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Are Debates Determined by Self-Interest

Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/11/2013 9:54:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Are those who expect debates to be judged aside from self-interest autistic for not recognizing the intrinsic anarchy of debate? That is judges cannot be inhibited, so they must be accepted. Are those who try to legitimately debate ignoring how judges' prejudice cannot be swayed?
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/13/2013 8:52:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/12/2013 7:49:14 PM, larztheloser wrote:
Self-selection bias can be a problem, but it's not one I'd assume.

I'm saying it goes deeper than just self-selection.

Sometimes, debaters believe they can persuade judges if they present an argument in a format which judges find agreeable. The problem is judges can see through format and simply choose the argument that yields the results they want to practice.

Many judges, especially immature judges, even despise ideology in general. They simply want what they want to practice, and want to practice it.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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4/13/2013 10:34:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Confirmation bias isn't a problem I would assume either, nor do I understand how you arrive at this conclusion. A judge is not giving their personal belief, so debaters aren't trying to persuade them (assuming the judges know how to judge). The only thing they are trying to be is more convincing than their opponents, regardless of whether they are right or not. The point is not whether judges can see through it, but whether their opponents can see through it.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/13/2013 8:21:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 10:34:14 AM, larztheloser wrote:
Confirmation bias isn't a problem I would assume either, nor do I understand how you arrive at this conclusion. A judge is not giving their personal belief, so debaters aren't trying to persuade them (assuming the judges know how to judge). The only thing they are trying to be is more convincing than their opponents, regardless of whether they are right or not. The point is not whether judges can see through it, but whether their opponents can see through it.

How do you necessarily know a judge's personal beliefs are excluded from one's judgment? Convictions can be vain when judges rationalize excuses.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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4/14/2013 8:15:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
That's like asking how I know somebody hasn't cheated in Scrabble or any other game. Of course some judges don't play by the rules of debate, but that doesn't necessarily mean debating is itself inherently motivated by self-interest, because debating (like most games) wasn't designed for people to cheat in.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/14/2013 9:21:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/14/2013 8:15:40 AM, larztheloser wrote:
That's like asking how I know somebody hasn't cheated in Scrabble or any other game. Of course some judges don't play by the rules of debate, but that doesn't necessarily mean debating is itself inherently motivated by self-interest, because debating (like most games) wasn't designed for people to cheat in.

I don't know if your analogy quite follows. You can anticipate cheating in a game by evaluating someone's attitude in advance of participation. Only cheating attitudes cheat.

In debate, however, attitudinal anticipation isn't an option. You don't find out a judge's attitude towards debate until after experience when judgment has been passed (unless you're debating in real life where judges can be engaged, but even then, you don't know the appropriate engagement style in advance of engagement).

I'm saying self-interest is intrinsic here because of that anticipation factor. Those who don't advocate self-interest are intrinsically submitting themselves to assuming the risk of others' self-interests. They're naive for ignoring the sequence of time.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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4/14/2013 9:32:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So let me get this straight - you're saying that confirmation bias is definitely a problem because debaters can find it difficult to tell whether it has happened / will happen or not?

1) non-sequiter
2) It is REALLY obvious when somebody casts a biased vote, especially for those rare few who have actually witnessed an unbiased vote on this site.
3) Even if it follows that judges can have bias and get away with it, does not mean they actually will. Some judges, like me, want to be fair because that's what makes it fun for the debaters, and besides it's boring to use judging as an excuse to pontificate your opinion.
4) I can never tell when somebody cheats in Scrabble. Honestly, I don't find out until I add up the score sheets afterwards and realize somebody's score doesn't add up.

Certainly SOME debates have been determined by self-interest, but there's nothing inherent about cheating in any game.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/14/2013 2:38:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/14/2013 9:32:15 AM, larztheloser wrote:
So let me get this straight - you're saying that confirmation bias is definitely a problem because debaters can find it difficult to tell whether it has happened / will happen or not?

1) non-sequiter
2) It is REALLY obvious when somebody casts a biased vote, especially for those rare few who have actually witnessed an unbiased vote on this site.
3) Even if it follows that judges can have bias and get away with it, does not mean they actually will. Some judges, like me, want to be fair because that's what makes it fun for the debaters, and besides it's boring to use judging as an excuse to pontificate your opinion.
4) I can never tell when somebody cheats in Scrabble. Honestly, I don't find out until I add up the score sheets afterwards and realize somebody's score doesn't add up.

Certainly SOME debates have been determined by self-interest, but there's nothing inherent about cheating in any game.

We're really having trouble with the can-ought distinction here.

Let's say it's originally uncertain whether or not a judge will be biased.

If a debater assumes the risk of a judge being unbiased, then a debater has "passed the baton" onto the judge in deciding whether or not to be biased.

That innately disposes the debate to the judge's self-interest. The judge has to be interested in being biased or not.

Likewise, it exposes the debater to circumstances where judges can rationalize multiple ways in order to decide in order to appear unbiased. For example, say a debate can be judged both idealistically and pragmatically for or against the proposition.

If the proposition is presented idealistically, a judge can decide idealistically in favor, or pragmatically against.

If the proposition is presented pragmatically, a judge can decide pragmatically in favor, or idealistically against.

If the proposition is presented both ways, a judge can decide it was overall understanding, or overall misunderstanding.

A judge can also expect propositions to be presented both ways or no ways despite how sufficient presentation might need one way.

One way or another, by giving up one's own self-interest, the debater has submitted to the self-interest of the judge.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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4/14/2013 3:55:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Debaters never assumed the risk, so they're not passing it.

I'm trying to work out why bias is in a judge's self-interest at all. Surely it would just annoy everybody and make them look like a jerk?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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4/14/2013 4:07:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/14/2013 3:55:05 PM, larztheloser wrote:
Debaters never assumed the risk, so they're not passing it.

I'm trying to work out why bias is in a judge's self-interest at all. Surely it would just annoy everybody and make them look like a jerk?

I quite agree. I don't really understand why a lot of members vote for the side that they agree with; just that they do.

I've thought of many theories:
1) Perhaps voting for their side makes them believe that that side will seem more "prominent?" Yet, nothing comes out of DDO debates so I don't see any net benefit to the voter.
2) Perhaps, they subconsciously believe that their side presented better arguments? I think this is possible but there is noting intentionally malicious behind this.
3) Perhaps, when they see arguments, they could easily counter, they inject their opinions and vote against the debater? Maybe, but this is assuming that they do have good arguments. Most poor voters are poor debaters.
4) Perhaps, they are frustrated at losing by defending an argument and they want to lash out at the person who defended the opposing argument? This seems most likely.

Overall, I just don't see the motivation.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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4/15/2013 9:13:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/11/2013 9:54:03 AM, Daktoria wrote:
Are those who expect debates to be judged aside from self-interest autistic for not recognizing the intrinsic anarchy of debate? That is judges cannot be inhibited, so they must be accepted. Are those who try to legitimately debate ignoring how judges' prejudice cannot be swayed?

The purpose is not to sway the opinion of the judges. Debating is an exercise in developing a thorough understanding of and articulating your point of view against an opposing one. The desire to develop this skill is reason enough to debate.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/17/2013 6:55:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/15/2013 9:13:27 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 4/11/2013 9:54:03 AM, Daktoria wrote:
Are those who expect debates to be judged aside from self-interest autistic for not recognizing the intrinsic anarchy of debate? That is judges cannot be inhibited, so they must be accepted. Are those who try to legitimately debate ignoring how judges' prejudice cannot be swayed?

The purpose is not to sway the opinion of the judges. Debating is an exercise in developing a thorough understanding of and articulating your point of view against an opposing one. The desire to develop this skill is reason enough to debate.

No. Debating is a matter of persuasion such that you can transform the world.

Merely articulating and developing doesn't mean anything. You become an arrogant knowitall that people become prejudiced against just to enslave your imagination to figure out solutions to their problems.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/17/2013 6:57:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/14/2013 4:07:25 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 4/14/2013 3:55:05 PM, larztheloser wrote:
Debaters never assumed the risk, so they're not passing it.

I'm trying to work out why bias is in a judge's self-interest at all. Surely it would just annoy everybody and make them look like a jerk?

I quite agree. I don't really understand why a lot of members vote for the side that they agree with; just that they do.

I've thought of many theories:
1) Perhaps voting for their side makes them believe that that side will seem more "prominent?" Yet, nothing comes out of DDO debates so I don't see any net benefit to the voter.
2) Perhaps, they subconsciously believe that their side presented better arguments? I think this is possible but there is noting intentionally malicious behind this.
3) Perhaps, when they see arguments, they could easily counter, they inject their opinions and vote against the debater? Maybe, but this is assuming that they do have good arguments. Most poor voters are poor debaters.
4) Perhaps, they are frustrated at losing by defending an argument and they want to lash out at the person who defended the opposing argument? This seems most likely.

Overall, I just don't see the motivation.

That's what I thought. A lot of people are just motivated by their own self-interest, and don't like the other side. They disagree, and that's that.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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4/17/2013 7:01:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/14/2013 3:55:05 PM, larztheloser wrote:
Debaters never assumed the risk, so they're not passing it.

I'm trying to work out why bias is in a judge's self-interest at all. Surely it would just annoy everybody and make them look like a jerk?

Debaters assume the risk by default of arguing logically rather than rhetorically.

It doesn't have to annoy everybody either. Sometimes, everybody's self-interested in the same thing, so it's not annoying at all.

Likewise, people can like jerks because they're authoritative.
larztheloser
Posts: 857
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4/17/2013 7:08:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Debaters assume the risk by default of arguing logically rather than rhetorically."
How does this inherently induce confirmation bias in judges? I just don't follow.

"Sometimes, everybody's self-interested in the same thing, so it's not annoying at all."
I don't think debaters being self-interested in losing is a problem.