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The Shotgun Tactic

Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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2/6/2010 9:25:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Explanation of the shotgun tactic: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Many debaters love raising a blizzard of different contentions in their debates. They usually make their arguments very terse and give them almost no explanation. So, here is my question.

How many arguments can reasonably be presented in a debate round before a debater is guilty of using the shotgun tactic?

For example, in defense of the proposition 'Christianity is a force for good in the world' one of my opponents wrote:

1. Christians have a greater life expectancy than those without religion (9).
2. Christians are less likely to abuse alcohol and other intoxicants (10).
3. Christians are less likely to be obese and depressed (11).
4. Christians are generally happier (12).
5. Christians are less likely to be incarcerated (13).
6. Christians give almost 4 times more to charity (14).
6. Christians participate 2 times more in charities than nonreligious (15).
7. Christians are sexually more satisfied (16).
8. Evangelical Christians are less likely to get divorced (17).
If Christians are generally more healthy, peaceful and charitable, according to what standard of good does my opponent appeal to when making his claims?

At what point are these tactics reasonable, and at what point are they unfair. Perhaps I'm guilty of using this tactic myself.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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2/6/2010 10:35:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/6/2010 9:34:48 PM, wjmelements wrote:
Do not complain. http://www.debate.org...

Alright, but those arguments only take one or two words to refute.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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2/6/2010 10:36:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I was also facing 8 contentions at the start of my most recent debate. I simply condensed the issues into 4 broader categories, which looks similarly possible in your above example. If that ever isn't possible or appropriate, I'd suggest providing equally brief responses and allow your opponent to expand on those arguments he finds most relevant.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/6/2010 11:50:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
The only point where they might resemble unfairness is if it's an in-person spoken debate. Which is why such debates suck.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/7/2010 12:01:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Comments allow for character limits to be laughable.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Alex
Posts: 2,058
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2/7/2010 1:17:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/6/2010 9:25:40 PM, Freeman wrote:
Explanation of the shotgun tactic: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Many debaters love raising a blizzard of different contentions in their debates. They usually make their arguments very terse and give them almost no explanation. So, here is my question.


How many arguments can reasonably be presented in a debate round before a debater is guilty of using the shotgun tactic?


For example, in defense of the proposition 'Christianity is a force for good in the world' one of my opponents wrote:

1. Christians have a greater life expectancy than those without religion (9).
2. Christians are less likely to abuse alcohol and other intoxicants (10).
3. Christians are less likely to be obese and depressed (11).
4. Christians are generally happier (12).
5. Christians are less likely to be incarcerated (13).
6. Christians give almost 4 times more to charity (14).
6. Christians participate 2 times more in charities than nonreligious (15).
7. Christians are sexually more satisfied (16).
8. Evangelical Christians are less likely to get divorced (17).
If Christians are generally more healthy, peaceful and charitable, according to what standard of good does my opponent appeal to when making his claims?



At what point are these tactics reasonable, and at what point are they unfair. Perhaps I'm guilty of using this tactic myself.

Those aren't all separate arguments, they are just statistics supporting one argument.
Why kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
MTGandP
Posts: 702
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2/7/2010 10:43:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I don't think it's a problem. You can usually say something like, I refuted this many so that's good enough. Plus, when there are that many arguments they usually aren't very strong. In this case you can destroy them ALL with a single paragraph, explaining why correlation does not imply causation.
sherlockmethod
Posts: 317
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2/7/2010 10:50:38 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The shotgun tactic is most effective in live debates. I use the term Gish Gallop, same concept. When I see this in a debate here, I try to condense the points into broad categories. If I can't then I pick three or four and offer another debate on the other points.
Library cards: Stopping stupid one book at a time.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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2/7/2010 11:02:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The 'shotgun tactic' is not an issue on an online debate site where both contenders have the same character and time limits.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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2/7/2010 11:06:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/7/2010 11:02:25 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
The 'shotgun tactic' is not an issue on an online debate site where both contenders have the same character and time limits.

It is when an absurd statement can be made that takes more characters to refute than the claim took in the first place.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
infam0us
Posts: 25
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2/7/2010 11:33:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
in live debates, it's incredibly irritating. i just probably (haven't got the results back yet) lost a debate this weekend because someone brought up all these quotes and kept spouting empty rhetoric in a cross-ex round. shotgun tactics are especially annoying when you are forced to speak first. of course, i'm referring to PF debate here.

on the internet, i could care less.
Cherymenthol
Posts: 158
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2/7/2010 11:51:11 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
In LD is spreading. Laying out a sh-t load of contentions going 400wpm for six minutes. That is unfair. but so is life. and the way to deal with is is grouping arguments
infam0us
Posts: 25
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2/7/2010 12:03:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/7/2010 11:51:11 AM, Cherymenthol wrote:
In LD is spreading. Laying out a sh-t load of contentions going 400wpm for six minutes. That is unfair. but so is life. and the way to deal with is is grouping arguments

imo, spreading is bad conduct. there's no point of having all those great arguments if you can't understand any of them. this is very important if you just have a typical judge, someone who didn't do debate and can't understand spreading. people who spread will almost always lose the debate in this scenario.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/7/2010 3:31:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"4. Christians are generally happier (12)."

Probably not from the same study, but there was one done where while that was the result, it was a measure of IQ and self assuredness of belief (lower IQ = more self assured dogmatic approach = happier).
Cherymenthol
Posts: 158
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2/7/2010 3:46:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/7/2010 2:44:00 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I don't spread, in that I don't go ridiculously fast. I absolutely hate when people do that.

Can you follow it? I can go roughly 300-350 wpm. I learned after getting beaten by it too many times.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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2/7/2010 3:52:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/7/2010 3:46:25 PM, Cherymenthol wrote:
At 2/7/2010 2:44:00 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I don't spread, in that I don't go ridiculously fast. I absolutely hate when people do that.

Can you follow it? I can go roughly 300-350 wpm. I learned after getting beaten by it too many times.

For the most part, I can follow it. But, my district is arguably one of the most traditional districts in the country, meaning that people don't really do that down here. We've been very resistant to that stupid progressive style.