'm accusing her of lawyering, the next she goes and says that the same rules apply to me as well! And through it all, it ended up with her NEVER RESPONDING TO MY ACCUSATIONS. She clearly used smoke-and-mirror tactics to obfuscate the issue and this point is affirmed.

"Pro's responsibility is to explain why they are insufficient. The intention of my argument was PERFECTLY clear. Indeed, it was to highlight that two opposite sex parents were not needed for good parenting. Proving that is the entire purpose of this debate."

Well, this is awkward. Have fun proving that two opposite sex parents aren't needed for good parenting (it'll take about the viewing time of Zach Wahl's speech). My work here is done. As anyone can see above, I did respond sufficiently, only to be evaded by bizarre finger-pointing.

"- hence why I made not one, not two, but many arguments in my favor. Pro honestly thinks he can say "These contentions don't matter" and not have to argue against them. Quite clearly that's for the audience to decide. His job is to refute, negate, or diminish the relevance of my contentions - NOT whine that I am imposing a burden on him to argure against something he can't refute, and then name drop random fallacies."

I don't need to argue against your assertion that kids raised by traditional families "can turn out fine, but there are no guarantees." That's because nothing in my arguments had to do with that. It was completely random, inane, and pointless in context.

"Re: Again, she shoved the burden to prove that children NEEDED opposite-sex parents to have proper care. In other words, I now had to prove that they had characteristics that gay couples could never have."

"Indeed, I said "The real purpose of this point was to combat the notion that children needed two opposite-sex parental figures in order to gain certain benefits." It's obvious that Pro is the only relying on semantics and manipulation given I've explained the purpose of my argument multiple times."

Um, you're basically digging your own grave now. Your justification for using anecdotal evidence is that children don't need opposite sex parents? Way to prove that I'm relying on semantics and manipulation. Obviously if some gay couple has those characteristics they'll raise children just as well as straights. The reason I'm explaining this time and time again each time she makes a ridiculous claim is because I fear she'll hold that claim up and say "MouthWash never responded to this one!"

"I won't repeat this again-- My point was that MouthWash completely, utterly, and 100% failed to provide a single reason or explanation as to why heterosexual parents were preferable or better at providing certain qualities. His ONLY answer in the debate was "rough and tumble" play by fathers had certain benefits, which I have already responded to both in this debate and the other many times over. It's clear that he simply failed to meet his burden, and the fact that I pointed that out repeatedly he is now considering "dishonest" based on my outlining of what I meant and what his burden was."

Rough and tumble play was most certainly not the only thing I used to argue, as I have previously explained.

"Re: Mothers tend to speak soothingly and softly in repetitive rhythms to their infants and snugly hold them. Fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation than mothers. As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction."

"Pro has the audacity to say "My claims had absolutely nothing to do and were not dependent on having the children be biologically related to the parents or sharing their DNA." Yes! Pro actually said that in his last round! Of course, referencing a mother or a father absolutely and 100% had to do with shared biological ties and DNA."

That's another semantic use. Simply because the people involved evidently shared DNA does not mean that these were dependent on being related. Has Con never understood that correlation does not imply causation? Here's the source [http://www.civitas.org.uk...] As you can see, there was never any claim I used that was predicated on them being the biological parents. It is a strawman.

"It's quite obvious that anyone could talk soothingly to a baby; Pro's point was that a *mother* does it - or does it in a certain way - and my rebuttal was that it was not necessary for a mother to do it. Anyone could do it. Pro had to prove that kids with gay parents (I'm sorry... a same-sex couple as parents) are less likely to receive this kind of soothing attention, which of course he didn't."

"The fact that he referenced a mother/father and then said that his claim had "absolutely nothing to do with biology" is a blatant lie - one of many."

Lie. My point was never that a biological mother needed to do it. Your rebuttal was not that it was not necessary for a biological mother to do it. Obviously when I pointed out that "Mothers tend to speak soothingly and softly in repetitive rhythms to their infants and snugly hold them," THIS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER SHE SHARED THEIR DNA. Pro is simply saying that I said "mother" so that must mean I was talking about a biological mother even though I EXCESSIVELY MADE CLEAR during the debate that my argument was not the biological ties or DNA were required. She ignored it all. Read:

"Again, you've avoided any real debate by strawmanning me. I have stated, very clearly, that it was an unhealthy relationship and the lack of a father or a mother that affected children. Sexual orientation in itself has nothing to do with it."

And:

"This has nothing to do with "biological ties," but rather SS families vs traditional ones. This is the last time I will repeat myself."

My actual point was that fathers and mothers (not necessarily biological ones, for reasons obvious to anyone capable of making basic inferations) had different parenting traits and that children need those in order to have a healthy upbringing. Thus, homosexual couples could not parent effectively because they were the same sex. Here, let me quote everything I said so that Con doesn't take it all out of context:

"Moving on, your only response to my source about the effects of a natural (this does not imply being biologically related for reasons I'll explain later, and which should have been obvious to Con) father is one of your own sources. I grant that my source was obscure and undetailed, but I have demonstrated why your sources are unreliable, and thus my case still stands. I further point out that mothers and fathers relate to their children differently:"

"Mothers tend to speak soothingly and softly in repetitive rhythms to their infants and snugly hold them. Fathers tend to provide more verbal and physical stimulation than mothers.As babies grow older, many come to prefer playing with their fathers who provide unpredictable, stimulating, and exciting interaction.[1.http://www.civitas.org.uk...]

Recent evidence also shows that fathers differentially impact brain development. Without the father's spontaneous and energetic playing, the child's left hemisphere develops improperly [2.Schore & McIntosh, 2011]."


But let's move on.

"He also said, "The presence of the NATURAL father was the most significant factor in reducing rates of early sexual activity and rates of teenage pregnancy in girls." My response to him was completely accurate and not at all dishonest. He referenced NATURAL, biological parenting in his arguments, and I dismantled them. Then he said his claims had "nothing to do with biology." Is this a joke?"

"Natural father" could be interpreted to mean simply that people without their natural fathers had one less parent to go with. Even if they had adopted parents, the effects of not having a father in their early years or possibly being in a foster home (as such scenarios are likely) would produce this effect. This seems to be a typical association-causation fallacy because I was obviously not saying that adopted parents couldn't care for their kids as well as biological parents, which would be ridiculous. How do we know that's what I meant? Because my source specifically said so: [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...].

She simply quoted me and left out my source entirely. Which is rather dishonest itself, isn't it?

"However other studies note that compared to the daughters of heterosexual mothers, the daughters of lesbians more frequently dress, play and behave in ways that do not conform to sex-typed cultural norms. They also have higher self-esteem and confidence, and tend to break rules less, indicating that teen pregnancy is likely not in the cards... This debate is about one's sexual orientation affecting their ability to parent - not whether or not you can have the same biological ties to someone who is not related to you (obviously not). As such, I haven't seen any evidence that fathers and mothers aren't interchangeable insofar as being positive male/ female role models."

"As you can see, there's nothing dishonest about my rebuttal or assessment of Pro's bad arguments."


No, not here. I JUST QUOTED what arguments I felt were dishonest, but it seems you decided to ignore me. So I'll do it again:

"Nowhere did he establish that biological ties to parents were significantly important. He presented a study that demonstrated the quality of care infants receive affecting their development. This source never said that the care had to come from biological parents. The same thing applies to Con"s other sources-- the study indicating the benefits of rough and tumble play never mentioned the importance of the father figure"s DNA. Instead it noted the benefits of the interaction, but did not discount the same benefits from similar interaction experienced by kids with two moms or two dads."

In other words, she dismissed my sources based on the fact that they didn't prove that DNA was important. A complete lie. Good luck defending this one.

Number 4.

"Re: This argument is wrong because it has absolutely nothing to do with each couples' parenting capabilities, and because unplanned pregnancies are not inevitable aspects of heterosexual relationships."

"I said I dropped the point about unplanned pregnancies multiple times in the last debate, and explained that once again in this debate. The fact that he's bringing up a dropped contention (and I explained why I dropped it - in relevance to the contention that HE dropped) is bad conduct on his part. He's desperate. I advised him for my sake and the readers' sake to drop these blatantly dumb contentions that are not in his favor - especially those over dropped arguments which were therefore rendered completely irrelevant to the last debate. They weren't part of the judging process, so the fact that he's bringing them up when for all intents and purposes they were rendered meaningless is just sad and pathetic. He's wasting our time for no reason."

Yes, you dropped it during the debate becuase you said that it invalidated my own arguments about gays being depressed (which is wrong, but this isn't the time). My point was that you, rather than explain why you brought it up in the first placed, used smoke-and-mirror tactics by evading an explanation and dropped it by saying it hurt my own case (in which case you evidently fine with me being right).

"Re: I NEVER used anecdotal evidence to establish that homosexuals were depressed. Rather, I claimed that homosexual relationships themselves were unhealthy and led to depression and other emotional or mental problems... This means that they were inherently tied with homosexual relationships, in contrast to unplanned pregnancies which are entirely avoidable."

"Saying homosexual relationships lead to depression is anecdotal, because clearly depression is not inherent to homosexuality. If that was Pro's argument, he should have made it. Clearly that's not true - not a single psychological association would ever validate such a broad, untrue assertion. I'm gay and I'm not depressed. I know tons of people in gay relationships who are not depressed."

No, I'm not exactly saying that it is inherent to homosexuality, but rather an inherent consequence to it. I still never used anecdotal evidence to establish that. By saying that no psychological association would ever agree with me is arguing directly against the statement, which we are NOT doing here. In addition, I did not drop this because of anything Con said, but because of the extreme difficulty in finding sources... as I have said again, and again... and again. I don't know why I have to repeat myself.

Number 5.

"Re: What she was doing here was pretending that she had won something when she simply rehashed an irrelevant point over and over again. I said that this was a strawman. As for now, I have nothing to refute until my opponent actually addresses my accusation."

"No. I'm not strawmanning Pro. Look at his hilarious explanation and see how he defeats his own argument.

1. [Danielle] claimed that sex lives had nothing to do with parenting skills.

2. [MouthWash] claimed that:
a) kids needed a mother and a father
b) homosexual relationships (not sex lives) were unhealthy

3. [Danielle] repeated herself and said that she had won the point.

4. [MouthWash] pointed out that she had won nothing because:
a) I never claimed that sex lives affected parenting skills
b) the fact that sex live don't affect parenting skills had no bearing on my case

5. Con repeated herself again and claimed that she had won the point.

Pro blatantly srawmanned ME. If my argument was that a parent's sex lives have nothing to do with parenting skills, then Pro must ARGUE AGAINST THAT. He either has to concede it, negate it or undermine it's relevance. As you can see - by his own admission - he responded by saying kids need a mother and a father, and that homosexual relationships were unhealthy. What does a mother/father dynamic or gay relationships have to do with a parents' sex lives affecting their parenting skills?"


Con completely misrepresents my accusation and my actual response. Let me use the same syllogism with quotes.

1. [Danielle] claimed that sex lives had nothing to do with parenting skills.
"Con must explain how a parent's sexuality, either homo or hetero, has a specific impact on a child's behavior."

2. [MouthWash] claimed that:
a) kids needed a mother and a father
b) homosexual relationships (not sex lives) were unhealthy
(The above were just my argument for the debate.)

3. [Danielle] repeated herself and said that she had won the point.
"Con dropped this, so the point goes to Pro." <-- Dishonesty.

4. [MouthWash] pointed out that she had won nothing because:
a) I never claimed that sex lives affected parenting skills
"I can't understand why you think you've won anything here. My case has been about homosexual relationships (not necessarily who they have sex with) and the impact of not having a mother or a father."

b) the fact that sex lives don't affect parenting skills had no bearing on my case
"Irrelevant because I never even brought it up."

5. Con repeated herself again and claimed that she had won the point.
"Whether a parent has sex with a man or woman doesn't affect their parental judgment. Con dropped this in R2, and in R3 responded that it's "irrelevant." Clearly it isn"t " it proves that one's sexuality doesn"t impact their ability to parent effectively."

As you can see I never contested it and claimed that it was irrelevant. However, I was saying that it was never part of my case and by doing so, dismissed it. I shouldn't have had to concede it at all. Common sense should inform her that my arguments did not contest this assertion and so she should not pursue it, much less claim that the "point" had gone to her.

"I said I won the point because MouthWash failed to explain how a parent's sexual endeavors affect or harm their relationship with their child."

Yes, as if you could "win" something that was never at stake- the only context I've ever heard this in is when a debater refutes another debater directly, as I've said. My accusation is that you pretended to win a legitimate point rather than rehash an irrelevant one that I conceded. Please.

"Clearly, it was an argument for MY case, not his. I never strawmanned him, and his rampant accusations of random fallacies are dishonest on HIS part, not mine."

"Strawman" may not have been the precise term, but it is quite similar. After all, you did imply that it was part of MY case by saying you had won.

Number 6.

"Re: Allow me to repeat myself- I was not arguing that a natural father was needed to parent effectively. I was arguing aginst opponent's contention that a lesbian's male friend taking her son out to the ball game somehow replaced a father. This is a strawman."

Let's see what I said: "As you can see, this was entirely relevant to my case as it effectively argued against one of my opponent's contentions of the importance of a biological mother and father (or rather, inability for a non-biological parent to replicate similar benefits). Pro was absolutely responsible for providing evidence to back up his assertions of biological necessity or even staggering relevance, as my role in the debate was to specifically argue against that notion."

No, I was NOT arguing that biological ties were necessary at all (as I have pointed out). Con was essentially arguing that any male, such as a lesbian parent's friend or relative, could act as a role model and provide a male relationship on the same level as a father (not necessarily a biological one; the paternal instinct is learned rather than inherited). Let me quote her so she can't slip out of this one: "I've always had a plethora of male role models. I never felt that I was missing anything by not having that dad for me." Kids with gay parents aren't missing out on these things."

"There are innumerable people raised by gay parents who turn out perfectly well adjusted, and note that they didn't miss out on any father/ mother figures in their life (implying that they had both male and female role models, which doesn't make any sense considering gay couples are the same-sex. Con was arguing that any male who helped with the kids could be a role model as well as a father)."

Here's another exchange.

Me: "Fathers are more dedicated to their children much more than anybody else""

Her: "Con never mentioned this before, let alone proved it. We have no reason to accept it as a legitimate fact."

Me: "You take this out of context. I was responding to your argument that any arbitrary male role model could take the place of a father in a two-mother family. Same for two-father families."

"MouthWash literally contradicts himself so blatantly that it's hard to tell if this is a troll debate or not. He said that he was arguing against the notion that a non-biological father (male friend) could somehow replace a father. I pointed out that I was arguing that biological ties were not necessary as Pro seems to indicate, and that they COULD replace a father. This is not a strawman in any way whatsoever. We are literally talking about the exact same thing. I was saying that biological ties were not important. Pro is saying that they are. There is absolutely not a single aspect of this contention that involves a strawman of any kind."

No, I was arguing against your assertion in R2 that a a child raised by lesbians could have the same benefits of a father from limited interaction with other males. I never argued that biological ties were necessary, and you are embarrassing yourself by continuing to strawman me.

Number 7.

"Re: But as anyone can see, I provided examples of mental and emotional development from mothers and fathers which she then proceeded to strawman with her DNA argument."

"I'm so glad MouthWash keeps arguing against himself; it makes my job that much easier. He said that he argued that child development patterns obtained from mothers and fathers was significant, and then said that I strawmanned him with my DNA argument. I've already provided the direct quotes proving that no such strawman exists. In talking about a mother and father, Pro is in fact referencing biological ties."

Already refuted this.

"But let's say he wasn't. Let's say he's talking simply about the various benefits offered by men and women. In that case, he's already defeated his own argument! If biological ties aren't important and only the gender dynamics are, then my point about random men or random women replacing male/female dynamics is completely true."

So you admit that you claimed that any random male could come and replace a father by simply interacting with the kids. An assertion which, as I have pointed out, is ridiculous.

"Further, here again is the direct quote where MouthWash references NATURAL a.k.a. biological fathers, meaning he's completely lying in saying that biology was irrleveant to his contentions/sources:

"The presence of the NATURAL father was the most significant factor in reducing rates of early sexual activity and rates of teenage pregnancy in girls." - MW"


The source I provided refutes this point. I must note it is amusing that you once again left it out in quoting me.

Number 8.

"The debate started in round 2. Your format was terrible and didn't coincide with my numbering for cohesiveness starting with your very first rebuttal. If I missed something, it was an honest mistake and not an intentionally dishonest tactic. Good luck proving that I didn't respond intentionally, when in fact I addressed your points later on as well as explained how my initial rebuttal was sufficient regardless."

I don't need to "prove" your intention, it can be inferred by the fact it was so obvious. But that decision is ultimately up to the voters (here's a link to the debate): [http://debate.org...] You later responded only because I pointed out how ridiculous it was to claim you had "won" anything. And besides, it was never my argument so you should have had the sense to drop it rather than simply repeat yourself as you did.

"I'm not playing dumb. Pro just admitted that he lied about what fallacies I've allegedly used against him, but then blames me for not following his unstructured accusations."

I didn't lie; the only difference between the strawman and red herring is whether it was used to misrepresent someone's argument specifically or if it mislead in general, so it makes sense that I got confused.

"I didn't use a red herring, which is a vague accusation that only refers to intentional misleading from the actual issue. I didn't mislead against anything. My proactive argument was that kids with gay parents being teased was irrlevant to this debate. MouthWash said this was a strawman and dropped it. I pointed out that it was merely something I wanted to point out as part of my constructive case - NOT a manipulation of his arugment (because it was my argument) - and now he's accusing me of a red herring. I really don't know how to even respond to this. Clearly it's not. Clearly it's yet another example of Pro not understanding that he is responsible for responding to my contentions even if they are irrelevant to his own, or not part of his constructive case."

Yes, I do. I responded to it in the first round. What I claimed was dishonest about this in the first place was that you kept misleading people to believe that you had won a legitimate argument by repeating yourself. Let me ask you this: when you realized that nothing in my case remotely or even had to do with that, why didn't you let it go?

Number 9.

"Re: What I meant by "biological ties" was that homosexuality was entirely biological and hereditary."

"This entire point is irrelevant to the debate as it highlights not a shred of dishonesty on my part. We're arguing over a dropped contention. This is a massive waste of time. He is saying that his initial argument was that homosexuality was entirely biological and hereditary."

Lie. It was that homosexuality WASN'T biological or hereditary. Let me quote myself:

"First, I will establish that sexual orientation is not hereditary and is subject to a large number of psychological variables. This is primarily to make the point that homosexuality is not "natural" in the sense that it is unavoidable or part of human instinct. I point three facts that seem to contradict modern conception of attractiveness:

1. Apes tend to be attracted to older females due to their having more experience raising young and surviving. In modern society we observe the opposite.

2. People used to find overweight or heavier females attractive, the logic being that such women were better fed and had a larger chance of surviving. This is still prevalent in some societies.

3. In Elizabethian England pale skin (possibly signalling health because a clear and pale face probably didn"t have smallpox) and a large forehead was considered attractive (the hair was plucked to make the forehead appear bigger).

Second, there is a large body of evidence that supports an "exotic-becomes-erotic" theory (which states that whatever sex is seen as "exotic" or different later becomes erotic, thus gender-nonconformity during childhood causes sexual attraction to the same-sex later in life). In a 1987 study, 75% of gender-nonconforming boys became bisexual or homosexual in later years compared with only 4% of gender-conforming boys. Homosexuals overwhelmingly report sex-atypical activities and had opposite-sex friends growing up. [1. http://dbem.ws...]"


Obvious, blatant lies aren't helping your case one bit.

"I pointed out that while it certainly had biological ties, it was not a mental disorder, but I never said that he accused it of being as such (thus, no strawman on my part). I mentioned that it wasn't a disorder before he ever even posted an argument; it was simply something to keep in mind as my argument was that being gay didn't inhibit people from good parenting despite being an inherent part of their identity."

It's good that you can concede this, instead of like last round where you openly denied you ever claimed this and I pointed it right out.

"For instance, wnope noted that schizophrenia was "natural" but could be harmful. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder. Homosexuality is not. As such, my point was that not being a mental disorder meant it couldn't be considered inherently harmful. There is nothing dishonest about this."

No, it was responding to Con's ridiculous point claiming that homosexuality couldn't be harmful because it was natural and found in animals. Wnope showed how ridiculous that was. Let me quote you in case she denies this: "Homosexuality is found in 1500+ animal species. They did not make the conscious choice to have a same-sex attraction given their extremely limited cognitive abilities. Con"s own source admits that sexuality is a byproduct of biology. There is nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality."

"Re: I dropped the depression argument because I was unable to find many sources. And when did I say biology was not a significant factor? You are simply redefining "biological" to suit your needs. Throughout the debate you were never able to pick one definition of the word and stick with it."

"WhatisthisIcanteven... I don't remember ever defining "biological" in any other way other than the actual definition of biological (as in, biological relationships established through a DNA connection). Anyway, Pro acknowledges that he dropped the argument. It's a moot point. There was nothing dishonest about my argument, rebuttal or explanation."

As I have proven from her quote, Con claimed that the fact that some animals were homosexual proved that it was "natural" (as if animals cannot develop social abnormalities) and that somehow proved it was harmless.

Furthermore, Danielle has completely ignored my allegation that she strawmanned me. The strawman is as follows:

Me: "I was trying to establish that homosexuality was unhealthy and a product of emotional and social abnormalities. Again, I must quote: "This is primarily to make the point that homosexuality is not "natural" in the sense that it is unavoidable or part of human instinct."Your argument was literally "homosexuality is not a disorder" so I'm not really seeing anything pointless about it."

Her: "Homosexuality is found in 1500+ animal species. They did not make the conscious choice to have a same-sex attraction given their extremely limited cognitive abilities. Con"s own source admits that sexuality is a byproduct of biology. There is nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality, and Con never proved that there is (he rightfully dropped the point about suicide)."

She was clearly strawmanning me by using the animals to demonstrate that homosexuality wasn't a conscious choice. I never said that it was and it was never part of my case.

Number 10.

"Whether or not the conclusions were the result of fallacious reasoning is up for the audience to decide. There is absolutely nothing dishonest about what I said. Every single thing I said was true. I explained why his sources were irrlevant (didn't back up his claims); I explained how some of his sources helped establish my case in the debate (eg. Pro's Exotic Becomes Erotic article); it's true that he cited the same source 3x; and it's true that he failed to provide the correct sources for his claims which inhibited my ability to respond. As you can see, there was not a shred of dishonesty in anything I said in explaining why the Sources point should have been in my favor. This contention should be dropped immediately."

No, it shouldn't. It is true that I cited the same source 3x, and I explained precisely why I did that. It should never have been part of your argument as to why I should lose the Sources point.

Number 11.

"Once again, let's examine what Pro is whining about. He's complaining that I brought up his ad hominem attacks against me in my explanation as for why I should win Conduct points. As I explained in the last round, apparently MouthWash doesn't understand that Sources and Conduct are factors of the judging process, which are each assigned a point value. As such, I mentioned his ad hom attacks as an indication that his conduct was inferior to mine. This is completely relevant to the debate, so I would say it's "important" and I didn't bring it up except for in 1 sentence during the final round. I didn't treat it as some very influential aspect of the debate; I merely pointed out that I exhibited better conduct than Pro, and I did. There is nothing "absurd" about this. There is nothing "dishonest" about this."

Yes, there is. An ad hominem is an argument made personally against an opponent [http://en.wikipedia.org...]. You're committed quite a few over the course of this debate, but making a GENERAL STATEMENT about the quality of your response is not anything remotely resembling an actual ad hominem, and you were incredibly dishonest for even implying that I should lose conduct for it. It would be like me claiming you should lose the S/G point because your fonts got messed up and made your round harder to read. It's beyond ridiculous and should conceded immediately.

Number 12.

"I repeat: It includes zero explanation of specific harms of same-sex parenting (as in why the sexuality of one's parents leads to certain outcomes). Instead, it only provides a number for comparison with no factual data to support the conclusions."

It didn't need to. That wasn't the point of the study. It showed a direct correlation with inferior outcomes for children raised by gay parents, which contradicted your own studies.

"It also doesn't give any background information on the actual study (in terms of the demographics and other pertinent information, including class, geography, etc... This is relevant because how a culture reacts to gay couples raising a child will inevitably impact the way the child perceives themselves and their parents). It was Pro's duty to highlight a specific point within our debate, and then source it - not simply post a link to a source and say "I urge you to read this."

First, the Sarantakos study was in Australia and Regnerus's was in the US (he also pointed out many specific flaws in the APA study including non-random samples and stuff like that. I also posted a link to it at the bottom of the page where it explain how the study was done, but it seems that now the articles are no longer free for the public. Other users who actually read it can confirm they were once). But the point is, Con is completely lying when she says that that information was not given.

Second, Con completely misquotes me when she claims I only said "I urge you to read this." I actually said:

"I urge my opponent to take note of the Sarantakos (1996) study. It compares 58 children of heterosexual married parents, 58 children of heterosexual cohabiting couples, and 58 children living with homosexual couples that were all "matched according to socially significant criteria (e.g., age, number of children, education, occupation, and socio-economic status)." The combined sample size 174, which is the seventh-largest sample size in the research findings above. What's interesting is that all of the larger studies were all adult self-report studies, which means that the Sarantakos is the largest study that investigated the development of children."

Indeed, I explained to her exactly which study she needed to see!

"Right off the bat, I shouldn't have had to go looking at all of those external sources as they were presented, so they should have been disqualified from our debate anyhow."

I just caught you lying AGAIN. What's your excuse now? Forgot how to read?

"By his own admission, he messed up on posting his sources, and what I saw didn't seem to back up his case at all because of the error. I pointed that out, and it was not dishonest."

Le. I never said that I messed up anywhere. Con can't misquote me because I never said it. I shouldn't have to deal with this incessant insanity from a competent debater.

"At BEST you can say it was a mistake based on how he misused the Sources aspect of the debate. Of course, all Pro had to do was say "Actually my sources did explain XYZ sufficiently, and here's why/how..."

I explained it in the debate itself: "I posted three links to my three graphs, which happened to be on the same page and could be confused with each other. I posted the along with the corresponding numbers for each graph (4, 5, 6) so that readers would know what I wanted to cite. What's really sad is why anyone would consider that grounds for a point loss. It seems YOU got confused, because you apparently didn't bother to scroll down and see the different studies."

"Of course then it would be up to the audience to decide. I didn't do anything intentionally "dishonest." A misunderstanding (even if I had misunderstood) is not dishonest. An accident is not dishonest. To me, Pro's sources were far from clear or cohesive and I'm not the only person who felt that way. Considering he didn't source properly or according to debate rules and standards, it's not my fault if myself or the audience got confused."

My sources were fine. What's so incredibly irritating about all of this is that I EXPLAINED THIS ALL IN MY PREVIOUS ROUND. All of it. I even had to requote myself multiple times. How is this NOT dishonesty? You've finished yourself.. ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to please scroll up to the last part of my previous round to see the exact same arguments being made and then notice Con completely ignoring all of them. It's truly incomprehensible to me.

"I also still stand by the fact that he hasn't explained why his sources or studies are superior."

I can't even fathom a response to this. I directly gave you a link with multiple studies done by the APA and I pointed out the Sarantakos study and explained why it was superior. I even gave you a ScienceDirect link with more details. Anyone who even read it knows this is ridiculous. Here it is, so that nobody just has to take my word for it: [http://www.debate.org...]. (I pointed out Sarantakos during the actual debate).

Finishing up.

Let me summarize the contents of this debate:

Con directly lied about several things she said that exploited the resolution.

Con justified her strawmen by saying that my arguments required biological ties with the parents, an allegation disproven from simply looking at my source.

Con has not denied that she repeated unrelated arguments and instead has claimed that I needed to concede them directly, which of course is ridiculous. Common sense tells you that you don't repeat completely unecessary things claiming you won them.

Con has barely touched arguments 8, 9, 10, and 11, and instead used rather large amounts of text in ranting and mocking them.

Con utterly ignored every single one of my arguments for 12- ignored them- and simply made accustions that they were hard to understand, a claim which cannot be upheld under the most basic scrutiny.

I also predict Con will protest the massive length of this round. Let me point out that easily 60-70% of this has been quoted material. Unlike my opponent, who cherry picks what she wants to quote and address, I have quoted almost every allegation made and responded to everything in detail. In my opinion, she can address this round without much difficulty, especially because she doesn't have to do any sort of research ot cite links as well. Furthermore, I have combined her long, reptitive rants in the comments and found that the characters used in them alone totals over 20,000 (only a few thousand less than her previous round). Length should not be an excuse here.

I request that the voter give lengthy RFDs that address specific contentions brought up here. Any RFD that just says, "Well, I think so-and-so was better because of some broad reason" should be treated as a votebomb.

Analyzing the previous debate.

Looking back at the actual debate [http://debate.org...] it is time to examine where all of these dishonest tactics came into play.

1. If in fact, the semantics are to taken into consideration, we need to look at their impact. Notice how the posts devolved into long, drawn out slogs as I directly quoted and responded to each of her arguments. I directly quoted her each time and gave her full context so that she couldn't misunderstand my points. However she often misquoted me and saved herself room by not sufficiently responding. Indeed, she has not remotely contested my accusation of Gish Galloping. It isn't a stretch at all- more than half of each round was dedicated to individually quoting, addressing and debunking specific stawmen and semantics which I have addressed in this debate.

How much time was spent on her ridiculous repetition of irrelevant points alone? I already passed the limit simply in addressing what I could, but Danielle said that I needed to "directly concede them." Imagine if all of these semantics and strawmen- the things that Con demands I failed to address properly- were gone. What would be left?

2. During the argument, there were real arguments made and exchanged. Things such as

a. Potential depression in homosexuals.
b. Fathers and mothers relate to children differently.
c. Studies showing homosexual couples' kids are disadvantaged.

Notice that, throughout the debate, every SINGLE attempt to argue one of these points resulted in strawmen or some other type of avoidance tactic.

a. Con used the reasoning against her unplanned pregnancy argument to claim that this was invalid. Obviously that is false; I never used anecdotal evidence to establish this argument. It is a strawman.

b. Con completely failed to address this and instead took one of my statements out of context to imply I needed to prove biological ties were essential to parenting. Thus, she reasoned, the fact that fathers and mother have different parenting traits meant nothing for same-sex couples. Indeed, she dismissed it entirely by simply pointing out that the source never said care had to come from biological parents. It is a strawman.

c. Con completely ignored these even after I explained them throughly and ignored the source I gave that provided more details. Throughout this debate, she has falsely claimed I conceded I messed up on them (I didn't) and blatantly ignored EVERY explanation, even long, drawn out ones that explicitly detailed how they were made obvious to you from the beginning. These are smoke-and-mirror tactics.

It seems that for every actual argument I made, at every turn, I was repeatedly strawmanned into stagnation and forced to explain in detail what these contentions were. I repeated myself endlessly and got nowhere. She turned the debate into a fiasco by refusing to argue properly against even the most basic assertions I made.

Arguments: It seems that all I had to do here was provide convincing evidence that some of the arguments used were dishonest, but the entire debate was utterly overloaded with them. Blatant falsehoods and strawmen from Con assured me a win.

Conduct: Con regularly ranted, insulted, and condenscended, in the debate and on the comments, and even accusing someone of being my multi-account for simply supporting me (the admin proved he wasn't). It seems she simply didn't care about conduct at all here.

Sources: Irrelevant to this debate.

S/G: Both me and Con's spelling and grammar have been adequate.

I thank the readers for their attention. I also thank Danielle for this interesting opportunity to debate, in the hope that she has gained something from it.
Danielle

Con

My fellow debaters,

What a bittersweet moment - sweet because this debate is finally over; bitter because it was a massive waste of time for all of us. Indeed, my opponent has completely failed in every sense of the word to provide a shred of evidence that I was remotely "dishonest" in our last debate. At absolute best, he noted my mistake in suggesting that he did not provide any sources in one round when in fact he had. However, as I have already explained, he made several mistakes in posting his sources in the first place - as well as completely misused and abused the privilege of providing sources in external links - so my suggestion that he had failed to provide sources was not dishonest, but a legitimate (and completely understandable) mistake.

Mouthwash never denied that he did make mistakes while posting his sources, and didn't respond to my allegations that he had cheated (going over the character limit) in posting them in the first place (because it's true), meaning his sources should have been disqualified and not considered to begin with. Even considering that minor discrepancy, I was not dishonest. Dishonest is defined as "intended to mislead or cheat." Has Mouthwas proven that I was intentionally deceitful? Let's see.

First, Mouthwash continuously insists I strawmanned him - an allegation I've proven false. To reiterate, my point was that there were no good parenting qualities inherent to heterosexuals or that homosexuals generally did not possess. Mouthwash responded, "Technically they can, but I am saying that this is generally not the case." I said in response to it being generally not the case, "If Con thinks that there are qualities or attributes that a straight person can posess that make them a good parent that gay people can NOT possess, he needs to include what those specific traits are." As you can see, I did NOT strawman him. I RESPONDED to him. I challenged him to back up his supposition that it is "generally not the case" that gay parents can exhibit the same good parenting qualities as heterosexual parents. There is nothing dishonest about that.

Point 2 - Mouthwash says it's "obvious" that two gay parents can provide the same benefits (of dual parenting) as straight parents. Great! Then he agrees that this was a point in my favor. There was nothing "dishonest" about this contention even if he finds it "obvious." The merit of my point was clearly for the audience to decide. Mouthwash says, "Yes, I did concede this, but... you were pretending that you had won something through this, when in fact you had simply affirmed an obvious fact that I made clear I wasn't going to contest." Mouthwash is upset because I said "This point goes to Pro." However, there is NOTHING I repeat NOTHING dishonest about saying "The point goes to Pro" if Mouthwash conceded it. I did win that point. He conceded it.

Point 3 - Mouthwash says, "I said that you were shifting the burden because you were acting like I needed to refute something that was irrelevant." I shouldn't have to repeat this: it is up to the AUDIENCE to decide whether or not my contentions are "irrelevant." Mouthwash seems to believe that he only has to defend his case, and not argue against mine. Granted, the audience might agree... but I am still entitled to point out that he hasn't responded to or negated certain contentions that I thought were in my favor. This is obvious. It's also not dishonest.

Point 4 references a dropped argument from the first debate; I've already explained why it is completely irrelevant to this debate given that dropped arguments were not considered eligible in the judging process of our first debate to begin with. Besides, I've responded to Pro's accusations. The audience can extend my rebuttal to point 4 from the precvious 2 rounds if they want to consider dropped arguments from the first debate as relevant. It's a waste of time (and uneasy on the eyes) to copy and paste what I've already said.
The same goes with point 5. Please extend my previous rebuttal. I didn't strawman Mouthwash's argument; I was extending my own. This is the theme of his accusations of "dishonesty."

In Point 6, Mouthwash says "I never argued that biological ties were necessary, and you are embarrassing yourself by continuing to strawman me." Of course, he is the one continuously embarrassing himself in every sense of the word given that this admission coincides with my argument: biological ties are not necessary for good parenting. Therefore, non-biological parents (like a non-related mother or father), OR a significant male/female role models in a child's life can provide the same or similar benefits that mothers and fathers typically provide their children if sex (gender) > biology. Thank you, Mouthwash, for again conceding arguments in my favor and once again failing to prove any dishonesty on my part.

Point 7 basically repeats #6, except Mouthwash says for the second time that I "didn't include what his sources said" when I was responding to him. I've already pointed out how neither myself nor the audience is expected to consider the arguments of his sources as his own arguments. I was responsible for responding to what he said IN THE DEBATE, not what his external sources said unless they were specifically and directly referenced via quote. Since he cheated (dishonestly) and used an infinite amount of characters, he could have provided the direct quotes of anything he expected me or the voters to include as part of his case. Otherwise, it's moot.

Point 8 - "What I claimed was dishonest about this in the first place was that you kept misleading people to believe that you had won a legitimate argument by repeating yourself." Same whine. How legitimate my arguments are should be decided by the audience, and I am allowed to repeat myself as many times as I want, especially if I stay within the character limit.
Point 9 was based on another dropped (completely irrelevant to this debate) contention. Extend my rebuttal to Point 9 from the last round, which explains why Mouthwash is both a) wrong and b) completely wasting our time by complaining about an argument that we both agreed to drop from the first debate.

In Point 10, Mouthwash insists I was "dishonest" in what I said about his sources. He writes, "It is true that I cited the same source 3x, and I explained precisely why I did that. It should never have been part of your argument as to why I should lose the Sources point." Right there he admits I wasn't dishonest. I explained why I noted that as relevant (so it didn't seem like he used more sources than he really did). He's also being dishonest now by leaving out the multiple other I provided as for why he should lose the Sources point. Regardless, I wasn't dishonest here - I wasn't even wrong by his own admission (he just didn't like my argument).

Point 11 is pretty ridiculous. I said, "Wrongly accusing me of using fallacious reasoning multiple times resulted in my opponent's own red herrings. Further, completely unnecessary comments like 'I'm throughly disappointed in the quality of [Pro's] response" is rude and borderline ad hominem - insulting me in general as opposed to dissecting the arguments.'" There was nothing dishonest about why I suggested I had better conduct in our initial debate. Suggesting this as a "dishonest" tactic on my part is absurd.

Point 12 is about MW's sources, which I have already responded to previously and addressed at the opening of this debate.

CONCLUSION: I'll end this debate here considering I promised not to go above 8K characters for the final round (which has been pretty hard). I really shouldn't have had to say much in this round anyhow. sfter all, I already negated Mouthwash's accusations in the previous 2 rounds (as well as our first debate).
Please keep in mind that Pro had to prove I was intentionally deceitful (dishonest), whereas all he's done is claim that I repeated "irrelevant" contentions or "strawmanned" him (both of which I refuted).

The end.





Debate Round No. 4
349 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Pro's Round 4 is literally 62,358 characters.
Posted by kingcripple 3 years ago
kingcripple
@Ore_Ele & Danielle- A simple research on appeal to emotion will show that it is a logical fallacy. Logical fallacies are more often than not, flawed and above all, always dishonest. This is not character assassination, just simple truth
Posted by Ore_Ele 3 years ago
Ore_Ele
appeal to emotion is not "flawed" as it is very successful in convincing people. It may not be logically sound, but it is far from a flawed argument, lol.
Posted by Danielle 3 years ago
Danielle
@ Maikuru - I too read this entire debate (several times, probably) as well as the initial debate, obvs.

@ kingcripple - "In it [the forum] Danielle tried to appeal to emotions which is a logical fallacy, so we know she uses flawed and dishonest techniques" ... The irony here is that your terrible reasoning suggests that you also use flawed and dishonest debate techniques. This statement commits these and probably other logical fallacies: ad hominem, character assassination, discrediting tactic, negative campaigning, and of course poisoning the well.
Posted by kingcripple 3 years ago
kingcripple
a year later and people are still commenting on this. Wow. Danielle has some power over people.

Anyway seeing that comments are still made on this particular debate reminded me of a forum post Danielle posted sometime before this debate about gay marriage. In it Danielle tried to appeal to emotions which is a logical fallacy, so we know she uses flawed and dishonest techniques.
Posted by Eitan_Zohar 3 years ago
Eitan_Zohar
Christ, I'd forgotten what a toll this took on me.
Posted by Eitan_Zohar 3 years ago
Eitan_Zohar
You'd be very wrong about that, considering I quoted Danielle's entire argument in the final round.
Posted by Maikuru 3 years ago
Maikuru
I contend that I am the only user to read this entire debate. This includes the debaters.
Posted by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
this debate is impossible to read. IMPOSSIBLE.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 4 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
viewed 115,229 times! O.o
58 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Luggs 4 years ago
Luggs
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter richarddong, who voted in favor of MouthWash.
Vote Placed by richarddong 4 years ago
richarddong
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: yeah??
Vote Placed by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: There is actually no such thing as a dishonest tactic in the first place, a tactic speaks no truth or lie... Conduct: Because she defended all points courteously. Pro hacked :( S/G: Pro misspelt "Sexy Lesbian Queen" as "Danielle" Convincing arguments: Matter of opinion but con definitely tore all pro's arguments apart. Sources: Sexy Lesbian Queen's brain is more reliable than crazy Jew's.
Vote Placed by Maedis 4 years ago
Maedis
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel like mouthwash had a better argument. It looks like Danielle did in fact use at least some lawyering tactics, and I feel like there wasn't much meat to her argument.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: No vote
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: no vote
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 4 years ago
Jarhyn
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD Danielle, in accepting this debate when no such debate was necessary, and when any possible challenge by MW would be whining, displayed better conduct, befitting a mature adult. With mistakes in grammar and spelling, my own is quite atrocious, and in all appearances there were the same general character of errors, if not quantity by both sides. Danielle clearly presented valid arguments, which MW did not even seem to understand. As both used the original debate for sources, sources are tied.
Vote Placed by Firewolfman 4 years ago
Firewolfman
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bomb against Thaddu, who vote bombed in mouthwashs favor, therefore I have balanced the unequality in vbs by cvbing thaddus. Wish this wasnt screwed up by all the vote bombers as there is really no point in voting at all at this point...
Vote Placed by Spritle 4 years ago
Spritle
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Danielle is more attractive than MouthWash.
Vote Placed by Thaddeus 4 years ago
Thaddeus
MouthWashDanielleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: airmax1227