The Instigator
truthseeker613
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ore_Ele
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

unfair advantage in debateing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,396 times Debate No: 17848
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (3)

 

truthseeker613

Pro

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.
Ore_Ele

Con

Since the reslution is "the instigator is at a disadvantage due to the fact that the contender has last word." This means that if it weren't for the contender having the last word, the instigator would not be at a disadvantage. I will argue that having the last word is only a minor advantage at best and that there are other advantages which make having the last word almost meaningless.

But, since I do have the last word, I do not wish to steal the first word from my opponent, and so I will let him go first.
Debate Round No. 1
truthseeker613

Pro

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.

http://www.debate.org.........
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".

http://www.debate.org.........
my opponent did not even debate much (instead just harped on definitions) till the final round after which I could not respond.

http://www.debate.org.......... see comments after debate where it is clear the damage of not having last word.

http://www.debate.org......... .
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 on my thread in the topic section, (how ironic, doubly ironic bec. of my prev. debate with him see above) 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.
Ore_Ele

Con

My opponent presents some interesting statistics. However, most of them don't really show anything towards what he is implying. Sure, the #1 debater, has her last 9 debates being contender and winning all 9. Her winning all those debates is the reason she's #1. One thing my opponent does not do, is show at all how it is having the last word that gives this advantage.

First, lets look at some more meaningful numbers.

Danielle is currently ranked #1 with 357 counted debates (not counting ties). Of those, shes only instigated 35, and been the contender in 322. One might say that, oddly enough, that seems to match right inline with her win rate. However, we should note that her record of debates that she started is 32 - 3 (91.43%), while her record of debates that she has accepted has been 291 - 31 (90.37%). As we can see, these two numbers are statistically identical.

If we move to #2 debate, Brian, we see that he has started 215 of his 276 debates. In the debates that he started, he is 116 - 99 (53.95%). And in the 61 debates that he accepted, rather than started, he is 43 - 61 (70.49%). Now with this, there is a statistical difference. But what this doesn't show us, is WHY there is a difference.

If we focus on Brian here, looking at the debates he started, we see that the average person that accepted his open challenges, has completed 50.7 debates (this is weighted by the fact that some people have debated him multiple times) while when he has accepted other's debates, they have only done (on average) 25.7 debates.

This shows clearly that when he issues a debate, he is more likely to face an experienced debater, than if he does the accepting. That will naturally weight the debates into his favor on being the contender.

In fact, let us look at all debates, rather than just Brian's. In fact, if we look, the average instigator has completed 28.00 debates (this is weighted by the number of times they create debates). This is actually down from and average of 29.52 debates back at the beginning of 2011. While the average contender has 47.06 completed debates (down from 49.56 at the start of 2011). This clearly shows that contenders have more experience than the instigators, on average.

So we have statistical reasons to explain why the instigator is at a disadvantage, contrary to the resolution, but let's also look at some logical reasons.

1) Last word is not important.

Having the last word is not that important because most readers have already decided who the winner is by the evidence presented in proceeding rounds. If you look through a significant number of debates, you'll see that the last round has less characters used, less arguments presented, and less sources offered. This is because most members understand that it is poor conduct to do any more than summarizing in the last round.

2) Contenders know what they are up aganst.

Contenders have an advantage by knowing who they are debating, and knowing (many times) what arguments they are going to be facing. By knowing these things, they can choose to accept if they believe they can win. The instigator does not have this benefit. They don't know who they are going to be debating and they don't know what arguments they will come across.

3) Instigators more likely to forfeit.

Instigators (because they are more likely to be inexperienced than contenders) have a higher rate of forfeit than contenders. This is often because they want a fast pased forum, not a fact rich, indepth debate. They often start a debate, wait a few hours for it to be accepted, and then have to wait a day or two for their opponent's first round. by then, their ADD has gotten the best of them and they've moved on.

All in all, I believe these show that there are other factors which play a much larger role in advantages and disadvantages, rather than having the last word, so that last word is not even close to "unfair".
Debate Round No. 2
truthseeker613

Pro

I thank my opponent for the best response to this topic yet, it will be difficult to mach his statistical abilities but I think I can prevail.

Apology:
I acknowledge that my links did not work I will include them in this round.

My understanding of my opponents points:

It seems to me that my opponents main point is that I have not shown that my reason is the reason for what my statistics show and he provides 1)alternative reasons and 2)reason why my reason isn't the reason:

1)the alternative reasons he mentions are a)forfeiture of instigators (2 points), and b)contender knows what he is up against

2) My reason is invalid because most people make up their mind before the last round.

I hope I have adequately understood and represented my opponent if I have not he should correct me in his next round.

Rebuttal:
1)alternative reasons:

a)forfeiture of instigator:

My opponent mentions the average instigator finishes 28 of all debates as opposed to contender finished 47. These numbers are hard to work with they tell us instigator is less likely to finish but do not tell us how much more likely they are to finish. If my opponent could show what % of all debates are forfeited and what % of those forfeitures were contender we would have what to work with hopefully he can come up with these vital #'s next round till then there is not much that these #'s show as far as I can tell.

My opponent also states in his reason section a reason. this reason doesn't resound strongly with me perhaps it is some what true but does not mach the tremendous gap in the nearly 2:1 difference in winnings of contender compared to instigator. Further more there are reasons that instigator should have higher winning rate such as having unlimited preparation/research time.

b)contender knows what he is up against:

I argue that:

a)This is not always true, the instigator will often purposely hid his argument and just state the resolution.

b)The gap of nearly 2:1 is to large to be attributed to these factors alone.

2)Why my reason isn't a reason:

He claims my reason is not a valid reason bec. most voters have decided before the last round. I hope this isn't true as that itself would be unfair. I furthermore question how many debaters would be willing to give up their last round bec. the voters already decided any way. lastly even if sometimes it happens it doesn't always happen.

He further points to the fact that the last round often has less then other rounds as evidence of his claim.
My response as follows:
b1)We don't have statistics on this. so we don't even know the extent to which it is true. My personal experience tells me it's not so prevalent to a large extent. Normally I would go with Ore_Ele as he has much more experience, but the fact that he has a bias here prevents me from doing so. I suppose the best solution is for the reader to make the best conclusion he can on this matter, as it is unclear.

b2)The most probable reason that it is shorter is bec. much of what there is to be said has already been said not bec. it is not important.

b3)The debaters may not utilize the last round bec. they themselves are unaware of it's affect in swaying the mind of readers.

I will stop here as it is unclear to me what my opponent is showing from the, shortness in the last round, before I continue discussing it I would like to have it clarified. Is he saying since it is short it doesn't matter or the fact that it is short shows that it doesn't matter.

Argument:
My argument can be broken up into 3 parts: (They should not be taken individually rather as a combined unit.)

1)Reason

2)statistical

3)actual case examples were the last word swayed the voters.

The links of part 3 were unfortunately broken in the previous round so I repeat them here.

The content of the debate is irrelevant to this debate what is relevant is the points I make regarding them.

http://www.debate.org...
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 lathem 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".

(http://www.debate.org...
my opponent did not even debate much (instead just harped on definitions) then in the final round after which I could not respond, he won.

http://www.debate.org...
see comments after debate where it is clear the damage of not having last word.)

http://www.debate.org...
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".

This combined with reasoning and statistics are the crux of my argument.
Ore_Ele

Con

This is starting to appear to just be a case of not being happy with how votes turned out. My opponent, for every example, has pointed to a debate the he lost, including another debate that he debated with me and lost. However, since I'm already in this, I will have to move on.

I will start by addressing my opponent's points, then each of his sources (previous debates).

Since my opponent uses "a)" and "b)" too frequently to use as address points, I'll simply quote.

"forfeiture of instigator"

My opponent states that we need more indepth stats for this, and I totally agree. However, I do not have easy access to those stats, since forfeited debates do not show in the debate section and I do not have the time to check every single debate manually. I will say that based from personal experience, this is actually often the case. While I can do no more than ask people to take my word for it, each person is free to use their own personal experiences.

"This reason doesn't resound strongly with me perhaps it is some what true but does not mach the tremendous gap in the nearly 2:1 difference in winnings of contender compared to instigator."

I'm not sure which of my reasons he is refering to, but he did not address properly my claim (so I assume this goes to that claim) that contenders are, on average, more experienced than the instigators, 47 to 28. This difference of experience would logically lead to a difference in debate score results. This is also compiled by the fact that people are more likely to gather more experience if they do better. Rarely do poor debaters stick around and rack up huge numbers of losses (though there are a few examples). Every single debater in the 99th percentile has greater than a 50% win ratio. In fact, of the 14 debaters that have more than 100 debates, 13 of them are over 50% win rate (and 10 are over 75% win rate).

My opponent has provided no logically reason as to why this difference of experience would not be a major factor in the difference of wins for the contender vs instigator.

"Contender knows what he is up against."

My opponent states that this is not always true. I agree, as I said in my last round, that they "many times" (as in, not every time) will know what arguments the instigator will throw out. Of course, they don't always know, but even if they only know 20% of the time, that is 20% more of the time than the instigator will know. And so that will also have an impact on the difference.

"We don't have statistics on this. so we don't even know the extent to which it is true. My personal experience tells me it's not so prevalent to a large extent. Normally I would go with Ore_Ele as he has much more experience, but the fact that he has a bias here prevents me from doing so. I suppose the best solution is for the reader to make the best conclusion he can on this matter, as it is unclear."

While we have no statistical measure for this, many voters will penalize people that add arguments in their last rounds as poor conduct (and dismiss any arguments made in that last round). Many cases, they even penalize debaters that bring things up in the second to last round, unless there was a reason that it was not brought up right away.

Now moving on to my opponent's individual cases...

http://www.debate.org...

My opponent says that people were swayed by me "having the last word" even though my entire last word was me quoting him, and providing a three line summary of the debate. What most likely swayed most people (as per their RFDs) was the fact that my opponent was making arguments in my favor.

http://www.debate.org...

In this debate, we see that it was actually Truthseeker that was "harping over definitions." He provided no definitions at all, and when his opponent provided them in his R1, Truth did not contend, but provided no argument. All in all, no real arguments were started until R4, basically dooming the debate at that point. Few debates actually have such an unorganized start so this debate can hardly be considered a standard example.

http://www.debate.org...

Truth conceeded the original resolution to his opponent, and tried to continue by changing definitions.

http://www.debate.org...

As said by Cliff in his RFD, "there were too many points brought up and just whitewashed more so than explored. However Pro had the BoP and his presentation was in the form of lt;dr so was very difficult to maintain the inertia necessary to retain the argument."

Spaming a huge number of arguments than collecting all the ones dropped and trying to claim victory is an abusive tactic designed to exploit the limited number of characters that we have. Cliff also clearly says that it was "tl;dr" meaning too long DIDN'T READ. It is hard to argue that people were swayed by the last word, when they say that they could barely read through your arguments.

Now that the statistics, reasoning, and individual cases have been addressed. I will pass this back to my opponent.

Thank you,
Debate Round No. 3
truthseeker613

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. And giving me quite a challenge.

Apology:

I apologize for using personal examples. I did not realize it was wrong. I will stop using them.

Rebuttal:

1)Instigator is more likely to forfeit:

It is unclear the prevalence of forfeitures and therefore as my opponent says it is up to the voter.

I will point out that what needs to be taken into account is the size of the gap between contender wins to that of instigator: 65.4%:34.6%. Can that be attributed to forfeitures alone?

2)Contenders are more experienced:

A strong point negating my statistics. It does over lap the previous point somewhat as more experienced debaters are less likely to forfeit compared to. Never the less it is a strong blow to my statistical evidence. I can only point out again the largeness of the gap to be filled. And that as I pointed out it is also reasonable logical that there would be a last word advantage for 3 reasons:
1) psychologically: These are the last words that the reader read and they are freshest in his mind.
2) Instigator cannot respond to inaccuracies made by contender in last round.
3) The contender had a chance to respond to all statements made by his opponent while the instigator has not.
It is therefore probable that the last word effect is at least partially responsible for the large gap.

3) Contender knows what he is up against:

This is another reason for the statistics. Ditto to the above.

Regarding my cases I will drop them as they seem to have been somewhat improper to include personal debates. I apologize profusely for including them.

summary:

I made a resolution that contender is at a disadvantage bec. The contender has the last word.

I used a 2 prong approach: 1)reason. 2)statistics.

1)Reason:

a) Psychologically: These are the last words that the reader read and they are freshest in his mind.

b) Instigator cannot respond to inaccuracies made by contender in last round.

c) The contender had a chance to respond to all statements made by his opponent while the instigator has not.
It is therefore probable that the last word effect is at least partially responsible for the large gap.

2) Statistics:

contender wins much more often than instigator: 65.4 to 34.6.

With regard to my the statistics Ore_Ele pretty much disenabled them from being used on their own but combined with my reasoning it is logical assume that the last word factor is contributing to that large gap.

With regard to my reasoning my opponent touched on it in round 2 I responded in round 3. And he seems to have dropped it in round 3. I have tried to ask him about this in the message box but have not yet gotten a response.

In case it is not considered dropped I will point out that it alone does not negate my reasons as it is not a total response as my opponent himself wrote in his argument in R3 the word "most" indicating not always.

To repeat those 3 reasons which are now the corner stone of my debate are as follows:

1) Psychologically: These are the last words that the reader read and they are freshest in his mind.

2) Instigator cannot respond to inaccuracies made by contender in last round.

3) The contender had a chance to respond to all statements made by his opponent while the instigator has not.

Thank you all, Vote pro.
Ore_Ele

Con

I would like to say that there is nothing wrong with presenting personal debates as evidence, it just seems a little odd that you presented ONLY personal debates (had you presented some personal with some non-personal, that would have been cool).

I would like to restate the resolution, and the way I saw it, I will use quotes as much as possible to avoid saying anything new.

"I am proposing that the instigator is at a disadvantage due to the fact that the contender has last word." - my opponent R1.

"This means that if it weren't for the contender having the last word, the instigator would not be at a disadvantage. I will argue that having the last word is only a minor advantage at best and that there are other advantages which make having the last word almost meaningless." - myself R1.

My opponent never objected to this, so there is no reason to not accept my interpretation (there's obviously no quotes on something not said, so I can't quote this).

I merely ask voters to vote based on the resolution and the way it was viewed and not challenged.

As such, I will say nothing more.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
I would love to get stats on forfeited rounds, to see who does it on average the most.

I know that I have quite a few myself, because of personal issues hitting while I was in debates, but I'm willing to bet that you'll see a similar ratio.
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
actually nevermind, his debate with me is now tied. :(
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
truthseeker took about 4 debates on this issue and lost them all lol.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
last round posted.
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
truthseeker613
please respond asap as I must leave soon.
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
truthseeker613
wats the storry with the reasoning aproch I couldnt find a responce in the pevious round?
Posted by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
Ore_Ele, after this debate, would you be interested in debating me on the same topic?
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Any time today would be fine, just avoid friday mornings for me.
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
truthseeker613
Sorry about the examples I have left them out in the final round. I apologize profusely. (I just was really annoyed about the injustice of losing the last one in particular, just bec., I was unorganized, and forced to argue multiple points that I had not intended originally to be argued. Sorry.)
I wanted to ask you where you addressed the "reason" segment of my argument in this round?
Also when is the best time to post? I am assuming today would be best.
Posted by truthseeker613 5 years ago
truthseeker613
yea, thanx I just realized. I'll have to redo them next round.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
truthseeker613Ore_EleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Don't use the and symbol, it cut off my RFD. Here it is. Spelling and grammar is obvious. Pro's figures where flawed (i.e. brian is not on the same par as Danielle, so trying to put it down to instigation (or the lack thereof) doesn't make much sense), while Con's weren't and adaquetly defended his position ( lack of experience was a telling point and forfeiture was also important)
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
truthseeker613Ore_EleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons counter was based on 3 main reasons which were all sustained. Con showed quite convincingly that the top ten debaters can attribute many other reasons for their win percentage other then the last word. Pros only response is that it doesn't mean everything. Pro also had no response to the fact that even if the affects of knowing what they are up against is minimal, it is still a contributor. And since it is left to the voters, instigators definitely forfeit more in my experience.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 5 years ago
Rockylightning
truthseeker613Ore_EleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a fail of a debate. Truthseeker had horrendous spelling and grammar. Not just looking at the title.