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RFD: Bsh1 v. Airmax (Free Speech)

YYW
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3/24/2016 11:02:31 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
http://www.debate.org...

I. Resolution, burdens and disclosures:

"On balance, the U.S. approach to free speech is preferable to the European approach to free speech."

The resolution is normative, and thus the burdens are equal. The definitions are conventional, which is good.

Regarding disclosures, I regard both debaters with similar levels of antipathy; so, in that sense, I am equally biased against both of them. I am likewise equally biased against both of their perspectives, on both a personal and moral level. So, in that I hate everything and everyone equally, both debaters can sleep soundly that this analysis is unbiased in every way that matters.

As a further disclosure, I think the CON accepts and PRO debates a while bunch of stuff and then waives the last round is stupid and idiosyncratic, to a point that it generally should be avoided. We are not off to a good start, but w/e. Not my debate. I don't care.

As a further disclosure, I have a standing bet with another member how each and every judge will vote. We agree that my RFD is unlikely to influence any of them, so I see no reason but to post it here. (Hint: Whiteflame will do what I do not do, unless of course my saying this was to get him to do what I do... or is this double WIFOM? The world may never know. All I know is that regardless of whether he choses the right or wrong outcome, his reasons will be wrong. We did not bet on the correctness of analysis, of course, for obvious reasons.)

II. Arguments

PRO frames this debate in terms of his values, and he claims that he values liberty, and freedom of speech is an extension of liberty, regard for free speech's merit is inherent, with the implication that to talk of free speech's value is akin to discussing the health benefits of drinking water.

PRO's arguments, simply, are (1) that the risks to society for sanctioning speech outweigh any benefit they might have, such that there is no example where this rule does not hold, and there is likewise no example where censorship led to anything other than negative outcomes for government and society; (2) freedom of speech as such is "entirely necessary" in liberal democracies, and to do so would be at the expense of liberty and justice regardless of the intentions. Therefore, in his advocacy in support of the American model, PRO makes a compelling point. PRO does nothing to discuss the European model.

CON suggests that absolute free speech is not something that the US endorses, and then discusses other ways that the United States restricts free speech; similarly, he frames the free speech issue as one in tension between the right to be safe and the right to be free.

CON does not articulate a coherent difference between the European model and the American model, however. He discusses their similarities; on the surface, important documents suggest the importance and legal value of free speech in both worlds. He discusses the similarities of legal methods of restricting certain kinds of speech, and not others. CON discusses the "proportionality" test employed by the EU, and later discusses Bryer's (an American jurist) employing a similar proportionality test. CON does not distinguish anything more than a semantic difference; nothing substantive. CON discusses differing "levels of freedom" among different kinds of speech (though his numbers are dubious); while the numbers may differ, the systems CON outlines very much appear to have more in common than they do not. CON proceeds to a later discussion of values, and while he does *mention* rights like "due process," and "privacy," or "autonomy," he does nothing to connect them to free speech. From CON's case, the reader and judge is left wondering what the differences are between the American and European model, if any, and why he even included his discussion of "values" because it did nothing to advance his BOP.

III. Clash

What proceeded in subsequent rounds was strange. PRO and CON agree that America and Europe restrict some speech in some ways and not other speech in other ways, and that both governmental structures "have" values. Yet, CON did nothing to connect those "values" to the European model, the American model, or weigh the 'value' of how those values are weighed in each respective system against the other. PRO and CON agree that those restrictions are weighed against certain other interests. Yet, PRO finally gets to a point where he simply says that the US system is better than Europe's. I agree that the Levels of Freedom argument was too abstract, to the point of being meaningless.

PRO asks the questions: "what right is being lost by having unlimited speech? What rights are being gained by limiting speech?" which directly cut against CON's unsupported conclusion, that the EU is better; but as a reader, I still wonder what the differences are... Like PRO, I too have no idea what CON's point was.

HOWEVER, PRO thereafter took the initiative to articulate a meaningful difference between the two systems, in the context of hate speech. (I would have thought he would have chosen lower hanging fruit, but he literally chose the strongest example for CON.) Alas, PRO articulates specific examples of how censorship laws in Europe are not "free" speech at all; and discusses their negative implications. One such impact, which thematically encapsulates all of them, is this: Hate speech legislation, particularly at European Union level, and the way this legislation is interpreted, must take into account freedom of expression in order to avoid disproportionate criminalisation of unpopular or offensive viewpoints or impede the study and debate of matters of historical importance."

PRO explains that "Delineating the line between speech that is considered rude and that which is considered insulting for the purposes of criminal prosecution is an utterly subjective undertaking..." and indicates the implications of such laws in Europe "while European authorities have at times appeared reluctant to go after Islamist firebrands spouting hatred, those engaging in legitimate debate about Islamism are frequently targeted for prosecution."

In reply, CON has very little more than to discuss his nebulous, illusory, and entirely unsubstantiated "levels of freedom" argument, which appears to make sense to no one other than him. (As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical.)

CON claims that the Europeans accommodate "privacy rights in a variety of ways" and he discusses data collection. But this isn't even remotely relevant to free speech; it's about privacy. Free speech and privacy are both important, but this argument is tangential to the resolution and does not uphold his burden of proof until he can connect it to free speech. CON's sole gesture is "insofar as access to information, and its distribution, is a free speech issue, this is topical" but his warrant applied to government's access to information, not individual's access to information, only the latter of which would be topical unless he could otherwise connect the absence of government surveillance to free speech. It's a non-point.

(continued below)
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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3/24/2016 11:03:14 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
This same deficiency held true with due process arguments, right to be forgotten arguments, etc. A most charitable reading of CON's case suggests nothing other than that privacy and free speech are only conditionally connected together; as being necessarily to protect human dignity and thwart government abuse. But, they exist in isolation of one another, as one is sufficient to uphold CON's burden whereas the other is not. Regretfully, CON failed to appreciate the inherently fallacious structure of his argument; to the disastrous effect of failing to uphold his burden of proof.

IV. Outcome:

PRO wins because he upheld his burden of proof by stating with particularity specific harms caused by the European model of speech censorship which were not present in the American model, and CON loses because he (a) failed first to substantially articulate any concrete distinction between the US model and the European model, (b) only once PRO articulated such a distinction, was able to discuss the differences between the American and European models, (c) failed to sufficiently link warrants to topical impacts on three occasions, with respect to (i) distinctions, (ii) rights, and (iii) values.
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YYW
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3/24/2016 11:20:29 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
V. Comments

As the resolution suggests, the winner of this debate would necessarily be the one who articulated more persuasive reasons to support the overall desirability of the European free speech model, or the American model. Only PRO in this case was able to do these indispensable things: (1) coherently explain what the models were, (2) articulate differences between them, and (3) indicate why those differences made one system better than the other.

PRO should have in his introductory round spent time disparaging the European model; had he not done this in later rounds, he would have lost. CON essentially talked around and against himself for the majority of the debate; against, in the sense that he--though perhaps inadvertently--spent entirely too much time focusing on the functional and structural SIMILARITIES of the American and European models, and around, in the sense that he--again, I think without intention--offered numerous arguments that did nothing to advance his burden of persuasion (read: made nontopical arguments).

When people write arguments, their arguments must ACTUALLY support their burdens; CON in this case had to show that the European model was superior to the American model, whereas PRO had to show that the American Model was superior to Europe's. There are voluminous examples of and arguments with respect to the superiority and inferiority of each continental model; PRO suggested some of them, CON managed to avoid nearly all of them, save for his exceptionally weak rebuttals.

What win's rounds in debate, and what persuades in life, is not unintelligible abstraction. CON's "levels of freedom" argument was essentially meaningless; he did nothing to support it, articulate the impact of different quantifications of "freedom," or even support the--dubious at best--"findings" of such differences. The argument was facially indecipherable, and utterly incoherent--any reader who claims to have been persuaded by it is either incompetent, flat out lying, or reading meaning into the words CON wrote that was not there. As all judges must do, this debate could only be judged on the basis of what *was* written; not what CON thought he was saying, nor where I know he probably would have went if he himself actually understood the argument he was making. Alas, this will prove a learning experience.

VI. Why this RFD was Written

Generally, I don't make RFD's on debates that I am not a judge on. But I was asked to do so by one of the debaters (Airmax), and before I leave, I want my RFD on record for this debate because I predict it will be one of the "most viewed" due to the profile of the debaters on this site.

An RFD must sufficiently explain why the winner won and the loser lost. This RFD does that, because it (1) charted the trajectory of each debater's arguments throughout the debate in every way that mattered, (2) analyzed the respective and comparative strength of those arguments (though I could have done more of that), and (3) indicated precisely *how*, on an objective level, Airmax won and bsh1 lost, due to the specifics of both what each did or didn't do in the debate.
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bsh1
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3/24/2016 11:36:35 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
The notion that this RFD is in anyway unbiased is absurd on its face, and is--in fact--a lie.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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3/24/2016 11:47:21 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
To explain, when I asked YYW if he would like to be a judge on this debate--some weeks ago when this debate was still in the planning process--he declined because he felt too strongly in favor of Max's position. If YYW would be willing to allow me to screenshot the PM, I can go back and find it and do so. But, I think all anyone need do is check out any of YYW's recent threads on censorship and hate speech for this point to be proven.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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3/25/2016 12:05:52 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
First, I was not asking YYW not to write and RFD,, but he should have waited until after the debate's voting period concluded, which I did ask him to do. If he was happy enough to listen to Max's request, I see no reason why he should not have also honored my request.

Secondly, there are just a few things (6 quick points) I want to address from the above though.

1. "PRO's arguments, simply, are"

No warrants were provided for either of Pro's points, as YYW elucidates them. I fairly clearly noted in the round that Pro did almost no work to ground free speech, esp. in comparison to the work I invested to ground my values.

2. "CON does not articulate a coherent difference between the European model and the American model, however."

Actually, I do. I draw distinctions between various privacy, due process, and structural differences between the EUM and USM. Just to select on area where I drew contrast, I explained how the EUM finds RTBF a fundamental right, but the USM would find RTBF illegal because it violates free speech. This is a clear and concrete distinction.

3. "CON discusses the 'proportionality' test employed by the EU, and later discusses Bryer's (an American jurist) employing a similar proportionality test."

I never said the proportionality test was used in the EUM or by Breyer. Breyer's quote was contrasting the EUM and the USM, noting that the USM has different tests (e.g. strict scrutiny) while the EUM has proportionality as its single test.

4. "while he does *mention* rights like "due process," and "privacy," or "autonomy," he does nothing to connect them to free speech."

Insofar as I show how the USM's strict approach to free speech hurts due process, privacy, safety, and any other right or good I mentioned, I connected them to free speech.

If the USM's approach to free speech harms enough other rights that "personal freedom" as a whole is damaged, as I think my data likely shows that it is, then the Con world is better, even with restricted free speech.

5. "CON claims that the Europeans accommodate "privacy rights in a variety of ways" and he discusses data collection. But this isn't even remotely relevant to free speech; it's about privacy."

This misunderstands so much of the debate. If free speech harms privacy, and if the harms to privacy outweigh the gains to free speech, then free speech should be restricted. The logic here was simple, and fairly obvious.

6. "The argument was facially indecipherable, and utterly incoherent--any reader who claims to have been persuaded by it is either incompetent, flat out lying, or reading meaning into the words CON wrote that was not there."

This kind of rhetoric is inappropriate, designed to signal to other judges the "correct" way to vote, and a subtle form of voter intimidation.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

Follow the DDOlympics
: http://www.debate.org...

Open Debate Topics Project: http://www.debate.org...
dylancatlow
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3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point
ColeTrain
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3/25/2016 2:57:38 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 2:06:39 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
The tension is real
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
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"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
YYW
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3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
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3/25/2016 3:08:23 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?

I meant that I cracked up. The fact that you're maintaining the pretense of being unbiased is just too much for me to handle without bursting into laughter. Maybe your RFD is fair, but that's purely a coincidence.
YYW
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3/25/2016 3:20:31 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:08:23 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?

I meant that I cracked up. The fact that you're maintaining the pretense of being unbiased is just too much for me to handle without bursting into laughter. Maybe your RFD is fair, but that's purely a coincidence.

My RFD was perfectly objective and unbiased. I simply read texts, and report what happened. I do nothing else.

Airmax objectively won and bsh1 objectively lost.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
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3/25/2016 3:22:53 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:20:31 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:08:23 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?

I meant that I cracked up. The fact that you're maintaining the pretense of being unbiased is just too much for me to handle without bursting into laughter. Maybe your RFD is fair, but that's purely a coincidence.

My RFD was perfectly objective and unbiased. I simply read texts, and report what happened. I do nothing else.

Airmax objectively won and bsh1 objectively lost.

Perhaps you're right. But if Bsh1 won, you would try to deny it.
YYW
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3/25/2016 3:24:20 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:22:53 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:20:31 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:08:23 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?

I meant that I cracked up. The fact that you're maintaining the pretense of being unbiased is just too much for me to handle without bursting into laughter. Maybe your RFD is fair, but that's purely a coincidence.

My RFD was perfectly objective and unbiased. I simply read texts, and report what happened. I do nothing else.

Airmax objectively won and bsh1 objectively lost.

Perhaps you're right. But if Bsh1 won, you would try to deny it.

No, I would have given him the win.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
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3/25/2016 3:25:03 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:24:20 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:22:53 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:20:31 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:08:23 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?

I meant that I cracked up. The fact that you're maintaining the pretense of being unbiased is just too much for me to handle without bursting into laughter. Maybe your RFD is fair, but that's purely a coincidence.

My RFD was perfectly objective and unbiased. I simply read texts, and report what happened. I do nothing else.

Airmax objectively won and bsh1 objectively lost.

Perhaps you're right. But if Bsh1 won, you would try to deny it.

No, I would have given him the win.

Riiiiight
YYW
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3/25/2016 3:26:35 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:25:03 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:24:20 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:22:53 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:20:31 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:08:23 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:04:18 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/25/2016 2:23:50 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
"As luck would have it, I know the argument, but cannot give credit for arguments that are insufficiently articulated, as was the case here. To perform mental gymnastics to remedy the manifest deficiencies in CON's case would be, after all, to show bias against CON and at PRO's expense, which would be unethical."

I lost it at this point

lol what exactly did you lose?

I meant that I cracked up. The fact that you're maintaining the pretense of being unbiased is just too much for me to handle without bursting into laughter. Maybe your RFD is fair, but that's purely a coincidence.

My RFD was perfectly objective and unbiased. I simply read texts, and report what happened. I do nothing else.

Airmax objectively won and bsh1 objectively lost.

Perhaps you're right. But if Bsh1 won, you would try to deny it.

No, I would have given him the win.

Riiiiight

I would. I value my integrity more than any opportunity to extend any temporary slight to someone as the opportunity presents itself.
Tsar of DDO
bsh1
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3/25/2016 3:51:22 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 2:52:20 AM, YYW wrote:
It appears bsh1 retaliates on and attacks anyone who votes against him.

This is false. Not only is it false, it is a personal attack.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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: http://www.debate.org...

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dylancatlow
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3/25/2016 9:29:01 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 3:54:20 AM, YYW wrote:
More people should read my RFD.

Everyone has already read it, they're just scared to comment because they think they'll get caught in the crossfire between you and bsh1 :)
YYW
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3/25/2016 11:37:46 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/25/2016 9:29:01 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/25/2016 3:54:20 AM, YYW wrote:
More people should read my RFD.

Everyone has already read it, they're just scared to comment because they think they'll get caught in the crossfire between you and bsh1 :)

I suppose that's reasonable, given bsh1's tendency to attack anyone who disagrees with him, or, if that fails, feign victimhood.
Tsar of DDO