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RFD for Existence of God Debate

whiteflame
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8/14/2016 6:45:23 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
This is an RFD for the debate between C_e_e and Jerry947 to be found here: http://www.debate.org...

Both sides of this debate are making some pretty fundamental errors in their arguments. I get that these are often personal reasons for belief/nonbelief, but as with any debate, I'm chiefly concerned with the logical strength of these arguments. So when scrolling through the points, I'm trying to see how well every point links to the resolution: does God exist? God is defined as "the creator of the universe, the earth particularly, and the earth"s inhabitants", so I'm looking for any logical reasons, provided by either side, that support or negate this.

And I don't feel like I get much from either side.

Con starts off with a few arguments, starting with the idea that material in the universe shows little organization and from that I am told to assume that there was little intention in it, and hence that a deity was likely not involved in its inception. What confuses me about this argument is the link to the resolution: does God exist? I suppose I can kind of see it: if the organization of the universe is incidental to natural asepcts of that universe, then it is those natural aspects and not God that was responsible for that organization. But I don't see organization in the definition of God. Much as both Pro and Con jump on the idea that intelligent design requires some form of organization, neither side is particularly clear about why that is the case. That's not to say that Pro's response is particularly powerful, as it appears to just assume that certain celestial objects are indicative of intelligent design without explaining why, merely begging the question. But the whole point seems to be lost behind a few key assumptions that neither side explains or challenges.

And, unfortunately, this trend is nearly pervasive among Con's arguments. Con continues by arguing essentially that the Bible is false, since certain aspects of what's written therein are likely impossible. Again, I feel like I'm lacking a link to the resolution. It does not say the Christian God, but even if it did, why is what's written in the Bible relevant? Perhaps if we brought in the infallible nature of God, and then stated that the Bible is that God's direct word, then we might be getting somewhere. But I'm missing those points. So all I'm getting from this argument is "some statements from the Bible aren't possible today, therefore they must be false," but that doesn't have any bearing on the debate as a whole. Again, Pro's responses are threadbare, just stating that these may not actually be false, but that's not really the core problem with these arguments. Both sides seem to be missing the forest because they can't see past the trees.

The same is true of the history argument. I get the argument that belief in deities has often been used to explain phenomena that human beings had no scientific explanation for, which invites some skepticism as to why religion exists. From this, Con might have gone on to argue that all deities follow this same pattern, and as a result, that the conception of any deity is inherently based in uncertainty. The problem is that he doesn't move onto that argument, and once again, I'm left hanging on why this point matters to the resolution. Pro's response is actually stronger here " why do the changes in belief over time, and the lack of belief in certain polytheistic religions, affect whether or not God exists? I'm not clear on that either. There's little reason to believe that this point matters in the context of the debate, and since Con never gives me much of an explanation as to why it does, I'm dismissing it.

Lastly, the fossil record. This point and others like it coming from Pro seem to take over much of the debate, and honestly, I'm not sure why. Neither side clearly states why evolution and the existence of God are mutually exclusive. Con starts off the discussion by pointing to the existence of old fossils, though even if I'm under the impression that evolution and God are mutually exclusive, I'm not clear on why these old fossils prove evolution true. Con jumps from pointing to the existence of old fossils to saying that this presents an increase in complexity that proves evolution true, which seems problematic to me.

Where Pro stumbles is in his response, which is solely based on his own argument regarding the Cambrian explosion. He assumes the same thing Pro does: that evolution is mutually exclusive from the existence of God. In doing so, he's leaving the resolution of this argument up to me. Do I accept what the two debaters assume, or do I base my decision on my own perception of the lack of logical links showcasing the exclusivity?

But before I get to that, let's assess Pro's points.

He starts off on human rights. There are a lot of logical leaps in this point. Pro starts off by assuming that God is necessary for rights. To support this assumption, he argues that there are objective, inalienable rights that are granted by God, and that they are only made objective by God. It's not a bad point, but Pro stumbles a few times in his attempts to make it. It's not at all clear that objective rights exist. Pro asserts that they do, but fails to point to any examples actually presented by any deity. Instead, he points to the Declaration of Independence as evidence, which I feel was a mistake. Con certainly could have argued that just pointing to the Declaration of Independence dooms this point, since that is one example of a set of rights that wildly disagrees with other sets from other countries, all of which function under the impression that their rights are the better/more correct ones. It was an opportunity to point out that what Pro presents as an objective set of rights is anything but, though it's a missed opportunity in this case. The only other point is that peoples' feelings somehow decide whether or not objective moral rights exist, though this point is never supported in any way that I can see.

Con's actual response is really wanting. He says that society isn't actually equal. At best, that just shows a general failing with society that may represent an inability to enforce rights. That's a fine problem, but it's irrelevant to the resolution. There's really not much response to Pro's points at all, and much as I'm not inclined to agree with Pro's assessment due to the logical leaps he takes, it nonetheless stays on the table.

The Cambrian Explosion point is a muddled mess with scant little scientific analysis. Pro asserts that there was an explosion with no transitional forms during a certain period in our evolutionary history. Again, I'm left wondering how this supports either side on this debate, despite the assumption by both sides that it does, but let's focus on the argument. Pro's argument basically says that since a whole lot of new species came into existence during this period, they must have been designed. This functions under a very faulty assumption that, if one leading theory cannot explain a set of data, then the other theory must be true. Pro provides no reason other than this to believe that the Cambrian Explosion proves anything, much less that it proves that God exists. If this was a debate about evolutionary theory, this point may have held water, but it's not, and so it really only hangs on by a thread.
whiteflame
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8/14/2016 6:45:37 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Con does break that thread. He talks about how other portions of life history on this planet do have transitional forms in the fossil record. That point, at the very least, shows that there's reason to believe evolution over several other periods of that life history. So, at the very least, this calls into question whether the Cambrian Explosion proves any theory correct, since intelligent design doesn't explain the fossil record of any other portion of that history. Con also explains that there were some transition forms in the Cambrian period, to which Pro's response is basically just dismissal without explanation. So I'm buying the turn on this point, and thus that Con is winning the evolution vs. intelligent design argument.

The truth point suffers from the same problems as the rights point. Pro says that objective truths exist, and that those truths come from the mind, then says that universal truths exist, and that therefore those universal truths must come from a universal mind... I'm really having trouble on that last one. Why does a universal truth need to come from a universal mind? Why can it not come from any other mind? Beyond that, I'm left asking what Pro's talking about. It seems to me that he's discussing, to start, objective facts about the world in which we live, and later on, laws that govern how the universe functions (i.e. mathematical laws). Those don't seem to overlap as well as Pro would have us believe. I'm having a hard time understanding why 1+1=2 can't exist separate from the mind, or why if it must exist in the mind, why that mind must be universal, or even why God has a universal mind.

But once again, Con seems to miss the point. Con argues that 1+1=2 isn't a universal truth because it depends on the subject of the statement. Pro isn't exactly good at addressing this point, but he does say that 1+1=2 is a truth that goes beyond any human statement to that effect. There may always be factors that affect the ways that we perceive what that 2 represents, but it is something fundamental to the universe (as far as we know). But it really doesn't matter because I'm honestly having so much trouble parsing Pro's point that I can't do much with it. I'm not sure how the law of non-contradiction plays into this point, nor do I have any clear logical evidence from this argument that any universal mind exists. Pro just doesn't do the work for me, and so this point goes nowhere.

The remaining two points from Pro don't really go anywhere for me.

Pro mainly uses the history point as pre-rebuttal to naturalism, which is kind of the argument coming from construction of the universe and evolution, but not really. Con never really delves into the naturalism points that Pro states (many of which I think are misrepresentations of the theory), and there's really nothing else here beyond the view that people have believed in God for a long, long time, which neither counters Con's reasons why that's the case nor explains why that proves God exists. I suppose Pro could have argued that, without taking up this viewpoint, Con effectively doesn't have an explanation to counter God, but both he and Pro seem to agree that evolution is such an explanation. It doesn't explain how the brain works, but it's not clear that an explanation for where logical thought comes from is necessary, nor does God clearly explain that either.

The personal experiences point is nothing but anecdote and ad populum fallacy. If enough people believe in God and had some experiences that can't easily be explained, God exists. That's basically the argument I'm given. It's unclear exactly why that's true, and though Con's response does little to address it, the point doesn't hold any water. A woman being cured of back pain by unknown means is not proof that God exists.

Conclusion:

Honestly, I don't find the arguments from either side convincing. I think I've made that clear in my analysis, and yet I still do have to make a decision. Without links to the resolution or with clear lapses in logic that prevent points from becoming anything more than perspectives on a given issue, there's really only one point left for both sides. There's Con's point on evolution, which only links to the resolution insofar as both sides seem to function under the perception that it does, and Pro's point on rights, which has an incredibly weak link to its conclusions and lacks severely for explanation. There are other issues I could roll into my analysis, like Pro's wanton dismissal of Con's arguments with what amounts to usually sentence-long responses, but I'll only do so insofar as it affected the strength of Con's points. Since many of Con's arguments were already lacking when he made them, and since those lapses are never corrected, the responses mattered little to me. Even Con's responses are often lost in the weeds, as he seems to go off on tangents and blip out arguments without explaining how they affect the outcome. Both sides could do with some perspective; take a step back from the debate at the end, and really contextualize how and where you're winning.

That being said, much as Con's argument was begging for a solid response, the rights point comes through the clearest with the most relevance to the debate. I can't just pick Pro up on the evolution point because both sides seemed to focus on it as the debate went on. That's the reason I vote Pro.
C_e_e
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8/14/2016 9:08:15 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
First, I want to thank whiteflame for investing the time to read the debate. I truly mean that.
Much as both Pro and Con jump on the idea that intelligent design requires some form of organization, neither side is particularly clear about why that is the case.
The phrase was "deliberate organization." I thought it was rather obvious that deliberate organization usually entails a thrifty management of time, process, or energy, if not more than one of those. When all three are absent in an instance, then the assumed "organizer" should not be called "intelligent." When we observe planet, star, and solar system development we find none of those three.
Again, I feel like I'm lacking a link to the resolution. It does not say the Christian God, but even if it did, why is what's written in the Bible relevant?
I mentioned the Christian god in two instances: The first was under the broad point regard how an understanding of an attribute of true statements manifests during belief in god. Under that categorical point, I asked, "What if there were a belief in a miracle-making God," (not necessarily the Christian god), "would there be reliable conclusion that can be built upon that?" The next time I mentioned the Christian god was in an answer to my opponent's question regarding an alleged relationship with god. My mention, this time was also permitted since, our debate had as a focus our personal journeys. So, my answer to his question detailed a time of belief that I had as a former Christian and how that influenced my assessment of the claim.
So all I'm getting from this argument is "some statements from the Bible aren't possible today, therefore they must be false"
If that is what you got from reading it, you missed the point. So to clarify: I made the claim, at the start, that there is an attribute of true statements, namely that they are often reliable to build further conclusions upon. We know that this cannot be said of false statements. Then I elaborated on how this understanding manifests during belief in a god. And, it manifests in a such a way that it suggests that god isn't there. The other instance of reference to the Christian God was due to my response to Pro's question about the prevalence of the claim to have a relationship with a god.
"Con might have gone on to argue that all deities follow this same pattern, and as a result, that the conception of any deity is inherently based in uncertainty. The problem is that he doesn't move onto that argument"
I didn't, as some would with children, explain every connected conclusion that follows. I assumed high intelligence on the part of the readers.
why do the changes in belief over time, and the lack of belief in certain polytheistic religions, affect whether or not God exists?
I had hoped that strong similarities could be seen among earnest beliefs of the past and earnest beliefs of the present.The implied question, that apparently was missed, was, "How is it different this time; how is it more cogent this time?"
"To support this assumption, he argues that there are objective, inalienable rights that are granted by God, and that they are only made objective by God. It's not a bad point,"
I can't believe so much support has been given to falsity in this debate. Not only are rights alienable (during legally fair processes, and in other governments, unfair processes), but people are not created equal. I addressed that in the debate.
I even said that objective qualities are qualities of a subject it/him/her self regardless of extraneous things existing.
And, if you were to quantify the number of false statements that myself or my opponent made during the debate, he would have the greater quantity. The side with the greater quantity of false statements has the better case?
Sources Points:
I cited four scientific articles. My opponent had none. I cited seven ".edu" sources, including one from Harvard and one from Stanford, which I'll list below. My opponent cited none.
Scientific Articles:
[11] https://arxiv.org...
[12] https://arxiv.org...
[13] https://arxiv.org...
[14] https://arxiv.org...
Edu Sources:
[9] https://www.cfa.harvard.edu...
[17] http://astronomy.swin.edu.au...
[10] http://www.ns.umich.edu...
[3] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[4] https://www.wwu.edu...
[5] https://public.wsu.edu...
[6] http://autocww2.colorado.edu...
SpiritandTruth
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8/14/2016 9:14:35 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Vain imaginings and science falsely so called. It's all missing the point.

God means "The Ultimate Reality". There is no scientific experiment that could disprove God. To do so would be entirely self defeating. God is The Truth, and it doesn't make any sense to say, "It is true that there is no truth." or "It is reality that there is no Ultimate Reality."

Arguing about whether or not scripture is factual misses the point too, because the intent of scripture is to reveal God, not become an idol placed before God.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth,
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 12:21:41 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
The phrase was "deliberate organization." I thought it was rather obvious that deliberate organization usually entails a thrifty management of time, process, or energy, if not more than one of those. When all three are absent in an instance, then the assumed "organizer" should not be called "intelligent." When we observe planet, star, and solar system development we find none of those three.

None of this was stated directly in the debate. I get that you have all of this in your head and that you feel it was obvious, but if it's a point required to link you to an actual impact regarding the existence of God, it should be stated directly. Tell me what deliberate organization entails. Tell me why any mismanagement of celestial objects should lead anyone to believe that said organization doesn't exist. Explain why said organization is necessary for there to be a God. It should have been clear, yet none of this was.

I mentioned the Christian god in two instances: The first was under the broad point regard how an understanding of an attribute of true statements manifests during belief in god. Under that categorical point, I asked, "What if there were a belief in a miracle-making God," (not necessarily the Christian god), "would there be reliable conclusion that can be built upon that?"

I suppose my main problem with the "attribute of true statements" point is that it never seemed to result in anything that I could view as an argument against the resolution. I honestly had trouble understanding it. It was unclear why some demonstrably false statements (if they were false at all - I don't think I ever got clarity on that) denies the conclusion that God exists. Maybe the argument was that miracles are difficult to substantiate and that that leads to more questions than answers, but even that extension doesn't really turn this into a point against God, just a point against miracles. And since all of the miracles you presented were from the Bible, I don't see this as a point against all gods.

The next time I mentioned the Christian god was in an answer to my opponent's question regarding an alleged relationship with god. My mention, this time was also permitted since, our debate had as a focus our personal journeys. So, my answer to his question detailed a time of belief that I had as a former Christian and how that influenced my assessment of the claim.

Again, I get that this is a somewhat personal debate. The problem is that the personal arguments each of you were making did not necessarily have anything to do with the resolution you were addressing. If you wanted to make it personal, then tailor the resolution to that. Focus it on the Christian God and on the logical underpinnings of the religion rather than on deities as a whole. I think you would have had more success there than with a broad resolution like this.

If that is what you got from reading it, you missed the point. So to clarify: I made the claim, at the start, that there is an attribute of true statements, namely that they are often reliable to build further conclusions upon. We know that this cannot be said of false statements. Then I elaborated on how this understanding manifests during belief in a god. And, it manifests in a such a way that it suggests that god isn't there. The other instance of reference to the Christian God was due to my response to Pro's question about the prevalence of the claim to have a relationship with a god.

You can restate the "attribute of true statements" point as much as you'd like, but it still doesn't resonate with me. If this is the logical stream you're going on, then I think where it fails most acutely is here: "it manifests in a such a way that it suggests that god isn't there." Where did you argue this under this point? You argued that, since some miracles from the Bible are extremely unlikely to happen today, that they represent false statements. You never proved that those miracles never happened, but that's a separate issue. The problem is that there's no clear link between "the Bible made some false statements" and "that falsity suggests that God doesn't exist," and yet those are the two points you're trying to link. There's a missing piece or two in this puzzle - you needed to fill it in.

I didn't, as some would with children, explain every connected conclusion that follows. I assumed high intelligence on the part of the readers.

Debate is about being blunt. It's about putting the pieces together in a way that you spell out how your entire case works, and why it matters. What you did was explain your case, and then leave it to the readers to decide what it meant. That's good for discussion, that's bad for debate. It is not childish to explain your conclusions and how you're linking to them, and expecting your voters to come up with those conclusions a) puts you at risk of them coming up with very different conclusions that you won't like, b) means they might miss your conclusions entirely, and c) at least weakens your conclusions by putting them in the hands of others who can decide both what they are and whether they matter, rather than just the latter. Make your judges think as little as possible. There's plenty here to think on without adding more into the mix.

I had hoped that strong similarities could be seen among earnest beliefs of the past and earnest beliefs of the present.The implied question, that apparently was missed, was, "How is it different this time; how is it more cogent this time?"

That question should have been present. It should also have been clear that, as science has progressed, people have moved away from many religions. The atheist population has increased, there's evidence for this. It would have been nice to see it.

I can't believe so much support has been given to falsity in this debate. Not only are rights alienable (during legally fair processes, and in other governments, unfair processes), but people are not created equal. I addressed that in the debate.

...What support? I'm not giving any support, I'm explaining how much of Pro's point went unaddressed and why it continues to survive to the end of the debate. Pointing out that rights are alienable doesn't do anything to his argument. It misses the point entirely. The argument is that there are objective rights. I recognize that he quoted the Declaration of Independence and said that they are also inalienable, but that's not something his argument required to be successful. I explained why the equality point didn't work as well: it doesn't change anything. If you're not countering the argument that some rights are considered objective, then you've missed the key point. That's what he won on, not on the points you think you countered.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 12:26:50 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
I even said that objective qualities are qualities of a subject it/him/her self regardless of extraneous things existing.

That... doesn't really address the point either. That was a response to an entirely different point, and it doesn't apply here. All you're saying here is that there are some things we can objectively see in an individual. That doesn't explain why murder is considered objectively bad, or why rights are given to ensure that murder doesn't happen. That's the argument he was making.

And, if you were to quantify the number of false statements that myself or my opponent made during the debate, he would have the greater quantity. The side with the greater quantity of false statements has the better case?

I don't go through a debate, number the points that each side said that were false, and determine a winner based on who had the least. Yes, I disagree with more of the points made by Pro, and in some cases, I think he's outright wrong. That doesn't change the fact that he had arguments that stuck better to the resolution. And yes, that makes for a better case. I can (and did) dismiss 80% of his arguments, but that 20% matters quite a bit. Someone can win on a single argument. In this case, he did.

I cited four scientific articles. My opponent had none. I cited seven ".edu" sources, including one from Harvard and one from Stanford, which I'll list below. My opponent cited none.

I rarely, if ever, award source points. I may change my mind and do so this time, but I'm not going to do so solely on the basis that you chose some nice academic articles. I'm looking for relevance and reliability in sources. That's what matters to me. The fact that your opponent used very few sources himself and had a lot of unsupported statements may influence my decision, but I'm chiefly concerned with how you used your sources and how they factored into the debate.
Jerry947
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8/15/2016 12:29:11 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/14/2016 6:45:23 PM, whiteflame wrote:

Thanks for the vote Whiteflame. As usual, I am impressed by the great feedback you give.
C_e_e
Posts: 13
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8/15/2016 1:21:58 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
It's about putting the pieces together in a way that you spell out how your entire case works, and why it matters.
Apparently, that is necessary for people like you.
You can restate the "attribute of true statements" point as much as you'd like, but it still doesn't resonate with me.
It resonates with people whose understanding of truth influences their conclusions.
So, spelling it out, as suggested by whiteflame:
It is deemed true that a God exists presently.
When matters are true presently, further conclusions can be reliably made considering them.
When matters are false presently, conclusions made regarding them have to be "reworked," "re-imagined," "re-conceived," or abandoned as untenable.
When we explore which of the two categories the deemed true proposition that a God exists presently would likely be under, we find no further conclusions can be reliably made from that proposition; we find conclusions that have to be re-imagined, re-conceived, or abandoned as untenable.
I gave specific examples of that being the case. Though, I did as the question in the proper way -- "Are there any reliable further conclusions that one could make believing that to be true?" So, not simply narrowly to the Christian god, as whiteflame is saying I proposed, since my examples were of the Christian god. But, the question was open to any god.
What I said about truth and falsity was a very relevant point of the debate.

Then there was my unaddressed point about agnosticism. Spelling it out, as whiteflame suggested:
We know how to prove matters true.
We do so by distinguishing the subject, and showing that the subject is as stated.
We know how to prove matters false.
We do so by distinguishing the subject, and showing that the subject is altogether other than what was stated.
Maintaining this standard of proof, as an agnostic does, is improper and unachievable for subjects which don't exist.
For, subjects which don't exist, cannot be distinguished, the step which is the same for proving true and proving false, and so cannot be explored in a second step, which differs.
My description here is not glaringly dissimilar from how I described it in the debate.
This was another relevant argument to the resolution, this time addressing the issue of existence.
Jerry947
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8/15/2016 3:13:49 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
I can (and did) dismiss 80% of his arguments, but that 20% matters quite a bit. Someone can win on a single argument. In this case, he did.

80 Percent? I laughed when I read that because I sometimes feel the same way when I read debates on this website.

That said, I really tried in this debate to stick to personal arguments and I realize they are never as good. I recently set up ten of these debates and did much better in those. But I find it really interesting in how voters respond to my arguments.
C_e_e
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8/15/2016 6:15:39 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
"And, if you were to quantify the number of false statements that myself or my opponent made during the debate, he would have the greater quantity. The side with the greater quantity of false statements has the better case?"
"I don't go through a debate, number the points that each side said that were false, and determine a winner based on who had the least. Yes, I disagree with more of the points made by Pro, and in some cases, I think he's outright wrong. That doesn't change the fact that he had arguments that stuck better to the resolution. And yes, that makes for a better case. I can (and did) dismiss 80% of his arguments, but that 20% matters quite a bit. Someone can win on a single argument. In this case, he did."
This is the most intellectually unjust conclusion I have seen in quite awhile.
But, please point out to me specifically the 20%.
C_e_e
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8/15/2016 12:10:17 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
"I can't believe so much support has been given to falsity in this debate. Not only are rights alienable (during legally fair processes, and in other governments, unfair processes), but people are not created equal. I addressed that in the debate."
...What support? I'm not giving any support..."
The support was with the statement below, which I quoted, particular, the phrase "It's not a bad point"
"To support this assumption, he argues that there are objective, inalienable rights that are granted by God, and that they are only made objective by God. It's not a bad point,
It's an invalid point, which I addressed by addressing the claim that a god was necessary for objective rights to be granted. I reminded that objective qualities are qualities of a subject it/him/her self regardless of whether extraneous things exist or not. And so, his connection regarding a God being necessary for rights to be objective was not correct.
"I rarely, if ever, award source points. I may change my mind and do so this time, but I'm not going to do so solely on the basis that you chose some nice academic articles. I'm looking for relevance and reliability in sources. That's what matters to me. The fact that your opponent used very few sources himself and had a lot of unsupported statements may influence my decision, but I'm chiefly concerned with how you used your sources and how they factored into the debate."
I don't expect for you to change your mind. My expectations have been lowered at this point. But, my use, in context, of scientific articles is there for all to see. Anyone can see whether it was some unnecessary effort to "chose some nice academic articles" as you phrased it.
After, reading your statement regarding 20%, and this statement about just not bothering usually to make an evaluation for source points, I have determined that "objectivity" is not a useful word of your vocabulary, whiteflame. So, moving forward, please avoid analyzing any of my debates.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 1:57:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/15/2016 6:15:39 AM, C_e_e wrote:
"And, if you were to quantify the number of false statements that myself or my opponent made during the debate, he would have the greater quantity. The side with the greater quantity of false statements has the better case?"
"I don't go through a debate, number the points that each side said that were false, and determine a winner based on who had the least. Yes, I disagree with more of the points made by Pro, and in some cases, I think he's outright wrong. That doesn't change the fact that he had arguments that stuck better to the resolution. And yes, that makes for a better case. I can (and did) dismiss 80% of his arguments, but that 20% matters quite a bit. Someone can win on a single argument. In this case, he did."
This is the most intellectually unjust conclusion I have seen in quite awhile.
But, please point out to me specifically the 20%.

...Seriously? I pointed to it at the top of Con's case. I pointed to it in the conclusion. You're welcome to disagree with the conclusions I came to, but to call it intellectually unjust simply misunderstands how much of debate is judged. If you'll notice, I also dismissed most of your case, mainly because so much of it didn't link to the resolution or linked so poorly that it barely functioned at all. You can be honest and still be off track.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 2:06:23 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/15/2016 12:10:17 PM, C_e_e wrote:
"I can't believe so much support has been given to falsity in this debate. Not only are rights alienable (during legally fair processes, and in other governments, unfair processes), but people are not created equal. I addressed that in the debate."
...What support? I'm not giving any support..."
The support was with the statement below, which I quoted, particular, the phrase "It's not a bad point"
"To support this assumption, he argues that there are objective, inalienable rights that are granted by God, and that they are only made objective by God. It's not a bad point,

...Again, seriously? My saying that it's "not a bad point" supports an argument? I spent a good deal of space in my RFD explaining why it was actually very weak and how it could easily have been torn down. You attacked it in a way that failed to hit at its weakest aspects. The overall argument itself wasn't bad, but it was executed poorly.

It's an invalid point, which I addressed by addressing the claim that a god was necessary for objective rights to be granted. I reminded that objective qualities are qualities of a subject it/him/her self regardless of whether extraneous things exist or not. And so, his connection regarding a God being necessary for rights to be objective was not correct.

As I mentioned above, you seemed to be missing the argument actual point of his argument, which was that some rights are objective, i.e. the right not be murdered. You did state that objective qualities exist regardless of extraneous things, but that isn't a response to the point that there is a pervasive belief that people shouldn't generally be murdered. There are literally a dozen responses I would have accepted for this, but I didn't see any of them.

I don't expect for you to change your mind. My expectations have been lowered at this point. But, my use, in context, of scientific articles is there for all to see. Anyone can see whether it was some unnecessary effort to "chose some nice academic articles" as you phrased it.

I didn't say it was unnecessary effort, and if I'd picked you up on any of your arguments, the sources would likely have been a substantial factor. I said that I don't tend to award source points. I tend to focus on the arguments given and come to a conclusion based solely on them. Again, you're welcome to disagree with that.

After, reading your statement regarding 20%, and this statement about just not bothering usually to make an evaluation for source points, I have determined that "objectivity" is not a useful word of your vocabulary, whiteflame. So, moving forward, please avoid analyzing any of my debates.

...Wow. OK, glad to see you appreciated all of the effort I put into analyzing this thing. I don't see how I could be more objective, to be perfectly honest. I picked your opponent up on an argument I clearly didn't like, explaining why I didn't like it, on the basis that it was still objectively left standing by the end of the debate. You may argue, and I think reasonably, that many of your points were left standing. You're right. The problem is that none of them clearly negated the resolution. Maybe that's just my perception, and maybe I'm wrong. I accept that. But, dude, if your goal is to get reasonable feedback on your debates, maybe try understanding the perspective of your voters instead of just spurning them automatically, especially when one of those voters is going through the effort of responding to every problem you had with their RFD.
C_e_e
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8/15/2016 2:51:46 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
"As I mentioned above, you seemed to be missing the argument actual point of his argument, which was that some rights are objective..."
His point was not, as you say, that rights are objective. And, my point was not that "rights are not objective." His point, more accurately, was "rights are objective and that objective quality is dependent on there existing a god." Don't shorten what he proposed. My opponent and I agreed on their being objective rights and objective morals. We disagreed on what was necessary to have them -- a definite form that is a quality of the subject, or a God. He argued a God was necessary. I argued a definite form was necessary.
"I also dismissed most of your case, mainly because so much of it didn't link to the resolution or linked so poorly"
"The problem is that none of them clearly negated the resolution. Maybe that's just my perception, and maybe I'm wrong. I accept that."
You know the following. But, you have forgotten it: During debates the development that a debate takes is not strictly in the control of either side. But, either side should move forward in a debate with the operating premise that the points made by the other side are proposed, in aggregate, to be supportive of the position of the other side. And so, by responding to the points made by the other side, one not only is responding specifically to the argument made by one's opponent, but is also responding to the recommendation by him that said points support their position. Would I have liked for the debate to be less about objective rights, alleged relationships with god, mathematics, morals, and C.S. Lewis? Yes, I would have. But, by responding to those points, I dually replied to the specific arguments made by my opponent, as well as his endorsement of those points as being supportive of his position.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 3:18:07 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
His point was not, as you say, that rights are objective. And, my point was not that "rights are not objective." His point, more accurately, was "rights are objective and that objective quality is dependent on there existing a god." Don't shorten what he proposed. My opponent and I agreed on their being objective rights and objective morals. We disagreed on what was necessary to have them -- a definite form that is a quality of the subject, or a God. He argued a God was necessary. I argued a definite form was necessary.

You clearly agree that his argument was that rights are objective, so I don't know why you're having an issue with that. I gave a full explanation of how his point functions above, I didn't feel the need to spell it out in detail every single time I mentioned it. As for you providing a definite form, my issue with that argument, and this is the fourth time I'm repeating myself, is that the definite form didn't explain a non-physical state. It doesn't explain why rights exist because rights are not physical qualities that can be verified regardless of the existence of a deity. You agreed that objective rights exist, but you gave no means by which they could exist. He did. Pro told me that the only way they could exist as rights in the minds of everyone was if God put them there. I don't personally agree with that argument, and I found it quite flawed, but it still stood by the end of the debate.

You know the following. But, you have forgotten it: During debates the development that a debate takes is not strictly in the control of either side. But, either side should move forward in a debate with the operating premise that the points made by the other side are proposed, in aggregate, to be supportive of the position of the other side. And so, by responding to the points made by the other side, one not only is responding specifically to the argument made by one's opponent, but is also responding to the recommendation by him that said points support their position. Would I have liked for the debate to be less about objective rights, alleged relationships with god, mathematics, morals, and C.S. Lewis? Yes, I would have. But, by responding to those points, I dually replied to the specific arguments made by my opponent, as well as his endorsement of those points as being supportive of his position.

I... really have no clue what you're trying to prove by saying this. Yes, some debates go off the rails on the basis that certain arguments are tangential to the resolution, and you were right to respond to his arguments, even if in some instances you spent too much time responding to points that weren't functioning in the debate and too little time responding to points that were. The problem, and what we've been discussing now for a while, is that I'm comparing two cases: yours and his. What I'm concerned with is which points survive the rebuttals given by both sides, and then following that, which of those points bear significance with regards to the resolution you were both arguing under. So, I flow through most of your arguments, since the lack of rebuttal left them mostly standing, and then I flow through pieces of your opponent's points, since your rebuttal did more damage. Now, if I assessed the debate based solely on the status of each argument at the end of the debate, you'd have won. But that's not where I stop. I stop after I assess the strength of those arguments under the resolution. I did that assessment, found that even with so many of your arguments surviving, none of them did much to negate the resolution, and turned to Pro's arguments. I found one that had survived mostly intact, determined that it was sufficient to affirm the resolution, and voted for him.

Clearly, you don't like this style of voting. You'd rather have something holistic, where my goal is to compare the overall status of each side's points, allowing the debaters to essentially craft the debate in the manner they choose and picking sides based on who did that debate best. I can see reasons for doing that, but that's not how I judge. It matters to me what the resolution says. It matters to me how well each side tailors their argument to address that resolution. Call that subjective, call it unjust, call it whatever you like. This is how I assess debates. And since you've said that you're so upset that you never want me to vote on another of your debates again (funny, since you personally requested that I vote on this one), you'll only have to endure my style the once.
C_e_e
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8/15/2016 4:08:34 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
"...a non-physical state. It doesn't explain why rights exist because rights are not physical qualities that can be verified regardless of the existence of a deity. You agreed that objective rights exist, but you gave no means by which they could exist. "
For clarity, is this the one point by which he won? I've missed what the one point was. You claimed I gave no means by which they could exist. So, I'll explain the means I gave. For instance, I gave the example of the definition for being "wrong." The definition entailed the quality of being inconsiderate or dismissive of likely effective harm that an act would cause for another person. The means by which being "wrong" would still exist without a god, is the fact that people can be inconsiderate or dismissive still. It is obvious that people would still be able to. So, your interpretation that objective qualities having to be physical, is a wrong conclusion.
"He did. Pro told me that the only way they could exist as rights in the minds of everyone was if God put them there. I don't personally agree with that argument, and I found it quite flawed, but it still stood by the end of the debate."
I'm shocked.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 4:21:09 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
For clarity, is this the one point by which he won? I've missed what the one point was. You claimed I gave no means by which they could exist. So, I'll explain the means I gave. For instance, I gave the example of the definition for being "wrong." The definition entailed the quality of being inconsiderate or dismissive of likely effective harm that an act would cause for another person. The means by which being "wrong" would still exist without a god, is the fact that people can be inconsiderate or dismissive still. It is obvious that people would still be able to. So, your interpretation that objective qualities having to be physical, is a wrong conclusion.

Yes, it's the one point he won. I've already explained how your responses were not enough to defeat it, but I'll go back to it. Your argument that it could be considered wrong simply because of what harm it causes to another person, but as Pro pointed out, even establishing that harm occurs requires some objective standard. It's one of the few responses Con gave to your arguments that I actually bought - how do you establish that someone is being inconsiderate or dismissive of outcomes that have negative effects on others without some objective standard? If you accept that an objective standard exists, then I have to know where it comes from. You didn't do that.

I'm shocked.

...By what? I explained all of this in the opening posts.
C_e_e
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8/15/2016 4:42:07 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
...By what?
I'm shocked that something can be admittedly fallacious and simultaneously be deemed to be the prevailing point that overrides all I've said that wasn't fallacious.
So, because he posited the answer during the debate that "objective qualities come from god" -- the bear assertion, and I did not explain, as though I was talking to grade-school children, that objective qualities don't "come" from anything nor anyone, his words prevailed in a decisive manner? . Instead, we notice qualities of actions, of objects, of people. And when the qualities we notice are fact-based as opposed to prejudice base, we label furthermore those qualities as being "objective." And since, this is the intentional reference and the extension of the word "objective," this is how it exists -- when these qualities are present.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 5:13:12 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
I'm shocked that something can be admittedly fallacious and simultaneously be deemed to be the prevailing point that overrides all I've said that wasn't fallacious.

It's not my place to make arguments for you. The reasons why this argument was fallacious, the reasons why I was ready to dismiss it, never appeared in the debate. It's up to you to make those arguments. It's up to you to show where the fault is. To assume that I should take on your role is literally asking for judge intervention on your behalf. And the fact that your arguments weren't fallacious doesn't obviate the fact that they didn't do anything substantial to negate the resolution. Again, from my perspective, this is not a contest of who can provide the most arguments that have reasonable logic. Relevance matters as well.

So, because he posited the answer during the debate that "objective qualities come from god" -- the bear assertion, and I did not explain, as though I was talking to grade-school children, that objective qualities don't "come" from anything nor anyone, his words prevailed in a decisive manner? . Instead, we notice qualities of actions, of objects, of people. And when the qualities we notice are fact-based as opposed to prejudice base, we label furthermore those qualities as being "objective." And since, this is the intentional reference and the extension of the word "objective," this is how it exists -- when these qualities are present.

...I don't know if you're deliberately misreading me or what, but that "bear" assertion was not the reason that he won out on this argument. He won the argument, in my estimation, because he explained what it was about objective rights that made them different from objective qualities that one could define simply by physical traits. If you'd argued that objective rights don't have to come from anyone or anything, then I need to know at the very least how they're derived by providing me with objective qualities to work with. I needed to either see an external reason why objective rights exist, or I needed to see a way in which objective rights could be decided by other factors. Your explanation invited nothing but subjectivity, as he pointed out. You didn't base them in fact, you basically just asserted that what's inconsiderate or dismissive to others is an objective fact. Your opponent challenged that, and I bought the challenge. I don't know what you're missing here.
C_e_e
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8/15/2016 7:17:48 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
"You didn't base them in fact, you basically just asserted that what's inconsiderate or dismissive to others is an objective fact. Your opponent challenged that, and I bought the challenge."
This is outright false, what you have stated.
For, if someone has not considered something, that is an objective occurrence. If someone has considered something and then dismissed it (as you have done for most of what I have argued) that too is an objective occurrence that is based in fact.
whiteflame
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8/15/2016 8:42:21 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
This is outright false, what you have stated.
For, if someone has not considered something, that is an objective occurrence. If someone has considered something and then dismissed it (as you have done for most of what I have argued) that too is an objective occurrence that is based in fact.

I don't see how it's false. I'm directly addressing both what you and your opponent said. I'm explaining how I perceived it, and coming to a decision. You can pretend I didn't consider your argument sufficiently, but it sounds more like you're unhappy because I didn't perceive it how you wanted. You're welcome to that view, as I'm sure you meant something very different than what I read. You're also welcome to view me as a child on the basis that I'm saying you didn't fill in what I perceive as glaring gaps in your case. You're expecting your judges to do that for you, and in doing so, inviting judge intervention. That's not to mention that you've now said a few times that I should have dismissed your opponent's arguments automatically based on my own perception of their falsehood rather than anything you said specifically. More intervention. Truth be told, I'm far more in agreement with your arguments than I am with your opponent's, but I don't let my personal bias dissuade me from recognizing an argument's strength within the context of the debate.

So, I've now addressed this same point on objective rights and your annoyance with that portion of my decision multiple times. I've repeated my answer in several different ways, and honestly, I don't feel like rehashing it again. At this point, it's pretty clear that the only answer you'll accept is a mea culpa, which I will not be giving. If you don't like the decision, that's fine, but it's not changing, particularly after some of the testier portions of this exchange. I put in a good deal of time and effort evaluating this debate, and I've done what I'm willing to do responding to your concerns. I won't vote on your debates again, as you've requested.
RuvDraba
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8/17/2016 1:32:29 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
While I won't be voting, that looked like a decent set of criteria, a fair take on the arguments, and many useful and constructive criticisms.

Thank you for posting, WF.
whiteflame
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8/17/2016 5:49:34 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 12:25:43 AM, NoCoolNameNate wrote:
http://www.debate.org...

...Seriously? Well, I'll leave this up to him. If he wants to have a debate about it, then it'll have to wait anyway (I'm currently instigating a debate and participating in the DDOlympics in voting, which will suck up all my time), though I'm not particularly interested in being goaded into a regressive debate with unclear burdens.

So I'll say this to you, C_e_e - at some point, I may be willing to have this debate, but the only way that's going to happen is if you contact me and work out the details of how the debate will work. Until that happens, I won't consider accepting.
whiteflame
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8/17/2016 6:37:14 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/17/2016 1:32:29 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
While I won't be voting, that looked like a decent set of criteria, a fair take on the arguments, and many useful and constructive criticisms.

Thank you for posting, WF.

I'm glad you appreciated it, RuvDraba.
fire_wings
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8/17/2016 10:27:01 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/14/2016 6:45:23 PM, whiteflame wrote:
This is an RFD for the debate between C_e_e and Jerry947 to be found here: http://www.debate.org...

Both sides of this debate are making some pretty fundamental errors in their arguments. I get that these are often personal reasons for belief/nonbelief, but as with any debate, I'm chiefly concerned with the logical strength of these arguments. So when scrolling through the points, I'm trying to see how well every point links to the resolution: does God exist? God is defined as "the creator of the universe, the earth particularly, and the earth"s inhabitants", so I'm looking for any logical reasons, provided by either side, that support or negate this.

And I don't feel like I get much from either side.

Con starts off with a few arguments, starting with the idea that material in the universe shows little organization and from that I am told to assume that there was little intention in it, and hence that a deity was likely not involved in its inception. What confuses me about this argument is the link to the resolution: does God exist? I suppose I can kind of see it: if the organization of the universe is incidental to natural asepcts of that universe, then it is those natural aspects and not God that was responsible for that organization. But I don't see organization in the definition of God. Much as both Pro and Con jump on the idea that intelligent design requires some form of organization, neither side is particularly clear about why that is the case. That's not to say that Pro's response is particularly powerful, as it appears to just assume that certain celestial objects are indicative of intelligent design without explaining why, merely begging the question. But the whole point seems to be lost behind a few key assumptions that neither side explains or challenges.

And, unfortunately, this trend is nearly pervasive among Con's arguments. Con continues by arguing essentially that the Bible is false, since certain aspects of what's written therein are likely impossible. Again, I feel like I'm lacking a link to the resolution. It does not say the Christian God, but even if it did, why is what's written in the Bible relevant? Perhaps if we brought in the infallible nature of God, and then stated that the Bible is that God's direct word, then we might be getting somewhere. But I'm missing those points. So all I'm getting from this argument is "some statements from the Bible aren't possible today, therefore they must be false," but that doesn't have any bearing on the debate as a whole. Again, Pro's responses are threadbare, just stating that these may not actually be false, but that's not really the core problem with these arguments. Both sides seem to be missing the forest because they can't see past the trees.

The same is true of the history argument. I get the argument that belief in deities has often been used to explain phenomena that human beings had no scientific explanation for, which invites some skepticism as to why religion exists. From this, Con might have gone on to argue that all deities follow this same pattern, and as a result, that the conception of any deity is inherently based in uncertainty. The problem is that he doesn't move onto that argument, and once again, I'm left hanging on why this point matters to the resolution. Pro's response is actually stronger here " why do the changes in belief over time, and the lack of belief in certain polytheistic religions, affect whether or not God exists? I'm not clear on that either. There's little reason to believe that this point matters in the context of the debate, and since Con never gives me much of an explanation as to why it does, I'm dismissing it.

Lastly, the fossil record. This point and others like it coming from Pro seem to take over much of the debate, and honestly, I'm not sure why. Neither side clearly states why evolution and the existence of God are mutually exclusive. Con starts off the discussion by pointing to the existence of old fossils, though even if I'm under the impression that evolution and God are mutually exclusive, I'm not clear on why these old fossils prove evolution true. Con jumps from pointing to the existence of old fossils to saying that this presents an increase in complexity that proves evolution true, which seems problematic to me.

Where Pro stumbles is in his response, which is solely based on his own argument regarding the Cambrian explosion. He assumes the same thing Pro does: that evolution is mutually exclusive from the existence of God. In doing so, he's leaving the resolution of this argument up to me. Do I accept what the two debaters assume, or do I base my decision on my own perception of the lack of logical links showcasing the exclusivity?

But before I get to that, let's assess Pro's points.

He starts off on human rights. There are a lot of logical leaps in this point. Pro starts off by assuming that God is necessary for rights. To support this assumption, he argues that there are objective, inalienable rights that are granted by God, and that they are only made objective by God. It's not a bad point, but Pro stumbles a few times in his attempts to make it. It's not at all clear that objective rights exist. Pro asserts that they do, but fails to point to any examples actually presented by any deity. Instead, he points to the Declaration of Independence as evidence, which I feel was a mistake. Con certainly could have argued that just pointing to the Declaration of Independence dooms this point, since that is one example of a set of rights that wildly disagrees with other sets from other countries, all of which function under the impression that their rights are the better/more correct ones. It was an opportunity to point out that what Pro presents as an objective set of rights is anything but, though it's a missed opportunity in this case. The only other point is that peoples' feelings somehow decide whether or not objective moral rights exist, though this point is never supported in any way that I can see.

Con's actual response is really wanting. He says that society isn't actually equal. At best, that just shows a general failing with society that may represent an inability to enforce rights. That's a fine problem, but it's irrelevant to the resolution. There's really not much response to Pro's points at all, and much as I'm not inclined to agree with Pro's assessment due to the logical leaps he takes, it nonetheless stays on the table.

The Cambrian Explosion point is a muddled mess with scant little scientific analysis. Pro asserts that there was an explosion with no transitional forms during a certain period in our evolutionary history. Again, I'm left wondering how this supports either side on this debate, despite the assumption by both sides that it does, but let's focus on the argument. Pro's argument basically says that since a whole lot of new species came into existence during this period, they must have been designed. This functions under a very faulty assumption that, if one leading theory cannot explain a set of data, then the other theory must be true. Pro provides no reason other than this to believe that the Cambrian Explosion proves anything, much less that it proves that God exists. If this was a debate about evolutionary theory, this point may have held water, but it's not, and so it really only hangs on by a thread.

why didn't you make your RFD in the mic forum?
#ALLHAILFIRETHEKINGOFTHEMISCFORUM

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Wtf you must have an IQ of 250 if you're 11 and already decent at this- 16k

Go to sleep!!!!- missmozart

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C_e_e
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8/18/2016 12:29:21 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
So I'll say this to you, C_e_e - at some point, I may be willing to have this debate, but the only way that's going to happen is if you contact me and work out the details of how the debate will work. Until that happens, I won't consider accepting."


Let's work it out. In this post, I will lay out what I would like to be a part of the debate. In your follow up post, you describe what you would like to be a part of it.

I would like to have a debate that is 5 rounds. I think this is needed, from my observations of how you write. You write in a way that is like a continuous connected thought. It goes over more than one point that you perceive to be connect at a time. Whereas, my style is more concise and to-the-point. I anticipate needing 5 rounds to address your writing style winding reasoning.

The title of the debate I would like to be "WhiteFlame voted objectively and fairly on debate number 94186."
The max characters per post, I would like to be 10,000,
the time to post replies to be set to 72 hours,
and the voting period two weeks.
I would like the voting style to be the 7 point system, with reasons given by voters.

When debates have stipulations such as "only rebuttals in this round" it feels restrictive to me. So the only stipulation of that sort that I would advocate is that whoever ends up having the final post of the fifth debate round, that person should not ask questions which cannot be replied to given he has the final post.

The aim for Pro and Con is to prove or disprove the applicability of the words "fair" and "objective" as evidenced by the expressed reasoning of this forum. That is what the goal of the debate is.

The definitions I propose are:
Applicable -- applying; suitable; appropriate
Objective -- based on facts and conditions; not distorted by feelings, prejudice, bias, or emotion
Fair -- free from bias and injustice; treating people in a way that does not favor one over others

Of course, the adverb forms of "objective" and "fair" are in the resolution, and should simply mean "like" the way defined.

I'll await your input of this negotiation, if there are changes you'd like to make to it, WhiteFlame.
C_e_e
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8/18/2016 1:31:18 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
WhiteFlame, if you'd prefer our debate to be about "Who best supported the resolution, C_e_e or Jerry947, during their debate," I would be interested in that debate, as well, in the stead of the above one.
That way you could lay out why you thought Jerry better supported the resolution, and I can lay out why I thought I did.
Jerry947
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8/18/2016 1:40:02 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 1:31:18 AM, C_e_e wrote:
WhiteFlame, if you'd prefer our debate to be about "Who best supported the resolution, C_e_e or Jerry947, during their debate," I would be interested in that debate, as well, in the stead of the above one.
That way you could lay out why you thought Jerry better supported the resolution, and I can lay out why I thought I did.

Don't you think this is a little excessive? You have already won the debate.

And keep in mind that the votes don't actually matter. I have lost many debates that I totally thought I should have won. But the opinion of one or two voters doesn't change how you feel you preformed.