The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

flaw in debateing system

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,376 times Debate No: 17849
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)




This debate is somewhat paradoxical, as I am proposing that the instigator is at a disadvantage due to the fact that the contender has last word. Despite this handicap I hope to have an enlightening debate.


I accept this debate.

It will be my primary contention that the instigator does not have an imbalanced disadvantage due to the contender having the last word.

To ensure that we both have equal arguement time, I will allow my opponent to make his opening statement in round two, then make my opening statement and rebuttal in my round two, then we shall both close our arguments in round three.
Debate Round No. 1


The imbalance has nothing to do with amount of time or any of those things it has to with the seemingly inevitable fact that some one (the contender)has last word. If we both close in round 3 you will still have last word.

To clarify, I am saying that there is an imbalance in the debate system as the contender has last word these are the words most fresh in the voter (and any readers) mind at the conclusion of reading the debate. In addition the instigator cannot respond to what was last said. the instigator may have a very good rebuttal or the contender may have made a mistake or inaccuracy and the instigator is powerless to respond to the contenders statement. This puts the instigator at a disadvantage.
Now for some numbers and facts, showing the "last word" advantage, I will present some interesting facts figures and observations based on what ddo calls "the top 10 debaters".

The "top" debater on ddo (i.e. most experienced ddo debater): In the past 9 debates has been contender every time winning 9 0ut of 9 that means in her past 9 debates she choose contender every time and won every time.
To contrast the debater in 2nd place bravely chooses the opposite side as instigator in 9 0f the past 9 debates. The results show, bec. of this (or I should say in spite of it) he has a winning percentile of 58% significantly lower than the 1st debater who has a winning percent of over 90. The difference in style are reflected in the win %.

#3: an impressive 94% win rate, 4 out of the past 5 debates was contender.

#4: a moderate 80% and likewise has been contender 3 of last 5.

#5: (in my opinion the best debater on ddo) has an impressive 94% win rate and 4 of past 5 he was contender.

#6: similar to #4.

#7: 88.4% contender 4 of 5.

#8: similar to #2, 53% win rate and majority of past 5 have been instigator.

#9: 88.9%, majority contender.

finally, #10, like #4 and #6.

wow. Even I didn't expect the #'s to match my theory so well but they clearly do. There is a clear correlation between these debating styles and their win %. I know this isn't the most perfect data proof but hey, I'm just starting. I shall attempt to compute more sound statistical proof.

I might add the impetus for this craze/ crusade of mine. losing the past 5 debates I instigated which I think I should have won. They further shows the detrimental effects of not being able to respond

Here are some personal experiences, the content of the debate is irrelevant to this debate what is relevant is the points I make regarding them.
I am focusing on the better argument section. note those who voted in my favor where 2 of the senior, well known and well respected debaters on ddo,
cliff. stamp and Roy lanthem who is one of the best debaters on this site. both of them voted in my favor and gave detailed reasons for doing so. Despite this I lost the debate bec. some kids couldn't keep the entirety of the debate in their mind and where swayed by "the last word".
my opponent did not even debate much (instead just harped on definitions) till the final round after which I could not respond. see comments after debate where it is clear the damage of not having last word. .
Note in round 4 my entire last argument was completely dropped. Not a word. I pointed this out in the debate itself in round 5. yet none of the voters realized this glaring drop. The only plausible explanation is they forgot and were swayed by the power of "the last word".

enough examples I'll get back to the states then turn it over to my opponent for now:

in analysis of the section of debates entitled "recently ended":
of the 19 debates that were voted on, in a whopping 15 of them contender was winning.
or looking at the score discrepancy instigator totaled 50 while contender totaled 181.
I find these #'s quite significant.

I would continue with states but I think the following quote from Ore_Ele, is all I need:
"Historically, the Contender wins 65.4% of all debates. Given that this applies to 12,500 debates, that is hard to say that there is no correlation. We also see this trend leaning more and more towards the Contender, with the last 5,000 debates favoring them 68.9%."

The #'s speak for themselves. vote pro.


I would like to thank my opponent for issuing this debate, and appreciate the time and energy that went into researching it.

That being said, my opponent has committed a simple mistake. This mistake is often called the "Correlation vs Causation" fallacy. In this fallacy, a person assumes that a strong correlation implies causation, however this is not always the case.

Consider the following examples:

In the Summer, Crime rates increase. Also in the summer, Ice Cream Sales increase. According to my opponent's logic, Crime causes Ice Cream Sales.

In my bedroom, I have a old cell phone that does not work. Not once has a tiger entered my bedroom, nor have I ever encountered a tiger while carrying that phone. Therefore, that phone repells tigers.

100% of people who read, also die. Therefore, reading causes death.

These are all examples of a misunderstanding between correlation and causation. Simply put, my opponent has not proven a reasonable causation relationship, there are several other factors that may play into the victory of the contenders. In addition, my opponent has only sampled a very small portion of the sight to draw this conclusion. What is the relationship between a person being Pro vs Con in this victory statistic? How does a Con Instigator stack up against a Con Contender... or a Pro Instigator vs a Pro Contender? In order to prove causation, all of these factors must be taken into account, and frankly my opponent has not done so.

Now, let us look at the reason my opponent gives for why the Instigator is at a disadvantage. He claims that not having the last word in a debate is a near insermountable obstacle toward victory. While I do not disagree that this advantage is significant, I intend to show that the Instigator posesses a competing advantage that is not only equally as powerful, but in fact is much more powerful.

That is the power of the first word. While, the last word is significant, having the first word in a debate is much more influential. Here is a list of the benefits of posting first in a debate

A) Deciding who is pro or con - Anyone who knows how debates function know that Pro holds a greater burden of proof than con, so the instigator is able to decide simply by picking their side where the burden of proof lies
B) Assigning burden of proof - There are several instances where a debate has shared burden of proof, posting first gives the instigator the ability to assign burden of proof.
C) Definitions - It has been said that "he who defines the debate, wins the debate." The Instigator is the first person to provide definitions for key terms, and unless the definitions provided are blatenly false, the Contender has an uphill battle to get those definitions overturned
D) Structure - My opponent claims that the Contender can introduce a new argument, or rebuttle tactic in the final round. However, as the instigator the structure of the debate can be determined to defend against this. There are several instances on this site where the phrase "No new arguments in the final round" have been used, and if this is disobeyed without a substantiated reason the Contender often loses on the basis of conduct.
E) The Rules - The Instigator has complete control over every aspect of the debate rules. He defines the character limit, the time limit, and even the relative rank of persons who can accept the debate.

I believe that this list of advantages easily outweights the disadvantage of not having the last word, but for now I pass this debate back to my opponent for his rebuttal and closing argument.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize for my links in the previous round that did not work It may be unfair to include them now. never the less my case stands strong without it.
Anyone interested can view them on other debates of mine.

My opponent has severely misrepresented my claim using the words "is a near insermountable obstacle toward victory".
(I consider this not merely a mistake but Prof that I am correct).

My main statistic is the one provided by Ore_Ele:
"Historically, the Contender wins 65.4% of all debates. Given that this applies to 12,500 debates, that is hard to say that there is no correlation. We also see this trend leaning more and more towards the Contender, with the last 5,000 debates favoring them 68.9%."

My opponent does not challenge this stat, nor does he challenge that my reason is a significant one. Rather he challenges the connection.
I see this as a contradiction in logic 101, if he agrees that my reason does have weight and that the #'s imply that instigator loses more often. It stands to reason that it is (at least partially) due to this "significant advantage".

Furthermore My opponent goes on to provide a list of reasons why the 1st has an advantage. I would like to point out that these points are meaningless since at the end of the day the #'s clearly show a large (nearly double) difference in the winning rates of contender to instigator.

Furthermore my opponents reasons really provide evidence for me that despite all these factors there is still such a gap (65.4% to 34.6%) in favor of contender, show that there must be (a) very strong factor(s) in favor of the contender. It is beyond doubt that this is (at least partially) due to the last word factor.

I thank my opponent for the debate.


I am posting this from my phone, as I am on vacation and do not have access to a computer. please forgive my lack I'd formatting and my brevity. My opponent has still note overcome their confusion between causation and correlation. He cites statistical information given by a user on the site. However, while these statistics may or may not be accurate, the are insufficient to provide causation. For example, what impact does being pro have in victory rate. The instigator is often also pro, and since pro carries burden if proof, this may be the actual reason for the higher victory rate. The simple fact is that we do not know what the cause is, and to assert that it is sure to being the instigator is a Hartley conclusion that has not been proven by my opponent. since this fallacious conclusion is the crux of my opponent's argument, and he had failed to prove it, I urge you to vote con inthis debate. thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
I like truthseeker posted the same argument for several debates. Let's see his response...
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
I errored in my link they were copyed and pasted I will repeat them in next round.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Reformed says..."In my bedroom, I have a old cell phone that does not work. Not once has a tiger entered my bedroom, nor have I ever encountered a tiger while carrying that phone. Therefore, that phone repells tigers."
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Oops, I meant, how could I vote (and give all seven points) for Reformed Arsenal, not 000ike. I forgot that 000ike wasn't debating truthseeker on this debate.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
"If any one wants to chalenge me I'm open."
I will probably do so, but I'll let you finish your debates here.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
"1 misspelled word should not cost the points. You shouldn't vote people down that easily."
I meant point, not points. How could I vote entirely for you, 00ike, if the debate hasn't even started?
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
First of all, it's only one point for spelling and grammar. I will still vote based on whose argumentation is better. Don't presuppose that I am already biased to vote-bomb, truthseeker.

And second, I wrote points. It's technically not a spelling mistake [since 'points' is obviously the plural form of the word 'point']. However, I didn't really remember that spelling and grammar costs only one point when I wrote the comment.
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
hey, note that "man is good" misspelled the word point. spelling thank god only counts for 1 point.
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
yea I probably will lose spelling I often do. not a strong point of mine I don't find it so important. one of these days I'd like to debate the topic of awarding points for spelling. If any one wants to chalenge me I'm open.
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
1 misspelled word should not cost the points. You shouldn't vote people down that easily.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate was poorly-done and weakly-established....Truthseeker613, like ReformedArsenal noted, failed to note the difference between causation and correlation in his presentation of statistics and also charged Reformed for misrepresenting his words and also making a snide comment about his theory being in 'logic 101'....Thus, he loses points for conduct and argumentation (since he never fulfilled his burden of proof). He also loses points for spelling.