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On "No new arguments in the final round"

Raisor
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1/27/2013 11:03:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
On quite a few debates and ballots I have seen statements about new arguments in the final round which warrant further discussion.

It is widely accepted that new arguments in the final round are not acceptable, that they should be ignored or dont count, and may even warrant a conduct vote.

What exactly counts as a "new argument" and the implications of this rule are less widely accepted.

I interpret the rule as follows:

1) "New" arguments are arguments that had not been made in previous rounds or an argument that substantially changes how a previous argument functions.
2) Evidence which could have been brought up at an earlier point in the debate consitutes a "new" argument.
3) An argument is not "new" if it is a response, made at the earliest opportunity, to an opponent's argument .
4) An argument is not "new" if it is an explanation, elaboration, comparative evaluation, etc. of existing arguments.

Some implications of this interpretation:
1) New arguments may be made in the final round as responses to new arguments made in the penultimate round by whoever had the first speech. Con has last argument and make a new argument in the second to last speech, Pro's first opportunity to respond is in Pro's final round.
2) There may be new content or new things for the judge to consider in the final round in the form of analytical analysis.
3) There really shouldnt be any sources in the final round.
4) New arguments are allowed in the second to last round, and as stated before these arguments may be responded to.

My interpretation stems from considerations of fairness and quality of discourse. This interpretation prohibits the introduction of arguments to which the opponent had no opportunity for rebuttal while allowing for substantive arguments in the final round and allowing for development of arguments prior to the final round.

Of course this issue will always have gray areas- but I think the above interpretation offers a solid framework to determine if an argument is or isnt appropriate in the final round of a debate.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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1/27/2013 11:42:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
All that evidence does is propose "No, this isn't something I've made up" rather than anything. If evidence is an argument, the debater should almost certainly be losing at this point anyway. If the evidence is not an argument, but simply a case of criticising someone else's source, for example, then the source is fine. Why is it so problematic to source a claim?
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Raisor
Posts: 4,458
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1/27/2013 12:25:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 11:42:58 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
All that evidence does is propose "No, this isn't something I've made up" rather than anything. If evidence is an argument, the debater should almost certainly be losing at this point anyway. If the evidence is not an argument, but simply a case of criticising someone else's source, for example, then the source is fine. Why is it so problematic to source a claim?

Evidence is rarely just "here is a fact." It is often based on a study or on some think tank.

Evidence needs time for the opponent to point out author indicts, discrepancies in what the debater is claiming and what the evidence says, reinterpret the evidence, make comparisons between conflicting pieces of evidence.
Stephen_Hawkins
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1/27/2013 1:16:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 12:25:13 PM, Raisor wrote:

Evidence is rarely just "here is a fact." It is often based on a study or on some think tank.

Most of the time, it is "here is a fact", and it only should be. If you're wanting to take the source as a replacement for fact, then I'll just ignore the source. If the source is evidence of an evaluation, I'll ignore the source. If the source is a substitute for analysis of a primary source, I'll ignore the source.

The evidence is what you're referring to in your case to show you are right. Nothing else. If it is anything else, then it is irrelevant or poor debating.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
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1/27/2013 1:18:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"The evidence is what you're referring to in your case to show you are right"

Should be

"The evidence is what you're referring to in your case. Your case is to show you are right". The evidence is just to make clear you're not making up statistics.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Raisor
Posts: 4,458
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1/27/2013 1:37:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 1:16:43 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 1/27/2013 12:25:13 PM, Raisor wrote:

Evidence is rarely just "here is a fact." It is often based on a study or on some think tank.

Most of the time, it is "here is a fact", and it only should be. If you're wanting to take the source as a replacement for fact, then I'll just ignore the source. If the source is evidence of an evaluation, I'll ignore the source. If the source is a substitute for analysis of a primary source, I'll ignore the source.

The evidence is what you're referring to in your case to show you are right. Nothing else. If it is anything else, then it is irrelevant or poor debating.

I think you are being a bit optimstic in neglecting the ambiguity of most "facts." Evidence if often used to support claims which are not obvious.

Look at the sources you provide in your drones debate, R2: http://debate.org...

Your [2] is meant to show you can't surrender to drones by citing testimony of a military authority. It is ambiguous to what extent drones allow surrender, and I post this as evidence: http://www.pbs.org...
and proceed to compare whose evidence is better.

Or your [3] which says drones create terrorists. I could present evidence to the contrary and we might resort to comparing the specifics of what the evidence actually claims.

Probably best of all is your [9], which points to an article to show that political scientists are overconfident in their predictions. None of these are straightforward "the sky is blue" facts. Debates are too complicated for that to be the case.

And I again repeat that opponent response is needed to point out misrepresentation of the evidence.
Stephen_Hawkins
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1/27/2013 4:12:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 1:37:11 PM, Raisor wrote:
Look at the sources you provide in your drones debate, R2: http://debate.org...

Your [2] is meant to show you can't surrender to drones by citing testimony of a military authority.

No, it was not. The aim of the source was to show "he actually did say it, and here's where I see him say it".

If you disagree that drones allow for the ability to surrender, explain why. Posting a source going "drones allow for surrender, now read this" is the problem.

Or your [3] which says drones create terrorists.

It was to quote Yemeni lawyer Banafa. Now, I am not perfect: if I could redo that round, I would have put that quotation in the section on ruining foreign relations. However, the aim was just to show that Banafa said this.


Probably best of all is your [9], which points to an article to show that political scientists are overconfident in their predictions. None of these are straightforward "the sky is blue" facts. Debates are too complicated for that to be the case.

Here, I'd be tempted to say I did a wrong because I simply quoted him and pointed to source as justification, and I stole analysis. My aim though was simply to point out Caplan's analysis of the practical fiats of war: that war leads to uncertain conclusions. The source is not to justify the argument, but to show where I got the impression Caplan believes this from.

I could take out all the sources of that debate round, and it would still make sense. That should be how a debate works. If your sources are central to your argument, you have a serious problem.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Raisor
Posts: 4,458
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1/27/2013 5:12:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 4:12:18 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:

I could take out all the sources of that debate round, and it would still make sense. That should be how a debate works. If your sources are central to your argument, you have a serious problem.

If you took out all the sources to your round, yes it would still read coherently but it would include a bunch of highly questionable assertions.

The sources you use give your claims credibility. Without that credibility your argument isnt worth a lot. This is the whole reason people include sources, the reason why you use evidence.

Anyways the point is that your opponent need time to read through your evidence to verify it is being represented properly.