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Which side makes a better case?
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  • Draw
  • Con
  • 2 years ago

    @madmike @eli_mcgowan

    Thanks a lot for a great debate! 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: @benmouse42

    • 2 years ago
    • 2 years ago

      @eli_mcgowan Congrats for advancing to the Quarter Finals! Please expect further details on your next debate later today/ tomorrow

      @madmike Hard luck on this one but you already have your free entry for the $5,000 Championship :-)

      • 2 years ago

        One thing I noticed early on is that Pro tended to use phrases like "I believe" or "I feel" to describe his views. Just as a matter of style, I would avoid this; it can make your side seem more subjective than it actually may be. Pro also kept returning to the argument of legality and punishment ("Snowden committed a crime," etc.) without ever discussing why committing a crime actually makes someone not a hero.

        Con does a good job of addressing each of pro's points head on, and by framing the "clash" of courage vs. cowardice. He also presents considerably more backing (especially in the form of quotes) for most of his points, and Pro did not have responses for many of them. Con's only major misstep was the extended silence when he misplaced his card. His closing statement does an excellent job of framing the debate in light of the bigger picture (i.e. "here are all of the good things that resulted from Snowden's actions")

        Pro's strongest point was about two thirds of the way through, where you said that "courage is being willing to do what's right no matter the consequences" and pointing out that Snowden worked hard to avoid facing punishment. Unfortunately, Con seemed more than prepared to address that point and he presented his counterpoint well.

        Pro raised a couple of good points, but Con responses to each one more than adequately, while raising many more (unanswered) points of his own. On both quantity and quality of arguments, Con takes this handily.

        • 2 years ago

          @ben I guess I just don’t see the comparison to someone willing to stand up for what is right in the face of immediate physical suffering and someone willing to just copy some files and run away to hide. If you think Rosa Parks is a hero, I don’t see how you could justify calling Snowden her peer.

        • 2 years ago

          @madmike both Parks and Snowden took personal risks in order to draw attention to a societal injustice. The nature of the danger each faced was different just as the nature of the injustice was different.

          However, my personal views aside, my vote was based on the quality of debate from both sides. Con simply brought more to the table in terms of arguments, evidence, and framework.

        • 2 years ago

          @ben that is a fair criticism

        • 2 years ago

          @ben Con explained how Snowden would like to do it right and testify before Congress but hasn’t been afforded the opportunity.

      • 2 years ago

        Great debate, congratulations on getting to Rd. 3 @eli_mcgowan and @madmike!

        I voted CON on framing, i.e., he was able to persuade me that there was more good that came out of Snowden's actions than bad.

        The only really credible point I felt that PRO had was that one must be willing to do what's right, despite negative consequences. However, like @ben articulated, I don't feel that PRO really kept the momentum with this values claim.

        Things to improve:

        Like Ben says, PRO needs to find phrases other than "I feel" and "I believe". Also eliminate "uh". I know this is hard, as my filler words are usually "not only that" and "sort of".

        CON definitely needs to be better organized. The silence was DEAFENING when he looked for his card. I would definitely recommend creating your case beforehand, preferably an hour or two before the round starts.

        • 2 years ago

          @iantreyparish I appreciate the criticism.

          Out of curiosity, do you feel it is the good that comes out of an action a determines whether or not the actor is a hero?

          Would you still consider Snowden a hero if the secrets he stole and made public were of lesser value?

        • 2 years ago


          Culture definitively creates, gives substance to, and defines the essence of "hero". That being said, I wish there was FAR more of a debate about cultural normativity, the relativity of heroism etc, within the sphere of the debate. What the modern American citizen views as a hero would have been good. That being said, I do think a certain amount of proving "utilitarianism is a net benefit", on the basis of rights or lives, does matter. I would still consider Snowden a hero if they were of lesser value, because the highest value here (at least as CON defined it) is that the government was overstretching its bounds and trampling its citizen's rights.

          Like @benmouse42 said, the debate was very narrow. One of the arguments I would have loved would be if there was an analysis of lives lost/the fact that mass surveillance is still in place. I have multiple friends who loathe Snowden because they had extended family that were embedded in hostile foreign nations abroad that were put in danger. Analysis of that, and just this argument in general, would have been much more persuasive imo, rather than the "insufficient sacrifice" argument.

      • 2 years ago

        @eli_mcgowan 👍👍

        • 2 years ago

          "Think about the soldiers."

          Nazi soldiers or...?