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Who really wins debates?

Cometflash
Posts: 126
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11/19/2012 2:37:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I like debates, thought I dislike a few things about them. Well at least the majority of debates I see happening.

The overflow of citations that is presented, is the biggest problem for me. If someone is citing someone else's work, it means they don't really know what they are debating, or don't have anything concrete themselves to debate the subject. To me there is a big difference between imagining and thinking you understand, and really understanding.
If I tell you, imagine someone being tortured. You can keep on imagining, you will never really understand what torture really is unless you experience yourself, you may fool yourself with the idea that you know, but you cannot possible truly understand until you are subjected to it.
That is usually one thing that many people that suffers a trauma sometimes have to say to someone that try to comfort them, and usually the other person realize that in fact they can't really know.

So what this results is in a bunch of citation going against another bunch of citation, and whoever gets the most and more reliable ones wins the argument.
There goes to another point, reliability. What happens if both sides come from reliable sources? You kind of end up with a contradiction, so either one of those citations aren't really reliable, or neither are. One could also say both have good points in them, but both can't arrive in the truth if they are opposites.
Which another conclusion arrives, if you need to know that the source from the information you find is reliable, it means you don't really know anything about what you are debating. If you truly understood the subject, with such certainty that you would challenge someone in a debate, you should spot for yourself if the information is a hoax.

I get that citation is a good tool, that can make easier for you to present your argument. Some people are better than others with words.
Some people have to write a lot in order to explain their point (that seems to be me :) ), others can surprisely put their point across elegantly in just one paragraph.
But one should first understand in their own words, what they are debating, or is not really them debating, but them debating for others works/thoughts.
Now have you ever try to tell someone how they really feel? How does that go? Even if you are right, everything you think is just an assumption, if you are right, it just happen to be an assumption that happen to be right. But we are complicated beings, so if I were to to bet on it, I would bet in you be wrong.
I think the autor of its work is the best to be consulted. Their viewers are trying to understand, and sometimes thinking they understand, they can probably understand enough, but not completely, specially when we are talking about something that is used, that contains pages and pages of information.

It be nice for a change, to see a debate that did not rely in citations, like a debate on two individuals pure thoughts in a subject, desregarding anything that they do not know or have any experience about.

I guess I wrote to much on just one aspect of what I don't like about debates, even know I started by saying "things", I'm gonna stop here for now, as I have written enough, and need a brake...
imabench
Posts: 21,204
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11/19/2012 2:41:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The problem with not using citations is that
1) It can cost you source points, which is a big deal when it comes down to the final votes
2) You cant really trust them since they could be lying their *** off and you wouldnt know unless they have sources to prove that what they are saying is true.
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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11/19/2012 2:52:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I agree with you, but I think the citations really depend on the topic at hand. If you're debating something like history or economics that demands heavy knowledge, you need to provide some kind of warrant. The negative part about these kind of debates is that some people go overboard and think that torrential citations will give them extra points. The positive part about these kind of debates is that they are easier and judge and winner is generally clear.

Debates that rely heavily on logical reasoning and ingenuity should not have many citations. The good part about these is that citations are minimal and it brings out the best ability and critical thinking in both debaters, while also being pretty entertaining. The bad part is that the judging is usually really poor. People don't handle these well and tend to vote for whoever they agreed with. I had a debate once with the resolution that God is logically impossible, and that one was botched pretty badly by judges. The first few of them skimmed the debate and didn't understand who was actually arguing what or what points were being made. The next few voted in support of their religion. The remaining bandwagon voted,...evidenced by very very short and shoddy rfds.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Cometflash
Posts: 126
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11/19/2012 3:30:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 2:52:06 PM, 000ike wrote:
I agree with you, but I think the citations really depend on the topic at hand. If you're debating something like history or economics that demands heavy knowledge, you need to provide some kind of warrant. The negative part about these kind of debates is that some people go overboard and think that torrential citations will give them extra points. The positive part about these kind of debates is that they are easier and judge and winner is generally clear.

Debates that rely heavily on logical reasoning and ingenuity should not have many citations. The good part about these is that citations are minimal and it brings out the best ability and critical thinking in both debaters, while also being pretty entertaining. The bad part is that the judging is usually really poor. People don't handle these well and tend to vote for whoever they agreed with. I had a debate once with the resolution that God is logically impossible, and that one was botched pretty badly by judges. The first few of them skimmed the debate and didn't understand who was actually arguing what or what points were being made. The next few voted in support of their religion. The remaining bandwagon voted,...evidenced by very very short and shoddy rfds.

I think historical events would actually be pretty tricky to debate. And information is actually the problem. There is only so much information about historical events, and little else to be discovered, the problem gets worse the less information about what you are debating is available. This leads to an absurdity of assumptions to fill in what is not told. Historical events within its own information contains a lot of assumptions as well. It is also very hard to gather anything else other than what is widely available to be study.
Some historical events also have different versions of what happen, some more heavily than others. How can historical events such as those even being up for debate. I guess you could debate only one version of the event, but that would result in even less information to be draw upon.

By your notes, about point system, I think it be more enjoyable if the debater really did not worry about that. If I were to debate someone, I be more happy to lose and learn something in the process, than win for some smarty pants technicality, in which I saw opportunity in it, and use it. If I did such, I wouldn't really be debating, but just playing a game that this site happen to have in place.
Cometflash
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11/19/2012 3:58:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 2:41:27 PM, imabench wrote:
The problem with not using citations is that
1) It can cost you source points, which is a big deal when it comes down to the final votes
2) You cant really trust them since they could be lying their *** off and you wouldnt know unless they have sources to prove that what they are saying is true.

1- What I dislike is not really the use of such, but of nothing by the use of such. A lot of times it gives the impression, that the debater don't know anything about what they are debating about it, all s/he has is the ability to find information to go against who s/he is debating.
2- By what you are saying, it means one cannot trust a debater (which results into my preview assumption, that the debater is not really debating the subject, but a game of who can find the most information that contradicts the subject), or its viewers ability to decide which side have a more resonable argument. Which can bring another deduction, that the viewers who are judging this debate, also do not posess any knowledge whatsoever of the debate being discussed, and neither try to do so.

So can we really call any of this a debate, more precisely is any of those debates really debates?

I have the same problem with the justice system by the way. The jury is usually filled with people that have little to no understanding of what they are being presented with. And all they have is the information presented to them right there (sometimes in a language very hard to fallow), unlike here, that you could go elsewhere and investigate for yourself what you are not sure of, or don't know, those juries have to decide everything right on the spot. Also over here, you can re read the information you have being fed as many times as you like or can afford the time to do so. In a jury, if you miss something, is lost.
There is another thing, even know a jury is not given a time to decide, they are in constant pressure by other juries to give in their vote. Over here, if you feel incapable to cast a vote, you have the option not to.
I find the whole system ridiculous.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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11/19/2012 4:29:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I can only tentatively agree, since I understand the need to refrain from utilizing citations excessively to compensate for a lack of knowledge on the subject matter and, consequently, substitute much of one's own words for insights, etc from the sources; an excess of citations that comprise a case can only be unnatural, as opposed to a more flexible use or reference that relies more on the critical thinking and insight a debater has to give to connect and demarcate it in a set of thesis and sub-points in his case. You'll often find that the best of debaters likely infer, draw from, but never rely excessively, on the source, preferring to balance it with regards to ethical and emotional appeals, etc.

A few reservations I'd like to make...Ike is arguably correct that debates based on pure reasoning and critical thinking should not require such copious amounts of notes. It is a test of personal philosophies, ideologies, faiths, etc, whereby instead of using concrete examples, the debaters often resort to "abstract" cases--hypothetical scenarios, attacks and critiques of each others' reasoning, enumeration of rights, analogies, etc; it is, as Ike stated, a test of wits and intellects on a more pure level. My only reservation is that Ike's criticism is derived, and indeed heavily slanted, by his own personal experience; his remark on the "poor judgement" is derived only by his frustration and disagreement with the voters, and thus cannot be valued objectively. It is a purely subjective statement disguised as advice or counsel...
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16kadams
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11/19/2012 5:13:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Citing statistics is important in a statistical debate.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
000ike
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11/19/2012 5:27:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 5:13:18 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Citing statistics is important in a statistical debate.

The more you're citing, the less you're thinking. The objective of debate isn't to educate someone or prove a fact, it's to expound on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue. There's simply no excuse for having 20+ sources in one debate, and if I were voting I'd probably take off points for it.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OberHerr
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11/19/2012 5:31:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 5:27:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/19/2012 5:13:18 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Citing statistics is important in a statistical debate.

The more you're citing, the less you're thinking. The objective of debate isn't to educate someone or prove a fact, it's to expound on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue. There's simply no excuse for having 20+ sources in one debate, and if I were voting I'd probably take off points for it.

So, the more evidence + facts you have, the less your debating? What?

Debating is a more formal argument, simple as that. The goal is to prove con or pro the resolution. That's it. There is not "correct" way to reach that point. Now, if your doing a specific type of debate, like LD, Policy, PF, ect. Then there are rules.
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16kadams
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11/19/2012 5:52:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 5:27:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/19/2012 5:13:18 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Citing statistics is important in a statistical debate.

The more you're citing, the less you're thinking. The objective of debate isn't to educate someone or prove a fact, it's to expound on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue. There's simply no excuse for having 20+ sources in one debate, and if I were voting I'd probably take off points for it.

If you look at my debates I don't use "20+ sources". However some debates--for example a "conceal carry reduces crime" debate--require sources if you plan on using empirical data.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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11/19/2012 11:23:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 5:27:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/19/2012 5:13:18 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Citing statistics is important in a statistical debate.

The more you're citing, the less you're thinking. The objective of debate isn't to educate someone or prove a fact, it's to expound on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue. There's simply no excuse for having 20+ sources in one debate, and if I were voting I'd probably take off points for it.

That's a bit of a stretch, Ike....Pray, tell me if it is possible that a debater, having formulated the basic principle and arguments in mind, seeks to validate his sub-points, advance his notions, and procure some insight by delving into the vested literature?

Although I do agree with the fact that debates do expound "on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue," as it is a good characterization of what can be described as a mounted defense for a proposition, statement, truism, etc...
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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11/19/2012 11:26:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/19/2012 11:23:48 PM, Man-is-good wrote:
At 11/19/2012 5:27:24 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 11/19/2012 5:13:18 PM, 16kadams wrote:
Citing statistics is important in a statistical debate.

The more you're citing, the less you're thinking. The objective of debate isn't to educate someone or prove a fact, it's to expound on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue. There's simply no excuse for having 20+ sources in one debate, and if I were voting I'd probably take off points for it.

That's a bit of a stretch, Ike....Pray, tell me if it is possible that a debater, having formulated the basic principle and arguments in mind, seeks to validate his sub-points, advance his notions, and procure some insight by delving into the vested literature?

Although I do agree with the fact that debates do expound "on the validity of a certain position on a contentious issue," as it is a good characterization of what can be described as a mounted defense for a proposition, statement, truism, etc...

Well, I suppose I might have been a bit too aggressive there, lol...
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau