Which side makes a better case?
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  • 3 months ago

    Con applies a critique of pro's worldview, perhaps reflexively, though it isn't the topic of the debate. Familiar ground no doubt.

    Con is definitely the more disciplined thinker and speaker here. It comes of a bit pedantic though, as his opponent is very earnest.

    As much as I want to call out Con for not following the topic, Pro doesn't do anything to steer the conversation back on course so far...

    There is a small language barrier here. But you guys handle it well. Overall, very polite and well mannered.

    I like when pro turns Cons questions against Con. Both because it changes the tone a bit, but also because it forces Con to do some of the searching and thinking.

    Pro has some issues with consistency in use of language and meaning. I feel like I can follow him despite this, partly because I think along similar lines, but for Pro, its clearly hard to parse out, understandably so.

    Con is much clearer and precise. But it seems to come a little at the cost of being flexible enough to process what Pro is saying sometimes. The squared circle exchange is a good example.

    Both of you have some real moments of insight and well thought out arguments.

    The ending didn't really leave us with any conclusions.. Take some time out and try to give us a wrap up of your own views of the debate and discussion towards the end, especailly when it more or less rambles about as this did.

    Still, all told, I enjoyed listening.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried From our previous debates I learnt that, he wants to interrogate my position to prove it is inconsistent. So I let him proceed in his way. Regarding the topic deviation, I have tried to keep him on topic in our previous debates, but he would say that what we are talking is related to the topic. I don't have any problem with deviating as long as it's fun but I understand that its not appealing to viewers.

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy Of course, nothing wrong with it. It's just when I "vote" on a debate, I usually try to base it on how the debaters addressed the topic unless they expressly say that is not their intent.

      Going off topic is fine. Your opponent is clearly a practiced apologist at trying to critique atheist world views so he goes to that as his baseline. Almost like reflex for him. :)

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried "Almost like reflex for him." True:joy:

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried Since I had established my grounding in God before I knew the thesis would be a minefield to navigate around. My goal was to take a skeptical postition, and attack pro's theory of knowledge that led him to that claim. My claim that he was circular reasoning and had a weak foundation of knowledge is straight out of the skeptic handbook. If I remember correctly he said something to the effect that he was "assuming" his mind was functioning properly and reasoned that his mind was functioning porperly with his mind. Well, lunatics use that argument, kleptos use that argument, and if his mind is reasoning properly he should be able to give me more than that, possibly an indubitable fact and derive a foundation or coherence from that.

      When he turned it on me, I used him to demonstrate empirically that I was thinking coherently and that together we could build a foundation or coherent system, confirmed by a third party. He asked again, how did I know still, and then the question is challenged with a a question, that is, did he have a reason to think my faculties aren't functioning properly. He couldn't. Therefore, I am to assume based off my test, which he verified to be true, that I was functioning and had no other alternative to think other wise. Mean while, he's still unable to ground his claim in anything.

      Thank you for the critique, and I admit that I must learn how to close more precisely to gain edge of distinction, so as to not burn out to quick or sound as if I'm not able to definitive holes in his argument.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight I guess my issues is this. You could attack someone's world view on any topic.

      So we have a debate "which is better hot dogs or hamburgers" You then ask, what is your ontological foundation of knowledge... and then run your usual line of apologetic. Where does that get us in the subject of hot dogs and hamburgers... no where really. Every debate becomes a carbon copy of a ontological philosophical critique. Is that really what we want?

      The topic is simple enough, it already presumes a world view different from the one you are critiquing. What purpose does attacking subjectivism do when the topic is the mechanisms of an objective moral system? Its about as non topical as it can get.

      Are you seriously just questioning if your opponent can reason? And if he's not then he's not qualified to discuss the topic? That strikes me as absurd and a waste of time.

      I wanted to hear him argue why moral objectivity requires a God, and to hear you argue how moral objectivity can exist without one. I'd find that interesting.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried if Manny was in fact going to appeal to a god for his argument, then that is my mistake. But he didn't make that in anyway clear, but rather appeared to me to be taking the position that no one could argue coherently that there are moral absolutes without appealing to a god.

      If I'm wrong, that is my mistake. But I'd still argue against a theist the same way I did.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight Why would he need to appeal to a god to argue that moral absolutes require a god?

      I engage in biblical arguments sometimes. So I will argue the meaning of a passage in the bible. I don't believe in God, but that doesn't keep me from analyzing the language used in the context of the religion it is part of.

      So Mani can say, Objective morality only works when there is a god, without needing to believe in a god. Indeed, its consistent that if he believes in subjective morality, and not in god.

      I'll just ask you the question you never addressed...

      If there were no God, would could there be objective morality?

      My guess is you would say that without God there would be no morality what so ever. But I'd rather you answer than me have to guess.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried I concur there would be no objective morality, and being consistent, I have to assert further that there would be no universe that we know of. I think that's a consistent conclusion given I believe God is the necessary condition for reality/ life, and the universe.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight That means you took the con position on a resolution you agree with. Not surprising then that the debate didn't address the resolution, you both agree with what it claims.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried hence why I I admitted I was wrong. But you have to agree the thesis could mean something else, what I thought he was doing. I think it's unfruitful to be inconsistent with your worldview aka playing devil's advocate on this platform.

      I still can't agree that, if he was playing devil's advocate he was doing it well.

      Again, it is not unreasonable to ask someone how they know something to be true. If he was attempting a presupp, he doesn't have a necessary view of God to understand the presupp reason for grounding in God.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight I can understand that you took it to mean something else, though I'm not really sure what you did take it to mean. :)

      I'll say that it needn't be a devils advocate position. Two naturalists may well disagree on meta-ethical frameworks. There are naturalists who adopt a moral objectivity view, and this topic could be a challenge to them. This topic is an effective challenge against an atheist-objectivist (I think Dawkins and some others fall into that camp but I'm not sure).

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried very well, and I'm familiar with that worldview.

  • 3 months ago

    Who wins?

    Resolution: None
    It was never actually argued... :P kind of hilarious that.

    Rhetoric and skill: Con
    he has the language advantage, but he's also disciplined in his choice of words and constructions. He stayed on the offense most of the debate.

    Persuasiveness: Not sure, probably Con
    I don't think anyone really brought home any strong points. Con chased Pro around the room but never truly cornered him. Pro never really got much positive ground established. He turned things around a couple times, but it didn't last.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried Why is the rhetoric and persuasiveness are judging factors? I would never use those two parameters if I were to judge. Being a reason person, I always hear rhetoric as blah blah blah (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCbLuAKkEbs). And also I care mostly about discovering and establishing truth so I see no use for persuasiveness also

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy you might have the best reasoning and arguments but if you fail to construct and communicate effectively, it doesnt really matter.

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy I see the purpose of debate as to educate and persuade others and also to challenge yourself.

      Communicating effectively is a skill you can develop. It is a powerful and useful skill. You can be right, but if no one listens to you, it doesn't matter that you are right. You may have well just stayed silent and achieved the same outcome.

      So I like to critique both the content of what people say, and the skill with which they say it. I also like to comment on the congeniality of debaters and the respect they show for one another.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried "Communicating effectively is a skill you can develop. It is a powerful and useful skill. You can be right, but if no one listens to you, it doesn't matter that you are right. You may have well just stayed silent and achieved the same outcome."

      I'm totally onboard with this. I think communication skill is totally different from rhetoric/persuasiveness. For example a math teacher should be good communicator but she should/can never be persuasive in math class.

      "I see the purpose of debate as to educate and persuade others and also to challenge yourself."

      I have a problem with this. By saying 'educate' you assume that you are right. I don't think that's good even if you are right. By persuading others or getting persuaded, I'm not sure what you are achieving.

      @gigi Good communication is needed in a debate. But my problem is whether rhetoric/persuasiveness is needed or not in a debate. I find rhetoric/persuasiveness is the exact cause for bullshit (https://www.qallout.com/bullshit). May be its just me.

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy I'm not sure you understand what I mean then.

      Persuasiveness is your overall ability to alter the way another person thinks about a topic. If I present dumb ideas, speak too quietly to be heard, use bad logic, constantly change the topic, mumble, yell and scream at people, etc... I'm not going to be very persuasive.

      If I use a clear voice, present organized arguments, show passion coupled with reason, present good evidence, stay focused on the topic, etc... then I am going to be persuasive.

      Rhetoric is about how you say a thing. There are effective and ineffective ways to present the same idea. for instance...

      Bad
      You can't trust them limey commie fucks, they nothin' Trent is worth two shits from a leprous donkey.

      Better
      I've shown you three instances where Mr Trent has clearly lied to us today. I think I would be a fool to take any statement he makes on faith.

      People who don't try to be persuasive or who use poor rhetoric loose out to people who do. If you don't mind loosing or failing to affect your audience, they that's fine. But if those are objectives you are interested in, its a good idea to learn to be persuasive and use effective rhetoric.

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy i think you are mixing rhetoric snd persuasiveness with manipulation...Rhetoric has been one if the oldest arts of communication back from ancient greeks and its very much a good skill to have

    • 3 months ago

      @gigi Exactly. I think there is not much difference between persuasion and manipulation. May be the intentions are bad in a manipulation and good in persuasiveness. But the process is same in both, change another person's belief in a way you want. I don't think it's the best thing to do.

      Yes, rhetoric existed from ancient greek times. They say rhetoric constitutes logos, pathos and ethos. I'm okay with logos, but I don't think pathos and ethos should be part of debate because pathos is appeal to emotions (which imo is not much useful, sometimes even bad) and ethos is appeal to authority (in some cases it is what is being a pretentious dbag). Technically ethos and pathos are fallacies and so it can't be used in a debate

  • 3 months ago

    @let_me_get_this_straight around 3:00 you asked how do I objectively know that everything is subjective. Yesterday I learnt that it is socratic paradox

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy okay, but I would disagree. I think you made what is called a "truth claim". For a subjectivist to say that he knows objectively that everything is subjective is an absolute truth claim, so I had to ask, I think I did, "it that true?"

      Either way, you made an absolute claim, which causes you to contradict yourself. It's an easy mistake, it's like saying, " there absolutely no absolutes!!" Well, most would the contradiction and ask, "is that absolutely true?"

      If you claim subjectivism, then by definition, it's nearly impossible to have a debate without contradicting yourself. You would rather, have to maintain your opinion and only your to be true, no one else could be wrong about anything. That's difficult in a debate because your making a truth claim from the outset.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight what if I say, truth is subjective except for this statement. It is not contradictory now

      And also I'm not basing my debates on this view. In debates my assumption would be we can arrive at objective truth

    • 3 months ago

      @mani_bharathy I would still ask you then, by what standard, or how do you know that?

      That's a true statement, but your saying that truth is subjective. Therefore that statement is only true for you.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight To be fair, Many didn't claim every aspect of reality is subjective, he claimed that morality is subjective. Morality is just one aspect of our world, it is not the end all and be all of existence.

      So I can claim that morality is subjective, but that chemistry is objective. I can also say that musical taste is subjective, while gravity is objective.

      I suspect that even you would agree that there are subjects, aspects of reality, that are primarily subjective topics, and others that are largely objective. That is, after all, why we have those two words; to make those distinctions.

    • 3 months ago

      @sigfried I agree with your statement that there distinctions between objective and subjective. But since the topic was what it was, ill grant him that he was saying it is objective. But still, by what standard, and how did he know that?

      I don't think he did, but he could claim it was by his standard, and therefore he reasoned to it. Still circular.

      I'll read further into the ontological / epistimological distinction, but he was making a truth claim, and me challenging how he knows that to be true is still a valid question. If I presented evidence, he could easily challenge the credibility of that evidence, and rightly so.

      I, as an apologist, a new one for sure, ground my theory of knowledge in something outside of me that is eternal, transcendent, and immaterial. The naturalistic man has no choice but to appeal to himself as the standard, so then the question is, how is your standard better than the next guy's? We would then be lead back to some objective standard, thus implying that there is an objective standard.

    • 3 months ago

      @let_me_get_this_straight I'm still a bit confused in your last paragraph if you are talking specifically about morality, or something broader.

      If its broader, knowledge itself, then again, I'm not sure anyone is saying that knowledge overall is subjective in this debate (or for me). So its not applicable. If you are talking bout morality specifically, then a moral subjectivist would not be claiming an objective standard (unless they are very confused).

      I think the problem moral objectivists have in evaluating a subjective metaethical view, is that they simply can't understand morality as a subjective subject. They demand that it have objective properties to be called morality. That just becomes a definition game. In a subjective metaethical frame, morality has no objective properties.

      The only exception is in a limited referential frame. So, I could say, Under american law, Tax Evasion is unethical. By putting the frame of american law, I can make a deterministic claim. Just like I could say, "According to Sigfried, stealing is immoral." That is an objective claim with a limited referential scope. But its my judgement, not a universal one. Its a subjective opinion, not a universal fact. It only has objective properties in the scope of authority being discussed.

      So when an objectivist and subjectivist use moral language in a casual setting, they generally use the same words. But... the metaethcial underpinnings are different, their justifications are different. The fact we use the same language is the stumbling block for understanding.

      The practical upshot isn't much different though, Each of us, when issuing a moral opinion are trying to in some way get others to follow the moral advice we espouse. Admittedly, the authority you claim "God master of the universe" is more impressive than "That nice guy Sigfried." But, that only really carries weight with those that believe in your God, and those who think you can accurately convey his viewpoint. I'm forced to appeal to common human feelings and understandings, or my own character and reputation as a wise person.

      The end result isn't wildly different most of the time. Unless we are talking to our own children, people tend to follow their own take on morality, whatever its origins.

  • 2 months ago

    @mani good job debating. I don't think your opponent understood the theoretical basis of an axiom or the different levels you are debating from. I followed you and would have followed you. I still could have debated you thoroughly and if you want to have this conversation with me I will show you where your axiom is flawed.