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Position/Responsibility of Con

Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/20/2011 9:07:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
This is a question on voting, it is a stance I am seeing more of recently. Now keep in mind this is obviously a light hearted debate but the point is still relevant :

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

My question is in regard to this :

"I believe Taco Bell is better because it has more variety than dell taco. The drive thru line takes forever at dell taco."

which is refuted by :

"My opponent claims that Taco Bell has better variety than Dell Taco. She fails to prove this. Therefore this point is irrelevant seeing that despite the fact she is the instigator and has the burden of proof.

She claims that the drive thru takes forever at Dell Taco. She fails to prove this as well. Therefore this point is irrelevant as well seeing that it was my opponent's responsibility to provide sources to show that drive thrus at Dell Taco took longer than they did at Taco Bell"

It is acceptable to simply say argument is unsourced and to claim that it a full negation, could Con have won this debate by defaut if they just noted :

"Pro simply made assertions, there were no sources provided to support claims. Resolution negated."

Or, in order for Con to win arguments do they have to take an active stance and provide information that the claims are false.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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5/20/2011 9:19:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think instigators should only be allowed to be Pro, and they should have the burden of proof by default. It would clear up so much confusion.
Kinesis
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5/20/2011 9:20:58 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The answer at the moment is: it depends on the context, and it isn't always obvious or even possible to tell where the burden of proof lies and what one needs to do as Con to negate the resolution.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/20/2011 9:23:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Let us simplify the position

-Pro clearly has the BoP

Can Con win arguments simply by noting Pro does not have sources for claims.
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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5/20/2011 9:25:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sources or argumentation. If one makes an assertion and doesn't either:

1. Source it.
or 2. Argue that it's true.

It has no weight in the debate, no.
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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5/20/2011 9:30:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 9:23:20 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Let us simplify the position

-Pro clearly has the BoP

Can Con win arguments simply by noting Pro does not have sources for claims.

I would say that whilst demanding a source weakens the argument provided by Pro it does not completely negate it (especially if pro has no opportunity to give a source). Therefore, if con only claims that pro did not provide any sources for their arguments and does not provide any counter arguments, I would give Pro argument points.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/20/2011 9:57:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
BOP really falls on whoever wants to convince other people, that's how it works in the real world. If you are arguing something of which I don't believe, you can't convince me without some proof, regardless as to the resolution.

As for these debates, I typically try to go based on the meaning of the debate. I personally hate it when new members come, start a debate about something that they would like to debate, and are hammered by some senoir member that is exploiting semantics or saying "BOP is entirly on my opponent." And we wonder why so many new members never finish their first debates. Of course, I can understand that with some claims, you can't get around using the BOP argument, but you can still make counter arguments while waiting for the BOP.
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CiRrK
Posts: 670
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5/20/2011 10:02:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The BoP depends on the wording of the resolution. In this case I would say it was a reciprocal BoP. This is true because the resolution was a comparative statement. So unless both provide comparative arguments, the resolution is meaningless. Categorical BoP's on the or hand come from a categorical statement, one with no comparative analysis. And e.g of this would be "Taco Bell is the best." Since its not specifically comparing anything against except EVERY OTHER type restaurant, then the BoP falls on the believer of the statement.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/20/2011 10:07:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 9:57:21 AM, OreEle wrote:

I personally hate it when new members come, start a debate about something that they would like to debate, and are hammered by some senoir member that is exploiting semantics or saying "BOP is entirly on my opponent."

I can understand that and think we need a handicapping system. This is the way I always vote personally. If for example you debate against a new member then you have to do lot to win arguments and even then I typically vote 1-2 points to the new member assuming they made effort, and I follow up with a PM/friend discussing the debate.
Cliff.Stamp
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5/20/2011 10:08:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 10:02:59 AM, CiRrK wrote:
The BoP depends on the wording of the resolution. In this case I would say it was a reciprocal BoP.

Should this be an option in the debate challenge setup and thus it would be explicit.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/20/2011 10:09:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 10:08:33 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 5/20/2011 10:02:59 AM, CiRrK wrote:
The BoP depends on the wording of the resolution. In this case I would say it was a reciprocal BoP.


Should this be an option in the debate challenge setup and thus it would be explicit.

It should at least be in the OP of the debate.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/20/2011 10:12:58 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yes, but new members are often writing very vague OP, often times even the resolution is not 100% certain. It would be ideal of course if they would site the rules, definitions, BoP, etc. .
CiRrK
Posts: 670
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5/20/2011 10:20:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 10:19:48 AM, CiRrK wrote:
Juggle should aid an introduction memo - explaining how to formulate an OP, and all the basic rules of how debate works.

add*
vardas0antras
Posts: 983
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5/20/2011 10:56:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 10:20:14 AM, CiRrK wrote:
At 5/20/2011 10:19:48 AM, CiRrK wrote:
Juggle should add an introduction memo - explaining how to formulate an OP, and all the basic rules of how debate works.

add*
"When he awoke in a tomb three days later he would actually have believed that he rose from the dead" FREEDO about the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/20/2011 11:08:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 10:12:58 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
Yes, but new members are often writing very vague OP, often times even the resolution is not 100% certain. It would be ideal of course if they would site the rules, definitions, BoP, etc. .

Yes they should, but that is likely due to their inexperience. For the most part, it is possible to tell what the resolution is be the title and their argument. You can atleast tell what they want to argue.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
XimenBao
Posts: 25
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5/20/2011 11:51:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
In general, I'm comfortable assigning a default BoP to the instigator when the instigator is Pro. Beyond that, it's situational.

I think that burden of proof is always a legitimate argument within the debate, and it's usually not hard to win if you're on the right side of it.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/20/2011 12:19:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think if the resolution is "X is better than Y" then the implication is that the debate ought to judged based upon the preponderance of evidence. Both sides ought to present evidence, and voters get to decide who had the best evidence in favor of his particular side. So, no, it doesn't go to Con by default.

Personal experience is not the best evidence, but it is nonetheless evidence. For example, consider "Accidentally hitting a finger with a hammer really hurts. I know because I have done it." "You have no source" does not refute the assertion. It is a reasonable assertion. Con would have to have some heavy evidence to refute it, despite it's being anecdotal.

Something like "The lines are shorter at del Taco" is weak because it doesn't reference common experience. Still, it's evidence. A person reading the debate might try del Taco with modest expectation that the line will be shorter. The refutation must at least assert the opposite: "I don't agree the lines are shorter." and would better give some argument, like "Taco Bell is famous for their efficiency." or "I've always gotten better service at Taco Bell." I think failure to contradict the experience usually grants it. If it isn't true, why wouldn't you dispute it? Obviously, statistics are much more convincing.

Another tactic is for debaters to attack noobs for failing to define "better." The definition of "better" is implicit in the arguments. "Shorter lines" is clearly one aspect of "better." A fair counter is to offer a different definition of "better," something like, "What counts the most is the quality for the price." Ultimately, the reader gets to decide what is most important in deciding what is "better."
XimenBao
Posts: 25
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5/20/2011 2:29:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 12:19:26 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I think if the resolution is "X is better than Y" then the implication is that the debate ought to judged based upon the preponderance of evidence. Both sides ought to present evidence, and voters get to decide who had the best evidence in favor of his particular side. So, no, it doesn't go to Con by default.

I think that's an argument that could be made, and if a comparative advantages debate is specified in the instigator's R1, then the contender would have a difficult time taking the debate and arguing otherwise.

But if it's *just* the resolution is "X is better than Y" then I don't think there's an implication that Con has a burden beyond demonstrating that Pro hasn't shown "X is better than Y."

Personal experience is not the best evidence, but it is nonetheless evidence. For example, consider "Accidentally hitting a finger with a hammer really hurts. I know because I have done it." "You have no source" does not refute the assertion. It is a reasonable assertion. Con would have to have some heavy evidence to refute it, despite it's being anecdotal.

It's evidence, but it's evidence I almost never give weight to in a debate round for two main reasons:
1. Biased source. The person telling the anecdote is trying to win a debate through relating the experience.
2. Unreliable source. Bias aside, why should we believe it's correct?

It doesn't carry more weight than a bare assertion.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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5/20/2011 2:56:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
But if it's *just* the resolution is "X is better than Y" then I don't think there's an implication that Con has a burden beyond demonstrating that Pro hasn't shown "X is better than Y."

I don't see how "X is better than Y" can rest on anything other than comparative advantages. It does require Pro to say in what respect X is better than Y, not just that X is good.

If Con is not willing to argue that Y is better, he should just not take the debate. The intent of the resolution is clear.

It's evidence, but it's evidence I almost never give weight to in a debate round for two main reasons:
1. Biased source. The person telling the anecdote is trying to win a debate through relating the experience.
2. Unreliable source. Bias aside, why should we believe it's correct?

It doesn't carry more weight than a bare assertion.

So you would give no weight to "It hurts to hit a finger with a hammer." or "People drown in the ocean" because they are biased or anecdotal? We need surveys and statistics to back up such things?

The reasons for believing ersonal experience is correct might be (a) it seems reasonable relative to ordinary common experience, (b) Con doesn't contradict it, but only demands documentation, or (c) the assertion is consistent with what Con has granted. I agree it is weak evidence, but that is a step above no evidence. Denying it is usually all that is required, although readers get to judge that. "I hit my finger with a hammer and it didn't hurt." doesn't fly.
Justin_Chains
Posts: 623
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5/20/2011 2:59:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 12:19:26 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I think if the resolution is "X is better than Y" then the implication is that the debate ought to judged based upon the preponderance of evidence. Both sides ought to present evidence, and voters get to decide who had the best evidence in favor of his particular side. So, no, it doesn't go to Con by default.

Personal experience is not the best evidence, but it is nonetheless evidence. For example, consider "Accidentally hitting a finger with a hammer really hurts. I know because I have done it." "You have no source" does not refute the assertion. It is a reasonable assertion. Con would have to have some heavy evidence to refute it, despite it's being anecdotal.

Something like "The lines are shorter at del Taco" is weak because it doesn't reference common experience. Still, it's evidence. A person reading the debate might try del Taco with modest expectation that the line will be shorter. The refutation must at least assert the opposite: "I don't agree the lines are shorter." and would better give some argument, like "Taco Bell is famous for their efficiency." or "I've always gotten better service at Taco Bell." I think failure to contradict the experience usually grants it. If it isn't true, why wouldn't you dispute it? Obviously, statistics are much more convincing.

Another tactic is for debaters to attack noobs for failing to define "better." The definition of "better" is implicit in the arguments. "Shorter lines" is clearly one aspect of "better." A fair counter is to offer a different definition of "better," something like, "What counts the most is the quality for the price." Ultimately, the reader gets to decide what is most important in deciding what is "better."

This.

BOP really falls on whoever wants to convince other people, that's how it works in the real world. If you are arguing something of which I don't believe, you can't convince me without some proof, regardless as to the resolution.

As for these debates, I typically try to go based on the meaning of the debate. I personally hate it when new members come, start a debate about something that they would like to debate, and are hammered by some senoir member that is exploiting semantics or saying "BOP is entirly on my opponent." And we wonder why so many new members never finish their first debates. Of course, I can understand that with some claims, you can't get around using the BOP argument, but you can still make counter arguments while waiting for the BOP.

And this.
Justin_Chains
Posts: 623
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5/20/2011 3:06:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
An opponent should not accept a debate as Con and then just state " you are wrong" the whole time, without providing an opposing argument.

In the real world if you oppose me you must provide reasons for why, not just state that I am wrong over and over again.

The BOP lays on both sides equally. That's the way the real world works. Cons position is a position of opposition to Pro. The position of opposition that Con takes when accepting the challenge, carries with it just as much BOP as Pro.

BOP is the argument or arguments you lay forth in opposition to your opponent. What side of the coin you are on, does not really matter.

Rule of opposites. Yin Yang Philosophy.
XimenBao
Posts: 25
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5/20/2011 4:06:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 2:56:00 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I don't see how "X is better than Y" can rest on anything other than comparative advantages. It does require Pro to say in what respect X is better than Y, not just that X is good.

If Con is not willing to argue that Y is better, he should just not take the debate. The intent of the resolution is clear.

Sure, the intent of the resolution is clear: "X is better than Y." I don't see how you can read an implicit burden for Con to prove the inverse for these without doing so in general.

If "X > Y" requires Con to show "Y > X" then why doesn't "A should do X" require Con to show "A should not do X" and "A=B" require Con to show "A=/=B" rather than having the usual burden of negation? Or is your argument that Con always has that burden?

So you would give no weight to "It hurts to hit a finger with a hammer." or "People drown in the ocean" because they are biased or anecdotal? We need surveys and statistics to back up such things?

Common knowledge claims are an entirely different topic than argument by anecdote.

The reasons for believing personal experience is correct might be (a) it seems reasonable relative to ordinary common experience, (b) Con doesn't contradict it, but only demands documentation, or (c) the assertion is consistent with what Con has granted. I agree it is weak evidence, but that is a step above no evidence. Denying it is usually all that is required, although readers get to judge that. "I hit my finger with a hammer and it didn't hurt." doesn't fly.

I agree with "a" as it derives weight from common knowledge rather than personal anecdote where the statement could have been given without involving the debater at all; "Hitting one's thumb with a hammer hurts" instead of "When I hit my thumb with a hammer, it hurts." We can consider either of these as evidence, but it's because the latter retains the common knowledge appeal of the former, but because of the anecdotal aspect.

I disagree with your "b," if a debater makes an assertion, it needs to be backed up by evidence or argument to have weight. If the opponent issues a challenge demanding that backing, in most cases I'd disregard the assertion if the backing wasn't provided.

I agree with "c" as granted points are granted, by definition.
XimenBao
Posts: 25
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5/20/2011 4:18:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 4:06:07 PM, XimenBao wrote:
but it's because the latter retains the common knowledge appeal of the former, but because of the anecdotal aspect.

"Not because of the anecdotal aspect," that is.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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5/20/2011 5:12:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
If Pro says that something is the best explanation or best whatever, and that is the resolution, all Con should have to do is show that Pro's position isn't reasonable enough to even be considered as a valid explanation.

If someone is still stupid enough to vote pro after con shows that Pro's position sucks, there is some fundamental dipshittery going on.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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5/20/2011 5:32:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 5:12:35 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
If Pro says that something is the best explanation or best whatever, and that is the resolution, all Con should have to do is show that Pro's position isn't reasonable enough to even be considered as a valid explanation.

If someone is still stupid enough to vote pro after con shows that Pro's position sucks, there is some fundamental dipshittery going on.

"sucks" is subjective. If Pro says "X" is the best explanation, Con needs to show that there is a better one. Simply showing that "X" sucks does not disprove the resolution that it is the best.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
CosmicAlfonzo
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5/20/2011 5:34:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yeah, I guess that is the reason why people used to believe that the sun was dragged across the sky by a dude in a flying chariot.

Sure, that is a real valid explanation. Even if you don't have a better explanation, you'd have to on some pretty heavy sh!t to find that convincing.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
XimenBao
Posts: 25
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5/20/2011 5:36:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/20/2011 5:32:00 PM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/20/2011 5:12:35 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
If Pro says that something is the best explanation or best whatever, and that is the resolution, all Con should have to do is show that Pro's position isn't reasonable enough to even be considered as a valid explanation.

If someone is still stupid enough to vote pro after con shows that Pro's position sucks, there is some fundamental dipshittery going on.

"sucks" is subjective. If Pro says "X" is the best explanation, Con needs to show that there is a better one. Simply showing that "X" sucks does not disprove the resolution that it is the best.

That's true as far as it goes. However, if Con shows that it is not in fact an explanation for whatever, that would also negate the resolution.

If I posit that jellybeans are the best explanation for the Cambrian explosion, you don't have to argue for an actual explanation, you can just point out that jellybeans don't actually explain it and thus cannot be the best explanation.