The Instigator
Valar_Dohaeris
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
Benshapiro
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points

Video games can actually be beneficial

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Valar_Dohaeris
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/6/2015 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 946 times Debate No: 67922
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (7)

 

Valar_Dohaeris

Pro

they can be
Benshapiro

Con

Let's do this. You assume the burden of proof by making the positive claim.

I know that you have a powerful rebuttal waiting even though your first round makes it appear as though you don't. You'll just appeal to logical possibility. I'd like to make this debate somewhat interesting rather than an automatic bait win (lol). There's an important stipulation in the resolution:

"Video games can *actually* be beneficial"

Actually: "1. as the truth or facts of a situation; really." -adverb
http://dictionary.reference.com...

My contention is that nothing can *actually* be beneficial unless mankind has an objective purpose. If human beings have no objective purpose, video games cannot *actually* be beneficial because whatever is beneficial would be entirely subjective and not representative of true or factual benefit. If I wanted to die early it would be beneficial for me to do things that harm my health.

The burden of proof rests on opponent so he must show that objective purpose for the human race is logically possible in order to show that video games can *actually* be beneficial.

I will argue that objective purpose for the human race is logically impossible and therefore videogames *cannot* actually be beneficial.
Debate Round No. 1
Valar_Dohaeris

Pro

Ignoring the semantics, My adversary is trying to twist the meaning of a word in order to garnish and advantage. He is also misinterpreting his own source. If you follow his own source, we would find that resolution in fact coverts too

Video games can truthfully/factually beneficial

This has nothing to do with objective purpose. For something to be beneficial it has to be advantageous or result in good ( http://dictionary.reference.com... ) . Something can result in good for someone without "humanity having an objective purpose"

R1) Redirecting the resolution

His entire premise is false and makes no sense. There are plenty of things that are beneficial to me and others without myself or them knowing if they have an objective purpose or not. Exercising and eating healthy, along with over various things clearly have positive impacts on my life and I don't have a damn blue what my true purpose in life is.


C1) Can

Can is defined as to be able too meaning that I do not have to prove an objective benefit. The only thing I have to do is show that it's possible there is a benefit from videos games. This is completely independent of whether or not we know our objective purpose. Again there are plenty of things I can gain or benefit from without knowing my objective purpose.

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

His criticisms to do actually link to my argument at all which make them invalid.


C2) Net benefits of video games

Video games on balance improve hand eye coordination, problem solving capabilities, learning , health, and even social skills ( http://www.apa.org... ). All these have a positive impact on someones life regardless or not whether they know their purpose objectively. Meaning all the aforementioned things help improve their quality of life , because it teaches them skills they can utilized throughout their life.


C)

The resolution is affirmed.


________________________________________________________________


Not to be regarded in this debate and for funsies

You can define your objective purpose, in regards to death. We all live to die. So the objective purpose is to improve our life until that point.




Benshapiro

Con

I want to note that my intuitions stated in round 1 were correct (*pats on the back*)

Semantics?


My opponent falsely accuses me of playing semantics.


"Semantics: the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.:"
http://dictionary.reference.com...;


I refer you to the full wording of the resolution:


"Video games can actually be beneficial"

The resolution was NOT

"Video games can be beneficial".



Since "actually"was used in the resolution itself, and since I
did not change the meaning of the word, I have not played semantics. This is particularly ironic since pro is attempting to use semantics himself to win the debate solely based on the usage of "can" to mean logical possibility! Remember that pro has the burden of proof. I will not accept any of it by shouldering his accusations. :P


Pro has the full burden of proof - I accept none of it


My opponent should have worded the resolution more carefully if he takes issue with the terms he used. It's also fairly obvious that this debate was meant to be an automatic bait win by resorting to logical possibility (as I said in R1 lol).


Remember that "actually" means "1. as the truth or facts of a situation; really."

Moving the Goalposts

My opponent says: "The only thing I have to do is show that it's possible there is a benefit from videos games. This is completely independent of whether or not we know our objective purpose. "

This is an example of moving the goalposts [1]. He is moving the goalposts by dropping a key stipulation ("actually beneficial") given in the resolution that lessens his burden of proof that gives him an intentional advantage.


What my opponent must show (per the resolution and given his burden of proof) is that there is actually (really, truthfully, or factually) a benefit from playing video games.

There cannot be an actual, truthful, or factual benefit for any person unless mankind has an objective purpose. If I value poor eyesight, deficient problem solving, ignorance, sickness, and a lack of social skills then video games are not actually beneficial to me. My values, purpose, and destiny in life is entirely subjective. If there can be an actual, factual, or truthful benefit to playing video games this is logically impossible unless I have an objective purpose. Otherwise my subjective values and purpose decide whatever is beneficial towards the end I want to achieve.

I have shown that valuing health, mental capabilities, and social skills are entirely subjective! Playing video games cannot *actually* or *factually* be beneficial. Human beings are means without ends if humanity doesn't have any objective purpose.

In short, my opponent cannot uphold his burden of proof because he cannot show that video games can have any actual benefit without showing that humanity can have objective purpose. Thus far he has not even attempted this.

The resolution is negated.

Over to pro.





http://en.wikipedia.org...;[1]
Debate Round No. 2
Valar_Dohaeris

Pro

My opponent drops the analysis I provide at the very top of my Round 2. Extend where I"m talking about how by his own definition his objective reality argument makes no sense. If we take the definition of actually that he provides and plug it into the resolution, the resolution changes from "Video games can actually be beneficial" to "Video games can truthfully/factually be beneficial". At the very worst, this means that I have to show some sort of empirical evidence (i.e. factually) as to the benefits of playing video games. Showing statistics is sufficient to meet his absurd standard because:

First, fact means "something that actually exists; reality; truth".(1) Since empirics show us what actually is within the real world, it"s a display of something that actually exists. This is sufficient to meet his standard of factually beneficial.

Second, true means "being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact; not false".(2) Empirics are sufficient to meet this because they show you exactly what"s happening within the real world, i.e. reality.

But even if you don"t buy my analysis here, he"s not actually showing you that an objective reality doesn"t exist. His only argument for objective reality not being true is that our values as human beings vary and are subjective. This argument doesn"t make sense, though, because:

First, he denies the possibility of being wrong. He"s making the assumption that if as a five year old I value being a dinosaur and eating my little sister"s barbie dolls that being a dinosaur, then my true subjective purpose is to be a dinosaur and eat my little sister"s barbie dolls. Rather, our subjective values and beliefs are always capable of being wrong. Just because I subjectively believe that two plus two equals five, that doesn"t mean that two plus two suddenly equals five; it means I need to go and re-take first grade mathematics.

Second, he"s making the assumption of absense of evidence means evidence of absense, which is an entirely fallacious logical step to make. Even if we aren"t aware of our objective purpose in life, that doesn"t mean that there isn"t an objective purpose in life. It comes down to him making the claim that it doesn"t exist to prove it, otherwise we ignore literally all of this pointless debate and go back to the actual resolution at hand.

And, on the shifting the goalposts argument:

First, this is entirely reliant on his objective reality argument, so since I"m winning that his logic here doesn"t make sense.

Second, I"m not shifting any goalposts since I"m factually proving that video games can provide benefits through the use of empirical studies that factually show benefits coming from playing video games. This is me hitting the goalpost square on, not shifting it.

And, at the end of the day, if you"re still in question about who"s best showing reality, you"re still presuming pro here because I"m making the best attempt at showing what"s objective within reality through using empirics, compared to my opponent"s own (as he claims) subjective ramblings, which means I"m the one who"s most likely consistent with the reality of things.

This means that you can extend out the study I provided last round as to the benefits of playing video games, which is that it leads to increased hand-eye coordination, problem solving ability, learning, health, and social skills. This is literally the only weighable impact in the round, which means it"s the only piece of offense that you as a judge can vote off of, and it flows aff.

To conclude, ignore the semantics, vote off of literally the only piece of resolutional evidence provided and vote pro.

Sources:

- http://tinyurl.com...
- http://tinyurl.com...
Benshapiro

Con

The burden of proof is entirely on my opponent to uphold the resolution. If he can't do this without reasonable doubt, the debate goes to me.

My opponent still wants you to believe that I'm playing semantics. I'll refer back to the resolution.

Full resolution: "Video games can actually be beneficial"


Actually: ""1. as the truth or facts of a situation; really.""

My opponent points out that this can be converted to "Video games can truthfully/factually be beneficial"


My argument is that nothing can be truthfully or factually beneficial unless humanity has objective purpose. If humanity cannot be shown to have objective purpose as a logical possibility, whatever is "beneficial" is entirely subjective and cannot be predicated on actuality, truth, or facts. Therefore it's logically impossible to assert that video games can actually (really, truthfully, factually) be beneficial if there is no such thing as actual, true, or factual benefit.

"First, fact means "something that actually exists; reality; truth".(1) Since empirics show us what actually is within the real world, it"s a display of something that actually exists. This is sufficient to meet his standard of factually beneficial."

That's the problem - it is logically impossible for something to have factual benefit if there really isn't such a thing. If humanity exists for no reason, nothing could be actually, truly, or factually beneficial for a human to play video games. What can truly or factually benefit something that exists for no reason and for no purpose?

Second, true means "being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact; not false".(2) Empirics are sufficient to meet this because they show you exactly what"s happening within the real world, i.e. reality.

Nothing could empirically prove that video games can have actual benefit if the data is meaningless (shows it to be factually beneficial to what end?)

My opponent says that "our subjective values and beliefs are always capable of being wrong" and " Even if we aren"t aware of our objective purpose in life, that doesn"t mean that there isn"t an objective purpose in life.

First, subjective values and beliefs cannot actually be wrong if all values and beliefs are subjective. In order to show that subjective values and beliefs are actually wrong, there must be an objective standard to measure the wrongness of this against. Second, I argued that my opponent must show that humanity having objective purpose is logically possible in order to show that video games can *actually* be beneficial. I stated this in R1: "The burden of proof rests on opponent so he must show that objective purpose for the human race is logically possible in order to show that video games can *actually* be beneficial."

Moving the Goalposts

My opponent says that the acceptance of my rebuttal depends on whether or not you buy the argument that humanity has objective purpose. This is false because in order for video games to *even possibly* have actual, true, or factual benefit, something factually, truly, or actually beneficial must exist. If humanity exists for no reason (has no objective purpose) the possibility of actual, true, or factual benefit is logically impossible.

My opponent cannot show objectivity using empirical data - this just shows consensus.



If humanity exists for no reason (has no objective purpose) the possibility of actual, true, or factual benefit is logically impossible. The full resolution states: "Video games can actually be beneficial". Thus, this is what my opponent had to uphold with his burden of proof. Since he has not given any argument for logical possibility of humans having objective purpose, his resolution cannot be upheld. Since he has not met his BoP, the debate goes to me by default.

Vote con!

:P
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
A neutral party contacted me about potential flaws to my RFD. I've reread the debate, and filtered it through MS word for S&G errors.

First of all I do firmly consider the resolution to be a truism. Beneficial is defined as "producing good or helpful results or effects." Any harm shown, would have zero relevance on the resolution (at least to me, who as I said, is a gamer thus biased in pro's favor). Tiny benefit at the cost of massive harm, would still be producing some good. Even aggressive cancer technically can be beneficial. Can relates to even the slimiest of possibilities.

Pro himself admitted the relevance problem, when he declared "His criticisms to do actually link to my argument at all which make them invalid." Nothing con could do, would have any impact on the truism. If I'm misreading this, please explain exactly how con who argued first, was supposed to have an argument which lined up to pros?

However I knew when I cast my vote, that con would lose, hands down, too many people like video games. It's more a matter that con gets credit for putting the hard work in, of dismantling a debate that was intended as both a truism, and using intentionally bad S&G in R1 a trap debate.

As already stated, were pro to have treated this as more than a free win, such as using more than a single source in his favor (I consider dictionaries neutral, and one lone source never enough to claim the points), my vote would go to his side. As stated in my RFD, the mere 2 points from sources would have been enough for pro to have earned by vote, which means arguments are close enough to tied that neither gets those 3 points. Were pro to not insist on all or nothing voting, my vote would likely be 0/1; sources would easily tip that to pro (had he used enough of them to claim it).
Posted by Benshapiro 2 years ago
Benshapiro
I disagree with basically everything you said but I respect your opinion and I'll stop debating in the comments.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
That's not true at all... If there is no status quo, both sides must prove their side is right. If your side hasn't been established yet, you must establish it. You can't claim you don't have the job of establishing it. If it's not generally accepted, why would I accept it by default?

"Can actually be" is no different here then "can be"... The term "actually" here is defined contextually as being opposite of what is expected... Another way of phrasing it: Despite misconceptions, video games can be beneficial. It's a descriptive term that doesn't change the sentence's meaning.

The key here is the word "Can"... That word opposes your definition, as it implies 'depending on the situation'... They can be, not that they always are... They can be beneficial, despite common misconception. Your definition is based on the implication of objective fact, as in "always"... It's have to say "are" instead of "can ... be" as the latter implies somethings, while your definition implies always. So the obvious definition of "actually" is the one that's appropriate in that context.

Semantics might work if I were to accept the idea that a truism should be accepted at all... But when you sign up to debate against a truism, you agree to that truism. It's best to just not accept the debate. And I don't find "can" here to be a truism. It has to be nearly scientific fact for you to claim it's truism, but this resolution isn't accepted fact, yet. And you conceded this by saying there was no status quo yet.

When discussing benefits, truisms are hard to find, because you can show objective harms that negate benefits. Here, you could argue "waste of time", "Cost compared to alternatives" and even "Anti-social behavior" as well as "Addictive" and "Lazy (keeps children in doors and makes them fatter or unhealthy)"... Also, that last one, "unhealthy"... By showing a net negative, you negate his benefits. Arguing benefits is rarely ever truism because everything has negatives.
Posted by Benshapiro 2 years ago
Benshapiro
If there's no established status quo then the one making the positive claim accepts the burden of proof. Pro didn't seem to take issue with this when I said multiple times throughout the debate that he fully accepts the BoP.

"Video games can actually be beneficial" is not the same thing as "video games can be beneficial".

"Actually" can only be a descriptor of beneficial in this instance.

I understand your frustration when you made the RFD (I think video games have benefits too) but i feel like arguing over definitions should be expected when the debate attempts to win by appealing to logical possibility. "Can" is actually a play on semantics to mean logical possibility.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
Because neither of the sides are proven. Therefore both sides must be proven by their debaters.. If anything, all the benefits Pro listed are typically accepted as factual and his side is more status quo then yours, so sharing BOP is a generosity here.

Also, your play on the words are similar to this case I made up here:
Resolution: Apples taste like Oranges.
The opponent tries to define "like" with this definition: "to enjoy (something) : to get pleasure from (something)"

That definition can not fit because it doesn't meet contextual clues. To define a word in the resolution, or anywhere, that definition must first fit into the context, or I can't accept it when judging. Your definition would work if the resolution were: "Video Game are actually beneficial."
The resolution says "can actually be" which is translated the same as "can be..."

Also. I should give a formal apology for the anger I let spill into the RFD.
Posted by Benshapiro 2 years ago
Benshapiro
Donald why would the BoP be shared? The whole debate revolved around around pro having it. I don't consider a key term used in the resolution as playing semantics. If anything this debate was just attempting to win by appealing to logical possibility. Lol. Thanks for the vote though.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
Holy crap I had to write a multiple post RFD for this....

RFD:
Note for Con: Both sides have BOP here. And right away, Con's conduct loses him points.

I find Con's definition to be a loss on his behalf. I don't vote favorably to semantics. I normally make sure this is brought up first by the opponent, but I must judge this debate by what the Resolution is. Con's definition of "actually" doesn't fit the context. It's a classic case of using a blatantly wrong definition. I can not accept Con's definition because the context clues immediately negate his definition. The context blatant disagrees with his definition and that makes his definition wrong to a degree that I can't ignore when interpreting the resolution. If this was a 7-point open voting system, Con would use conduct.

To make this worse for Con, Pro actually does end up pointing out the obvious flaw here. Con's translation of the word doesn't fit it's context to a degree that I must ignore it, least I make a corrupt vote based on a fake resolution... If the Resolution were "are actually beneficial", con's definition would have matched the resolution. And I would still not accept it. Semantics are fallacies. To accept a fallacy as an argument would be wrong.
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
RFD Cont:

Con then shows benefits to Videos games... This affirms the resolution, so I must see if Pro can refute these benefits.

What I end up finding is Pro using another blatant use of semantics. I mean HOLY SHlT. This was unbelievable. I try to be nice to debaters when judging, but this was... Wow... Pro. YOU do not define Semantics for us. Con said Pro used semantics, and so Pro brings in his own definition of semantics so it sounds good. Pro tried to shift the goalposts and then accused Con of it when Con was sticking to the contextual definition of the resolution?

By the hand, are Con did was play with words to win, and lost. Con make NO arguments relating to the resolution, but instead argued against a fake version of the resolution he tried passing off as true, and even defended his semantics using a play on the word "semantic"... Con lost by Round 1. His loss was intrinsic in the very nature of his argument.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
---RFD---
I'm a gamer, so biased in pro's favor. Also the resolution is a truism https://docs.google.com...
R1: Pro wasted no time in getting a favorable setup, reminding us the resolution is actually "Video games can [as the truth or facts of a situation; really] be beneficial" while I don't care for the humanity as a whole line of reasoning, pro ended up choosing to accept this definition.

R2: "His criticisms to do actually link to my argument at all which make them invalid." Up until this point I was leaning more in pro's favor, but what arguments were those to be linked to?

R3: "My opponent drops the analysis I provide at the very top of my Round 2" BS, it was stated "Ignoring the semantics, My adversary is trying to twist the meaning of a word" which BTW is the definition of semantics, which con did address.

"Second, he"s making the assumption of absense of evidence means evidence of absense, which is an entirely fallacious logical step to make." Very weak Appeal to Ignorance and moving the goalpost. http://rationalwiki.org...

Running low of space, and I do not need to make this a multi-post one...
Regarding the source, may and can are two different things (even if similar). Had more evidence been piled on, this would be an easy pro win, but pro was so confident in a free win he forgot to properly back up his case. 15 seconds was all it took for me to find this single article that had pro used it, he would have shifted the debate in his favor: http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

To my definition of BoP both people met it, that's why there are so many quotes above, since they did a good enough job I had to weight their cases for and against the resolution.

NOTES: Please remember to use spell check, even if in a hurry. Also sources at the end of a round should be numbered.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
I would prefer not to vote. But if it's unvoted on at the end of the voting period/is tied, let me know.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: I laughed out loud when I read Ben's arguments. Of course as an existential nihilist, I am going to be sympathetic to Ben. But I think Ben won objectively as well, since Valar never squarely addressed the notion that benefit is subjective without objective purpose, and thus his position is undermined. Ben defended this part well enough. Also Ben argued Valar was arguing for logical possibility, and not epistemological possibility. No defence was given by Peo against this, thus he concedes this part as well, which means his arguments for epistemological possibility are simply invalid. Better rhetoric from Pro, cleaner arguments from Con. Thanks for the laugh!
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I wouldn't call out Con for semantics: I'd call him out for actively altering the resolution to suit his purposes. He's taking the adjective actual and applying it to a nonexistent object. If the resolution said "Video games provide actual benefit to existence" then he would be correct, but Pro didn't stipulate that the object was existence. He stipulated that it was humans. Humans can be subjectively important to some facet of existence and still objectively benefit. Con could have argued that any benefit is inherently subjective, as it cannot apply to all humans and may be assessed differently based on separate conditions, and therefore no actual benefit exists. He could have just refused to take the debate if he felt it was an automatic win - no one forced him to join. He can't argue unfairness and then redefine the resolution so unreasonably. Hence, I vote Pro.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: The only evidence I saw pertaining to the actual resolution was given by Pro, and done so empirically. Con simply argued semantics against the resolution itself, not necessarily Pro's specific evidence. Con needed to show that games are not actually beneficial, and instead of giving evidence - he argued over the nature of the term *actually* and went on to argue that since humans have no objective purpose, they can't have actual benefits. When I'm presented with evidence that the abilities of humans gain from video games, it's hard to accept Con's arguments. The evidence was given directly to me that shows otherwise. Due to his semantics-heavy arguments which didn't really challenge the evidence given by Pro directly, Pro wins.
Vote Placed by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Semantics are a sin.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: cons arguments were fully semantical in nature. Pro provided empirical proof that games can benefit people on *net*. And cons argument really didn't apply... It doesn't matter if life has no meaning, things can still be good.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
Krazzy_Player
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not upheld the BOP whereas Con clearly showed that how video games cannot be beneficial unless there is a valid purpose.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Valar_DohaerisBenshapiro
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments... also from the guide: "As a debater, never start a debate in favor of a truism. It?s a cheap tactic, which is highly frowned upon. You may however start a debate against a truism (e.g. Australia doesn?t exist). As a voter, grade the strength and relevance of arguments presented. Often the person in favor of a truism will not support it with evidence, whereas the person opposed will (even if that evidence is from semantics or generally trollish). Conduct is unaffected by lameness of resolutions." In this case more of not enough evidence, when it was challenged for precision.