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Shared Burden of Proof?

OhioGary
Posts: 68
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1/27/2013 12:25:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hi Everyone,

I'm seeing a number of debates that have something called a "shared" burden of proof.

I'm not familiar with the term and even tried looking it up. Is this another one of those debate traps to avoid or are there legitimate circumstances in which both sides have to carry the burden?
"There ain't no good guy. There ain't no bad guy. There's only you & me & we just diasgree."
imabench
Posts: 21,220
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1/27/2013 12:56:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 12:25:44 PM, OhioGary wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm seeing a number of debates that have something called a "shared" burden of proof.

I'm not familiar with the term and even tried looking it up. Is this another one of those debate traps to avoid or are there legitimate circumstances in which both sides have to carry the burden?

There are some legit circumstances where both sides have the burden of proof to carry.

Example: Lets say two debaters are debating "Socialism vs Capitalism"

If one debater is arguing that socialism is better then capitalism, and the other is arguing that capitalism is better then socialism, then both debaters have to make a case for the system they believe in while at the same time try discredit the other, so the burden of proof is shared in this scenario.

On the other hand, if the debate is "Socialism is better then Capitalism", The side in favor of this resolution has to make and prove their own case whereas the con only has to discredit the pro's case. This means the burden of proof would now be entirely on the pro instead of being shared.

It largely depends on how the resolution is worded and which sides are being taken.
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OhioGary
Posts: 68
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1/27/2013 1:22:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 12:56:08 PM, imabench wrote:
At 1/27/2013 12:25:44 PM, OhioGary wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm seeing a number of debates that have something called a "shared" burden of proof.

I'm not familiar with the term and even tried looking it up. Is this another one of those debate traps to avoid or are there legitimate circumstances in which both sides have to carry the burden?

There are some legit circumstances where both sides have the burden of proof to carry.

Example: Lets say two debaters are debating "Socialism vs Capitalism"

If one debater is arguing that socialism is better then capitalism, and the other is arguing that capitalism is better then socialism, then both debaters have to make a case for the system they believe in while at the same time try discredit the other, so the burden of proof is shared in this scenario.

On the other hand, if the debate is "Socialism is better then Capitalism", The side in favor of this resolution has to make and prove their own case whereas the con only has to discredit the pro's case. This means the burden of proof would now be entirely on the pro instead of being shared.

It largely depends on how the resolution is worded and which sides are being taken.

It seems that taking the shared burden of proof becomes a sucker's bet for the Contender.

It seems like it would be better if the Contender would force the Instigator to take a side and, therefore, the entire burden of proof.
"There ain't no good guy. There ain't no bad guy. There's only you & me & we just diasgree."
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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1/27/2013 1:24:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've never seen the phrase "shared burden of proof" apart from DDO. It seems to mean, "the debate goes to whomever makes the better case." In academic debate, Pro is usually affirming a resolution to do something to change the status quo. The burden of proof is with Pro to prove that the change ought to be made. It is like a criminal trial in which the defendant (the status quo) is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If Pro then makes no case or a weak case, Con wins even if he says noting of relevance, because the burden of proof was not met by Pro.

In civil trials, the verdict goes to the plaintiff or the defendant based upon the preponderance of evidence. So even if a case is very weak, it may still be better than the opposing case and win.

I think that the debate instigator can suggest how the debate ought to be judged, but readers are not bound by the suggestion. The challenger accepts the instigators rules, so he can be bound by them. But a judge doesn't need to accept the conditions.
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
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1/27/2013 1:43:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 1:24:15 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I've never seen the phrase "shared burden of proof" apart from DDO. It seems to mean, "the debate goes to whomever makes the better case." In academic debate, Pro is usually affirming a resolution to do something to change the status quo. The burden of proof is with Pro to prove that the change ought to be made. It is like a criminal trial in which the defendant (the status quo) is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If Pro then makes no case or a weak case, Con wins even if he says noting of relevance, because the burden of proof was not met by Pro.

In competitive debate BOP is sort of a flexible concept with many circuits not really considering beyond "if you make a claim the the burden is on you to show it is true (rather than on the opponent to show it is NOT true)"

I think this website bastardizes the whole deal with BOP. A lot of people see "Pro has BOP" and think that means Pro needs to give a flawless case to win.

If you are going to seriously incorporate BOP into our judging paradigm, you need to do it in a way that is balanced toward both Pro and Con.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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1/27/2013 1:57:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Someone should go to the DDO wiki article and increase on my one on division of labour (AKA burden of proof).
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OhioGary
Posts: 68
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1/27/2013 9:27:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/27/2013 1:24:15 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
I've never seen the phrase "shared burden of proof" apart from DDO. It seems to mean, "the debate goes to whomever makes the better case." In academic debate, Pro is usually affirming a resolution to do something to change the status quo. The burden of proof is with Pro to prove that the change ought to be made. It is like a criminal trial in which the defendant (the status quo) is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If Pro then makes no case or a weak case, Con wins even if he says noting of relevance, because the burden of proof was not met by Pro.

In civil trials, the verdict goes to the plaintiff or the defendant based upon the preponderance of evidence. So even if a case is very weak, it may still be better than the opposing case and win.

I think that the debate instigator can suggest how the debate ought to be judged, but readers are not bound by the suggestion. The challenger accepts the instigators rules, so he can be bound by them. But a judge doesn't need to accept the conditions.

To that end, in a civil trial of malpractice/tort/negligence the burden rests entirely with the plaintiff to show duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. I had my guesses about the fallacy of shared BOP, and I think you all have helped me make a clear determination of what it is. Thanks everyone for posting!
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