Total Posts:2|Showing Posts:1-2
Jump to topic:

RFD: The Automobile

ColeTrain
Posts: 4,306
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/4/2016 8:06:15 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
This is a debate between themightyindividual and FieryNyan regarding the automobile. This vote is being done for the VU (Voter's Union). If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

Link: [http://www.debate.org...]

Resolution: The personal automobile is beneficial to mankind.

Preliminary Clarifications: The resolution is very poorly worded, and gives way to semantics. However, to avoid these obscurities, I'll vote based on what the debate was intended; and vote based off of net benefit and net harm. This renders the BoP shared between both debaters, giving them equal playing field and each a fair shot at affirming and negating, respectively, their side of the resolution.

Note: I did not read the debate prior to voting. I wrote the vote as I was reading.

Round 2:
Pro has a good set-up with contextual information to backset the argument. This is good, as it gives a little history on the topic, allowing voters to see the disparity between life with and without automobiles.

So far, I see a few clear arguments from Pro to support his side:
> Cars are an improvement upon earlier, rudimentary forms of transportation
> Mobilization of the common man / Expansion of the middle class
> Little infrastructure is required for cars to be useful
> Relies on the liberty of the individual, rather than government influence
> Provides employment opportunities

These claims, though some more vague than others, are substantiated by way of rational explanation. Until they are contested, they have merit. So far, though, the case looks fairly strong by Pro, given the variances of arguments and the fundamental truths therein.

Con's argument has an initial flaw that I see right off the bat. The first sentence concedes Pro's first argument of how cars transcend the barriers of earlier forms of transportation. This is a big no-no. You can't immediately concede arguments like that so quickly. I would suggest undermining the impact if you must concede, not just outright give your opponent the argument.

Also, your interpretation of the resolution is a bit extreme. Given Pro's opportunity to semantically exploit the resolution, he can point out one benefit and win; that fulfills the resolution. Yet, even my kind interpretation of the resolution is not congruent with your logic. Sure, mankind/humanity is all inclusive, but the resolution is balanced. This means that the NET benefits should outweigh NET harms or vice versa.

Similarly, you take your argument to the hypothetical, and example which is outside the realm of reality. Don't argue extremities, take what the resolution gives you, realistically, and apply your arguments thusly. This is the scenario with your traffic jams argument. You assume everyone owns a vehicle, which is untrue. The resolution doesn't include an addendum that states "assuming everyone has an automobile." Thus, the argument you give here is not valid.

Here are the clear arguments I can buy from Con:
> Petrol cost doesn't benefit humanity, as more people suffer the price increase than those who benefit from it
> Carbon emission --> linked to air quality --> linked to sickness (this argument is veiled in skepticism, though, because it is not properly explained)
> Diversity is superior to single reliance on automobiles

Round 3:
Pro's opening remarks are congruent to my interpretations of Con's traffic jam argument: it's inherently hypothetical, and thus is not adequate to fulfill the burden of proof. Instead, Pro turns the argument to his favor in two ways: a) investment in infrastructure can remedy the issue (if it is even applicable to the debate), and b) automobile's have spurred the improvements in infrastructure already, which has benefited mankind.

Likewise, he turns the argument by presenting the opposite hypothetical, or alternative: public transportation is just as inadequate, if not more, of handling the brunt of transportation. It also has underlying arguments against the inconsistency and potential abuse of government control.

Air quality, as Pro mentions, isn't harmed exclusively by cars. The variety of facets makes this point of less importance. Moreover, Pro sufficiently negates the point by suggesting the purchase of more efficient, less harmful cars.

Unfortunately, Pro drops the point about petrol costs. We'll see how that pans out in the future. Already, though, the point wasn't really strong simply by virtue of the fact that concurrent to price increase, you have a car and the benefits from that.

Almost this entire round, Con's argument consists of solely hypothetical scenario, outside the confines of realism. These are of little importance, as Pro pointed out. Con makes no claims to further substantiate their merit in the debate, and they are thus considered moot points.

At this point, the debate seems to have turned away from the resolution, and both sides are guilty of arguing something along the lines of this question: which is better, public transport or cars? This isn't the resolution, and this stray renders a skewed debate.

Con claims we shouldn't spend more money on environmentally friendly cars, but choose public transport. The reason he gives is not backed up. There is no supporting evidence of how public transport is more friendly to the environment, especially on a broad scale. Bus systems are worse than cars for the environment, so Con's point isn't adequately backed up to support his argument.

Again, Con concedes that automobiles greatly benefit those who use them. Insofar as the debate has gone, this fulfills the burden: humans use cars, they benefit humans, and thus humanity is benefited. The interpretation of the resolution, I believe, is quite fair and exemplary of how the debate should be modeled.

Round 4:
Pro moves back to arguing more closely aligned to the resolution by explaining how a balance between the two types of transportation is optimal, and how automobiles make that balance possible, which by extension benefits humanity. Those who use cars get the direct cars, and those who don't use cars get the indirect benefit of a more open public transportation system.

This quote from Pro is a good sum-up of what I have seen so far: "I have proven that the car allows both users and non-users to get places faster by lowering the pressure placed on the transit systems and by moving faster and more efficiently." Of course, there is still 1.5 rounds to go.

Con's argument here doesn't really make sense. He makes a lot of sarcastic remarks, but none seem to put him any closer to fulfilling his burden. I can't really understand what coherent point at which Con is driving, and because of this unclear argument, Con doesn't really benefit much from this round.

Round 5:
Pro's pie/cake metaphor is quite effective, and presents a valid point. The car benefits humanity as a whole; perhaps not directly, but indirectly.

Pro also points out a noteworthy flaw in Con's argument: expense shouldn't mandate whether something is effective or not, especially when alternative methods can complement the preferred.

Again, Con's arguments seem to skirt the context of the round by arguing old points that really had no impact towards the resolution in the first place, and that were primarily arguing whether public or personal car transportation is better. Furthermore, the rebuttal against the metaphorical use of foods is also flawed: it misunderstands that now there is more for them to partake of.. more food to enjoy. This is similar to the scenario of balancing types of transportation.

Otherwise, the arguments are a little confusing, and don't adequately represent the entirety of the debate.

Conclusion will be in the following post...
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,306
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/4/2016 8:06:26 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Conclusion:
This was a good debate, and both debaters did a relatively well job at arguing their side. However, this is a clear win for Pro. He was able to prove, based on the merit of the resolution, that on balance, personal ownership of automobiles is a benefit to mankind. He did this in a variety of ways. None of his original points were ever effectively rebutted, so those stand. Also, he explains that because personal cars can free up other transportations, it allows for a better balance of transportation, making it easier for all. Thus, I vote Pro.

The biggest critique I have for this debate is simply that both debaters strayed from the resolution and began (and continued throughout the entirety of the debate) to argue about preferability of different types of transportations, not whether or not the car was beneficial. Overall, though, good job, guys! Don"t take anything personal, it was only a vote, and hopefully this feedback will help you both improve in the future as well!

**This vote was done for the VU (Voter"s Union)**
If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW