Instigator / Pro
8
1619
rating
43
debates
67.44%
won
Topic

Resolved: referenced sources are necessary in a debate

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
6
Sources points
4
2
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 4 points ahead, the winner is ...

Death23
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Miscellaneous
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
12,000
Contender / Con
12
1585
rating
18
debates
66.67%
won
Description
~ 2,739 / 5,000

Resolved: referenced sources are necessary in a debate. The DebateArt Voting Policy[1] requires sources, and declares three separate purposes of sourcing:

1. To provide impact to each participant’s argument.
2. To either bolster a participant’s argument, or weaken an opponent’s argument.
3. To provide superior results of one debater’s argument over the other.

If sourcing is absent from a debater’s argument, none of these purposes are achieved because the avoidance of sourcing renders an argument to the limited status of personal opinion, or likewise, someone else’s parroted opinion. According to the Voting Policy, cited above, a voter must use the purposes listed above to make adequate judgment about a debater’s sourcing compliance.

Even in a situation wherein a debater proposes a resolution that is currently not commonly-known reality, creative sourcing is possible to reference in support of the resolution. For example, should the resolution, earthling humans have had direct, personal contact with alien beings from another planet, sourcing can be found to creatively demonstrate the resolution, and that sourcing can bolster the argument. It is a condition similar to a fictional vehicle: suspension of disbelief.

Yet, a moderator, in a vote, declared agreement with a debater that sources are not absolutely necessary to use in debate. I am purposefully not providing the link nor the direct quote by a moderator to both protect that moderator and because voting on this debate should not consider outside content, specifically because, according to the Voting Policy, “…reasoning that stems from already-placed votes…” should not be considered for voting. The Pro arguments for this debate will not further reference the commentary referenced above, but will prove by reference to sourcing demonstrating the soundness of the voting policy with regard to sourcing.

Definitions:
Referenced sources: citations from scholarly sources which either bolster a debater’s argument, or weakens an opponent’s argument. Full citation, either by providing the complete IRL, allowing a reader to access the cited website, or providing sufficient publication information to find the specified source [author, publication title, publisher, date of publication] by manual [offline] means.

Necessary: [OED], Indispensable, vital, essential, requisite

Debate: Specifically, for purposes of this debate, all debates engaged via DebateArt.com

Debate Protocol

R1 – R3: Argument, rebuttal, defense
R4: No new argument; rebuttal, defense, conclusion

Shared BoP: Pro: referenced sourcing is necessary in debate. Con: referenced sourcing is not necessary in debate.

[1] https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy

Round 1
Pro
Thank you to Death23 for accepting this debate.
 
I Argument: Introduction
 
I.a My argument resolution that “referenced sources are necessary in a debate” will be demonstrated by three standards that are indicated in the DebateArt.com Voting Policy. As we are now in the argumentation phase, I will quote directly from the policy:[1]
 
“2. Sources Points
 
“In order to award source points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks:
 
∙ “Explain, on balance how each debater’s sources impact the debate.
 
∙ “Directly evaluate at least one source in particular cited in the debate and explain how it either bolstered or weakened the argument it was used to support.
 
∙ “Must explain how and why one debater’s use of sources overall was superior to the other’s.”
 
I.b My argument will explain why each of these voting requirements impose the necessity on debate participants, Pro and Con, of providing cited sources which either support their arguments, or defeat their opponent’s arguments, for example. In the Description of this debate, I offered the overarching justification for my resolution:
 
I.b.1 “If sourcing is absent from a debater’s argument, none of these purposes are achieved because the avoidance of sourcing renders an argument to the limited status of personal opinion, or likewise, someone else’s parroted opinion. According to the Voting Policy, cited above, a voter must use the purposes listed above to make adequate judgment about a debater’s sourcing compliance.”[2]
 
I.b.2 If a voter must vote on sourcing, which is 2/7 of the voting points, clearly, there must be sources offered by debaters to be reasoned adequately by voters. Without providing sources by debaters, readers and voters are left to conclude that no sources were given, which cannot result in awarded points. Just as will be pointed out later with regard to proving a negative, absence of sourcing proves nothing but that sourcing is non-existent.
 
II Argument: Cited sources are necessary to provide impact to each participant’s argument.
 
II.a Regardless of topic, and regardless of debate resolution, and opposition to it, and/or argument presented by each participant, Pro and Con, no common-sense declaration by a debater can carry the impact of an argument sustained by a scholastic source, cited specifically by the debater. It must go without saying, moreover, that an apparent off-the-wall declaration by a debater will never carry its own water by avoiding the reference to a scholastic source to provide ceiling and floor to the argument. “Walls, ceilings, and floors,” figuratively speaking, are just as necessary to an argument to sustain the argument as are walls, ceilings and floors to a room.
 
II.b I am not declaring that a cited source must quote the source, although that is a common occurrence. The purpose, generally, in citing a source is not only to avoid the stain of plagiarism, which is making a declaration as one’s own thoughts, when the exact verbiage belongs to another, and credit is therefore rightly given by citation, but, as noted in II.a, to render the “ceiling and floor” to the argument walls, which meets the requirement of voters to find the “impact” of the argument by justifying the argument with a cited source whose scholastic integrity may be greater and more widely recognized as authoritative than that of the debater, alone. 
 
III Argument: Cited sources are necessary to bolster one’s own argument, or weaken the opponent’s argument
 
III.a Suppose the instigator taking the Pro position resolves that earthling humans have had direct, personal contact with alien beings from another planet.  This proposal exists today as theory, in the realm of science. That is, it is not yet proven fact by repeatable and reliable experimentation that consistently arrives at the identical results each time an experiment is repeated by using the same defined materials, methods, and equipment. However, as “theory,” the resolution lacks impact, let alone scholastic integrity, without the inclusion of sources that offer to the reader an element of support that the idea, the argument presented, has reason to be accepted. Reason beyond the mere claim by the debater that planetary aliens have commerced with earthling humans. 
 
III.a.1 Without offering a cited source, Pro may well make the statement as resolved, and some of us may believe it out of hand, but others will be skeptical. They will ask, “Says who?” and wonder just what credentials Pro has to make such a statement “off the wall.” Further suppose that Pro, being challenged to offer evidence of the resolution, responds with an extended mathematic formula, never before seen, but which demonstrates the validity and provability of Warp power [ref: “Star Trek”][3]much as Newton suddenly published his 3 Laws of Motion,[4] explaining gravity. Pro may, therefore, claim to have been one of those who has conducted commerce with planetary aliens, thus demonstrating the reliability of his argument.
 
III.b The likelihood of the scenario given in III.a.1 is unlikely, but a similar argument such as the resolution proposed may submit Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey,[5]  a fiction, as a demonstration of suspension of disbelief. That is, a presentation of fiction that is so consistent with what is thought to be real may actually have credentials to be real. For example, Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, contains a soliloquy by the title character beginning, “To be, or not to be, that is the question…”  Though a fiction, the quandary Hamlet describes as his personal battle is so universal, many who are sufficiently literate understand completely what dilemma faces Hamlet, and have probably felt likewise. Fiction is suspended for the reality of understanding a fictional character’s feelings. As such, Hamlet can be quoted, referencing Shakespeare, of course,[6] as if Hamlet were a real person in a real dilemma.
 
III.c On the other hand, an argument, alone, rebutting an opponent’s argument, carries less water, and does not justify walls by ceilings and floors if the argument is not accompanied by sources proving the rebutting argument as having greater credibility that the opponent’s argument.
 
III.c.1 Suppose Pro claims that blue Na’vi from the Moon, Pandora, [ref: Avatar][7]  have visited earth in retaliation of Earth’s invasion of Pandora, even for alleged peaceful trade, but offers no substantiating source. Con rebuts that such a visit has not taken place, and offers as evidence a declarative article in Scientific American that there “is no specified evidence from any source demonstrating such a visit has ever taken place,” and that, moreover, James Cameron has declared, “The Moon, Pandora, is a fictional place having no connection to any real moon of any real planet in the know universe. It is entirely of my creation.”[8]
 
III.c.2 Even though Pro may counter-rebut that there is nothing that says with any credibility that the Na’vi and Pandora could not be real people and a place, Con’s rebuttal weakens Pro’s argument. Pro’s counter-rebuttal also lacks a credible source because logically, a negative cannot be proven.[9]
 
IV Argument: Cited sources are necessary to demonstrate a superior argument
 
IV.a Suppose a resolution is presented that homes, by definition, have walls, ceilings, and floors. Con may argue with convincing style that his house has walls, ceilings, and floors, and even presents as evidence a photograph of the exterior front of his house. We have all seen houses of this type; an exterior elevation, and have entered many of them, and by such, are convinced of Pro’s argument.
 
IV.b Further suppose that Pro rebuts Con’s argument, and has the photographic evidence that Con’s photograph turns out to be of a movie set featuring just the front fascia of a house, but no actual house behind it. Pro’s photo is taken from a side perspective, showing no walls, no ceilings, no floors, but just a flat prop.
 
IV.c Pro’s cited source, a photograph, is superior to Con’s source, also a photograph, but now clearly shown as just a prop, and not a house.
 
IV.d How, by verbal argument, alone, are readers to confirm the superiority of one argument over the other? By sourcing, even though offered by both, Pro’s sourcing prevails over Con’s sourcing, and the difference and superiority become obvious to a reader’s voting judgment.
 
V. R1 Conclusion: Sourcing clarifies arguments
 
V.a I conclude that, by evidence shown, referenced sources are necessary in a debate to provide impact to an argument, bolster and weaken arguments, and provide superior results to an argument. I rest for r1.
 
 
 



[3]Roddenberry, Gene, Star Trek,  Desilu Productions, 1966


 

[5]Clarke, Arthur C., 2001: A Space Odyssey,Penguin, New York, 1968.


 

[6]Shakespeare, William, Hamlet, III, i


 

[7]Cameron, James, Avatar,  20thCentury Fox, 2009


 

[8]Note: both “quotes” as given by Scientific American and James Cameron are fictitious; the creative license of Pro in this debate.


 

Con
Resolution:
 
Referenced sources are necessary in a debate.
 
Interpretation of resolution:
 
There are two primary ambiguities which I seek to resolve here. The first is an implicated goal or objective, and the second has to do with the how often the condition must be true.
 
When something is "necessary", it can only be "necessary" with respect to some goal or objective. The resolution is unclear as to what that goal or objective is. Pro's position is that referenced sources are necessary in a debate, but the question is - "Necessary for what?"
 
In discerning the goal or objective it is reasonable to consider what a debate is. Fundamentally a debate is a competition between Pro and Con, with voters deciding who has won the debate. The objective of victory is implicated by the circumstances. So, clarifying the resolution with the implicated adjunct is appropriate, which may be as follows:
 
"Referenced sources are necessary to win in a debate."
 
Next, there is some ambiguity with respect to the required frequency of the truth of the condition. Clearly, it is true that in some debates references sources will be necessary to win. But in some debates that is not the case. Where are the respective goal posts for Pro and myself? What is the claim here - Are referenced sources always necessary? Usually necessary? Sometimes necessary?
 
I would say that the statement would be mostly true if referenced sources were necessary to win in most debates. If I were a voter, this would be sufficient. In any case, I would reform the resolution further as follows:
 
"Referenced sources are usually necessary to win in a debate."
 
I would further reform the resolution to take in to consideration the limitation of "debate" given in the debate description, providing only for debates on debate.com. So, like this:
 
"Referenced sources are usually necessary to win in a debate on DebateArt.com."
 
That is how I would do it if I were voting. This is resolution / win condition thing. So, it's entirely up to the voters.
 
My position on the interpretation is tentative and based on only what I have seen thus far. I am open to further reformation of it in response to facts or argument.
 
My case:
 
My case is rather simple and rests on burdens of proof. I deny that the resolution is true. Pro must present evidence to show that the resolution is true.
 
The type of evidence required to show that the resolution is true would likely be a survey of each and every finished debate on DebateArt.com. Each surveyed debate would then have a corresponding analysis showing that referenced sources were or were not necessary to win the debate. Once all of the debates are surveyed and analyzed, the percentage of debates in which the use of referenced sources was necessary to win can be determined. If that percentage is greater than 50%, I would say that Pro would have won.
 
Of course, obtaining this sort of evidence is extremely work-intensive. The resolution is therefore very difficult to prove. It is unlikely that Pro will present such evidence. Therefore, Pro is unlikely to be able to prove his case, and I will win by default. However, we must always be open to new evidence.
 
I will not be going through each and every debate on this website and surveying them, and I don't have to as the BoP is on Pro. However, the evidence I will present is the evidence which requires the least work and is the most trustworthy: Your own personal experiences. You are users of this site and you are familiar with it. Based on your own direct observation, do you think that the resolution is true? While you have obviously not surveyed each and every debate here, I do believe you have a substantial sample size of debates within your memories. I encourage you to review your experiences here and use those to guide your vote.
 
I can share my own personal experiences here. I can say that it seemed like the high quality debates referenced sources appeared necessary, but most debates on this site are not that. Many debates here are joke debates or forfeits where victory is on conduct points alone. Even in the debates where referenced sources were used, it's often unclear as to whether or not they were necessary to win.
 
Rebuttals:
 
I am going to address Pro's arguments section by section.
 
Re: Debate description
 
Certain aspects of Pro's debate description were argumentative. I will therefore respond to it.
 
Pro claims that "The DebateArt Voting Policy[1] requires sources". Pro cites the voting policy. Pro. Pro has not quoted anything within the source to directly support this claim. I generally deny the existence of any text within the source which supports Pro's claim. I challenge as unsubstantiated any of Pro's assertions to the contrary.
 
As the voting policy was the only evidence Pro presented in the debate description, Pro has no factual support for any of the averments in the debate description unless and until Pro presents satisfactory evidence supporting his factual claims. I therefore deny each and every argumentative factual allegation within the debate description as unsupported  by any satisfactory evidence.
 
 
Re: I Argument: Introduction
 
No argument made. No response necessary.
 
Re: 2. Sources Points
 
No argument made. No response necessary.
 
Re: I.b
 
No argument made. No response necessary.
 
I.b.1
 
This is Pro quoting himself. So, no evidence here.
 
I.b.2
 
Voters don't have to vote on sourcing. Points can and are awarded without referenced sources. That happens all the time.
 
Re: II Argument: Cited sources are necessary to provide impact to each participant’s argument.
 
Re: II.a
 
Pro is arguing for an irrelevant claim. Pro is saying why he thinks sources should be necessary. Pro is not arguing that sources actually are necessary. The latter claim is the subject of this debate. The resolution is a factual claim - "referenced sources are necessary in a debate". The inquiry is a therefore a strictly factual matter as to the status quo. This is not a policy debate. If Pro wanted to argue that "Referenced sources should be necessary" then Pro should have worded the resolution as such, but Pro did not do so. Further, this is ultimately self-refuting because Pro didn't cite any source in support of this argument.
 
II.b
 
 Pro is not making an argument here. He is merely qualifying his position. No argument made. No response necessary.
 
III Argument: Cited sources are necessary to bolster one’s own argument, or weaken the opponent’s argument
 
Re: III.a
 
A single hypothetical example is very weak evidence. Pro's burden is to present evidence showing that the resolution is true - "referenced sources are necessary in a debate". A single hypothetical example of a debate where referenced sources are likely to be necessary carries little, if any, weight. Even if this example was intended to be illustrative, Pro has not presented any evidence supporting the position that the majority of debates would be like this single case.
 
Re: III.a.1
 
Not really sure exactly what Pro's point here is. This whole scenario strikes me as irrelevant as I don't see any connection between it and the factual nature of the resolution.
 
Re: III.b
 
This is not relevant to the resolution.
 
III.c
 
There are the facts, then there are the arguments. Certain classes of factual assertions do not require evidence. Facts which are not in dispute require no evidence. Even if there is a dispute, evidence is still not required for many facts, such as facts and propositions of generalized knowledge that are so universally well known that they cannot reasonably be the subject of dispute.
 
If both debaters are reasonably honest with respect to the facts, then it is unlikely that much, if any evidence would be required because both debaters may already agree as to the facts.
 
Arguments require no evidence. They speak for themselves as to their validity.
 
Re: III.c.1
 
Pro presenting an example without argument yet. No response necessary yet.
 
III.c.2
 
Not really sure what Pro's point here is. BoP is generally on the person making the claim. I don't see how any of this is related to the the resolution.
 

 
Re: IV.a through IV.d
 
A single hypothetical example is very weak evidence. Pro's burden is to present evidence showing that the resolution is true - "referenced sources are necessary in a debate". A single hypothetical example of a debate where referenced sources are likely to be necessary carries little, if any, weight. Even if this example was intended to be illustrative, Pro has not presented any evidence supporting the position that the majority of debates would be like this single case.
 
Re: V. R1 Conclusion: Sourcing clarifies arguments
 
This is merely conclusory and therefore carries no weight.
 

Round 2
Pro
I Rebuttal: “An implicated goal or objective”
 
I.a In his r1, Con relates two ambiguities: first, “an implied goal or objective, and… second… how often the condition must be true.” I will address the first now [as it has already been addressed in my r1, I.a, and we are, therefore, playing at semantics]:
 
I.a.1 “An implied goal or objective,” as related to my argument, is not at all merely implied; it is spelled out specifically in the Voting Policy: “In order to award source points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks…”[1]  Tasks. The OED defines “task” as “n.A piece of work imposed, exacted, or undertaken as a duty or the like.”  
 
I.a.2 Con would like to treat his first ambiguity by his second; that this is a logic question of necessity and sufficiency [“how often the condition must be true”], the which terms describe conditional relationships: A ← B [to be read as “A is a necessary condition for B.”],[2] or, in other words, “necessity is symbolized as ‘being pointed to by the arrow.’”[3]
 
I.a.3 I will defer my response to Con’s second ambiguity to my r3 argument, but let’s address the first ambiguity:  The definition given in I.a.1 of “task,” by that specific term, carries the weight of my argument that the Voting Policy is the current core argument. If it is the task of voters making judgment on a debate between two participants, Pro and Con, then, by definition, voting is imposed work to be done. The debate instigator defines the nature of voting with two options of a preferred point system: either “Four points,” or “Winner selection.” While “winner selection” may seem like a free-for-all selection of the winner by devil-may-care judgment qualification, there is a defined process of review of the arguments by the voter to select a winner. It is certain that the “four points” system specifically outlines four areas of judgment review: argument, sources, spelling & grammar, and conduct, and all four have guidelines for voters to follow in rendering their RFD. As we read in the Voting Policy, the second of these points is sourcing.
 
I.a.3. Con argues in rebuttal in r1 that “Pro has not quoted anything within the source [Voting Policy] to directly support this claim [the resolution].” I quoted directly from the Voting Policy. If sourcing must be addressed by voters, there must be sources referenced by Pro and Con in their arguments. This requirement is not arbitrarily waived, not even by Con’s “how often the condition must be true.” The condition being: are there referenced sources in the debaters’ arguments? By the instruction that voters must vote on relative sourcing in a debate argument, it follows, just as A ← B, that sourcing is a necessary condition for voting.
 
I.a.4 Con argues for additional conditions, to wit, is sourcing always necessary, sometimes necessary, or is either condition necessary on DebateArt.com? I will also address these options, and demonstrate the logic in my r3.
 
II Rebuttal: “No argument made, no response necessary.”
 
II.a The quoted statement in the rebuttal title is frequently stated by Pro, and looks curiously like the A ← B logic. But that means that if there is an argument, and Con missed it, it still stands and he either rebuts, or drops. So be it.
 
II.b Con’s r1 argues, “Re: [my r1] 2. Source points, no argument made. No response necessary.”  [Hereafter, referred to as NA, no RN] Con claims my r1 makes no argument. I disagree. The resolution, itself, is a stated argument; the primary argument of the debate. I even offered a sourced reverence [the Voting Policy, Section A.2] as evidence. I clearly label my arguments, rebuttals, defenses, and conclusions. There is no ambiguity in these terms since I always label them accordingly. 
 
II.b.1 However, Con earlier claims, “I generally deny the existence of any text within the source which supports Pro's claim. I challenge as unsubstantiated any of Pro's assertions to the contrary.”  Therefore, if I analyze that quote, I conclude that:
1.    Whenever I cite a source, Con will deny the existence of any text that supports my argument to which I attach the cited source. 
2.    Arrogance not yet satisfied, Con challenges any assertion of mine to the contrary as unsubstantiated. Well, thereby, Con has stated, nutshell-wise, his argument against the necessity of sourcing. He is his own source. Yet he argues when I quote myself. He can, but I cannot. That’s cute.
 
II.b.1.A Con may freely argue this point, but, it is opinion, extremely biased in his favor, and, finally, Con cannot vote on his own debates. It is, regretfully, a non sequitur.
 
II.c Con declares my r1, I.b is NA, no RN. Con misreads my debate organization, using standard roman numeral general arguments, and sub-arguments by Roman letters and Arabic numerals. The format is I, I.a, I.a.1, I.a.1.A, etc., with each paragraph within argument I subordinate to each number reference above it in the order rendered, thus: II, II.a, II.a.1, II.a.1.A being a separate section. Therefore, the argument in I.b is subordinate, and in support of I. The ‘NA, no RN’ is actually an argument contained in paragraph I.b. As for I.b.1, I am quoting myself, as Con states. But that quote is evidenced by the reference cited at quote’s end [r1, [2]], https://www.debateart.com/debates/2221/resolved-referenced-sources-are-necessary-in-a-debate
 
I apologize for having to take time to rebut a silly misunderstanding of my textual organization. This should be easy outline understanding.
 
II.d Con alleges in his rebuttal of my r1, I.b.2 that “Voters don't have to vote on sourcing,”  but this is his opinion, alone; he offers no supporting evidence, and this is not, as my opponent may claim, “facts not in dispute.”I did source my argument as noted above, II.c. Con’s stated opinion is refuted by the DebateArt.com Voting Policy. Indeed, unfortunately, as Con alleges, “Points… are awarded without referenced sources,”but that is also contrary to the Voting Policy, and such votes, if reported, and verified by Moderators, are removed.
 
II.e “Re:  [my r1] 2. Source points, NA, no RN.”  Con has read neither my argument, nor the Voting Policy, with comprehension relative to paragraph references. That is not my argument point #2. The ‘2’ [which begins my quotation – note the punctuation] refers to the second section of the Voting Policy, Section A.2 i.e. “A. The Point-based System, 2. Source Points.” By the way, above in I.a.3, I mentioned the second voting system, “Winner Selection.” This vote, as well must consider the strength of arguments:  “Weighing entails analyzing how the relative strength of one argument or set of arguments outweighed (that is, out-impacted) and/or precluded another argument or set of arguments.”[4]  How are arguments weighed in the four points system? By argument, sourcing [impact?], s&g, and conduct.
 
II.f Con claims my r1, II.b did not make an argument. I disagree. I argued that sourcing is necessary: “…as noted in II.a, to render the ‘ceiling and floor’ to the argument walls, which meets the requirement of voters to find the ‘impact’ of the argument by justifying the argument with a cited source.”  The “impact” quoted in my argument is a direct reference to the r1, II.a argument, which directly follows the discussion on the purposes of sourcing as defined in the Voting Policy, argued in my r1, I.a; to wit, “Explain, on balance how each debater’s sources impact the debate.”[5]
 
III Rebuttal: “A single hypothetical example is very weak evidence”
 
III.a Isn’t it curious that Con’s argument against having sources includes an argument that one source is insufficient? If zero sources are necessary, as Con argues, then one source, even hypothetical, is overkill. Con would like a cake please, and one to go, because one cake is never enough to prove gluttony. The more cakes, the merrier.
 
III.b Con claims I have not provided evidence that every debate would be likened to my “weak” argument of resolved: earthling humans have had direct, personal contact with alien beings from another planet.  [my r1, III.a] Virtually every debate on DebateArt.com has incorporated a resolved or proposed statement created by the Instigator, and accepted by the Contender, the latter of whom will argue the opposing side of the resolution. Therefore, I argue that a single example as presented is sufficient for a reader to understand the argument. Most readers, I’ll qualify. How that resolution is written often carries weight in the strength of both arguments, Pro and Con, but, the fact is, as of this writing, 1,289 debates have been waged on DebateArt.com, and I will stand on the assertion above that the debate scenario I’ve described is the norm, not the exception. 4,646 votes have declared as much.[6]
 
III.c May I kindly refer the readers to my r1, III.a.1 [Warp power], III.b [2001: A Space Odyssey, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet]  and IV [viewing a house] hypothetical arguments, the which present not one, but four hypothetical situations in my argument, making five total hypothetical arguments [including the first, a non-specific alien contact with Earth]. Do I need six, or seven, or more, or none? Not to mention my IV rebuttal, below. The sixth and seventh hypothetically “weak” arguments, that is. More cakes?
 
IV Rebuttal: No Blue Na’vi
 
IV.a Con’s r1 rebuttal of my r1, III.c spends three paragraphs to say “Arguments require no evidence,”then states, referring to my III.c.1 [which is inclusive with III.c, you will recall] that III.c is NA, no RN. On what, then, did Con waste over 650 words with spaces if it was not an argument? The argument is, as stated in full, contained in my r1, III.c.1, a hypothetical attack on Earth by Na’vi which is rebutted by a hypothetical Scientific American  article, and by a hypothetical James Cameron statement. Isn’t it amazing how even fiction can provide adequate sourcing?
 
V Argument: A binding Voting Policy
 
V.a A stroll through the DebateArt.com Code of Conduct might be revealing: “If participating in debates, you are also bound by the Voting Policy.”[7]  As one reviews this particular page of DebateArt.com, one might note that it is void of the disclaimer, *outdated*, as is the case with the Debate page of the Help Center. Therefore, one cannot hide behind the outdated condition of debate instructions, the which should, but do not speak to specifics of making argumentation as a part of the entire debating process. In spite of the site oversight, this reference in Code of Conduct to the Voting Policy, which does stipulate the necessity of a debater to provide sourcing of an argument, is clear and concise, to wit, “referenced sources are necessary in a debate.”[8]
 
V.a.1 So, if one is, by this Code of Conduct instruction, bound by the Voting Policy, what is binding about the Voting Policy? Specifically with regard to this debate, reference my argument, r1, I – I.b.2, and then, everything that follows in that round, this round, and my r3, when it is published. I call it, r3, “Winter is coming.” You will see why by and by.
 
 
 


Con
I presented my own personal experience and yours as evidence. Pro has not responded to this.

I will address Pro's points section by section.
 
Re: I.a
 
No argument made. No response necessary.
 
Re: I.a.1
 
Resolution: "referenced sources are necessary in a debate"
The question - "Necessary for what?"
 
Pro does not answer the question unequivocally and precisely. Pro quotes the voting policy, but I don't see how the text answers the question. Pro refers to the tasks associated with awarding source points, but the text from the policy clearly indicates that these tasks are only necessary if a voter awards source points. Pro has presented no evidence showing that a voter must award source points. There is nothing in the voting policy indicating that voters must award source points. I have been lightly using this site for years. I have never seen anything which would lead me to conclude that voting on source points is required.
 
Re: I.a.2
 
Pro speculates, baselessly, as to what I would like to do. What I like is not relevant to the truth value of the resolution. I do not understand what Pro's getting at because Pro has not written clearly.
 
Re: I.a.3
 
Pro is again assuming that voters are required to vote on source points. Voters are not required to vote on source points. There is nothing in the voting policy requiring voters to vote on source points. Pro has presented no evidence showing that a voter must award source points. I have been lightly using this site for years.  I am familiar with the voting policy. There is nothing in the voting policy indicating that voters must award source points. I have never seen anything which would lead me to conclude that voting on source points is required. I have seen many votes which withstood moderation even though they did not vote on source points.
 
Re: I.a.3.
 
Pro again is assuming that "sourcing must be addressed by voters". This simply isn't true.
 
Re: I.a.4
 
No argument made. No response necessary.
 
Re: II Rebuttal: “No argument made, no response necessary.”
 
Re: II.a
 
No argument made. No response necessary.
 
Re: II.b
 
Pro states that "Con claims my r1 makes no argument." This is false. I didn't do that. Nonetheless, if Pro was referring to his r1 section II.b, here it is in its entirety:
 
II.b I am not declaring that a cited source must quote the source, although that is a common occurrence. The purpose, generally, in citing a source is not only to avoid the stain of plagiarism, which is making a declaration as one’s own thoughts, when the exact verbiage belongs to another, and credit is therefore rightly given by citation, but, as noted in II.a, to render the “ceiling and floor” to the argument walls, which meets the requirement of voters to find the “impact” of the argument by justifying the argument with a cited source whose scholastic integrity may be greater and more widely recognized as authoritative than that of the debater, alone.
 
This is convoluted. It is difficult to see any arguments. Maybe there's one in there, but I don't see it. Pro should write clearly and concisely. What are the premises? What is the conclusion? How do the premises support the conclusion?
 
Pro claims that "[t]he resolution, itself, is a stated argument; the primary argument of the debate." This is a false. An argument contains premises and a conclusion. The resolution is a conclusion, not an argument.
 
Re: II.b.1
 
Pro has failed to quote any text within the source that is supportive of his position. I continue to deny that there exists any text within the source that is supportive of Pro's position. Pro has had ample opportunity to present any such text, and has not done so.
 
Further, it is within my personal knowledge that there is nothing in the DebateArt voting policy  requiring voters to vote on sources. I'm familiar with the policy and I did double check it. The text isn't there. I have been using this site for a long time and I have never seen anything which would lead me to conclude that voters are required to vote on sources. Pro's claim is blatantly false.
 
This is what Pro does - Allege contentious facts and then claims that certain sources support the factual allegations even though the sources do not support the factual allegations. Making a factual allegation and referencing a source isn't good enough. Pro should show us the evidence if he expects us to believe him.
 
Re: II.c
 
Pro claims there is an argument in his round 1, I.b section, which reads as follows:
 
My argument will explain why each of these voting requirements impose the necessity on debate participants, Pro and Con, of providing cited sources which either support their arguments, or defeat their opponent’s arguments, for example. In the Description of this debate, I offered the overarching justification for my resolution:
 
Perhaps this was part of a larger argument, but by itself it is not an argument. I stand by my original response.
 
Re: II.d
 
Evidence for this has already been offered. The voting policy makes no mention of it and I have shared my personal experience as a site user here. That's a document and a witness. Further, you are users of this site. You have your own personal experiences as site users to draw upon.
 
I don't know why Pro would even bother disputing the fact that voters don't have to vote on source points. It's a fact that's so well-known and easily supported by site policy and user experiences.
 
Re: II.e / f
 
Pro doesn't know what I read. He's making things up now.
 
Anyway, Pro's arguments merely show that sources are helpful. That's something that I would agree with, but this is a far cry from demonstrating that they are necessary. Take a debate and ask yourself this - "Could this debate have been won without referenced sources?" If the answer is yes for most cases then the resolution is false.
 
Based on my own personal experience as a site user it strikes me as unlikely that the majority of debates here could not have been won without referenced sources. I encourage you to draw on your own personal experiences as site users to evaluate the claim. I believe that you will reach the same conclusion I have.
 
Re: III.a
 
This is a straw man argument.
 
Re: III.b
 
This is a non-sequitur.
 
Re: III.c
 
Pro needs actual evidence that the resolution is true, not hypothetical examples.
 
Re: IV Rebuttal:
 
Hypotheticals are weak evidence because they aren't real. They may be used illustratively, but Pro has no evidence that the illustrations are representative.
 
Re: V Argument:
 
this reference in Code of Conduct to the Voting Policy, which does stipulate the necessity of a debater to provide sourcing of an argument, is clear and concise, to wit, “referenced sources are necessary in a debate.”[8]
 
This is a lie.

Round 3
Pro
I Rebuttal: “Personal experience, and yours…”
 
I.a Con states, Fundamentally a debate is a competition between Pro and Con, with voters deciding who has won the debate. The objective of victory is implicated by the circumstances. So, clarifying the resolution with the implicated adjunct is appropriate, which may be as follows: ‘Referenced sources are necessary to win a debate.’”
 
I.a.1 Con further argues “Hypotheticals are weak evidence because they aren't real,” but he then argues a conditional present verb tense “…which may be as follows: I would reform the resolution…”  and “I would further reform the resolution…”  thus rendering his arguments hypothetical.[1]  See my claim from my r2, Isn’t it amazing how even fiction can provide adequate sourcing?”[2] By his syntax, Con agrees. 
 
I.a.2 Con’s “personal experience” on DebateArt.com is important since his argument insists on it. What is it? Con joined DebateArt 9/2018. Pro joined 3/2020. Con has engaged 16 debates. Pro has engaged 32 debates. Con has participated in 7 debate votes. Pro has participated in 85 debate votes. So, let’s not be too wrapped around the axle with regard to “experience.” In the end, experience must demonstrate an understanding of, and compliance with all DebateArt.com necessities.
 
II Rebuttal: Conditional Relationships – S is a necessary condition for V
 
II.a Let’s explore the true logic of Con’s conditional relationships from his r1: necessity and sufficiency. Necessity is a logical inevitability, or consequence.[3]  According to the clear instruction in the Voting Policy, specifically, section A.2, quoted in full in my r1, the truth of V [voting] is assured by the truth of S [sourcing], or S ← V.[4]
 
II.a.1 Con does not acknowledge this sourcing necessity, declaring “Voters don't have to vote on sourcing,”  and, further, “I generally deny the existence of any text within the source which supports Pro's claim. I challenge as unsubstantiated any of Pro's assertions to the contrary.”
 
II.b By comparison, Sufficiency is expressed in logic by:
1. S [+a+sg+c] → V [Sourcing [+argument+spelling&grammar+conduct] is sufficient for voting], or [The truth of Sourcing [+argument+spelling&grammar+conduct] assures the truth of Voting], or even: if V, then S, or V implies S.[5]
2. Sufficiency can also be expressed as S ↔ V [either variable is sufficient for the other to be proven.[6]
 
II.c Re: sufficiency, having claimed experience with the Voting Policy, Con has overlooked the paragraph speaking to sufficiency, i.e. “Sufficient Votes.”  Recall Con’s claim from r1: Voters don't have to vote on sourcing.”  Let’s review the source: A sufficient vote is one that states why one debater was better than the other in a particular respect... The last part of that definition is crucial... The requirements for a sufficient vote are explained in more detail below.”“Below” in section A.2 are the four points of debate voting, including the second, Sources.  Or, is this a lie?
 
II.d None of this logic is contrary to the resolution. In fact, it fully supports it, as demonstrated by my r1, r2, and r3 arguments and rebuttals, but it will be settled shortly. 
 
III Argument: “Winter is coming”
 
III.a The HBO series, Game of Thrones[7] features a commentary that is chilling, even though several seasons pass before it is understood: “Winter is coming.” The implication progresses from the whimsy that Winter follows Autumn, to the growing inclination that Winter is doom. 
 
III.a.1 “Winter is coming” is my r3 argument for the resolution: The necessity of sourcing in debate on DebateArt.com is cold fact, as follows:
 
III.b Above every round of argument to be posted, there is an instruction given above the argument form, titled “New debate argument.” It declares: “In order to win the debate, it is necessary to not only provide more convincing arguments, but also to specify the information sources, to demonstrate respectful attitude to the opponent and to write text with a minimum amount of grammatical mistakes.”[8] The careful observer will recognize the same four points in the Debate Instruction [W] as repeated in the Voting Policy [VP], and is reasonably alleged in the Code of Conduct [CC], so one might infer the following logic: 
 
                                                                     W
                                                            ↙↗       ↖︎↘︎
                                                            CC   ↔     VP
 
 
III.b.1Here is Con’s celebrated “implied goal or objective.” It has been in front of him in this and every debate he has engaged in cold, hard black & white. Literally, and repeatedly.  This argument is the hill I either conquer, or die upon. This is not an instruction to voters, nor to forum members, nor moderators, nor the site owner, nor anyone else, except... This is instruction for all site members who engage debate in a formal, organized setting; the DebateArt.com argument page of each and every round. How many notice the instruction? How many believe it is not a lie? 
 
III.b.2  This instruction quoted in III.b,above declares the necessity of specifying sources of information as a component of convincing arguments. Since the page is a feature of every round of argument, and because it is a positive statement of necessity, one must conclude it is an instruction from DebateArt.com that cannot be ignored simply because one may call it a lie. The Voting Policy calls it a “task.” The Debate Instruction calls it “necessary,” and that is not qualified by frequency.
 
III.c As Shakespeare had Juliet reply to Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,”[9]so we should see to the content, not merely its name. I have acknowledged that the requirement I quoted from the DebateArt.com Help Center, Voting Policy A.2, dealt with voting, and that instruction requires voters to assess debaters’ sourcing. As I noted immediately afterward in my r1, I.b.1:  “If sourcing is absent from a debater’s argument, none of these purposes are achieved because the avoidance of sourcing renders an argument to the limited status of personal opinion, or likewise, someone else’s parroted opinion. According to the Voting Policy, cited above, a voter must use the purposes listed above to make adequate judgment about a debater’s sourcing compliance.”[10]
 
III.d Whether the “name” is the Voting Policy, or the Code of Conduct, as I have argued in r1 and r2, respectively, it bows to this instruction referenced in III.bfor the exclusive, consistent, necessary use for and by debaters. 
 
IV Round 3 Conclusion
 
IV.1 Therefore, in order to win the debate, the conditional “goal or objective”proposed so willingly by Con in his r1, the resolution declares, referenced sources are necessary in a debate.”  Always necessary, not just usually, and, for our purposes, only on DebateArt.com. Con’s argument of conditional relationships notwithstanding, and I have argued that these relationships do, in fact, exist, and, they support my argument in the cold, Winter day of logic, and in all other seasons. Winter is here, at the doors! W ↔ !
 
 

Con
Re: I.a
 
OK.
 
Re: I.a.1
 
Pro has not presented any evidence that his hypothetical debate resolutions are representative of the whole. In fact, Pro hasn't presented any evidence of the nature of the whole from which we can make any conclusions about the whole.
 
This strikes me as an appeal to hypocrisy argument. The hypocrisy isn't there, but I will not bother showing why because hypocrisy isn't relevant to the truth value of the resolution.
 
Re: I.a.2
 
Pro has established that he has significant personal experience sufficient to show that he has personal knowledge on which he could testify as to the truth value of the resolution. Curious that Pro does not share that knowledge with us.
 
Why hasn't Pro told us what his experiences have been? Perhaps Pro is hiding the truth from you. Pro's personal experience has been that he lost two debates in a row to me where I provided little, if any referenced sources. This debate is coming on the heels of those two debates in what I surmise is some manifestation of a failure to accept loss. Pro's personal experience as of late has been that it is apparently not necessary to provide referenced sources in order to win a debate. Feel free to check my debate history to verify.
 
Re: II.a
 
It is true that if source points were awarded, then a vote was cast. This does not mean that source points are awarded in every vote.
 
Re: II.a.1
 
OK.
 
Re: II.b
 
No idea what Pro is talking about here. Pro is not making sense. Pro must write clearly so that we can understand his arguments. Pro seems to be trying to establish what it means for a condition to be sufficient. I reject Pro's definition of "sufficient" to the extent that it deviates from the plain and ordinary meaning of it.
 
Re: II.c
 
Yes, "in a particular respect" presumably is referring to each of the four voting categories. This is implied by the totality of the voting policy which breaks down the point-based system.
 
Re: II.d
 
Pro's logic hasn't been clear up to this point. So, it's not really possible to verify his claim that is logic is consistent with the resolution, and I therefore deny it and leave Pro to his proof.
 
Re: III.a / a.1
 
Game of Thrones is not relevant.
 
Re: III.b
 
I asked the site owner about it in PM's who acknowledged that he wrote the text and said that it was not necessary to do those things in order to win a debate. See for yourself:
 
 

08.11.2020 3:38PM
Re: "In order to win the debate, it is necessary to not only provide more convincing arguments, but also to specify the information sources, to demonstrate respectful attitude to the opponent and to write text with a minimum amount of grammatical mistakes." (This text can be found on the "New debate argument" drafting page of the website. A screen-shot of this text is available at https://i.imgur.com/eaeb5VO.jpg

Question 1 -

Are you the author of the foregoing text?

Question 2 -

If you are the author of the foregoing text, then please take a quick glance at the following two debates -


Did the winners of those debates do all of the following four things: 1. "provide more convincing arguments"; 2. "specify the information sources"; 3. "demonstrate respectful attitude to the opponent"; and 4. "write text with a minimum amount of grammatical mistakes" ?

Question 3 -

If the winners of those debates did not do those four things, would it be accurate to say that it is not necessary to do those four things in order to win a debate on DebateArt.com ?

Question 4 -

Thank you.
Do you consent to publicly releasing this particular private message, as well as your responses to the questions contained therein?

08.11.2020 3:48PM
Sorry hehe those are the questions. Not demanding an answer or anything, but I tried to make them as easy to answer as possible to take up the least amount of your time.

08.12.2020 8:18AM

1) Yeah
2) I see your point
3) Yeah
4) Sure, go ahead
 
Emphasis added. There were other things mentioned in the PMs but producing that content would be a violation of site policy because I do not have the consent to release that content. See here:
 
You may not share any content from private messages, without the consent of the respective authors; or with moderator approval (such as for dispute resolution).
 
 
This shows that the author of Pro's quoted statement has effectively publicly recanted it. Pro's exhibit has no weight now and can't be used to establish a factual foundation for his argument.
 
Further, the two debates I linked in the PM show that someone has won without referencing any sources.
 
Re: III.b.1
 
Pro and I appear to be in agreement that the reforming the resolution with "necessary to win" is appropriate.
 
III.b.2 
 
Pro's exhibit has been addressed.
 
Re: III.c
 
Shakespeare is not relevant.
 
I quoted from the DebateArt.com Help Center, Voting Policy A.2, dealt with voting, and that instruction requires voters to assess debaters’ sourcing.
This has been shown to be false already.
 
As I noted immediately afterward in my r1, I.b.1:  “If sourcing is absent from a debater’s argument, none of these purposes are achieved because the avoidance of sourcing renders an argument to the limited status of personal opinion, or likewise, someone else’s parroted opinion. According to the Voting Policy, cited above, a voter must use the purposes listed above to make adequate judgment about a debater’s sourcing compliance.”[10]
 
This was addressed previously.
 
Re: III.d
 
There is nothing in the Voting Policy or Code of Conduct requiring voters to vote on sources.
 
Re: IV.1
 
Regretfully Pro was perhaps misled by the statement on the debate drafting page. Though, given Pro's extensive personal experience on this site, he should have learned through direct observation that, strictly speaking, the statement was not true.
Round 4
Pro
I Rebuttal: When a whole is misrepresented as a hole
 
I.a A hypocrisy? A paradox? Neither, just strike the ‘W.’ Whole. See it? You will soon see the sense of it. It’s simple logic, it looks ever so much like mathematics, but it replaces numeric ciphers for alphas. A 12-year-old can do it.
 
I.b When Con represents his argument as, I generally deny the existence of any text within the source which supports Pro's claim. I challenge as unsubstantiated any of Pro's assertions to the contrary,”[1]  it does not take a degree in logic to understand that I could argue that my favorite color is red, and Con will rebut, “there are no colors.” Remember that. He offers the above quote often enough for us to assume it is a tat on the inside of eyelids. “I will not bother showing why because hypocrisy isn’t relevant to the truth value of the resolution,”[2] Con concludes. Of course not. With a lead-in like how this paragraph began, is anything relevant to the resolution according to Con?
 
II Rebuttal: Sharing personal knowledge
 
II.a Curious that Con chooses the subtle alteration of my rebuttal of Con’s “personal experience,” since he brought up the subject in the first place. In r3, Con morphs his creature into “personal knowledge,” to wit:  “Curious that Pro does not share that knowledge with us.” Is this argument relevant to the resolution?  No. This will be brief and bitter: I’ve shared my personal knowledge on my profile.[3]. Con? He’s a complete “unknown.”[4] Is that sufficient sharing? Meanwhile, if one has a number of debates, one is bound to lose some and win some. Isn’t that the typical outcome? I’ve shared sufficient for the cause.
 
III. Rebuttal: If source points were awarded, it must have been an anomaly.
 
III.a I just performed a survey of 100 of the 1,289 DebateArt finished debates. Of them, 89% were 4-point decisions. All 89 had source points awarded. 5% were no-vote decisions; ergo, zero source points awarded; no points of any kind at all. 6% were Selected Winner decisions. Most had votes referencing sources, just as Con acknowledges “…referring to each of the four voting categories.” But Con insists, in spite, that, Voters don't have to vote on sourcing,” and they don’t on a whopping 5% of debates. But they do vote points on sourcing in over 90% of debates. In fact, the way the 4-point voting system works, it cannot be avoided. Voters are forced by the voting form to designate a vote for Pro, Tie, or Con on all four points. It may be a flaw of the current voting system that it does not allow for withholding a vote when it is not deserved rather than merely rendering a tie, but that is grist for another venue; not this debate.
 
IV Rebuttal: “No idea what Pro is talking about”
 
IV.a No, really? Well, my daughter and family happen to be visiting our mountain home just now. Earlier this evening, I presented the formulae contained in my r3 argument regarding the logic of sufficiency [r3, II.b] to my 12-year-old grandson. Said he, “Looks like math, but you have letters instead of numbers.” He’s just been introduced to algebra, but not like this. “It’s logic notation,” I said. “Oh?” “Yes, here’s what the letters represent, and I informed him of the meanings clearly spelled out in my II.b argument. He got it. “So, source plus argument plus spelling&grammar plus conduct… equals…?” “No, that’s not an equals sign is it?” “No.” “It means ‘is sufficient for… ‘V’ for voting.” The precious boy asked, “Does that mean source+argument+spelling&grammar+conduct is necessary for voting?” God in heaven! My grandson is destined to be a debater! We don’t know what Con is. No sharing, but don’t vote on that basis. Fair warning.[5] A fairness Con did not bother to offer.
 
V Rebuttal: Pro’s logic is not clear
 
V. No? Not clear to whom? It’s passed my grandson’s bedtime. Right now, he’s dreaming a discussion with Plato. May I simply refer to the Con quotes above in in II.b and III.a, and move on? Oh, and lets not forget my arguments and rebuttals in r1, r2, and r3, and the final rebuttals in this r4. 
 
VI Rebuttal: Relevant: Con’s favorite word following anything else he says
 
VI.a The Game of Thrones reference[6] is called an exemplary argument. In this case, its example was the season, the last of the year, representing my last argument, as I clearly stated it would be in my r2, V.a.1.
 
VII Rebuttal: A finger on the scale
 
VII.a Well, well, well. In case you did not catch this Con rebuttal in r3,[7] we were introduce to a third party, a surrogate [I didn’t know we had those and could use them]; one who did not accept this debate, has forfeited all rounds up to now [only, if he’s not in the debate, can he really forfeit?], but, nevertheless, when asked by Con via PM, no less [no sharing there, beforehand, was there? – and I wonder if Con should not have also asked for a waiver on Votes Considering Outside Content in the Voting Policy, because, strictly speaking, Con’s stunt violated that policy for you, and you cannot consider this appeal to DebateArt, or the site owner’s reply], to render a decision countermanding the owner’s own instruction [he admits writing it], when such is included in a debate, no less, and rendering a finger on the scale as a result. Can DebateArt, the aforementioned surrogate Con, do that? He did. So, why don’t we just toss all the rules, regulations, and policies of this website? How about it, readers and voters? How about it, moderators?
 
VII.a.1 Con, in dependable fashion, follows this stunt with, “This shows that the author of Pro's quoted statement has effectively publicly recanted it.”[8]  Acknowledged, but only after I cited the source. At the time of citing, and even if voters determine Con and DebateArt’s actions were appropriate, it was still an instruction when I cited it, wasn’t it? Timing is important, here.
 
VII.b Since the site is called DebateArt.com, art, as a function of human creativity, is at play here. As art is, for me, a profession in which I have engaged for well over 40 years, it is relevant to use it as a feature of rebuttal. The site, itself, makes it relevant, in spite of Con’s eyelid tat I joked was there. Art is an activity that has a few proponents and opponents. Pablo Picasso once said, “Art is not for decoration; it is an instrument of war.”[9] If it comes to that, it certainly has a voice. The Balinese have a saying: “We have no art. We do everything as well as we can.”[10] That speaks well of their culture. And, some detractors will tell you that art is anything you can get away with. And, so, even I must admit, though I oppose, we must consider a vial of urine with a figurine of Christ in it.[11] That’s the price of freedom and free expression. I say art is a reservoir whose dam was never meant to hold it back. Control it, focus it, refine it, yes, but never prevent, never forbid its rightful expression in the human heart, and on the battlements of civilization. It is civilization.
 
VII.c But, after this Con stunt with the site owner, is there any purpose gained in continuing rebuttal? If Con will be Con, and takes his ball and goes home to DebateArt for another appeal, and more fingers on the scale, why bother with the balance of Con’s stunts? Y’all may wonder – but I wish you wouldn’t - wonder why you didn’t think of it. Voters, it’s your stage, now. Moderators, in your realm, do your thing. I’m done here. If y’all favor a stunt, vote for the circus. If you favor logic, and DebateArt’s expression of it, vote for sanity, if not common sense, in debate protocol.
 
Thank you for your attention and reflection.
 
 
 
 

Con
 
 
Re: I.a
 
Nothing relevant here.
 
Re: I.b
 
I see false analogies and rhetorical questions, but I don't see Pro directly showing us the text within the source which supports Pro's claim. Pro doesn't do that because he can't.
 
Re: II Rebuttal: Sharing personal knowledge
 
I don't see what the problem is. "Personal knowledge means knowledge of a circumstance or fact gained through firsthand observation or experience." https://definitions.uslegal.com/p/personal-knowledge/
 
Note that Pro continues to not share his experiences (i.e. personal knowledge) with us. Pro could give this evidence, but does not do so. Why? The most reasonable inference when someone has relevant evidence but isn't showing it to us is that the evidence is damaging to that person's case.
 
Re: III. Rebuttal: If source points were awarded, it must have been an anomaly.
 
I never said that "if source points were awarded, it must have been an anomaly." This is a straw-man argument.
 
Re: III.a
 
Pro claims that he has "just performed a survey" and is introducing the result of this survey in round 4 of the debate. Pro now argues that the results of this survey suggest that the resolution is true. This is a new argument. Pro presented this evidence and argument in round 4 of this debate, which is a violation of the agreed upon debate protocol:
 
Debate Protocol
R1 – R3: Argument, rebuttal, defense
R4: No new argument; rebuttal, defense, conclusion
 
(see debate description; emphasis added)
 
I object to this evidence and argument on the grounds that it is in violation of the agreed upon debate protocol, and therefore ask that it be excluded from consideration.
 
If you choose to overrule this objection, then I ask that you consider that Pro is now, in a sense, testifying as a witness. Pro's credibility is therefore relevant. Can we trust Pro to tell the truth?
 
No, we cannot trust Pro to tell the truth because Pro has lied to us in this debate already. Look:
 
In the debate description Pro stated:
 
The DebateArt Voting Policy[1] requires sources
 
There is nothing in the DebateArt Voting Policy which requires sources. This was simply false.
 
Later, Pro stated:
 
this reference in Code of Conduct to the Voting Policy, which does stipulate the necessity of a debater to provide sourcing of an argument, is clear and concise, to wit, “referenced sources are necessary in a debate.”
 
There is no reference in the Code of Conduct to the Voting Policy which stipulates the necessity of a debater to provide sourcing of an argument, nor do these policies state that "referenced sources are necessary in a debate." This was blatantly false.
 
Because Pro has already made multiple false statements of fact within this debate, we cannot trust Pro's factual allegations regarding the survey. It is simply not trustworthy or reliable evidence and therefore shouldn't be considered.
 
A further reason to reject this evidence is that, even assuming the survey results are true, it is insufficient. Recall in round 1 I described what an adequate survey would look like:
 
The type of evidence required to show that the resolution is true would likely be a survey of each and every finished debate on DebateArt.com. Each surveyed debate would then have a corresponding analysis showing that referenced sources were or were not necessary to win the debate. Once all of the debates are surveyed and analyzed, the percentage of debates in which the use of referenced sources was necessary to win can be determined. If that percentage is greater than 50%, I would say that Pro would have won.
(Emphasis added)

Pro's survey results do not indicate the percentage of debates where the use of sources was necessary to win the debate. Pro's survey doesn't even indicate the percentage of debates where the source points were a determining factor. Based on my own personal experience, I can say that, more often than not, source points are not the determining factor in debates.
 
Re: IV.a
 
Pro is now testifying again. This testimony should be disregarded because it is unreliable as Pro has already made multiple false statements of fact within this debate. What information I choose to share on my DebateArt.com profile page is not relevant. I don't have to share that information if I do not want to, and Pro has failed to demonstrate that not sharing information on a profile page has any impact on my credibility.
 
Re: V.
 
Pro's arguments were convoluted and unclear. You have seen them by now. It should be obvious what I'm talking about.
 
Re: VI.a
 
Pro's use of the "winter is coming" Game of Thrones reference was for the purpose of creating the appearance that the evidence which he was about to introduce was strong. A widely accepted test for the relevance of evidence is Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence:
 
Rule 401. Test for Relevant Evidence
 
Evidence is relevant if:
 
(a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence; and
 
(b) the fact is of consequence in determining the action.
 
https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_401
 
The resolution is a factual statement. The appearance of evidentiary strength is not relevant because that fact is of no consequence as to the truth value of the resolution. It is the actual evidentiary strength that matters.
 
Re: VII.a
 
Pro has objected to my round 3 PM evidence, contending that its consideration would be in violation of the Voting Policy. Pro refers specifically to the portion of the voting policy considering outside content. That portion of the policy is as follows:
 
Votes Considering Outside Content
 
The voter must assess the content of the debate and only the debate, any reasoning based on arguments made or information given outside of the debate rounds is unacceptable. This includes reasoning that stems from already-placed votes, comment sections, and separate forums. Votes that impermissibly factor in outside content and which are reported will be removed.
 
https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy
 
Pro's interpretation of this policy is flawed and should be rejected. If the voting policy is interpreted to exclude my evidence on the grounds that it is outside content, then I don't see how any evidence or sources could ever be introduced and considered in a debate, as these things are, by their very nature, outside content.
 
That particular section of the voting policy may require some clarification. It strikes me as harkening back to old rule on DDO where things debaters said in the comments section were ordinarily excluded from consideration, as this was the usual problem. If evidence is introduced - within the debate - it is something that is actually in the debate and I wouldn't see it as outside of it. At least, within the meaning of that rule.
 
For the sake of fairness, I must lodge an identical objection to Pro's round 3 use of the following statement:
 
Above every round of argument to be posted, there is an instruction given above the argument form, titled “New debate argument.” It declares: “In order to win the debate, it is necessary to not only provide more convincing arguments, but also to specify the information sources, to demonstrate respectful attitude to the opponent and to write text with a minimum amount of grammatical mistakes.”
If we are to follow Pro's reasoning, then his evidence is outside content and any consideration of it should therefore be excluded. Given that my evidence was introduced for the purpose of rebutting Pro's evidence, applying Pro's logic to both pieces of evidence would put us back to where we were before Pro even introduced his evidence. In other words, Pro's evidence has no weight unless my rebuttal evidence is excluded. But if you are to apply this rule fairly, then Pro's evidence must be excluded as well, in which case it is of no consequence. Either way the result is the same - Pro's evidence doesn't matter.
 
Further still, my evidence was no stunt. Mike (site owner) made a statement on one page that Pro quoted. Mike was basically Pro's witness. So, I asked Pro's witness about the statement. There is nothing wrong with that. Pro had equal access to this witness and could have asked him whatever he wanted to, just as I did. Pro could have done this at any time. So, Pro's contention that this didn't exist at the time the debate began is simply untrue. That information did exist at the time this debate started. It was information stored within Mike's brain physically encoded in his neurons. You get that information by asking questions. Sure, the questions and answers didn't exist yet, but the information did, and it is the information that matters. Further, there is nothing wrong with finding new evidence, especially when it is in response to the evidence Pro introduced. (Which was introduced in Round 3 rather than part of Pro's opening case for reasons unknown) The question is not "Was the resolution true based on the evidence that existed at the time the debate was agreed to?" The question was and always has been: "Is the resolution true?"
 
Additionally, Pro's evidence here is disconnected from direct observation and what actually determines who wins a debate. Wins are determined by votes. That's it.
 
Re: VII.b
 
This is not relevant.
 
Re: VII.c

It was not a stunt. There was no rule violation. Further, beware of the responsibility to consider the main arguments and counterarguments:

 
In order to award argument points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks:

  • Survey the main arguments and counterarguments presented in the debate
  • Weigh those arguments against each other (or explain why certain arguments need not be weighed based on what transpired within the debate itself)
  • Explain how, through the process of weighing, they arrived at their voting decision with regard to assigning argument points
 
https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy 

Conclusion:
 
To sum up: Pro dropped my evidence, which was largely examples of debates where sources were not necessary and my own personal experiences as well as yours. Pro dropped BoP arguments. Pro essentially dropped my entire case. Pro failed to attack my credibility. Pro's arguments are mostly appeals to authorities, but these authorities don't even support Pro's position. Pro's survey evidence was untrustworthy, weak,hardly had any impact, and shouldn't even be considered because of the debate rules.
 
Vote Con.