the instigator always has a disadvantage against contender
Debate Rounds (3)
I'd like to propose the following definitions:
Instigator - the person who starts the debate.
Always - in all situations.
Disadvantage - A situation in which the chance of winning is unfavourable to the instigator, i.e. the chance of winning is uneven after removing differences in debating prowess, strength of the arguments, spelling and grammar, and other aspects on which the arguments are judged
Contender - the person who accepts the debate.
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Even in this debate I have a disadvantage.
All contenders post their final argument that breaks through the instigator's reasons. But from the perspective of the instigator, even their final argument can be refuted.
Contenders often ask voters to discount the comments section from the debate, so instigator is always at a big loss, for there can't be no perfect argument unless the resolution was not a debatable topic
It appears that a bug in DDO's system is causing us to jump straight to the third round, skipping the second. I don't know what will happen after this - perhaps our third round's arguments will appear as the second - but if this doesn't happen, I hope we can continue in the comments section to ensure this is a fair debate.
C1: The instigator decides the resolution
As the instigator can decide the topic, they can easily create debate topics in their favour. This can be done in many ways. For example, if I put adverbs like 'never' and 'always' in the resolution and take the Con side, it will be easy for me to win since I only have to point out one exception to negate the resolution. When the topic is 'Clothings never make the man', for example, I can easily point out that uniforms can tell us someone's profession.
One can even twist the resolution to ensure that certain arguments cannot be used. Even a slight change in the topic can limit the number of arguments which the opponent can put forward. For example, let's use the seat belt law. If the motion is 'The seat belt law should be repealed' (instigator takes Pro), then Pro can use arguments such as 'The government should not infringe on the liberties of its citizens'. However, once I alter that slightly to 'The seat belt law can prevent deaths' (instigator takes Pro), this argument can no longer be used. In addition, even if statistics show that the seat belt law only slightly reduces deaths and has very limited effectiveness, Pro can easily refute that by saying 'preventing one or two deaths is still preventing'. Thus the resolution is easily supported by Pro. A contender who is inexperienced in reading resolutions will not likely be aware of such 'traps'. This puts the instigator at an advantage.
To further elaborate, I will give the example of fat tax imposed on food. There are many arguments against it. For example, many have made the following arguments: fat tax is regressive, and will aggravate income inequality; what people eat are personal decisions, and the government should not interfere; fat tax will encourage cross-border shopping, and so on. Those common arguments would be 'blocked' if the resolution were written as 'Fat tax can reduce the purchase of targeted foods': The first two arguments are completely irrelevant, and the final argument is also invalid since food across the border is not targeted.
Sometimes, the resolution can also limit the angle at which to look at an issue. For example, let's say the topic is 'Premarital sex is immoral'. There would be many possible arguments from Pro and Con. However, let's imagine the instigator, who is Con, adds in the first round that the full resolution is: 'Premarital sex is immoral from a utilitarian perspective'. That would be far harder for Con to argue, since this resolution is much easier to disprove from deontology, from virtue ethics, from role ethics, from religion and so on.
C2: The instigator sets the rules and settings of the debate
Another point is that the instigator can set other settings and rules. For example, if an instigator is far more skilled that the average person at writing in a concise way, he or she can set a lower character limit. The contender is thus put at a disadvantage. If an instigator happens to have a lot of free time, he or she can set the time for debating at below 24 hours so that an unsuspecting contender can accidentally accept it and end up forfeiting. Some may even slip in unreasonable rules that do not apply to themselves, and are extremely easy to break. (1)
C3: The ELO system puts the contender at a 25-point disadvantage
The ELO system actually puts instigators at a 25-point advantage and contenders at a 25-point disadvantage. This is to prevent users from the practice of noob sniping, or accepting debates from new members just to win and gain ELO. (2)
R1: All contenders post their final argument that breaks through the instigator's reasons
That is not true. In many debates, the debate structure dictates that the contender should post opening arguments in the first rounds, and forfeit the last. This rule is set by the instigator to ensure that the instigator has the final round. An example is (3).
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both sides maintained reasonable conduct in this debate. | S&G - Con. "Instigator always has a disadvantage in debating as in the last round there is always a strong but refutable argument, and most contenders just ask to count the comments section out of the debate." ~ an article is missed out. Pro frequently misses the article "the". Thus, S&G to Con, who maintained impeccable grammar. | Arguments - Con. Pro's sole contention was the commonly known Contender Advantage, wherein the Contender gains the final word, whereas Con showed that it could be overriden in some debate settings and the instigator has 3 additional advantages. Thus, arguments to Con. | Sources - Tie. Pro did not use sources and Con's sources were DDO links, which are not always reliable. | 4 points to Con. | As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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