Instigator / Pro
Points: 7

The futility of "if"

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fauxlaw
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
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Rated
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Contender / Con
Points: 4
Description
Since it is April Fools’ Day, I will celebrate by offering a revised challenge of “if.” This one varies slightly from the first, and will, hopefully, deter argumentative definition of words as a feature of the debate.
Therefore, this debate’s challenge, is: “’If’ is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is currently not true.”
Definitions:
Utilitarian: useful by intentional-purpose activity. Frequency of use is not a factor, even when used frequently. A thing may be used frequently, or not, without meeting the intentional-purpose qualification. For example, using a flathead screwdriver as a wedge to pry one object from another, such as a lid from a bottle, may be useful, but that is not the intended use of a flathead screwdriver. Therefore, in the context of the debate, “if” is a word that introduces a non-utilitarian value that cannot attain value until the condition of the “not true” changes to “true.” It is the conditional statement of an if/then proposal that must change; not the definition of ‘if’ and/or ‘utilitarian.’
Theory: A scientific concept proposed which has not yet earned “fact” status while still called a theory, regardless of its pervasive use in scientific protocol as a fact. Example: the Theory of Relativity.
Acknowledgement: Recognition of a condition that is currently either true or not true. The ‘if’ statement is the qualifier of a true/not-true condition, but is not the vehicle to change one condition to the other.
Round 1
Published:
Since it is April Fools’ Day as this is written, I will celebrate by offering a revised challenge of “if.” This topic varies slightly from my first loaded debate after joining the site, and will, hopefully, deter argumentative definition of words as a feature of the debate, although, I suppose it’s open season. Never the less, I will address my own definitions for clarification.
 
The full language of the forum topic is: “’If’ is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is currently not true.”
 
Definitions:
Utilitarian:useful by intentional-purpose activity. Frequency of use is not a factor, even when used frequently. A thing may be used frequently, or not, without meeting the intentional-purpose qualification. For example, using a flathead screwdriver as a wedge to pry one object from another, such as a lid from a bottle, may be useful, but that is not the intended use of a flathead screwdriver. Therefore, in the context of the debate, “if” is a word that introduces a non-utilitarian value that cannot attain value until the condition of the “not true” changes to “true.” It is the conditional statement of an if/then proposal that must change; not the definition of ‘if’ and/or ‘utilitarian.’
 
Theory: A scientific concept proposed which has not yet earned “fact” status while still called a theory, regardless of its pervasive use in scientific protocol as a fact. Example: the Theory of Relativity. 
 
Acknowledgement:Recognition of a condition that is currently either true or not true. The ‘if’ statement is the qualifier of a true/not-true condition, but is not the vehicle to change one condition to the other.
 
Argument, Round 1:
In the debate I challenged on this subject, and lost, the loss was completely negotiated by my then opponent by obfuscation: to wit,challenging a word I did not define, “useless.” I thought it unnecessary, even though I subsequently advised my meaning of its use as being utilitarian in scope and not in frequency of use. However, since my opponent was first to apply a definition, that’s the definition that stuck, and I was unable to convince otherwise.
 
My opponent further obfuscated the argument by multiple definitions of ‘if,’ which I had not seen necessary to define. I still don’t. However, rather than define it, I will argue against the tactic applied by my opponent in that debate’s first round.
 
In the debate on this subject, Con [Oromagi, my friend] argued eight separate definitions of ‘if;’ mostly in scientific use related to proposing a theory. In science, ‘theory’ holds a very respected position relative to fact v. fiction, or truth v. non-truth. The Theory of Relativity, for example, is still considered theoretical, and not a true fact, when compared to later theories, such as String Theory. The Theory of Relativity is a virtual fact by comparison.
 
Given this acceptable confusion in scientific circles, I submit that playing a shell game with ‘theory,’ essentially violates my proposed if/then statement regarding the use of ‘if’ since, in practical terms, ‘theory’ cannot logically reside on both sides of a true/false condition, even if science will bend the logic. I declare it out of bounds for definitional consideration, as I’ve proposed in definitions.
 
Further, I argue that when something is currently not true [accepting that this condition could change, but is still bound by the current condition] there is no ‘if’ statement that can successfully alter the condition of ‘not true’ by itself; that is, without external manipulation.
 
I will offer an example; one that I mentioned in the first debate on this subject: Star Trek’s Kobayashi Maru;the Star Fleet Academy’s no-win tactical challenge.[i]If you recall, cadet James T. Kirk successfully passed the challenge, but he changed the conditions of the challenge in order to pass a no-win scenario. Rewarded for his creativity, instead of being chastised for changing the rules, Kirk won the admiration of Star Fleet. Or, so goes the story.
 
The deal is, Kirk applied external manipulation to change the ‘not true’ condition of the challenge, which was designed to be an unchangeable ‘not true’ condition. The purpose of the challenge was to conceive the most original, creative response to a no-win scenario. Star Fleet Academy’s issue was that they did not conceive that a cadet would manipulate the test parameters to defeat a no-win scenario. To do so in a logical question is to violate the purpose of the question, thus the change in this debate to a matter of utility, as defined, and not mere use, which has unintended baggage.
 
Moreover, I contend that acknowledgement, by definition above, has no ability to change the conditional statement any more than the ‘if’ statement is able to accomplish it. For example, to say, “If I could fly, I would be in Paris tomorrow.” The ‘if’ statement automatically recognizes an incapacity; ‘I’ cannot fly; I am not equipped to do so due to the limitations my body possesses. I can resolve the problem with external manipulation of the ‘if’ statement, but that upsets the paradigm. And, as I am not currently in Paris, it does not matter that my conditional statement is one of a positive attitude; it is still not true. I can ‘if’ until cows return to the barn, but I cannot, of my own facility, change my ‘if’ current condition; I cannot fly. Who knows; with evolution and adaptation on my side, and my longevity increases exponentially, one day, I may have wings, but that is not the current condition. Therefore, the entire phrase is a logical falsehood. Currently.
 
I suggest a read of understanding philosopher Hans Vaihinger [1852 – 1933], whose philosophy of Die Philosophie des Als Ob, [The Philosophy of As-Ifs] supports my contention that ‘if’ acknowledges only that which is currently not true. Vaihinger argued , “…all knowledge [episteme] is empirical in the sense that our guiding cognitive aim is the prediction and control of empirical phenomena, not correspondence to objective reality.”[ii]This is the reason for defining ‘theory’ as I have, and why, therefore, bending its application as science is wont to do to somehow include “fact” as one of its functions. 
 
Finally, as Vaihinger expressed, our desire is to predict and control empiricism, and resulting episteme, but it can do so only within the bounds of what is epistemic; what is known as currently true.
 
So, the challenge is offered: “’If’ is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is currently not true.” Or, one might say, using Vaihigner’s Philosophy of As-If,‘If’ is not utilitarian because it acknowledges what currently does not correspond to objective reality. April Fools!



[i]Meyer, Nicholas, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,Paramount Pictures, 1982


Published:
Recite:
Utilitarian: useful by intentional-purpose activity. Frequency of use is not a factor, even when used frequently. A thing may be used frequently, or not, without meeting the intentional-purpose qualification. For example, using a flathead screwdriver as a wedge to pry one object from another, such as a lid from a bottle, maybe useful, but that is not the intended use of a flathead screwdriver. Therefore, in the context of the debate, “if” is a word that introduces a non-utilitarian value that cannot attain value until the condition of the “not true” changes to “true.” It is the conditional statement of an if/then proposal that must change; not the definition of ‘if’ and/or ‘utilitarian.’

I will confirm that I will not be changing the definition of "Utilitarian" or "Utilitarianism" as I, as a student, have no right to change the definition of any existing phrase without the confirmation of a related association. I will be using the definition and *Gmm Gmm* example from the definition you gave me. Since there are no specifications of the behavioral parameters on this debate, I will be refuting the first round. If I am not supposed to act on such an action, then I hope the instigator would create that specification in the description section next time he is debating any other users.

I would not go as far as arguing the Star Trek example, as it is already written in stone and cannot be changed. However, I Will argue for these points below.

"Moreover, I contend that acknowledgment, by definition above, cannot change the conditional statement any more than the ‘if’ statement can accomplish it. For example, to say, “If I could fly, I would be in Paris tomorrow.” The ‘if’ statement automatically recognizes an incapacity; ‘I’ cannot fly; I am not equipped to do so due to the limitations my body possesses."

That is, however, not absolute, as an "if" sentence can still represent the truth if the user doesn't know the truth. In 2020 4/5, which is today, Donald Trump is the president. A person who knows nothing about US politics can say "If Donald Trump is the president, then I will ...". While this is still an "if" statement, it acknowledges the truth, as Donald Trump is the president, he just doesn't know it. 

I can also understand that whenever a subject uses an "if" statement, he is always thinking that what he put in the statement is, well, false. He will think that whatever he says in the statement is false, and that truth is subjective. This is the only explanation if your logic will prevail. Then there is no common truth what is true and what is false, consider you can change your brain memory to that "Joe Biden is the president in 2016!", although it is very hard to do so because you see Trump everywhere and everywhere. This is an example and is not meant to be politically incorrect. 

If an "if" statement states an existing truth, then it is at some point utilitarian. If an "if" statement is always deemed false, then there is no public truth, making the entire sentence useless as there are no "lies" either, and an "if" statement can be stating a truth. And by the way, the last couple of sentences counterattacks you as it is a rational truth, explainable, and I, as the author of these sentences, believe in that. True, and I believe in that? It means an "if" statement isn't never true for the person stating it. You try to prove me wrong.

Conclusion: Taking examples from the first 2 sentences from the last paragraph, because it is a true condition and I believe in it, that means an "if" statement is not always stating a condition that is not true.

Even then, you can't say that an "if" sentence is just...not utilitarian. A utilitarian subject is designed to be useful in its intended fiend of innovation and use. I am not that good of a philosopher, so I will present examples for myself about utilitarianism: https://www.iep.utm.edu/util-a-r/

Let's say the water crisis is even worse, and a poet sits at the bank, sighs, "Ah, if there is a device that creates water, it will be so good!" Then some guy invents the machine INTENDED to fill this purpose and works best at creating water(Yes, I know this is impossible, but neither does children's book's stories, and we still listen to them when we are young). This machine is utilitarian, and the machine runs on an "if" statement. 

A device's use is not fixed. You may say, "A screwdriver opening a bottle of beer is not utilitarian because it is not its intended use!" But what if I make it intended, and sell screwdrivers that are dubbed "beer-opening devices"? (I know it is not real yet) If I want to make the use of mayonnaise an instrument, I can if I am the creator, and if the creator confirms this, then the "if" statement that says "if mayonnaise can be an instrument, it will be much better" is true and utilitarian now. I know "if" statements are not utilitarian at the beginning of the proposal, but some can be utilitarian at some point, as that is my side. Since your argument did not specify it has to be at the time of the proposal, thus because "if" statements can be fulfilled, it will be utilitarian then. 

Argument done. Write for yourself.
Round 2
Published:
Rebuttal:
An ‘if’ statement can represent the truth. 
Said Con, regarding an ‘if’ statement, “That is, however, not absolute, as an "if" sentence can still represent the truth if the user doesn't know the truth.” That statement violates a basic principle of the Greek origins of epistemology; the study of knowledge. The Greeks defined knowledge as a “tripartite definition:” it is “justified, true, and believed.”[1][2]
 
However, in the case of a person who states, as Con suggested, “If Donald Trump is the president, I will…” and the speaker states he will commit some action, conditional on the ‘if’ statement being true. What that action is, is immaterial. He will do it, but only upon the knowledge that Trump is the president. By couching the statement as an ‘if’ statement, he is acknowledging that he does not know if Trump is the president, or not. 
 
Wait. There is another condition in which the speaker may act as if he does not know the truth, but proposes an ‘if/then’ statement as a ruse, a logic trap for another. However, as this is a malicious us of ‘if/then,’ [the logic trap], it should be dismissed as a statement that does not seek the truth, and will not follow through on the committed ‘then’ statement. 
 
The statement, in either case, therefore, violates at least two, but probably all three of the tripartite definitions of knowledge; his statement is not justified, it is not true, and it is not believed. Therefore, it is currently an admission of a falsehood, at least in his mind, and as he allows to be known. This is in agreement with my argument that the ‘if’ statement acknowledges only a not-true condition, as well as meeting the above definition of “knowledge.”
 
Truth is subjective:
Actually, Con acknowledged the above conclusion: “I can also understand that whenever a subject uses an "if" statement, he is always thinking that what he put in the statement is, well, false.” However, Con then argues, “…truth is subjective. This is the only explanation if your [Pro] logic will prevail.”
 
However, Con is apparently unaware of the logic behind the above definition of knowledge having its tripartite thrust, the loss of any one of which, let alone a combination, defeats the expectation of knowledge. It descends into the realm of the unknown, which cannot be declared true or false; it is merely not known. That is, it is not justified, not true, even if it is believed, as explained by Hans Vaihinger’s Philosophy of As-Ifs.[3]
 
By perception of sensations, we may be entirely convinced that a thing is true, such as that the period of one day, on earth, has been, is, and always will be a period of 24 hours. However, in spite of our present sensations [emphasis on present, or current], we know by empiric evidence that the duration of 24 hours per day, sunrise to following sunrise, has not always been true, and will not be true in the future, either. According to Scientific American, June, 2010,[4] the earth experiences an increase of 0.0017 milliseconds every century, at present. The cited article also maintains that this value has been increasing virtually since the formation of earth roughly 4.5B years ago, implying that in early geologic history, earth’s day was something less than 24 hours. In fact, according to the S.A. article, 620M years ago, earth’s day was approximately 21.9 hours in duration.[5]
 
Therefore, what we sense cannot be justified as an absolute, never to change, unless what we sense happens to correlate with what is also true.
 
‘Utilitarian’ does not exclusively define an intentional-purpose device.
Con states, “A device's use is not fixed.” That condition is true; we innovate with innovations all the time, but, I have defined the term “utilitarian” with that limitation, and, having initiated the debate on the terms of my definitions, and Con’s acceptance of my definitions without prior discussion in comments before accepting the debate, the definitions stand as proposed, and subsequent argument must work within their defined parameters.
 
Argument, round 2
Truth is eternal
 
Contrary to Con’s statement that “…truth is relative...” I contend just the opposite: truth is eternal, and that definition holds whether we know the truth, or not. A read of Plato’s Menoreveals that, to Plato, if there is to be had the virtue of knowledge [episteme, episteme], or truth [alηθεια, alethia], at all, these things must be of an eternal nature, and acquired over that time, even though they [knowledge, truth] exist as they are whether we know them and have acquired them or not.[6]
 
This is to be understood as separate from what we merely see to be true based on our own observation. Once, as far back as those same Greeks, and even back to Adam, our perception of the universe was that it was geocentric, or, earth-centered. This is the description of Aristotle,[7] and Moses.[8]
 
However, it was a flawed perspective, and the church, which had embraced Aristotle, and science, together, had to bow to the new observation of Galileo, who watched moons in orbit around Jupiter, which upset the geocentric “truth.” It was not true, after all. Nor did a heliocentric model endure for more than a few centuries, replaced by a galactocenric view, and we know even more today that this last perspective is also flawed. None of these concepts were, are, or will be true. This is not even relativism; it’s simply not true and never has been, even though it was observed. 
 
It the perspective that is relative, not the objective: truth.
 
 
 
 
 

Published:
Because I am having lunch whilst writing this argument, I will have a brief one. Don't ask that who asked, the philosophical term is called "unquestioned answers". 

Anyways, let me keep the discussion going. Remember I am not to convince my opponent, because he is not meant to change his ideas. I am more inclined to convince the voters, the people that did not take part in discussing this topic at this point in time with a formal format, ex. SupaDudz.

I have the risk of losing the debate due to the fact that Fauxlaw is a more experienced debater than I am, but for the sake of deep discussion, I am inclined to keep going with the string of ideas and the sharing within.

I will start by refuting 2 arguments that inhibit each other:

However, in the case of a person who states, as Con suggested, “If Donald Trump is the president, I will…” and the speaker states he will commit some action, conditional on the ‘if’ statement being true. What that action is, is immaterial. He will do it, but only upon the knowledge that Trump is the president. By couching the statement as an ‘if’ statement, he is acknowledging that he does not know if Trump is the president, or not.

Contrary to Con’s statement that “…truth is relative...” I contend just the opposite: truth is eternal, and that definition holds whether we know the truth, or not.
These two inhibits each other because in the former, suppose a person with ignorance of related topic states, "If Donald Trump is the president, then I will..." while in the year 2019, he technically IS stating the truth. That contradicts your definition of "if' statements cannot represent the truth". So in this case to favor your side, which is what any sane debater would do, Truth had to be subjective, as the authenticity of whether an "if" statement is true depends on that the speaker/writer knows about, and it is always false, SUBJECTIVELY. However you argue that the truth is eternal and not subjective, it would mean that an "if" sentence can represent a condition that is true, which means "if", the term is utilitarian at some point and is not like what you said, that "if" is never utilitarian.

Now, I know what you are thinking whilst reading the last paragraph, saying, "That guy who 'if''s Donald Trump being the president is ignorant, and what he said there was not the truth." Hold there. If Truth is eternal, he would be speaking the truth, and that would mean "if" can be utilitarian. the definition for "utilitarian" is not what I would normally expect, but I can cope with it anyways.

This is to be understood as separate from what we merely see to be true based on our own observation. Once, as far back as those same Greeks, and even back to Adam, our perception of the universe was that it was geocentric, or, earth-centered. This is the description of Aristotle,[7] and Moses.[8]
I know, but none of our knowledge can be proven true because people back then thought the earth must be flat and must be the center of the entire universe just as we are so sure that Earth orbits the sun, has one moon, is in the solar system and in extension to the milky way. We cannot disprove them nor we can prove the "truth" that they are the truth and not perspective-biased. Since we cannot know if what we say in any given "if" statements is false, then we cannot deem if "if" is not utilitarian because we cannot disprove them because we don't know if what we know are actually the truth.

On contrary, everyone holds their own tile of belief. Say Trump's "right" decision is to let himself to win the election(again, this is not to be politically incorrect), while Joe Biden would think differently. Who is wrong? statistics may vary, but neither is wrong to themselves, or they would not think so. Trump would quit his business and Joe Biden would not try to win the election. This is what happens if they think what they think is wrong, which did not happen. There are many more examples to this but I am simply too lazy to write over one.

Since we ALL see in perspectives and no one believes in unaltered truth, we can only choose whatever side most people support. Thus the side with more people believing in prevails, even if it is incorrect. Since we cannot know if what we believe is right, this debate would be better off titled as: "If" statements only describes what the speaker/writer think as false. 

This is my argument, and your turn now.
Round 3
Published:
I will use this final, 3rd round using defense of my arguments as rebuttal to Con’s arguments.
 
An ‘if’ statement can represent the truth:
Con attempted to rebut my claim in round 2 that ‘if’ cannot support a true statement by arguing that a person may be ignorant of the truth, and by that ignorance is still stating the truth. However, my rebuttal included sourced commentary that a statement cannot be true if there is a lack of either justification, truth, or belief in the statement, and that all three must be evident; one or more cannot be missing. This was pointed out by reference to[i] and[ii]
The fact that Con’s ignorant person lacks the knowledge to know if what he is stating is true or not true, his odds are even of being correct; it is a guess, but, again, in couching the statement as an if/then, he is siding on the not true side of his argument. Further, he is expressing doubt; he is lacking support by all three tripartite elements; justification, truth, and belief. The ignorant person knows none of the three elements and, therefore, is not and cannot intend truth. Therefore, an ‘if’ statement cannot represent truth.
 
Truth is subjective, or relative:
 Con argued in round 1, “Truth is relative.”And I argued in round 2, “…it is not justified, not true, even if it is believed, as explained by Hans Vaihinger’s Philosophy of As-Ifs.”[iii] Also, I argued in round 2, “It is the perspective that is relative, not the objective: truth,”based on my earlier argument that while the truth was always otherwise, our progress [perspective] of the nature of the universe went through theories of geocentrism, heliocentrism, and glactocentrism, each time declaring them truths by empiric techniques of observation. Yet, each observation was summarily dismissed by the improved observation. At present, we know the universe is not galactocentric, but we have not observed any phenomenon that would define that nature. That lack of knowledge is not truth, it is unknown.
 
Therefore, truth is not relative, it’s just that we have no a better perspective to shift unknown, including unknown not true – the latter being a condition that will never be true - to truth.
 
‘if’ statements cannot represent truth, and that truth is eternal inhibit one another
No. Looking from the perspective of these arguments, first, then last, ‘if’ by its very nature, is casting doubt on the statement. “If I could fly” begins doubt. “If Donald Trump is the President” begins doubt.  Doubt is the nemesis of truth because it lacks justification, truth, and belief, the tripartite definition of truth.
 
And looking at the arguments from the perspective, last, then first, it is clear within the combined arguments that truth being eternal, its nature equates to the condition that ‘if’ cannot represent truth, always, no exceptions. This is true by understanding the true nature of truth, and unknown. Again, by definition by the tripartite definition of truth, if even one of the elements of the subject [justification, truth, and belief] are missing, one does not have, and never had truth, thus, what is unknown might be true, but also might not, and that is entirely a measure of risk.
 
It is fitting that the tripartite definition of truth is the supporting justification, truth, and belief, of both arguments: ‘if’ cannot support truth, and truth is eternal.
 
Con finished round 2 by arguing “Since we ALL see in perspectives and no one believes in unaltered truth, we can only choose whatever side most people support.”
 
Yes, it is true that we all see in perspective, and those perspectives vary, and those variances constitute a wide scope. Therefore, Con concludes two things: one, no one believes in unaltered truth, and two, we are only able to choose the majority argument. Both are erroneous:
 
No one believes unaltered truth:
Nay, I believe in unaltered truth. I know it. That one ‘nay’ is sufficient to deter the claim, “No one.” Moreover, there are at least 16M people who also say, “nay,” by their affirmed belief that: “24And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
“25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.”[iv]
 
We are only able to choose what a majority chooses:
And by the sweep of one comment, we deny free agency to all people. We are certainly prone to accept extremes, such as “no one,” and “only,” and “everyone,” etc., without consideration that some of us just cannot be convinced to be conformists. Rather, what decree said that liberty does not include free agency? That we are responsible for our choices, and their consequences, I acknowledge, but I reject that any one of all must follow a crowd, regardless of their number. That is the choice of weakness and non-commitment. That is a choice to ignore truth altogether; to parse it into bits consumable through a straw and palatable only because it imposes no challenge to individuals to seek proof. It just is because the crowd says it is. Nonsense. Who ever said the crowd had a monopoly on truth?
The very thought that I must conform to a crowd to establish what I know and believe is complete anathema.
 
Conclusion:
I have demonstrated by cited argument, rebuttal, and defense, that “’If’ is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is currently not true.”
 
I have argued, and proven that defined truth is a tripartite definition.
 
I have argued, and proven that truth is a function of non-malleable elements; that we cannot change conditions of an argument just to achieve a true result from a not true condition.
 
I have argued, and proven that only by altering the condition [ the ‘then’], can an if be altered from a not true to a true statement.
 
I have argued, and proven that an ‘if’ statement can only represent not true.
 
I have argued, and proven that truth is eternal and non-malleable.
 
Therefore, I have ultimately shown how and why “’If’ is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is currently not true.”


Published:
I am a debater and I will poke any chance to win if there even is any. It looks like almost all of my arguments last round are being decimated by you. Nice debate. One of the nicest I've had so far.

However since I am the last one to respond and my opponent has set no restrictions for the last round's argument, I will be grateful to take the opportunity to refute his last points, or not, maybe even point out points I have not even mentioned and has been generated by my brain since my opponent responded in the 3rd round. My opponent can keep responding in the comments section, but no one shall deem anything in the comment section as a part of the debate and said sections are not to score. 

1. No matter what, a title is a title.

A title is, essentially, what we are debating. Let me give an example. Support you are called to a debate event in which your topic is "Abortion is illegal", and then it is your turn and the crowd started to expect you to respond directly to the opponent's points, and then you started talking about the Nissan car at 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is how I feel. Although my example is a bit extreme, it represents the situation. Of all debating websites, events, and anything in between or even outside of it, the title or the topic slot is what we debate. Now your title either gave a straight disadvantage because nothing can be proven fully futile, and nothing can be proven fully NOT futile. In fact, "if" is one of the most useful words in the English language. "if" is indeed somewhat useful in the language: While I completely agree with some of your points, the term "if" always has been useful to acknowledge things that, in perspective, are not currently true. Saying "if" is futile is like saying pens are useless. Sure pens can't just build an entire building of tourism, residency, and business, but the very fact it drew the blueprints means it is NOT futile. Sure "if" can't be used on things that are completely true now, but the fact it can make the untrue eventually true(Moon landing for example: What if we land on the moon? If we land on the moon, we will win against the Soviets.) makes "if" not futile.

Of course, I already agreed on that debating topic in the /description/, but because it is not the title, it is very easy to exploit that. If I were you, I would put the topic itself "The term If is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is not currently true" instead of putting something on the description. Nice try, my opponent, but it is not the title. 

Conclusion: Because "if" can acknowledge what is not true yet, It is not futile and my opponent's title is incorrect.
Added:
--> @fauxlaw, @blamonkey
Thanks. You guys are helping me grow as a debater!
Contender
#15
Added:
--> @blamonkey
Thanks for voting with a detailed analysis.
Instigator
#14
Added:
--> @fauxlaw, @User_2006
This is blamonkey circa 2020 voting on this debate:
https://i.pinimg.com/474x/86/fd/bf/86fdbf4d0b1fc2e6afb55929c87c7f24.jpg
#13
Added:
Bump. This needs votes.
#12
Added:
Bumping over spam to encourage other voters.
#11
Added:
--> @SupaDudz
Sorry this comment is not just for you. it is for anybody who can vote. I just somehow typed SupaDudz when I didn't mean to.
Contender
#10
Added:
If I get time I will
#9
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
I would suggest you put the topic IN the title next time so no one would exploit this as I did.
Contender
#8
Added:
--> @SupaDudz
C'mon, let's vote.
Contender
#7
Added:
--> @User_2006
I like how you handled the last round, offering a point I had not considered, and you raise a good argument. However, I consider the debate title as just a catch phrase, like an advertising hook to drawn interest. The real debate subject is in the description:“’If’ is not utilitarian because it only acknowledges what is currently not true.”
Instigator
#6
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Is there any limitations to what I can and can't do in each argument? Do I have the privilege of refutation in round I?
Contender
#5
Added:
--> @Ragnar
I mean by such notions that have been, historically, but may begin to have cracks with String Theory, for example, treated as fact. Example: the speed of light is the maximum achievable speed. And that black holes are total gravity sinks.
Instigator
#4
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
What do you mean? The Theory of Relativity is also a theory in and of itself.
#3
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
How, then, do you explain science's use of Einstein's "Relativity," which has always had the predicate, "Theory of...?"
Instigator
#2
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
You're wrong about the word "theory."
Theory: A scientific concept proposed which has not yet earned “fact” status while still called a theory, regardless of its pervasive use in scientific protocol as a fact. Example: the Theory of Relativity.
In reality, a theory is "an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing." Example: The Germ Theory of Disease
#1
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I’m going to be honest; this debate isn’t exactly my mug of cough syrup. I’m going to put a concerted effort into cataloguing as many arguments as possible, but my ears are leaking cranial fluid just from reading the first round.
I’ll start with Pro’s arguments. That is, I’ll try to start with his arguments, but he seems to only have one, and it is too oblique, to the point that I had to parse it from the rest of the text to understand. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not good with this type of abstraction over the minutiae of defining terms. He starts by mentioning another debate he did with oromagi on the same subject. Cool. Then he delves into the meat of his argument. He posits that any use of the word “if” belies any notion of truth in the status quo sans any external manipulation of factors. For example:
If I could speak for everyone… is not currently a true statement unless I somehow produced a device that forced people to speak in unison. The latter part of that clause, where I somehow find a way to meet the “if” statement is purely external. This sounds reasonable enough.
Con contends that an if statement can depict the truth though, suggesting that the statement “if Donald Trump is president…” demonstrates a true fact because whatever subsequent action follows the “if” statement is predicated on Donald Trump being president, which is an undeniable fact.
Pro offers a retort that I feel could have easily been countered. He suggests that both opponents subscribe to the Greek idea of knowledge, which is that something must be believed, true, and justified to be considered knowledge. Because a speaker who presumably says “if Trump is president” doesn’t know about US politics (per Con’s postulation) the statement can’t possibly fall under the epistemological framework he provided because it isn’t believed or justified by the speaker. In other words, the speaker is expressing that he “doesn’t know” if Trump is president.
I’m voting Pro on this exchange because Con doesn’t really refute the Greek principles that Pro is espousing. Con never raises issue with the three stipulations of knowledge, which means I must flow it across the debate.
The argument over this if-then statement doesn’t really develop past this point. Perceptible changes in lingo to explain the arguments notwithstanding, both debaters repeat stuff. There is a debate going on in the background around the nature of truth, but it is only tenuously linked to the topic, and I want to get to the chief reason I’m voting for Pro: the last round.
Con, you should not make new arguments, particularly one that is a kritik, (critique of the resolution,) in the last round when Pro cannot get around to addressing those arguments. Also, you should not basically drop everything else to make such an argument by admitting your arguments were decimated. Whether there were restrictions placed on the final round or not, this is a clear violation of debate ethics. It’s not a major one in my opinion, it just means you cede basically all of the other arguments by not sufficiently responding to them. As for the kritik itself, I am flummoxed. Should people only be beholden to the explicitly stated title? What about other rules and definitions that, hitherto the last round, you adhered to? If adhering to the rules was an onerous burden, then why not offer this kritik first? All of this is insubstantial due to the violation of the debate structure, but they are foremost objections I would have as a competitor.
All in all, not a bad debate. But, because Con ceded so much in the last round by not responding, I have to give the victory to Pro.