avatar
33 Comments
  • Filter by:
  • Pro
  • Draw
  • Con
  • a year ago

    @libertysfuture @ericleatherwood Great debate guys!

    Please note that the winner for this round will be determined based on the best out of 3 votes i.e. community+2 judges. Your confirmed judges so far: @singalport @josh808

    • a year ago
    • a year ago

      @ericleatherwood @libertysfuture I wanted to commend you both on an excellent debate. Unfortunately I do not have good enough bandwidth nor am I able to record a video response, so I wanted to type up a written adjudication of this debate round. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them, either with a typewritten or video response. I obviously cannot put as much into a typed response as in a 7 minute video clip- this is over 1,000 words but I will be happy to elaborate as necessary. With that being said, I’m going to first note some of the positives for both the PRO and CON, move onto analysis of points, and then detail some ways in which both of you could improve your debating.

      Positives for the Pro:
      You had a very well laid out case, and you had a very strong moral stance with emotional appeal that you continuously used throughout the debate. You had excellent refutation and notation of which arguments your opponent attacked and did not attack. Additionally, you utilized very good comparative analysis of impacts, and worlds with and without atomic bombs dropped on Japan.

      Positives for the Con:
      You had some good refutation on the points placed by the Pro. Additionally, you were able to utilize historical context in helping to clarify different arguments concerning the Cold War, Japan and the conditions for surrender, etc. You were a bit nervous throughout but I felt you gained confidence as time went on.
      Onto the main arguments of the debate. This debate was interesting because the Pro brought up the main reasons to affirm, and Con merely defended against them, rather than providing reasons of his own that the resolution is false. This is an decent strategy, which leads to a lot of clash on both sides, which I enjoyed.

      Civilian Casualties/Alternatives - PRO

      Pro argues that 200k in civilian casualties is an unwarranted act of violence even during wartime. On the other hand, Con points out that Japan refused to surrender and that the bombs were necessary. However, Pro provides other sufficient alternatives such as a blockade, compromise, bombing on direct bases rather than Hiroshima/Nagasaki, or joint invasion, which Pro argues would lead to an end of the war without the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused to civilians immediately and in the coming decades. These alternatives would likely still have led to tremendous loss of lives, but I am led to believe the death toll for civilians would have been much less, as well as some of the options would not have required tremendous amounts of American soldiers to fight.
      Con provided a good turn on the argument stating why an Iron Curtain over Japan would be much worse with the joint invasion, but I still think Pro wins this argument because joint invasion was not the only alternative- the bombing + blockades was not addressed by Con and I think these are excellent points detailing why the bombs weren’t necessary violence to civilians

      Cold War – Pro wins some, Con wins some but altogether, a Wash.

      So this point got a bit confusing, because Pro was dealing more with the “nuclear weapons out of the bag”, whereas Con was talking about Communism and MAD. Both are super interesting and unique arguments. I think Con made a super interesting argument when he argued that the Cold War & MAD has cut down on the amount of conventional warfare. I’m going to say this argument is somewhat of a wash, because although I buy Con’s analysis, Pro points out that proxy wars still lead to many deaths, and that nuclear terrorism and warfare (threats by NK, Iran, etc) was enabled because of the US’ actions. Neither side really weighed impacts here and I can’t see myself deciding one over the other so I’m going to say it was a wash. Con tried to counter by pointing to Japan’s and Germany’s nuclear program but Pro sufficiently addressed this. Additionally, Pro points that this doesn’t justify killing civilians – hundreds of thousands of them directly, and indirectly from the nuclear fallout.

      Why Hiroshima & Nagasaki - PRO

      Con argues that both Hiroshima & Nagasaki were hit because they were military bases. Pro turns this pretty well with his alternatives (see above), as well as saying it was still immoral, pointing to the criminal example as well as the argument that they had no oil, and by that logic, a blockade would prevent future damage. Con brought up an argument about “no morality in war” which I felt came in too late, I don’t think I can give that one to you because your opponent had no chance to respond, it should have come out earlier. Anyway, I think Pro would have talked about war crimes or why civilian killing is never justified on that scale.

      • a year ago

        Decision – PRO

        Ultimately, I’m voting Pro because of the better alternatives I am provided with to resolve the immediate conflict of war without 200k+ civilian deaths, and because similar negative outcomes would have been created in worlds with and without the atomic bomb in the future (which is now our time) – it might even be more now because of the threat of nuclear attack by North Korea, Iran, etc.

        Ways Pro Can Improve:
        Con had really good refutation throughout, and I felt your Cold War argument was really your weak point, as well as your concession about how civilian deaths are not as bad as communism. I don’t think that last point was integral to your position and ended up hurting your position as a whole. Additionally, I think you could have made your 1st contention a lot clearer of a victory for you by looking at why specifically those instances would lead to fewer lives loss or would be more optimal. I ended up buying your conclusion, but you could have done more throughout to compare impacts and scenarios and ultimately give me a clear reason why one outweighs the other.

        Ways Con Can Improve:
        You had very good logical analysis, some organization would have helped your points be even stronger. Try to work on succinct tags for your responses that are memorable to the audience. Also, perhaps quoting some citations would have helped especially in your references to historical context. Some of your best refutation about the Iron Curtain and morality in war came a bit too late, bring that forward sooner next time. Additionally, work on ensuring you are able to cover all of the Pro’s arguments and compare his world against your world. You have this scenario where there is less conventional war but more proxy war + but some nuclear threat. How do I adjudicate which is worse? Tell me so I can lean in your favor.

        Overall, an excellent debate, hope to see more from both of you.

        • a year ago

          The judges have spoken!

          @libertysfuture Congrats for advancing to the next round! Please expect details on your next debate today/ tomorrow

          @ericleatherwood Great job on your first tournament debate! Looking forward to more; we're waiting for your debates with our RDs :-)

          • a year ago

            Great debate!

            • a year ago

              @qallout fedback about this debate?

            • a year ago

              @sigfried can you give your thoughts? Trying to improve my style

              • a year ago

                @ericleatherwood Here are my critiques of your presentation and style.

                Good stuff
                -You were incredibly cordial and complimentary, which I love and Qallout loves.
                -You have a very engaging and pleasant voice, great tone, and it has natural interest and inflection. It makes you pleasant to listen to and helps me remember what you say
                -You use good reasoning and present arguments well - individually (more on this in criticisms.)

                Places to improve
                1. Come with a case
                You approached con as purely reactive. Many do this well, but I much favor coming as Con with a case of my own, actively arguing against the resolution on my own grounds. I try to have a shorter case as Con than pro, due to going second, but it really helps you stay focused on why we should reject the resolution.
                Towards the end of your presentation, you had a decent summary of Cold War means more peace, and War requires violence as two central points. It would have been better to start with those and then also end with them rather than work your way to them at the end.

                2. Work on your elecution
                You often have a hesitant and halting elecution. You will semi-stutter some words, and have long pauses between related words. This dilutes the impact of your delivery, and wastes your time during the debate. I think the key solution here is just practice. Try to be mindful of these habits, and work on speaking aloud while eliminating them.
                I also find it really helps to speak arguments you expect to make in a debate out loud a head of the debate. It get's them practiced in your mind, and thus requires less active though getting them out. I do this to try and improve how concise I am and reduce filler words, something I struggle with a bit.

                3. More outline and organization
                Your opponent had a nice outline of 3 points. As you took a reactive stance, It is best if you follow his outline. Address his 3 points, referencing each by number of a handy signpost, and hit them in the same order.
                This both helps people follow the debate, but ensures that you have a response to each of your opponent's points and don't miss a major argument.
                By my count, you did address each of his case points, but you did them one speech at a time, and out of order. It made for a somewhat chaotic debate to follow on paper.

                4. Remember the resolution
                In a competition debate, the resolution is king. Remind us what it is, and why your argument means it is false. (or true if you are pro) At the end of the debate, give us a short story as to why you have shown the resolution is false or why your opponent has failed to show it is true.

              • a year ago

                @sigfried ahhh yeah I'm completely new to debating and I have a history of stuttering. Compared to seasoned debaters here, I'm hilariously inexperienced. My stuttering makes it worse

              • a year ago

                @ericleatherwood No worries. It didn't make you hard to understand, so it shouldn't keep you from doing well. But it's an area for improvement. As I mentioned, you actually have a great voice overall. Reminds me of Cat Stephens.

              • a year ago

                @ericleatherwood Too harsh on yourself :-) QallOut is for everyone not just experienced debaters, very happy to have you!

            • a year ago

              Why are there no comments on this debate? Plus half the votes Good debate

            • a year ago

              @libertysfuture and @ericleatherwood: great debate y'all!

              First off, some issues of style, @ericleatherwood first:

              A) Don't tell me you're going to deconstruct the argument---just do it. I know this is something that we do in polite conversations to sort of indicate where we're going with things, but dispense with that. You'll save some seconds, and every second is vital.

              B) Be. Flowing. Your. Opponents. Args. I can't tell if you did or not, but I can sure as heck tell that your opponent is writing down your points. Maybe you were, but make sure you're writing down what he's saying so you can respond with more efficacy.

              C) Take less pauses. Don't get me wrong, pauses are INSTRUMENTAL in communication. But I can tell you're taking a few too many pauses, most probably to collect your thoughts. This is perfectly fine! I would advise building a case, and possibly writing a speech block, beforehand, if you haven't already.

              Now @libertysfuture:

              A) I can tell these debates mean a lot to you, but you don't have to dress up super fancy every tournament. But dang, it shows some class. This is just a personal preference on my part, because I've both done super formal debate and informal debate.

              B) You're writing down your opponent's points. Good. Job.

              C) Maybe use less hand gestures. I know it's hard, you seem like you talk with your hands like I do. This isn't a problem at all, but can sometimes be a tad bit distracting. What you do there is your own discretion though.

              Finally, the arguments.

              An argument that @libertysfuture used was:

              "Because we used the bomb, everyone else wanted the bomb too." Be careful of this argument, it can be turned against you. It wasn't in this debate, but I would have turned it and said that yes, every nation wanted it, but they wanted it as a deterrence. The reason no one has used a nuclear weapon today is *because* we used the bomb in Japan, and this kept the world from imploding in a nuke war. PRO's opponent talks about MAD, but doesn't really flesh it out enough for me to vote for it, other than saying "MAD works".

              Also, another argument to be careful of was the "they could have used firebombs" argument. I used the firebombing in my debate to try and prove that nuke option was justifiable, because just as many people died in those as in the nuke strikes. It wasn't used against you, but be conscious of it.

              Finally, I voted PRO because of an argument that was dropped very early on: the scenario of a blockade. This was basically cold-conceded out of the rebuttal it entered the debate in. Because we have a plausible scenario that was not responded to, I can confidently vote PRO knowing that my opponent can't rebut a naval blockade's efficacy.

              The triumvirate argument was also compelling, but not a voter for me.

              Finally, one argument that was too late in the debate, but could have been turned, was the "I'd rather live in a communist state" argument presented by @libertysfuture. Terrible, terrible argument. 45 million people died in Mao's Great Leap Forward.

            • a year ago

              Great debate! Where is Westwood might I ask?

              • a year ago

                My judgement on the debate.

                I voted Pro, primarily on the argument that civilians were killed in large numbers and other options could have been pursued instead that presumably could save lives.

                Pro had 3 contentions, and Con played reactively so I'm holding him to countering these three contentions.

                1. Civilians were killed in great numbers
                2. It started the cold war
                3. There were other means

                1 and 2 are harms, 3 argues there was a better way to win the war without these harms.

                Con attacks all of these, though in a disorganized fashion that is a bit hard to follow. This disorganization makes the attacks feel weaker than they might otherwise.

                Con doesn't much counter 1. He points out these are military targets, but that doesn't really counter the fact that civilians were killed in great numbers, it only tries to justify it. But as Pro points out, other weapons could have accurately effectively targeted those military targets.

                Con attacks 2 more effectively, basically arguing that the cold war was a net benefit. I found his argument persuasive. The cold war and MAD actually resulted in a lasting peace among major powers. Causality was not much discussed so this contention is held by Con.

                Item 3 was more widely contended by both sides. Pro simply had more justifications than Con on the subject. He showed a joint land invasion was a possibility or even just a possible threat. that Japan was in dire straights at this point in the war, and that the US and allies could have simply accepted weaker terms to ensure less loss of life. Con pointed to Japanese resolve, but never really explained why the nukes are what broke it or that these other threats could not have. That makes his attack against these multiple scenarios somewhat weaker. If con could win this, he could outeigh #1 and win the round. But I didn't feel a strong enough case was made.

                • a year ago

                  @ericleatherwood @libertysfuture Judgment coming in 3-4 hrs once I get home, just recently was notified I was judging.

                  • a year ago

                    I just would like to point out that a blockade would kill infinitely more people than the nukes did. Especially since its an island.

                    • a year ago