The Instigator
infam0us
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
trendem
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points

Unjustifiably negative resolutions are proper

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,694 times Debate No: 11438
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (5)

 

infam0us

Con

Proper: marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness [1]

Q1. What are UNJUSTIFIABLY negative resolutions?

I define unjustifiably negative resolutions as a resolution that would be clearer and more efficient minus the negative. For example, an atheist could start a debate called, "God exists" and then claim the con position. This is straight forward and easy to digest. The theist will be affirming the positive of "God exists" and the atheist will be negating it. On the other hand, a negative version of that would be, "God doesn't exist." This is where things get confusing. The pro side, which would be the atheist, would be affirming a negative statement while the con side would be pulling a double negative by negating the negative. Please do not bring in the syntax of other languages as this is reserved to English.

Q2. What are JUSTIFIABLY negative resolutions?

Justifiably negative resolutions aren't exactly negative. For example, "Pudding is bad." This is a contender for a just negative resolution because the pro would be arguing why pudding is bad and the con, instead of simply arguing the opposite (pudding is good), would be arguing as to why pudding ISN'T bad. This is where negative resolutions can be excused.

C1. Negative resolutions are more cumbersome to interpret than their positive counterparts. See Q1.

C2. Negative resolutions are less efficient than their positive counterparts. For example, I can take con side in a debate called, "God exists" rather than take pro in a debate called "God doesn't exists." The positive resolution is shorter and more fitting for the content of the debate, leading me to my next point...

C3. The content of negative resolutions can be skewed/are not clear. Like in my God example... what if someone were to argue as con, acting not as if God existed, but rather that he doesn't NOT exist? That would be the proper thing to do but this rarely happens.

Sources
1. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
trendem

Pro

I can win this using the very example of an "unjustifiably negative resolution" that Con gave:

If the atheist argues "God doesn't exist", then the opposite side could argue "It cannot be proven that God doesn't exist."

Nothing "improper" about it at all!

If you find the above resolution unfair, 'tacky' or annoying.... agnostics of the world unite! We shall crush this naysayer.

Vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 1
infam0us

Con

Pro: If the atheist argues "God doesn't exist", then the opposite side could argue "It cannot be proven that God doesn't exist." Nothing "improper" about it at all!

Sure, this is certainly possible and in this context it *appears* to be justified. However, his example given for the opposite side isn't even logically sound because it would be a clear example of the appeal to ignorance fallacy [1]. Going back to my definition of improper, the opposite side would still qualify as such.

Something worth considering is how people view debate resolutions. I cannot speak for everyone because as you know, we all think differently. Yet, when you think of a debate, you think of people arguing on two separate/opposite sides. What is the opposite of "God doesn't exist?" That's right, "God exists." This is how most people are going to view it and I think it would be equivocal to say otherwise. Your point can be argued for but I think it's only natural to assume the opposite of the resolution we're discussing would be as I have put it. I am not trying to say your point holds no merit, though. Feel free to keep arguing it or elaborate on your case as I will not drop it as long as you keep adding content.

Much of what I have labeled as improper can be eliminated by responsible instigators who specify what they are looking for the other side to argue. This can be unavoidable at times because we all know how complex and confusing certain resolutions can get. All of that stated, I stand by my initial point. Unjustifiably negative resolutions have still been upheld as improper and tacky.

Vote con.

Sources
1. http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
trendem

Pro

Note: I have abbreviated Unjustifiably tacky resolutions to UNR.

Haha, you have labeled a basic argument of agnosticism ("It cannot be proven that God doesn't exist") as an Appeal to Ignorance! But you're dead wrong.

The Appeal to Ignorance fallacy applies when you try to prove something by arguing that there is no evidence to the contrary. So, for example, arguing that "It cannot be proven that God does not exist, therefore God DOES exist" would be an Appeal to Ignorance. However, arguing that "It cannot be proven God does not exist, therefore the PRO side has failed to show that God does not exist, and since PRO has failed to fulfill his burden of proof, you must vote for me" is NOT an appeal to Ignorance. It appeals to Burden of Proof.

Moving on, I want to make this clear:
If the debate were "Do other people currently find UNRs tacky/confusing", I would not have taken the debate. This debate will be won depending on whether "THE READERS OF THIS DEBATE still find UNRs tacky and confusing AFTER they have finished reading my explanations".

Readers, there are 2 easy ways to find an opposing side to a UNR:
(a) Affix "It cannot be proven" or "It is not the case" to the resolution.
For eg., "god doesn't exist" becomes "it cannot be proven that god doesn't exist."

(b) Remove a negative from the UNR:
"God doesn't exist" becomes "god does exist".

At least one of the above two methods, when applied to most UNRs, yields an arguable opposing resolution.

It's simple when you think about it!

Sources:
Since some people actively deduct points for not citing sources, although I didn't need a source, I've added a google link to an irrelevant and irreverent "I'm going to grape you in the mouth" sketch:
http://www.google.co.in...=
Debate Round No. 2
infam0us

Con

The "basic argument of agnosticism" you've given is still fallacious and if anything is a reverse appeal to ignorance. With that logic, you can basically make the case for anything metaphysical. For example, I can't prove that there aren't invisible unicorns in my room. That's just ridiculous. Anyway, we got a bit off topic. This debate is about UNRs.

My opponent then explains how to find an opposing side to a UNR while totally ignoring 2/3s of what I said last round. If you remember what I said last round (and in my opening case), I stated that the instigator should specify his resolution if he feels it is unclear. Likewise, he should state what he is looking for the other side to argue. It shouldn't come down to the contender to decipher what someone is meaning in their resolution, it should be set by the instigator and then challenged by the contender. UNRs are still tacky and needlessly confusing.

Vote con.
trendem

Pro

trendem forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
Megan makes me so mad.
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
thank you for the vote and the detailed RFD, roy. much appreciated.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Speaking of the problem of figuring out what a debate is about, this debate sure has that problem. I think it comes down to what is meant by "proper." From what Con argued I think he was advocating "Double negatives should be avoided in resolutions whenever possible." I think Pro was responding, "Double negatives can be easily parsed." Pro could have made a stronger case by questioning the meaning of "proper." As it is, I think Con won the argument on the grounds that resolutions should be as easy to understand as possible, and avoiding multiple negatives does that.

The atheist/agnostic thing was a bad example by Con, but it wasn't particularly relevant and he recovered adequately.

Pro loses conduct for the forfeit. The rest is a tie.
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
wow megan, you should be banned. this v-bombing stuff is ridiculous.
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
no problem, thank you as well.
Posted by trendem 7 years ago
trendem
Sorry for the forfeit.

@ Voters:
Although I regret the forfeit, and had some arguments planned, I don't think I actually need to make new arguments. If you're going to vote on this, reread my arguments, and decide for yourself.

Also, infamous, thank you for the debate!
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
... and a forfeit. pro, i will re-post this debate with longer intervals to respond if you wish.
Posted by trendem 7 years ago
trendem
Edit: in my R2, I have abbreviated "Unjustifiably Negative Resolutions to UNR."
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
:/ looks like another forfeit is coming my way.
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
@Cody_Franklin - oh jeez, there's a reason it's called a debate. you're allowed to disagree or say why my argument wouldn't be valid. in this case, pro is allowed to respond/disagree to/with my labeling of just/unjust negative resolutions. i'm not some semantics trickster who is out to purposely play with heads.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
infam0ustrendemTied
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Vote Placed by belle 7 years ago
belle
infam0ustrendemTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
infam0ustrendemTied
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Vote Placed by MeganLoaskia 7 years ago
MeganLoaskia
infam0ustrendemTied
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Vote Placed by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
infam0ustrendemTied
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