The Instigator
aliagag2
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
rachel.zabelka
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Torture

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
rachel.zabelka
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 337 times Debate No: 65817
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

aliagag2

Pro

1.)Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking that will.
2.)Moral is the distinction code of rules of what kind of behavior is acceptable or unacceptable.
3.)Minimal is a small amount of an object or content.
4.)Torture can be used to gain information in.
5.)The information that one might have, may be dangerous for others.
6.)Dangerous is where a human may be risking their life.
7.)Terrorists can be tortured if they obtained information about an attack that will happen.
8.)Polices can torture an individual if they are certain that the individual has information about an innocent victim who may be in danger.
9.)A kidnapper can be tortured because the innocent may be in danger and only the kidnapper knows where the innocent is hidden.
10.)Accidentally killing someone is not questioned about being morally yet why is torturing someone questioned.
11.)The person who is being captured can easily just do what the torturer is asking for.
12.)If one says the truth and that person might be in danger then the torturer protects him in anyway.
13.)There are some instances that are minimally, morally justified torture.

Non-Controversial "
1.)First premise cannot be said otherwise because it states the definition of torture. My opponent would also state the definition of torture.
3.)The statement cannot be controversial because there is only one definition of minimally. Minimally can only mean a small amount of anything.

Controversial "
2.)The second premise states the definition of moral which can be said otherwise because moral can be viewed in many different ways. Meaning anyone can interrupt moral in many different point of views. Yet the definition I have given seems very accurate to me.
4.)Torture is not necessarily used to gain information; it can be used for many things. Such as revenge or to cause pain for an individual. For example, someone can take revenge on someone by causing torture on someone. Yet it is the most effective and faster way to gain something that is really desired.
5.)The reason why this statement can be controversial is because the information that an individual may have is not necessarily dangerous for others. There can be information that has nothing to do with innocent people being in danger. For example someone may torture another person just to find out the truth about their past. But what would happen if someone is in dangerous and the person who is being torture does not want to give up the information, then that would mean that the innocent person is in danger.
6.)This statement can be controversial because there are many other definitions for dangerous. There can may different ways to define "dangerous"
7.)Terrorists can give up the information; torture does not necessarily have to be present. It can be the case where the terrorists may think about it twice and decide not to perform any dangerous thing towards innocents.
8.)This statement might be controversial because polices may find another way for them to gain the information. Polices are not supposed to torture suspects because it is against the law.
9.) This statement may be controversial because my opponent can state that the polices can have more security and investigate every clue that there is. Meaning that torture is not always the answer.
10.) My opponent might question why is that killing might be involved with torturing because the fact that the killing is not justified does not necessarily mean that torture should be. Also, they may ask to define exactly what is accidentally.
11.)This statement may be controversial because what if a person might not want to give up that easily. It can come to the point that the person who is being torturer might want to die rather than giving up. Anything can go through the mind of the person who is being tortured there are many scenarios where the torture thinks about it twice and gives the victim another chance.
rachel.zabelka

Con

1.)Morality concerns the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable actions in respect to harm.
2.)Morality is not subjective.
3.)Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will.
4.)Torture doesn"t necessarily have to concern getting information by way of harm.
5.)Torture does necessarily concern compliance with the torturer by way of harm.
6.)Torture is unlawful.
7.)Police and other authorities use torture.
8.)Morality is not measured by the actions of police and other authorities.
9.)Liberal democratic governments and security agencies haven"t begun to exhaust the political strategies short of the routine use of torture.
10.)There are other routes that someone can use to get another person to comply with them.
11.)After complying with the torturer the information obtained from the tortured person may not even be true.
12.)Positive duties entail us to commit certain acts while negative duties entail us to avoid certain acts.
13.)Torture, as a positive duty, infringes on the negative duty to avoid excessive harm.
14.)Negative duties are more important than positive duties.
15.)Therefore, it is not the case that some instances of torture are minimally morally justifiable.

The definitions in premises 1, 3, and 12 are minimally controversial, meaning there is no need to argue them. Premise 2 may be controversial in that an opponent could say morality is subjective, but if that were the case torture would not even be debated because it wouldn"t matter that some people think it is okay while others do not. Premises 4 and 5 are true because torture can be used for many different things, but overall the goal is compliance on behalf of the tortured person. It doesn"t matter if the torturer is trying to get information or trying to get the tortured person to clean his house. And the question remains whether it is justifiable or not. The act of torture is not justifiable given that harm is used for the ultimate goal of compliance. An opponent may find that police and other types of authorities use torture, so maybe it"s right even though it"s illegal, as stated in Premise 6. Legality doesn"t even matter. But morality does. So it doesn"t necessarily follow because as stated in Premise 8, we don"t judge moral rightness by the actions of police and related authorities. Just because they do some types of actions doesn"t mean they are the right or even justified types of actions. Premises 9 and 10 may be controversial because an opponent may say that other routes have proven useless or ineffective, but these statements are still plausible in that government or security agencies may use blackmail, or come up with other interrogation tactics that in no way harm another person the way torture does. Also, more effort on the part of the security agencies may be expended on intelligence tactics so harming a person would not even have to be an option. Throughout the course of the argument it is assumed that the information retrieved from torture will prevent greater harm. But by causing someone pain they may say anything to make it stop, as referenced in Premise 11. If the torture doesn"t produce the desired outcome, then it is not justified. An opponent could argue that Premises 13 and 14 are implausible because positive duties may be more important than negative duties, which basically means that doing something is more important than doing nothing. But this isn"t the case because the whole debate centers on harm and the avoidance of it. The conclusion, in part, reads that torture is not morally justifiable. And Premise 1 indicates how morality concerns harm. By torture not being morally justifiable it would likely follow that an amount of harm is being used unacceptably. So instead of doing something that would unacceptably utilize harm it would be more significant to do nothing and not even add harm into the mix, avoiding it altogether.
Debate Round No. 1
aliagag2

Pro

The first premise tries to define what morality is. Yet it would be best if the definition can be expressed well because it is too broad. For example what kind of actions can be acceptable or unacceptable? Maybe adjectives should be included in the definition.
Although torture does not need to be concerned in order to receive information, it is the fastest and accurate way. For example if a terrorist knew information about an attack that will occur, polices or FBI won"t sit down and talk nicely to this terrorist. If after a while this terrorist does not speak then therefore the polices will be forced to torture this terrorist. Someone who is being harmed in any way may want to stop by speaking up, in which this what the terrorist would feel. However, yes polices and other authorities do use torture as a tool to obtain information.
How is torture unlawful? Who makes torture an unlawful thing? The authority? In what way may the authorities use torture for? But you said that "morality is not measured by the actions of police and other authorities". Which means that no one can actually say what is unlawful. The definition of morality can be different to polices and other authorities. Remember morality can be viewed from different point of views. Which means that the actions that authorities or polices make may not be seem as a good or bad behavior. Not everyone might know what morality really means.
The information that the victim gives to the torturer may or not be true. But if they were not true after the torturer finds out that the information is false then he or she would go after the victim again, which means it would be worse for the victim. Therefore, the victim may think about it twice about lying to the torturer. In that case, I do not necessarily think that anyone can be dumb enough to lie to the torturer. In most cases, the torturer would always let go of the victim and give them a new identity, a new home and a new life. It is never the case that the victim goes back home to be killed by the people who he betrayed. If all of that were true then why lie about the information?
In premise12 you mention how the definitions of positive duties are minimally controversial but that does not make sense. Because the question is what may be the certain acts that commit us to entail positive duties? I think the premise is a little too vague. It does not necessarily show what kind of acts make up a positive duties. Furthermore, what is a negative duty? In the premise it is not necessarily showing what kind of harm we tend to avoid. Physical or emotionally harm? In another statement it says that the we tend to avoid excessive harm but there are many other ways to define an excessive harm. There are many other ways to define harm.
If the case was that the negative duties mean to avoid harm then wouldn"t that mean that the person would avoid lying? Therefore, that means that the victim would tell say the right information. No one would take the risk to lie and cause themselves more harm than what they have already received. Going back to one of the premises, it says that the victim may lie about the information they may have but by lying that means they are not having negative duties. In which you have defined negative duties as avoiding an excessive harm but by lying, the victim is unintentionally asking for more harm.
The harm is not the torturer ultimate goal. Honestly no one would actually wake up and say "Oh I am going to torture this person because I feel like it". Therefore I believe that the torture"s goal is to get the information they want. If the case were that they do not want information then it is whatever they gain from torturing the other person. It is not the torture"s intention to harm the victim. I believe there is not one person on earth that actually would have the intention to torture someone else if nothing is gained from it. So on that note I think any torturer always has a purpose to torture someone else.
rachel.zabelka

Con

How, if after a terrorist does not comply, are the police or authorities forced to torture them? And also just because torture is the fastest and most accurate way it doesn"t mean it is morally justified.

You concede that police and other authorities use torture to obtain information and then pose the question "In what way may the authorities use torture for?"

Torture being unlawful may be irrelevant, but torture is actually illegal. If it were legal then our democracy would fall apart. There"s no question that police and authorities use torture. If there were a question about whether they actually do it or not, we wouldn"t even be having this debate. But this isn"t even the point. The point is legality and morality are two different things. So when you quote me in saying that morality is not measured by police and authority actions and then say that this "means that no one can actually say what is unlawful" this is false.

Even though morality and legality are two distinct things, the point also remains that police and similar authorities use torture, as you state in Premise 8 of your argument, but this doesn"t make it morally permissible or justified. This is so because morality isn"t measured by the authorities" actions. So you can"t say that torture is justified because police use it in a certain way.

In your reasoning concerning the second premise of your argument and also in the 2nd round you state that, "morality can be viewed from different points of view". What does this mean? Are you saying that morality is subjective in some way? Couldn"t you then say that torture is okay while I say torture is not okay, and it"s all well and fine?

Because the tortured person lied it follows that they will then continue to be tortured. So does this make the torture justified? And how can you say that it is never the case that the victim goes back to be killed and that they"re always given a new identity?

Premise 12 of my argument, the one concerning positive and negatives duties, is meant to provide a definition to base the following premises off of. It doesn"t appear that there are two possible meanings for that definition, nor does it appear that two cases of nearly opposite kinds could apply. So this Premise isn"t vague whatsoever. And as stated in the premise that acts as a definition, a negative duty is a responsibility to avoid certain acts. Premise 13 states that harm relates to torture, meaning that the avoided harm is the harm evident in torture.

Negative duties concern harm and the avoidance of it. Lying doesn"t necessarily mean harm. You say that "by lying that means they are not having negative duties". A tortured person lying and a tortured person doing nothing (negative duty) is the same thing. Also the premises don"t state that one has to do their negative or positive duties. It"s just an assessment of one being more important than the other. You also say that the victim is "unintentionally asking for more harm" by lying. This would be the case if it was explicitly stated or required that more torture be performed. The torturer does not have to continue the torture. In fact if he didn"t continue the torture he would be asserting his more important negative duty to avoid excessive harm, which then demonstrates how torture is not minimally morally justifiable.

Premise 6 in your argument is too specific and a little unclear. Danger encompasses so much more than risking a life. And besides that how does something being dangerous justify torture? Torture is dangerous.

In your argument (Premise 11) you state that the tortured person can easily comply with the torturer. So why then can"t the torturer just stop the torture just as easily?

It doesn"t seem to follow that just because the tortured person is protected after the torture, as stated in Premise 12 of your argument, that it is justified. It"s almost like cheating on your boyfriend then buying him a gift. You still cheated. It"s not okay because you bought him something. Similarly you still harmed another person. It"s not okay because you protected him after.
Debate Round No. 2
aliagag2

Pro

I believe that if a terrorist does not comply with authorities than the most accurate things are to keep torturing. Let"s take 9-11 for example, if the authorities knew that there was a terrorist who knew everything, the authorities would have captured him or her and torture that person. In this case torturer can be the only reason where it can save many lives. Because it would save many lives, I believe torture can be morally justified. There are many scenarios where torturer is the only answer to save other people. Although torturer can seem as a wrong thing it is used to save people from getting harm. This can be morally acceptable. Therefore that would make it morally justified. Although I said torturer is the fastest and effective way I still believe it is morally justified. When there is a human being in danger, one"s responsibility is to always help that person that would mean that the morality thing to do is to help and sometimes torture is the answer. Another scenario as listed in premise is that one can kidnap someone and give information to the police about it, which can help find the victim. In that case torture would be morality justified. One might think that torturer is something bad, but what if they were in a situation where they cannot find their son or daughter. How would that person possibly feel?
I stated that "morality can be viewed in different ways" which meant that morality is subjective. Everyone can have different definitions for morality. There are many different statements that people say about morality. For example to a teenager morality can mean something good or bad depends on your beliefs but for an adult it can be something more complex. So my premise I can state that morality is subjective. That would also be something that can be minimal controversial.
When I said that lying just brought more harm. I was just trying to show that I did not clearly understand because in premise 11 it says "After complying with the torturer the information obtained from the tortured person may not even be true" yet in premise 13 you say that negative duties make us avoid harm. Say the victim gave the torturer false information then that person would be asking for harm. So both of your premises are contradicting. As you just said lying would just bring more harm. Meaning that in this case there is no such thing as a negative duty.
If there were negative duty which means avoiding harm then that would mean the victim is not going to give false information. How can it possible that one person will keep on giving wrong information. Again it does not make sense because it seems as it saying one thing and then something else.
The torturer usually takes care of the victim. I had mistaken, you are right. The torturer does not always help the victim but in some cases he does. There is no further harm because once the torturer is given what he or she wants; it means that that the victim will be fine. Sometimes the torturer gets what they want from the victim and leave everything as it is. What the torturer wants or needs is always neutral. Which means it does not necessarily mean it always for a bad reason. Yet why torturer should be referred as bad when that is not the case.
At the end of the argument , I see the analogy but still it is different in this case. The torturer helps the victim too live with his life after giving up all the information which can cause him harm. Yes it may seem as "It"s almost like cheating on your boyfriend then buying him a gift. You still cheated. It"s not okay because you bought him something. Similarly you still harmed another person. It"s not okay because you protected him after.". But yet, I don"t seem it like that. Because at the end of the day , I think everyone does the same.
Like I said in my premise. Why is it that when someone accidentally killed someone it is not seemed as wrong because it was an accident? But if someone tortured someone then it would be awful. Torturing is way different than killing someone. I don"t understand how one might think that torturing is something similar to killing. When torture can be a possible way to save a life.
rachel.zabelka

Con

I understand that you believe that torturing is "the most accurate" approach, but I disagree. I believe that 9/11 is not relevant to this topic, as there is still much controversy surrounding that cataclysmic event and also it"s difficult to say what the authorities would have done had they known that someone knew of the attack. And also, it is difficult, or implausible to say that, "torture can be the only reason where it can save many lives." Interrogation, or other non-harming tactics, all have the potential to save many lives. Therefore, to say that torture is the only one is incorrect.

What are the scenarios in which torture is the only answer?

When you question how a person could find torture bad if they were in a certain situation where it may help, it seems as if you are, once again, hinting at the subjectivity of the concept of torture in relation to morality.

It"s difficult to see how having a responsibility to help means that the moral thing to do is to help.
One does have a responsibility to help. But just because they have this responsibility it doesn"t necessarily follow that it is the moral thing to do.

It is fine to say that there are different definitions of morality. But to say that "morality is subjective" means that you think torture is okay while I think torture is not okay, and that it is all well and fine. You also acknowledge that this "can be minimally controversial" yet in your first round you state that morality IS controversial. This is clearly a contradiction.

You feel that Premises 11 and 13 of my argument contradict. This isn"t the case. I didn"t state that lying would bring harm. The torturer does not have to torture another person. Also, the negative duty to avoid harm applies to the torturer in this case. His negative duty is to avoid harm and by continuing to torture the person he is not doing that.

Just because you reason that my premises contradict, doesn"t mean that there are no such things as negative duties. There doesn"t seem to be any controversy as to the existence of negative duties.

You state that, "If there were negative duty which mean avoiding harm then that would mean the victim is not going to give false information." Not necessarily. Even if the negative duty premise applied to the tortured person and worked in the way you had reasoned, which it does not, it doesn"t mean that the tortured person would be aware of their negative duty to avoid harm. So he may continue to give false information. It is definitely possible for a person to continue to give wrong information, as they may not be aware of their negatives duties. But once again, the negative duty concept does not apply in this way.

I don"t understand what you mean by "What the torturer wants or needs is always neutral." The statement attempting to clarify the meaning is a little ambiguous, or unclear.

I state that just because you protect the tortured person after the torture it doesn"t mean it is okay. And I know you disagree with this and don"t necessarily see it the same way. But why? What do you mean by, "Because at the end of the day, I think everyone does the same."? This is a little unclear.

Accidental killing is "is not seemed as wrong" because it is just that, and accident. Unintentional. Torturing is intentional, making it wrong and quite different from accidental killing. But then you go on to just state "killing". So by killing do you mean the death of a person? If you mean killing in the sense of murder then it is wrong and immoral. This is so because it is intentional. Similarly torture is intentional, there"s nothing accidental or unintentional about it. This is why it is also considered wrong and immoral. And therefore not justified. If you say by killing you do not mean the death of a person, that what exactly are you referring to?

To sum up, torture is not the only effective route, as you claim in the first paragraph of this round, so it isn"t necessarily justified. Because you have a responsibility to help someone, it isn"t necessarily the moral thing to do. Morality is not subjective. There is no question concerning the validity of negative duties. Accidental killing differs greatly from torture. So it doesn"t follow that torture is minimally, morally justifiable.
Debate Round No. 3
aliagag2

Pro

Okay, I am inferring that what if the "interrogation or non-harmful tactics" did not clearly work then therefore in that case torture would be the only answer.
Like I said what if a suspect does not want to say the information and there is a little kid who is in danger. The authorities have tried everything they can in order to gain that information. Then what would have been the answer in to force the suspect to talk. In this case it would be torture. Because the authorities won"t let the poor little kid die. If the authorities just left the kid die then they would there conscious would never be okay. In that case the authorities would believe that torture is the moral thing to do.
When I said "at the end of the day everyone does the same" , I meant that people tend to do something bad and hide it by doing something else. In this case you say that torture is bad therefore the torturer may do something but in order to protect the other person they give them a new life. Which I believe is good.

1.)Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking that will.
2.)Moral is the distinction code of rules of what kind of behavior is acceptable or unacceptable.
3.) Minimal is a small amount of an object or content
4.)Torture can be used to gain information in various situations. For example if one does not torture then there may be a human at risk.
5.)The information that one might have, may be dangerous for others.
6.)Dangerous is where a human may be risking their life.
7.)Terrorists can be tortured if they obtained information about an attack that will happen.
8.)Polices can torture an individual if they are certain that the individual has information about an innocent victim who may be in danger
9.)A kidnapper can be tortured because the innocent may be in danger and only the kidnapper knows where the innocent is hidden.
10.)Killing is not the same as torture but is considered a less significant than torture.
11.)There are some instances that are minimally, morally justified torture.

The definition of torture was not discussed. Since we both had the same definition. "Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking that will"
The definition of moral was controversial. We both had different point of views for the word morality. In which my opponent had thought that I meant moral is subjective. In which I might have inferred so but that is not the case.
The definition of minimally was not discussed because my opponent did not have another definition.
Meanwhile the premise regarding the information that one might have may be dangerous for others, was discussed. But still I feel as if that premise can still be true because it was never proven false. The definition of dangerous was not controversial at al. meaning it was not discussed.
The premise which involves terrorists was controversial. My opponent had stated that there would be different options. Although I still believe that it was a good premise because honestly to terrorists the most accurate and efficient way to get information from them is simply torture.
Same goes for a police torturing a suspect for information regarding a victim. My opponent had claimed that torture is unlawful and it should not be done. I still believe that one like a police has the responsibility to protect a citizen even if it consists of torturing.
So for the premise which involves the kidnapper being tortured was also discussed. In my opinion I don"t believe that it was proven false. After all it is hard to be proven otherwise because the suspect may have information so the authorities have the conscious to torture the suspect.
In my first premise I said that accidental killing is not worse than torture but yet we are discussing how torture is horrible. Yes I must admit I did say accidental killing which would not make sense. Therefore in my new premise I have replace it with simply "killing".
rachel.zabelka

Con

1.)Morality concerns the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable actions in respect to harm.
2.)Morality is not subjective.
3.)Torture is the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will.
4.)Police and other authorities use torture.
5.)Morality is not measured by the actions of police and other authorities.
6.)Liberal democratic governments and security agencies haven"t begun to exhaust the political strategies short of the routine use of torture.
7.)There are other routes that someone can use to get another person to comply with them.
8.)After complying with the torturer the information obtained from the tortured person may not even be true.
9.)Positive duties entail us to commit certain acts while negative duties entail us to avoid certain acts.
10.)Torture, as a positive duty, infringes on the negative duty to avoid excessive harm.
11.)Negative duties are more important than positive duties.
12.)Just because the torturer protects the tortured person, it does not make torture okay.
13.)Therefore, it is not the case that some instances of torture are minimally morally justifiable.

The first premise concerning morality proved to be controversial. My opponent found that the definition of morality was subjective. I took that as morality itself was subjective, which led me to include the second premise. If morality proved to be subjective there would be no point in this debate, with this particular conclusion.

The definition of torture did not have to be debated, as it would be difficult to proceed with the debate had we had different definitions of torture. If the definitions were to differ the debate would have concerned what actually constituted, or made up, the act of torture.

I removed the premises concerning the goal of torture, which was compliance as opposed to just obtaining information. It didn"t seem to help prove that torture was not minimally, morally justifiable. It also seemed to muddle the debate for the same reason. The goal of torture was not being debated. The moral justification of it was.

I also removed the premise "torture is unlawful" because that was not what the debate really concerned. The legality was separate from the morality, which I was able to show in the 2nd round. By discussing torture from a legal standpoint I felt that I was providing contrast, which would help make my point. The point was that just because people in authoritative positions use torture that does not make it okay or morally justifiable.

I believe that Premises 6 and 7 make a cogent argument for the conclusion that it is not the case that some instances of torture are minimally, morally justifiable. There are definitely other routes like interrogation, which makes the premises true. These premises make the conclusion very likely which demonstrates their strength. Altogether constructing an equation for cogency.

The last 4 premises seemed to account for a good portion of the debate. I didn"t think the definitions of positive and negative duties would be so controversial, yet they proved to be. I didn"t mean for the premise concerning the tortured person giving false information to correspond with the premises concerning positive and negative duties. My opponent challenged that Premise 9 was too vague, but I feel it"s completely clear. It provides a definition so that the premises following it are clear, and so they in turn lead to the conclusion.

I feel that Premise 8 leads to the conclusion because it is hard to justify something that doesn"t even work, and that possibility exists in torture.

I added Premise 12, which concerns the protection of the tortured person. My opponent set out to prove that because the tortured person was protected it was okay or justified. This did not seem to be the case. I believe my argument was made stronger by the analogy that buying your boyfriend a gift after cheating made the cheating okay. Just because you do something admirable, for lack of a better word, doesn"t make what you did beforehand okay or justified.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
aliagag2rachel.zabelkaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: con proved that, even if torture can save innocents, it is immoral to break someone's will because morality is objective. Pro should have tried to show that thousands of innocents can be saved and that morality is subjective, especially when it comes to torturing bad people instead of torturing good people. Anyhow, con wins.
Vote Placed by Flipbook 2 years ago
Flipbook
aliagag2rachel.zabelkaTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Spelling and grammer, no sources, confusing as f##k, perfect conduct,