The Instigator
ShabShoral
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Zaradi
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

This house believes churches should not involve themselves in political campaigns.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/21/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,227 times Debate No: 78895
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)

 

ShabShoral

Pro

This debate is for the WODC.

First round is for acceptance, no new arguments in the last round, etc - standard rules apply (definitions are assumed to be whatever a reasonable person would interpret the words in the resolution as meaning).
Zaradi

Con

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
ShabShoral

Pro


1. Politics should be based on rational principles




1.1 That which is rational is that which is in-line with reality.




1.2 For one to advocate something which is not in-line with reality, one must advocate something which cannot be, making the advocacy useless and self-contradictory.




1.21 If something was useful, it would be useful in reality, making it in-line with reality and therefore not irrational.




1.3 Being involved in politics implies that one finds politics to be something worthwhile.




1.31 If it were not worthwhile, there would be no reason to be involved in it (or to even care about it in the least), thus making any political interest itself irrational (making discussing its issues worthless to begin with, which is contrary to the premiss of debate (by debating, we ourselves are asserting the importance and therefore rational value of politics)),




1.4 Any political theory, therefore, is predicated on the assumption that politics should be based on reason so that it could then be useful - the original proposition is therefore an irrefutable given.




2. Churches, insofar as they are churches, are contrary to reason, and their being involved in politics would resolve in political systems not being based on rational principles to the degree to which they are involved.




2.1 Churches, insofar as they are churches, are necessarily based, at least in part, on religion. Whether or not a particular church has other attributes (such as a focus on community or goodwill) is totally irrelevant to the qualities that give it its status as a church - this is clear by considering the fact that one would never call a nonreligious organization a church, even if such an organization, say, frequently and altruistically supported charity work. Therefore, a church exists qua church if and only if religion plays a part in it at some level.




This is significant because it shows that, in any case where a church is involved in politics, if it is able to be identified as a church it must be acting with an emphasis on religion. If such an emphasis is not present, it is not acting in the capacity of a church - it would be reduced to nothing more than a collection of individuals bound by certain political views, and, if such a collection can be called a church, any political party must also be called a church (for, like the non-church in the example given, political parties do not require religion to be what they are, and still share every other quality - they would be indistinguishable). Since such a notion is absurd, it is plain to see that any church (which is identified as such) participating in the political system is participating through a religious lens.




2.2 Religion is inherently based on faith




2.21 Religion requires belief in things that are admitted to transcend reality, and, therefore, human comprehension and reason.




2.211 God in particular is said to be infinite, and, since nothing which is infinite can be comprehended in its entirety, and since you cannot break a whole into smaller parts while still preserving the essence of the whole, God cannot be comprehended in whole.




2.212 If something cannot be comprehended or be subjected to reason at all, it necessarily is outside of the realm of rational thought or discussion in rational terms (“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”)




2.22 For one to believe in something that cannot be justified via reason, one must have some measure of faith.




2.221 Faith is belief without justification or warrant.




2.3 Faith and reason are opposed forces




2.31 Faith requires the absence of reason, and therefore insofar as one has faith one rejects reason and vice-versa.




2.4 Since churches take part in religion, and religion is predicated on faith, and faith is the rejection of reason, churches are in the business of rejecting reason.




2.5 The actions of an entity that does not follow reason will be irrational, meaning that churches will advocate irrational political systems insofar as they are irrational (i.e. insofar as they are religious (i.e. insofar as they are churches)).




3. If political systems should be based on reason, and if churches, insofar as they act as churches, will make it so that political systems are based on the negation of reason if they are involved in politics, then churches should not be involved in politics.


Q.E.D.*


*Sorry, I couldn't help myself. The format was already so pretentious that I couldn't resist one final flourish.
Zaradi

Con

O1: Negate means to deny the truth of something[1]. This means that my entire job in this debate is to deny the truth of pro. This means that the BoP is on Pro. If I can refute his argument that should be sufficient to win as that's my job by definition of negating the resolution.

O2: Because the resolution doesn't specify what kind of involvement we're looking at here, that means that any kind of involvement is within the scope of the resolution. This means that I can advocate for any kind of involvement that I'd like to.

Pro's argument functions syllogistically meaning that everything is a natural flow of logic that relies on the previous premise being true to support the following premise. This means that he needs to be able to defend every link in the chain in order for his argument to stand. And this is his sole argument presented, meaning that if I refute this argument then I win the debate. So let's look at it.


Response to 2.1:

First, this is blatantly not true. Not everything that a church does has to be motivated by religion. To say that this is true is to say that a church who supports a mission to rebuild storms after a home suddenly isn't a church anymore, but rather some other kind of organization.

Second, this argument misunderstands what it means to be a church, i.e. to be a group of followers of a religion/faith (this is definitionally true[2]). This means that action is irrelevant to being a church or not, rather it's belief that's the determining factor.

Third, even if you're not buying either of my arguments saying that churches can still be churches without acting with religious motivations, he provides zero warrant for why this part of his argument is actually true. His only attempt to warrant this is that people don't call charities and stuff like that churches, but that only begs the question of why that's relevant or why that's a necessary distinction to make. He's not putting anywhere close to enough work into this part of his argument to warrant that, and you should hold that against him.

Response to 2.2:

First, the jump in logic required to substantiate 2.21 makes no sense. There's no warrant for why God can't be comprehended in his entirety if he's infinite.

Second, even if God exists outside of the realm of reality, that doesn't mean it exists outside the realm of reason. Clearly we've had plenty of theologists and philosophers contemplate the issue of god's existence and come up with plethoras in favor and against. None of it would actually be possible if God was outside of our ability to reason.

Response to 2.3:

First, this is entirely unsubstantiated. There's literally nothing but his own assertion warranting this part of his case. Until he provides some kind of warrant for why faith requires the absense of reason, there's no reason to believe this part of his argument.

Second, this isn't true at all. Reason and faith can go hand-in-hand all the time. Think about sitting down in a chair. If I'm trying to decide if the chair will be able to support my weight, it's kind of hard to determine outside of actually sitting down on it to see. I can check to see if it's broken anywhere or weak structurally, but at the end of the day none of that will definitively tell me if it will support my weight, meaning that to sit down it requires faith that it won't break on me and spill me out on my a**. But I can be reasonably sure that if there's no flaws in the chair then it will probably be able to hold my weight, meaning that I substantiated my faith in the chair holding my weight with reason as for why this is probably true.

Think of the reason why we elect people to be the president. We can reason out why one person would be better for the country than another person and while, and how the country would be better if this person was elected. But none of us can actually know that these things we reason out to be possible will actually come to pass if we elect this person. It, therefore, requires faith to elect the person we reason out to believe to be the best person for presidency to actually be that best person, meaning that faith and reason go hand-in-hand in our decision making processes.


This train-wrecks his argument in three different places.

First, I'm showing that churches don't always have to act through a religious lense, meaning that even if the rest of his case is true that it can prescribe to reasonable principles for the sake of participation in politics.

Second, I'm showing that religions aren't inherently based around solely faith, that we can use reason to come to religious conclusions and that people have been using reason to discuss religion for forever now, meaning that churches can use reason when participating in politics and be consistent with pro's argument.

Third, I'm showing that faith and reason are both principles we use in conjunction together, meaning that churches are capable of being consistent with pro's argument, thus leaving us with no reason we should deny them rights to participate.

This means that each of these reasons are independently sufficient reasons for negating the resolution. If I'm winning on even one of those arguments, then that's sufficient to refute the aff case, and thus win the debate. But even if you don't like all of those reasons, time for the neg case.

The negative plan text is this: All members of a religious church will have the right to vote in elections for political office. I reserve the right to clarify. There's a number of reasons for this.

First: Denying the right to vote denies people to be able to make their own choices on who they would like to lead them politically. This is a harm to people's right to autonomy and ability to make their own choices. There's two reasons why we ought to value autonomy[3]:
  • "Firstly ... autonomous choices deserve special respect because persons, as capable of self-determination, are entitled, all else being equal, to be self-determining without interference ... autonomy functions primarily as a side-constraint which forbids paternalistically-motivated interference in the self-regarding, minimally voluntary choices of others, ... Secondly ... autonomous choices deserve special respect because ... such respect conduces to desirable ... consequences ... autonomous choices are not to be respected merely because they are autonomous ... but rather because doing so will lead to the most beneficial prudential results ..."
Second: Denying the right to vote for religious members is the death of the Republican party. The vast majority of religious groups (protestant, evangelitical, etc.) voted overwhelmingly in the Republican's favor[4]. These groups that vote Republican are the vast majority of the population, meaning that it's the largest demographic of the population[5]. Denying their right to vote cripples republican candidates and turns the country into a de facto single party system, where Democratic nominees are the only ones who can get elected to offices. With a single party system of only Democrats, there's no one to contest their ideas, no counterpoint to creat discussion. It's the seeds of totalitarianism, a free reign to do as they wish with no accountability. There's a number of reasons we should fight against totalitarianism:

First, totalitarian regimes are bloody and brutal. Hundreds of millions of people died at the hands of of 20th century Russia, Germany and China's totalitarian regimes.

Second, totalitarian regimes are a denial of all rights, a desecration of human worth and intrinsic value.

And, third party people running isn't enough to avert the disaster. They're never successful at winning any election, virtually ever[6]. This means that if the Republican party dies, we're at critical mass for totalitarianism.



Sources:

[1] - http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] - http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] - http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[4] - http://www.pewforum.org...
[5] - http://www.pewforum.org...
[6] - http://www.washingtontimes.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
ShabShoral

Pro

In Defence of 2.1:

If one says that “not everything that a church does has to be motivated by religion”, he is, in essence, saying that “not every drawing of a square must have four sides” or “not every blue wall must be blue”. The principle is the same: the essence of a church, the factor that distinguishes it from all other groups, as my opponent points out, is religion, so one cannot claim that a church can, insofar as it is a church, cast aside religion.

It is impossible, by definition, to imagine a church wherein the members are not religious. Religion is the binding quality of the individuals in the group. This can be shown by a simple thought experiment: imagine two sets of individuals. One of these sets is full of those who believe in the Christian god, while the other is full of atheists. For my opponent’s objection to stand, he must argue that, caeteris paribus, the two groups are both equally deserving of the title of “church”. Such an assertion would be obviously absurd, and the only reason that can be found is that a church must be inherently religious – there are no other factors that could cause this distinction.

My opponent tries to make a distinction between “belief” and “action”, but this is a half-hearted attack – it’s clear that believing in something is, in fact, an action in itself, and it is an action which, if it is taken to its logical ends (i.e. if the “believer” is not a hypocrite (in which case he would no longer be able to be considered part of a church, by my opponent’s definition, since he would have shown that he does not truly believe)), will affect future actions (it is obvious that one must act in accordance with their beliefs). As such, belief is not merely a “passive quality” like my opponent is portraying it to be – it is a chosen framework for all mental work done after its adoption.

Not everything that a church does has to be motivated by religion. To say that this is true is to say that a church who supports a mission to rebuild storms after a home suddenly isn't a church anymore, but rather some other kind of organization.“

Either A.), the church is somehow nonreligious (contradicting the definition of a church, making it, in that moment, decidedly not a church), or B.), the church is acting in a religious capacity (i.e. as a church). To say that a nonreligious church can exist is absurd, as is saying that a religious group of people acting with an emphasis on their religion is distinct from a church. Since churches are inherently religious, for a church to act as in my opponent’s example (as a church) means to act in a non-secular manner, meaning that my arguments about the irrationality of religion still apply to every case wherein a church is involved.

My warrant for my argument was the definition of a church – the same definition that my opponent has just cited. It, if anything, bolsters my point.

In Defence of 2.2:

My warrant for 2.211 was given, albeit not explicitly (one need only to infer the implicit parts of the argument). It is as follows:

P1) That which is infinite cannot be comprehended

Justification: The incomprehensibility of the infinite is implicit in the term “infinite” itself - for one to comprehend the infinite, one must be able to know all there is to know about it, but, since “it” in the sense referring to an infinite is not able to be put into finite terms (as I have said, breaking an infinite into finite pieces is absurd, and, if one breaks it into infinite pieces, the same problems arise), and since the infinite will always have more qualities than one is able to imagine (for this is just the implication of an infinite being), one is unable to know anything about the infinite in its entirety.

P2)
God is infinite

Justification: Via definition.


C)
God cannot be comprehended

My opponent says that, since many people have come up with theories about God, God must be a reasonable entity. My response is that, if my argument holds water, it is literally impossible for any of those theorists to be right, and, since their fallibility is not impossible while the falseness of a sound syllogism is, it holds to reason that those droves of theologians are simply fools who, no matter what they claim, are really as far from true reason as possible. Being so, my opponent’s attacks are held off.

In Defence of 2.3:

The definition of “faith” as “belief without warrant” is commonly accepted - Wikipedia defines it as “confidence or trust in a person or thing or a belief not based on proof.“ [1], and the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar perspective, defining faith as “Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” [2]

Since adherence to reason is the only route to certainty (A is A is surely a certain proposition, and it is certain that A =/= A cannot ever lead to truth), reason necessarily leads to warranted beliefs. Since faith is literally defined as “belief without warrant”, faith and reason, by definition, cannot coexist. As I have said, “Faith requires the absence of reason, and therefore insofar as one has faith one rejects reason and vice-versa” - this is clear just by looking at the definitions of the terms.

If my opponent advocates the use of faith (for example, in “practical” scenarios), then he is rejecting reason (as proven above), and, therefore, I have no need to address his points - if he is right, then anything I say cannot be judged to be more reasonable than anything else, since reason is rendered impotent by his case, and this also applies to his case: his case cannot be more reasonable than mine, ergo he has negated his own claim to victory. If he operates under the framework of unreason, then he has already undercut himself in any rational debate, and no rebuttals are needed.

On Con’s Case, First Half:

My opponent has yet to explain how my case reduces autonomy. The resolution makes no reference to disallowing churches to participate in politics; the resolution only states that churches should not be involved in politics. Even if I affirm the resolution, it does not necessarily follow that I’m advocating laws against churches being involved in politics, much like how a Libertarian may argue that one should not regularly inject heroin while still holding that one should be free to do so. There is no violation of rights here since I have offered no plan to force churches to conform to my ideals - I have only justified said ideals.

In addition, if my case holds and faith is held to be irrational (and therefore not beneficial), choosing to have faith in the power of faith cannot produce any benefits, regardless of whatever autonomous entity chose to do so. Given that I have proven my case beyond a shadow of my doubt, it is the conflicting assertion given by my opponent that must be discarded out-of-hand.

On Con’s Case, Second Half:

Again, I have only maintained that the noninvolvement of churches in politics is a theoretical ideal, not that it should be imposed on the country by the Government, nor that it should even be put into practice voluntarily at the current moment (as a result of the irrationality that already pervades the system).


My opponent is essentially asking me to choose between theocracy and tyrannism. This choice is entirely artificial, as the nonexistence of religious people in the world does not necessarily entail anything outside of itself. The resolution is over whether churches should vote or not - it does not specify “in the current system”. Taken in the abstract, the resolution is only referring to churches generally - there are only two factors to consider here: abstract politics and abstract churches. My opponent’s attempt to concretize the resolution fails for this reason - much in the same way as the statement “It is good if everyone is happy” is not disproved solely by the fact that the status quo is not one of universal happiness, just because the removal of the Republican party now would result in devastation does not mean that the removal of the Republican party in itself is a bad thing.

Conclusion

I have defended every link in my proof, and thus it is necessarily valid (as even my opponent admits that the conclusion will follow from the propositions if each is supported properly). I have also disarmed my opponent’s misinterpretations of the subject of the debate. As such, I have fulfilled my burden of proof, and my opponent has yet to start to negate my position.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Zaradi

Con

First, extend out observation one. By the definition of negate, it's only my job to refute Pro. Thus, the BoP's on him. He didn't contest this at all, hold him to this. All I technically have to do to win is refute his case or outweigh my case against his. He has to be sufficiently defending his case while sufficiently refuting mine to be able to win, and he's doing neither.

Then, extend out observation two. Because the resolution isn't specific about what kind of involvement is being talked about, I'm allowed to specify any kind of involvement that I'm willing to defend. The involvement I'm specifying is that members of a church ought to be allowed to vote in political elections. Anything outside of this is not within the scope of my advocacy, and thus isn't responsive to the NC and has no link. Moreover, saying that churches have to act in x way is nonsensical because there's no resolutional warrant for this.

This has a number of implications:

First, it means that his attempt to restrict churches to only acting through religious means and through a religious lense lacks resolutional warrant to it, meaning there's no reason that in terms of the debate at hand why his argument is actually solid. His entire argument resides on the assumption that "this is just what it means to be a church" but because there's no resolutional warrant for this, it's unfair to constrict me to having to defend this.

Second, it means you're preferring my case to his in terms of strength of link to the actual resolution at hand. Because the resolution isn't specific to any kind of involvement, I'm allowed to specify what kind of involvement I'd like to defend. This means that my case appeals directly to the text of the resolution, thus giving me the stronger link.

This is even more critical because my opponent doesn't place a single response against this argument at all. It goes entirely dropped from his last round. And given that the next round is the final round and we've agreed to not make any new arguments in the final round, this means he physically cannot respond to this. Hold him to this drop.

Then, extend out the first part of my case, giving religious members of churches the right to vote allows for the protection of their autonomy, which is a vital human right for preserving the value of human worth. He responds by saying that's not the point of his case and his case doesn't deny people the right to vote, but by saying that they should not participate in politics, that restricts their ability to vote (i.e. participate) if they're a member of the church. By affirming the resolution, he bites into the harm of violating autonomy.

He also responds by saying that if his case is true then autonomy via belief in faith cannot lead to benefits, but first he's not actually winning on his case so this doesn't matter, but secondly, this misrepresents why we actually value autonomy. Autonomy isn't a means to a better end, rather it's an end in and of itself. Autonomy is the benefit, which is coming from the first part of the paragraph I cited. And thirdly, even if autonomy is just a means to a better end, he's not showing how removing our autonomy doesn't actually lead to a reduction of human worth. His argument is that having it doesn't lead to any benefits, but even if that's true he's not showing you any reason why removing it isn't harmful. Insofar as he isn't, and since I'm arguing that it does lead to a reduction of human worth, if there's clear negatives to removing it, we have no reason to remove it. My impacts still stand.

Then, extend out the second part of my case. Preventing religious members from voting kills the Republican party as a political institution, effectively creating a de facto single-party system, which is the seeding point of totalitarianism. With no one to oppose the Democratic party, they'd be free to effect any kind of changes they wanted without any kind of opposition, any kind of discussion or debate of ideas and policy. We would be making the US a tyrrany. The harms of totalitarianism are more than sufficient reasons to reject the resolution.

His response to this is that he only defends his case as a theoretical ideal, but that's irrelevant to the argument at hand. My argument is that if you affirm, then this will happen. Whether you defend it or advocate for it is irrelevant to whether or not it will happen in the affirmative world.

He also says that I'm asking him to choose between theocracy and tyrrany, which is blatantly wrong. The entirety of my advocacy in the negative case (All members of a religious church will have the right to vote in elections for political office.) is literally the status quo. There's nothing theocratic about having the right to vote.

He also says that this isn't necessarily bad, but a) It is as my case argues because the death of the Republican party would lead to totalitarianism, and b) even if he wanted to contest this, he doesn't actually give us any kind of reason as to why this would be bad.

Both halves of my case outweighs the entirety of his case because his case literally doesn't have any kind of impact. Theoretical ideas, as he concedes his case is, are only valuable insofar as they have real-world implications and reasons to prefer the ideals. I'm literally the only person applying the resolution to the real world, meaning I'm the only one with any kind of impact in the debate. So even if he wins his case, my case still outweighs and you negate anyway. But let's look at his case.

Extend the three responses I make to the 2.1 section of his case. Not everything a church does has to be enacted through a religious lense and with religious motives. That doesn't mean that they "cast aside religious" and start shouting "f*ck God" up and down main street. It simply means that not everything they do has to have some kind of ulterior evangelical motive to it. His response to this is that that's what it means to be a church, but a) this is definitionally untrue as I already showed in my second point, and b) he's not doing anywhere near enough work to say why this is actually true: his refutations are elaborate, verbose ways of saying "this is how it is". Not only that, but even if you're buying his responses, his responses are a classic example of the is/ought fallacy. Even if he's winning that this is how churches are, that doesn't mean they have to be this way. We can change the way we perceive churches.

Extend the second reason in particular, that by definition churches are defined as such based on their beliefs, not their actions, so the actions they take are irrelevant to their defining as a church. He gives an example of two groups of Christians and atheists and says that they both can't be definitionally churches. Turn this example against him: this is showing that if we take action out of the equation and just look at belief, that this is what defines what a church is, and not the actions they take. This is a game-over mistake for my opponent because he gives the perfect example and warrant for why churches can act outside of a religious lense and still be considered a church.

He also argues that there's a distinction between belief and action, but this is absurd. I may believe that murder is okay and justifiable, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go shoot up a shopping mall for the funzies. He makes the argument that belief affects our future decision making, but never provides any kind of warrant for this. Until he provides a warrant for why every action a member of a church takes in every circumstance and every situation has to be made through religious motivations, he can't sufficiently warrant this point, and thus can't win the debate. Since the next round is the last round, he can't actually provide new warrants, meaning he can't actually win this debate.

Extend my refutation of 2.2 as well. He's not warranting why if God is infinite he can't be comprehended. We do it all the time when we discuss God. He responds by saying that you need to be able to know everything about it in order to comprehend it, but that literally begs the same lack of warrant as my last question. He also says that the theologists and philosophers who discuss god are wrong if his argument is true, but that literally just takes the conclusion as true to defend the conclusion. He assumes his argument is true and uses that truth to defend his argument. He's not doing enough work here to defend this part of his case.

And extend my refutations of 2.3 as well. He's not doing a sufficient enough job of warranting why faith and reason cannot co-exist. He responds that definitionally faith and reason cannot co-exist, but I've already outlined several scenarios where faith and reason co-exist and even cooperate together so that we can make rational decisions. He doesn't make any kind of response to them. It doesn't matter if his definitions say that they can't co-exist, my arguments are refuting his definitions. If there are multiple everyday scenarios that we do where faith and reason cooperate rather than fight, then his definitions cannot be valid.


Summary:

My case stands solidly in all aspects. It outweighs my opponent's case in terms of impacts, meaning that it's the first place you can negate. Moreover, I've refuted my opponent's case in three separate places, meaning there's three additional reasons he cannot fulfill his BoP, meaning you can negate on any one of the refutations. Don't let him make new arguments in the final round.
Debate Round No. 3
ShabShoral

Pro

I can’t be bothered to make this round look pretty.


“Moreover, saying that churches have to act in x way is nonsensical because there's no resolutional warrant for this.“


This is equivalent to saying that the statement “If one wants to get to New York from Virginia, one should drive north” does not imply that one has to drive north to get to New York, or that “If one wants to draw a square, one should draw four sides” does not imply that one must draw four sides to draw a square. The only difference between these examples and the resolution of this debate is that the “if” was not specified, which is not a problem, given that my first proposition was solely devoted to proving that the only goal one could hold in doing politics is to adhere to rational principles, thus giving us “If one wants to build politics on rational principles, churches should not be involved in politics”, wherein the specific “if” specified was the only one logically coherent and possible.


Note: This is not a new argument because the entirety of premiss one (and the debate as a whole) led to the formulation that “If political systems should be based on reason [...]”.


“His entire argument resides on the assumption that "this is just what it means to be a church"”


This is blatantly absurd - imagine a debate on the validity of “A = A”. If Pro said that A must equal A because, well, A is just defined as being A (i.e. when one says “A”, the sentence would retain its meaning if one had replaced it with “A”), and Con responded by saying that it was “unfair for Pro to restrict me to holding that A is defined as A, since I think that A is really B”, he would be disregarded completely.


My argument is completely tautological in nature. “Church” is synonymous with “A group of people with one factor in common: faith”, so, when I say that “A church is a group of people with one factor in common: faith”, what I am really saying is simply that “A church is a church”, which, unless my opponent wishes to resort to equivocation to argue against my position, is obviously true and not “unfair” by any reasonable standard.


Note: this is not a new argument, considering my previous rebuttals explicitly set out to prove this synonymity. I’m merely reproducing the argument in different terms in order to reiterate why Con is wrong on all counts.


“It goes entirely dropped from his last round.”


I did so because none of their actual implications were dangerous. I could accept both of Con’s observations (which, if you actually look at Round 2, were only that I have the BOP and that the resolution does not specify any specific type of involvement, both of which pose no problems) without my case being harmed at all.


“by saying that they should not participate in politics, that restricts their ability to vote (i.e. participate) if they're a member of the church.”


This is a total misinterpretation of my point. I specifically addressed the fact that there is no such violation of autonomy by analogy to one who “may argue that one should not regularly inject heroin while still holding that one should be free to do so.“ Let me remind the reader that my opponent has not substantiated how freely choosing not to do something is equivalent to not having been able to do that thing in the first place.


“He also responds by saying that if his case is true then autonomy via belief in faith cannot lead to benefits, but first he's not actually winning on his case so this doesn't matter”


And if I am winning on the case, it definitely does matter.


“Autonomy isn't a means to a better end, rather it's an end in and of itself. Autonomy is the benefit, which is coming from the first part of the paragraph I cited.”


Extend the principles behind Prop 1.31:


“ If [a thing] were not worthwhile, there would be no reason to be involved in it (or to even care about it in the least), thus making any interest [in it] itself irrational (making discussing its issues worthless to begin with, which is contrary to the premiss of debate (by debating, we ourselves are asserting the importance and therefore rational value of [that thing]))”


“Insofar as he isn't, and since I'm arguing that it does lead to a reduction of human worth, if there's clear negatives to removing it, we have no reason to remove it.”


Extend Prop 1.2, in addition to the idea from Prop 1.31 that by even discussing this we place some importance on the issue:


“For one to advocate something which is not in-line with reality, one must advocate something which cannot be, making the advocacy useless and self-contradictory.”


“Then, extend out the second part of my case.”


If my negations stand, then this is pointless, so I will only ask the readers to focus on whether or not I have successfully negated the relevance to the debate of his argument.


“My argument is that if you affirm, then this will happen.“


My opponent’s bridge between his arguments and the resolution totally nonsensical. Quoting myself:


“Taken in the abstract, the resolution is only referring to churches generally - there are only two factors to consider here: abstract politics and abstract churches. My opponent’s attempt to concretize the resolution fails for this reason [...] just because the removal of the Republican party now would result in devastation does not mean that the removal of the Republican party in itself is a bad thing.”


“The entirety of my advocacy in the negative case (All members of a religious church will have the right to vote in elections for political office.) is literally the status quo.”


Ok. So?


“There's nothing theocratic about having the right to vote.“


My initial round proved that any church in politics must be acting on the basis of faith (and what is theocracy other than rule on the basis of faith and religion rather than rights or justness?).


“even if he wanted to contest this, he doesn't actually give us any kind of reason as to why this would be bad.“


Premiss 3.


“Theoretical ideas, as he concedes his case is, are only valuable insofar as they have real-world implications and reasons to prefer the ideals.”


Let me go over this once again.


I first showed that “If something was useful, it would be useful in reality, making it in-line with reality and therefore not irrational”, which means that if something was irrational it must inherently not be useful (if something was irrational and useful it would be as logical as a square circle). I then proved that faith was irrational. The conclusion is plain: faith can never be useful under any circumstances, negating all of my opponent’s attempts to assert otherwise.


“Extend the three responses I make to the 2.1 section of his case.”


I’ve dealt with all of this in my last round.


“We can change the way we perceive churches.”


Referring to different things using the same name is called “equivocation”. You can’t just randomly redefine terms in the middle of a debate when your opponent can’t respond.


“by definition churches are defined as such based on their beliefs, not their actions, so the actions they take are irrelevant to their defining as a church.”


I’ve dealt with this by showing that belief is an action.


“He also argues that there's a distinction between belief and action, but this is absurd.”


No, I argued that there is no such distinction. Belief is action.


“I may believe that murder is okay and justifiable, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go shoot up a shopping mall”


I never made the claim that you would.


“He makes the argument that belief affects our future decision making, but never provides any kind of warrant for this.”


I did explicitly give warrant for this - “[T]he “believer” is not a hypocrite [when it comes to holding faith] [( If he was,]he would no longer be able to be considered part of a church, by my opponent’s definition, since he would have shown that he does not truly believe))“, thus showing that one must always make the choice to have faith in faith and act in accordance to faith in order to remain a part of a church (which is a blatant example of what I meant).


“Until he provides a warrant [...] he can't sufficiently warrant this point, and thus can't win the debate.”


I have shown that every member of a church must hold the conviction that reason is invalid. Therefore, every action done by a church is done by people who do not believe in reason and are operating on the most basic assumption that reason is unimportant. This is all that my argument was meant to show, no more, no less.


“He's not warranting why if God is infinite he can't be comprehended.”


I’ve done so absolutely through syllogism, and, if one reads it in anything but the least charitable way, keeping in mind the common definitions of the words that I use, one will see that my argument is immune from and already deals with all of the points my opponent brings up.


“He assumes his argument is true and uses that truth to defend his argument.”


Quoting my last round: “My response is that, if my argument holds water, it is literally impossible for any of those theorists to be right, and, [...] their fallibility is not impossible while the falseness of a sound syllogism[is.]” If my opponent doubts the soundness of my syllogism, I advise him to read my defence of it once more.


”I've already outlined several scenarios where faith and reason co-exist”


Let me just reiterate (from P.1) that, if a conversation operates under the assumption that it is only rational to say A is A, saying “A is really B” is totally incoherent and self-defeating, no matter what. Self-negating statements must be thrown out.


Summary:



My opponent reminds me to not make any new arguments and believes that this will leave his assertions unscathed. He fails to realize, however, that literally everything he says was contradicted by something I’ve said previously. The voter must only read my arguments (in specific, my main syllogism and its justifications) carefully, with an eye for detail and nuance, to realize that I have completely filled my burden of proof.


Zaradi

Con

Ready for the perfect example of a round where it's just two ships passing in the night? Most of the responses to what I raised in my last round was drawn from what he said -- or just blatantly copy-pasted -- from previous rounds. The problem with this is that I already addressed most, if not all, of the things he pulls from. My responses aren't ever addressed. So let's just run this down starting on my side of the flow.

Extend my second observation. Since the resolution doesn't tell us what kind of involvement we're talking about, I'm free to specify a specific kind of involvement that people of a church ought to be allowed to do (i.e. voting in elections). Moreover, saying that churches have to act in X ways is baseless in terms of the scope of this debate because the resolution itself is ambiguous and doesn't lend us to any kind of conclusions as to how churches are. His responses to this are entirely non-sensical and don't even address the argument put forth. My argument is that if the resolution isn't clear on what churches are or do, then trying to dictate such lacks warrant within the scope of this debate. There's no response to this anywhere in the debate.

The implications of this observation are two-fold. First is that saying that churches can only act through a religious lense and cannot deviate from this framework in any way lacks warrant in this debate. His attempts to say that "churches are A, B, and C, and must act in X, Y, and Z ways or they aren't a church" don't have any kind of warrant from the resolution. It really doesn't matter what kinds of slanted examples he wants to try and paint: if he's saying that churches can't act outside of religious, evangelical means and motives, I contest his definition of a church. That's what I've been saying all of this debate, and that's what I've been asking him to substantiate all of this debate other than by saying "that's just what a church is". He has yet to do so. Hold this against him.

Second is that I can advocate for any kind of involvement that I would like to (i.e. voting in elections). By affirming the resolution, we're saying that people in a church cannot vote in political elections, meaning that it leads to the two harms. His response of "I'm not showing how them not choosing to vote is taking away their voting rights", but this response is silly: they're voting now. It's not like people of religions aren't voting. By affirming, we're inevitably telling them that they can't vote anymore. If that's not what he's advocating for, then he's not actually advocating for the affirmative side of the resolution.

With that being out there, extend the first half of my case. By telling them they can't vote for who they want to lead the country, we're stripping them of their right to autonomy, which is a harm to their human worth. He re-extends a point of his saying that if something's not worthwhile, then there's no real reason to care about it, but I have clear argumentation and cited evidence as to why we ought to care about autonomy and human worth coming out of my case. There's definitely reason to care about it. This is clear negative offense back toward the resolution that outweighs his case in terms of impact.

Then extend out the second half of my case. Eliminating the right to vote from churches will cause a collapse of the republican party, leading to a single-party rule which is the starting point of totalitarianism. There's plenty of clear reasons why we want to avoid a totalitarian government. His only response to this in the last round is to re-quote himself from the third round, but the problem with this is that I kinda already responded to this. To recap:

1. I'm extending out the observation two, meaning that I can specify exactly what kind of involvement I want to advocate for, meaning that this specificity is totally in line with the resolution.
2. If he wants to argue that losing the Republican party isn't actually harmful, he was free to do so. He didn't though. He only said this might not necessarily be bad. The problem with this is that I'm extending out argument that says that this actually would be bad, so this fails.

My case is the first place you negate the resolution. While theoretical syllogisms are nice thought experiments, the way to actually win a debate is by giving a reason for judges to vote for your case. The way we do this is through impacts and reasons to prefer your arguments over your opponent's argument. I'm extending out impacts of a harm to human worth, loss of the rights to autonomy, and a totalitarian government. Those impacts are weighed against the impacts of Bossy's case which are...

...wait...there aren't really any impacts being extended across from his case other than if it's right it's right. But even if he's right, the harms coming from affirming the resolution should be more than sufficient reason to avoid affirming the resolution. I'm the only one trying to do any kind of impact analysis and weighing between cases, meaning that I'm the only one actually trying to, y'know, win the debate.

And don't buy we can't ever use faith or have faith be useful. I've already outlined multiple examples where we use faith in every day life. He's never once responded to them throughout the entirety of the debate, only trying to say that a can't be b, which isn't even an accurate example. It'd be more like pro would advocate that a and b can't make C, and I'm advocating that it can. I never made the claim that they were the same thing, rather that we can use both at the same time without the universe imploding. Now onto his case.

2.1 is bollocks for the three reasons I've outlined throughout the round. His response to me responding to his defense of it was "I dealth with this last round". K, but I responded to how you dealt with it.

And extend out the example he was so kind to provide that shows that belief can't be the same thing as action (i.e. the Christian/Atheists example). Strip the groups of all their actions and focus on only what they believe, and only one of them can be considered a church rather than both, regardless of their actions. This means that the actions a church takes are irrelevant to being a church: they can take actions that aren't in a religious perspective and still be a church so long as their beliefs line up to the church's. Not eveything has to be shoving religion down your throat.

2.2 is bollocks because he's not doing enough work to show that we can't comprehend things that are infinte, even though we talk about them and discuss them all the time. He says that if it's infinite you need to be able to understand everything which isn't possible with something that's infinite, but he never warrants why that actually means we can't comprehend infinite things: why do I need to understand all of it to understand it? He never actually responds to this defense, merely saying it's "immune from and already deals with it". K, well I kind of responded to that defense. Care to actually defend it?

And I love the part where I accuse him of defending his conclusion by assuming the conclusion is true as a starting point. His response was literally re-quoting the part of the text I accused him with. You see that "my response is that, if my argument holds water, ..." in there? He literally just assumes it's true and goes from there. He's not actually showing us that it's true though.

2.3 is bollocks because I'm showing examples of faith and rationality operating hand in hand. Not that they're the same thing, but rather they can co-exist. His entire argument is that they're mutually exclusive, they can't exist together or, idk, the zombie apocolypse starts. The mere fact that he doesn't actually respond to the examples I provide should tell you how this part of the debate goes pretty clearly.

And this train-wrecks his syllogism in three different places. Remember, I only have to win one of these in order for his case to fall, as that's the nature of a syllogism: it needs all of it's premises to stand in order for it to be a coherent argument. This means that if you think I'm winning even just one of these, then you negate the resolution as his case falls and I've fulfilled my burden as the negative debater of denying the truth of the affirmative.


So let's wrap this up:

The first place you're negating the resolution is either part of my case. Both parts of my case are held up throughout the debate, both of which are extending off clear negative impacts to affirming the resolution. I'm showing how these impacts outweigh those of the non-existent impacts coming from the affirmative case. This means that you have two places to negate before you even look to his syllogism, even if it's true.

But I'm refuting the syllogism in three different places. He's not doing enough work to win on any of them, but all I need to do is win one of them and his case falls flat. Without his case it's impossible for him to even have a sliver of a chance of fulfilling his burden. This gives you three different places, for a total of five ways, to negate the resolution.
Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
I can produce something sometime over the weekend.
Posted by ShabShoral 1 year ago
ShabShoral
Yeah, even if the vote doesn't count I would love to read it.
Posted by Zaradi 1 year ago
Zaradi
Hah, wouldn't want to break up the anniversary. Thanks for trying, though! Maybe later you can either post your commentary or just PM it to me and bossy so that we can see what you thought anyway?
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Well, sorry guys, it seems like I won't have time. I don't have the time to finish this and write the RFD it requires tonight, and tomorrow's my wedding anniversary, so I can't then. My apologies, though I think you have two solid votes already. From what I've read, it was a great debate, and one worthy of a final round.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
I'll see what I can do about voting on this one, though with 2 votes already and a bunch of debates in my backlog, I might not be able to manage.
Posted by larztheloser 1 year ago
larztheloser
Some quick feedback:

1. Both sides, structure thematically. Pro's setup worked ok for round 1 but the way it carried through the debate made this nigh-impossible to follow in places, and quote-rebuttal structure just worked horribly with this debate.
2. Avoid making an issue semantic. Both sides did this, but especially pro. Rebut analysis with analysis.

If neg tries to claim a model on a judgment debate, don't be afraid to call them out on it. Further, don't be afraid to contest settings or definitions neg attempts to impose on the debate, which got extremely absurd in this debate, with neg whining about pro contradicting definitions for the topic that the neg had themselves imposed. I can't think of a single case where it would be good strategy for an aff/gov team to allow a neg/opp team to define the topicality of points. I got so annoyed at con for doing this that I almost wanted to give the debate to pro out of protest.

Finally, it was disappointing that this case had only basically one key argument. Debaters analyzed this argument to a degree of depth, but very little of it was grounded in any kind of example or application - it was all operating on the level of the philosophical, which inherently tends to be quite assertive. I wanted more points and counterpoints raised in this debate. The depth that this debate lacked could have been easily compensated, and to a certain extent, the very few narratives that con did offer were the most powerful things in the debate.

Feel free to msg me for further feedback.
Posted by ShabShoral 1 year ago
ShabShoral
Oh my god, someone actually read through this whole thing? You have the endurance of a war hero. Props!
Posted by Logical-Master 1 year ago
Logical-Master
Vote Rationale: Conclusion.

This debate could've been a lot better. Both got too caught up in definitions and abusive semantics and kind of lost sight of the actual debate. What's more, debates like this are a great reason people tend not to vote. You guys should focus more of keeping it simple and keeping it in plain English. Most people aren't going to read past the first round.

I read the "God is infinite" debate, but in the end, it just felt like it was there for the sake of being there. Didn't sway my vote either way in any of the rounds.

In the end, I leaned towards CON. I think he demonstrated pretty well that faith and reason could both be exercised, that tthere was difference between belief and action and that you could have religious beliefs but not act upon them. If we accept this, pretty much the entirety of PRO's case flies out the window because if churches do have irrational beliefs, if doesn't mean their behavior will be irrational. Not that I remotely agree with this, but CON didn't contest section 1 of PRO's case, so it's a moot point.

PRO's problem is that he tries way too hard to attack CON's argument from a formal logic standpoint. Unfortunately, the substance of topics like this is way too malleable for a heavy use of formal logic to be appropriate. You've gotta fall back on good ole fashioned common sense. CON's style, though overly technical, at least recognizes this to an extent.
Posted by Logical-Master 1 year ago
Logical-Master
"It really doesn't matter what kinds of slanted examples he wants to try and paint: if he's saying that churches can't act outside of religious, evangelical means and motives, I contest his definition of a church. That's what I've been saying all of this debate, and that's what I've been asking him to substantiate all of this debate other than by saying "that's just what a church is". He has yet to do so. Hold this against him."

Right, which sounds like pure semantics to me.

"Second is that I can advocate for any kind of involvement that I would like to (i.e. voting in elections). By affirming the resolution, we're saying that people in a church cannot vote in political elections, meaning that it leads to the two harms. "

Also semantics. Sorry CON!

"My case is the first place you negate the resolution. While theoretical syllogisms are nice thought experiments, the way to actually win a debate is by giving a reason for judges to vote for your case. "

=D

"The way we do this is through impacts and reasons to prefer your arguments over your opponent's argument. "

"

Don't give me impacts. Don't give me definitions. Don't give me rules and unofficial debate bylaws I'm not bound to keeping. Just tell me in plain English why I should reject the claim that "churches should not involve themselves in political campaigns."

"And extend out the example he was so kind to provide that shows that belief can't be the same thing as action (i.e. the Christian/Atheists example). Strip the groups of all their actions and focus on only what they believe, and only one of them can be considered a church rather than both, regardless of their actions."

k.

"2.3 is bollocks because I'm showing examples of faith and rationality operating hand in hand. Not that they're the same thing, but rather they can co-exist. His entire argument is that they're mutually exclusive"

Right, this seemed pretty clear to me.
Posted by Logical-Master 1 year ago
Logical-Master
Vote Rationale: PRO R3

"I can"t be bothered to make this round look pretty."

*sigh*

"This is equivalent to saying that the statement "If one wants to get to New York from Virginia, one should drive north" does not imply that one has to drive north to get to New York, or that "If one wants to draw a square, one should draw four sides" does not imply that one must draw four sides to draw a square."

Nah, I don't really find this persuasive. I think you can distinguish church from being religious (belief) and going to church (action), as CON demonstrated with his example at the end of the previous round. The only good PRO's definition serves is to give him an advantage in this debate. Otherwise, pure semantics. We're talking about whether churches should involve themselves in politics, a debate which has plenty of merit without the need for semantical clutter like this.

"This is a total misinterpretation of my point. I specifically addressed the fact that there is no such violation of autonomy by analogy to one who "may argue that one should not regularly inject heroin while still holding that one should be free to do so."

Agreed. This debate not being about legislation seemed clear cut from the outset. Semantics from CON.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 1 year ago
larztheloser
ShabShoralZaradi
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: This was an extremely narrow debate that came close to swinging the other way. Pro had the BOP, and with that, a semi-divine right of definition. Con attempted to both further onus push, but at the same time, claim a right of definition. Which was weird, because if con had tried to claim the BOP, he would have won the debate with ease, because then he would have that right to set the agenda & scope of the moot. However, I accepted pro had the right of definition and that entirely ruled out con's counterplan from the debate - until the last round, where pro seemed absurdly happy to accept the position con wanted him to defend. Nonetheless, pro's case had priority. Pro won on religion being faith based, and resolution/most semantic issues, while con won on everything related to God. What won the debate was that con demonstrated faith & reason were not mutually exclusive, and despite pro's definitions, con's analysis (esp of faith in electing pres - good example) was stronger. Neg win.
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 1 year ago
Logical-Master
ShabShoralZaradi
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: See comments for rationale!