Which side makes a better case?
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  • 2 years ago

    This is why they have judges for tournament debates right?

  • 2 years ago

    @logicalreason this sounds like you're making a good argument that would persuade a judge. Just because the opposition might make arguments that are based on his character doesn't mean they'll win.

  • 2 years ago

    Why isn’t @yaz a RD/RJ/Admin haha

  • 2 years ago

    Very little is wrong with the Libertarian res.

    The topic can be defended in two ways. One, pro-abortion positions are consistent with libertarianism. Or two, they aren't, but they should support it anyways for some other reason (eliminate political conflict, focus on more important areas of disagreement, etc.)

    Wording exists to eliminate confusion and divide ground intentionally. There are some resolutions that are clunky, that are unclear - that's where wording shifts are necessary. Not because someone doesn't like aff strategies.

    Logicalreason's dissatisfaction with the resolutions in no way tells us the resolutions need to be reworded.

    IE: "X thing causes more harm than good", logicalreason: "harm
    to whom?"

    How we measure harm is actually a great area for debate - typically, the easiest determiner is society, but there can be arguments on how specific we should measure it.

    Leaving room open for strategy is fine - just make sure wording doesn't cause *confusion*. If the average person can read the topic and understand it's meaning, then everything is probably fine. Aff definitions patch up any other ambiguity and the debate is on.

    • 2 years ago

      @lewisoflime ? Do you understand that's precisely what I said? Comments like this are a problem; they claim they understand and choose a winner while blatantly misunderstanding the conversation.

      That's not attacking your comment, it's the foundation of the conversation and important to agree on the subject that's being debated so you don't just have speeches to the audience lol

  • 2 years ago

    @lewisoflime @qallout

    Context: Questions next round I said were ambiguous:

    1. Sadomasochism is contrary to civilized values
    a. You're asking two people in 15 minutes to discuss two completely separate, unrelated subjects. First, they are to debate the standards of the very broad category of "civilized values"; come to an agreement, and then ask if Sadomasochism (Which is also comprised of two parts: the sadist, and the masochist) and then discuss which parts fit into the broader definition of "civilized values"
    b. Better Question: "Is Sadomasochism healthy for individuals who choose to engage in either side of that lifestyle?

    2. Corporations should be banned from making political donations
    a. "Banned"? This question implies that donations to politicians can only be direct monetary contributions and is far too narrow
    a. Better Question: Should it be illegal for corporations to employ full time lobbyists?

    3. Couples should have sex before marriage
    a. This question is an absurd strawman and isn't posing a measurable answer outside of "depends on the individuals".
    b. Better Question: Couples who abstain from sex prior to marriage have more fufilling, lasting relationships.

    4. Being polyamorous is more honest than being monogamous
    a. Well this question is again, too broad. Honest to WHOM? Intellectually Honest? Honest to the partner? How can both not be equally true in both circumstances? This isn't posing a clear question.
    b. Better Question: Is it more intellectually honest for a monogamous couple in a relationship who fantasize about other partners to suppress those thoughts or to engage a polyamorous relationship

    5. The US should guarantee a right to housing
    a. A right to housing? What the hell is a "right"
    a. Better Question: Should a right to material goods be considered equal to the right of intellectual freedom and equality under the law?

    6. Trump is the worst president in US history
    a. No, please don't; this is begging for echo chambering
    i. Better Question: Is Trump's foreign policy any significantly different than Barack Obama's, other than Rhetoric?

    7. The US should not repeal Dodd-Frank
    a. This is FAR too broad and doesn't ask anything
    i. Better Question: Are having fewer institutions more closely regulated by the federal government a better means at preventing financial Crises than having more, decentralized banks who are regulated more locally by state and municipal organizations.

    8. Students should rate their teachers, teachers who are significantly & consistently below average should be fired
    a. Fine.

    9. Christian churches should abandon their condemnation of homosexuality
    a. Abandon? This question is ridiculous. Are you asking if people should abandon reading the literal interpretation of the bible? Or are you asking if people should stop condemning Homosexuality? One can believe both. Please Re-phrase without "abandon" because "churches" are "small groups of people" and Christians are a "RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGY"

    10. Libertarians should support the pro-choice movement
    a. This is NOT Phrased correctly. What could be an otherwise Excellent question has been subverted from a Argument of a Policy based on merits to "Supporting a movement vaguely relating to a policy"
    b. Better Question: Libertarians should be pro-choice and reject pro-life arguments.

    11. Countries that will lead in AI will be the most powerful in the world
    a. Question is horrible; presumes power is synonymous to "Countries". One tiny hole is the question about a "multinational corporation"; which country gets that power? It doesn't. Scrap completely.

    12. 9/11 was most likely an inside job
    a. PLEASE Change this question: This question changes a Legitimate question into a STRAWMAN. The question currently, as is, is implying that the how is a given, and it's only a who question. This is a strawman

    2. Better Question: There were something other than planes that took down the WTC on 9/11.

    13. Rapists should be allowed to opt into castration in exchange for a lesser prison sentence
    a. Good question! Why not simplify the question to "lesser sentence", prison adds an extra variable that distracts from the question.

    14. The US media has more of a corporate bias than a liberal bias
    a. Please define Liberal.

    • 2 years ago

      I think part of the problem here, is we are all going to find different questions differently problematic. So for instance. I agree on some of these that they are flawed questions, others not. I like some of your improvements, others not.

      I guess the question is, how and who could really improve the quality of questions and arrive at something that would widely be considered better?

  • 2 years ago

    Before I watch: I'd say that the broad number of topics tends to solve for any wonkiness with an individual topic. There are certainly many topics I avoid like the plague, and others I jump on because I feel they offer me a big advantage due to the wording.

    Certainly there are at least a few I feel like could benefit from more precise wording. Though in other cases I feel the broader wording allows for a wider range of possitions.

    • 2 years ago

      On debate theory

      Personally, my ideal for good debate is to marry the aesthetic qualities of persuasion with the quality of reasoned and logical arguments. I came from the era of Competition debate when it was a pretty soulless enterprise in which the faster you spoke the more you won. It didn't matter if you came across as a sputtering madman arguing that only by protecting Big Foot could we possibly save the environment so long as you had some citations in hand to back it up from the frotean times and the president of Bangladesh.

      Only half the teams even understood the citations they were reading or the subjects they were talking about. Understandable for high schoolers I suppose, but the intrinsic value of so much of the argumentation was trash, and the delivery was useless outside these specific competitions.

      I have some sympathy for the way that has been broken, but I agree that when national champions are basically engaging in a poetry slam, the time for the revolutionaries may be passed and we need the counter-revolution to find a happy medium somewhere.

      Final thought: differnt topcis I think can call for differnet approaches.

      • 2 years ago

        @logicalreason You rather monopolize the time in this debate. Not that you were impolite or anything, but I really wanted to hear more about how Yaz viewed his site objectives.

      • 2 years ago

        Here is some of my observation in this debate.

        1. @yaz seems to pick topics that he feels will generally promote conversation and interest the potential audience. He's not trying to second guess too much how they will be debated and is happy if they spark outside the box conversations. He looks at what is a common topic of conversation and puts it out there.

        2. @logicalreason Is trying to deconstruct the topics. Critiques include too much ambiguity, hidden premises, and topics that play in to echo chamber conversations. Some of his specific points seem most closely connected to his own views on certain issues, and how the related questions don't allow him to argue for his view effectively because they contain contrary information or ideas.

        Both share a desire to tear down echo chambers and create meaningful discussion. For Yaz, the solution is more about a form of engagement. For Logicalreason, the content of the dialogs is seen as crucial and those are informed by the topic resolutions.

        --- This should be fun... ---
        So, looking at this topic in detail, I see the word Need. And that is a fairly strong word. It could apply to Qallout's mission, or to Qallout's survival. I tend to see survival as paramount, but not very meaningful without mission. Why survive without a mission, what good is a mission if you can't survive.

        Yaz's methodology is probably more critical for the survival of the service. Topics must be of interest to debaters. And he is focused on casting as wide a net as he can in this very niche field (as much as I wish it were not niche). And for him, the form still serves the mission the most.

        Logic's argument is something that has merit for the mission, and presumably were topics bad enough, that would shoo away debaters. Mostly I haven't seen a lot of complaints but for a few specific topics. Then again, there are topics that come up that I never see debated, which means people don't like them for one reason or another.

        So voting on this debate/discussion, I give it to Con that we don't "need" to do this as what we have mostly works for the survival and mission of the site.

        --- now that that is over ---

        I do think we should examine topics in some way to try and have great quality and great interest. I'm a process guy so here is what I'd suggest.

        1. Note any time people complain about a topic or a problematic debate results from a topic (say the whole debate is about definitions) Flag those topics for review.

        2. Note the topics which are almost never chosen by debaters or ones where only one side of the topic is selected or is very heavily favored. Flag those topics for review.

        Periodically have RDs examine the topics, suggest solutions, and then vote on a superior suggestion to replace the defucnt topic.

        This allows topics that are working perfectly fine to continue to be used, but also has the opportunity to fix of improve topics that may have real value, but are worded such that they don't make for good or honest debate.

      • 2 years ago

        @logicalreason I'd just like to mention that after talking to a few of my friends, a lot of people are selecting the "Trump is the worst president in US history" as Con (myself included) because it's a great position for Con to defend. I'm not a fan of Trump, but I certainly don't think he's the worst president in US history, and I think I can make a really good case for why.

        The difference of opinion I have with some of your criticisms is that I feel like you're trying to remove the "gamesmanship" element from the competition. You have read the resolutions closely (which is good) and interpreted what they mean well (which is great) but then you aren't willing to defend the actual issues.

        With your 9/11 topic for instance, you want to make the case that "something was off" on 9/11, but you don't want to make the case that "Bush did 9/11". That's a good case to make, but then you have to ask which side of the resolution your case would support. First, define "inside job" which you have done and you say it implies the government. So you've interpreted the resolution to mean "The United States government committed the terrorist actions of 9/11 against it's own people." Do you agree or disagree with that conclusion? I think you disagree with that conclusion, so you should select Con on that res. You can then make the case that "9/11 was sketchy, but there's no evidence specifically linking Bush, so the correct logical answer is, we don't know." Seems like a good case to make.

        Personally, I read the resolutions really closely too, as do several of my former debate friends. Then I pick topics that I want to defend, because I agree with the actual conclusion according to the wording of the topic. For instance, even if I may think that Trump is a bad president, I certainly don't think he's the worst president, so I will happily select Con and have a better chance of winning. I don't think the wording of the topics needs to change. People just need to have a more nuanced approach to the debates they select.

        • 2 years ago

          So my thoughts here are the resolution is the guideline to lead the debate it is the debaters job and goal to narrow and define the debate in exactly what they could or should want. Even your counter resolutions your doing that your defining what is a good relationship what’s not what are way to value and uphold this vague resolutions overall leave more room for clash and interpretation and more effective debates when you limit ground you see more biased and lack of clash

          • 2 years ago

            LOL I'm sorry but I categorically agree with logicalreasons