Instigator / Pro

ImminentDownfall Should've Won his debate against Benjamin


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 1 vote and with 1 point ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two weeks
Max argument characters
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

In imminent's debate (, I believe that Fauxlaw's vote was unfair and that Imminent deserved to win the debate. No arguments from outside the debate. Burden of proof is shared.

Ben and Fauxlaw are the intended audience, but anyone can accept this.

(I wanted to vote as well but got too busy)

Round 1
My basic argument is simple: Fauxlaw's source point was completely unjustified. If Fauxlaw had not awarded the source point, the points would be 5:4, allowing Imminent Downfall to win the debate. 

The voting guide states:

Goes to the side that (with a strong quality lead) better supported their case with relevant outside evidence and/or analysis thereof. If both sides have done their research due diligence, these points are usually tied.

A side with unreliable sources may be penalized, but the voter must specify why the sources were unreliable enough to diminish their own case (such as if the other side called attention to the flaws, thereby engaging with sources in a more effective manner with impacts to arguments; thereby flipping the source and harming the opposing argument).

However, while Imminent downfall had numerous sources supporting his ideas, Benjamin only used common sense. It's difficult to say 100% that Imminent deserved to lose the source points. 

Even if voters don't buy this, I still believe Fauxlaw's argument award is also possibly controversial. I will admit that Pro's argument was a bit weak on the morality side, but Tejretic's vote makes it obvious that the vote towards Con was not justified: 

Pro wins on their other arguments. Con pretty much concedes the argument on the environment (besides saying they support more sustainable meat production, which they can’t just have “fiat” over and had to show was likely) and simply says it’s not an overriding concern. Pro seems to convince me that a less sustainable form of food production that contributes to pollution and food security is a bad one. That itself is enough to outweigh the intangible impact of food security through the oceans, because Con never explains why fish are necessary for food security, while Pro explains the scale of how much meat takes away from it.

Pro’s argument on health is also stronger than Con’s corresponding argument on health – because while Con’s claims on health, e.g. lack of B12, are manageable through supplementation and careful diets, Con doesn’t have a path out of antibiotic resistance increasing the risk of disease (though sanitary conditions do mitigate the risk of simply ordinary disease spread). The argument on health from Pro also outweighs Con’s argument on fish supplies, because Con doesn’t explain why the latter are necessary for access to food, while Pro explains why their benefits tie specifically to transitioning to veganism.
Pro successfully makes a strong case through health and Con lacked the support for it. Unless my opponent can show why Con had a better argument, Pro should have won the debate. His main environment contention is argued against by Con, but the refutation lacks any hefty weight. As pro explains: " Crops would work far better, as they don't contribute to plastic pollution, and we already have enough to feed everyone on Earth, and then some. Besides, if we start focusing on fish a lot more, more fish will die which leads to food chains being destroyed, species becoming extinct, and plastic pollution getting worse." 

Con essentially drops this crucial argument and hence Pro convincingly outweighs Con in this idea. In my opinion, Pro had a slight edge over con in this entire debate.

Who should’ve won that debate is what we are debating. “Should” is a funny word. We need to dig into what that means. The site has determined, whoever has more points should win that debate. By that logic, we already have the correct winner. Pro thinks that whoever made the better arguments should win, and he thinks that imminentdownfall had the better arguments. 

Maybe it’s because my life is coming closer to an end or maybe it’s because I am older, but I think debate should serve a purpose, even if it is just a tiny one. When done in person we want debate to hone the thinking of future policy makers, to get them to consider multiple sides of each policy they may support or oppose in the future. 

Online debate is different. It is here forever and should have a different reason for existing. Many of the people here are future policy makers or business leaders. All of the people reading this will have a huge impact on everyone around them though, and their impact will ripple through time permanently. 

With the above realizations, I think we need to look at what result would theoretically have the best impact. The loss imminentdownfall has the better results for the following reasons.

1. It gives my opponent an opportunity to have a hall of fame debate. He might reject that opportunity, but it gives him that opportunity. I am new to this site, but I noticed that it does have a hall of fame debate section, which has the potential to immortalize my opponent on this site. This debate allows 2 weeks for arguments, which is an incredible amount of time to put together the greatest argument possible for pros position. To ensure that pro has hall of fame caliber arguments, I am at this point giving him my blessing to crowd source his arguments.  If he doesn’t want to start a thread asking people to help him crowd source the debate, I will start the thread for him and send him the suggestions.  Besides that. According to pro’s profile, he is seldoria. According to Seldoria’s profile, he is 9spaceking. I have read his best debates as listed on his seldoria profile and he is apparently in my opinion a hall of fame caliber debater
2. The unfortunate thing is that had imminentdownfall won, that debate would be forgotten by all but a few people and pro would not have the opportunity for the recognition he deserves for being a top 5 caliber debater on this site. As far as I can tell, despite being a staple of this community, pro’s lack of flamboyance has prevented him for ever being considered for the Hall of Fame.

3.Since everyone who reads this debate knows that pro (9spaceking) deserves a hall of fame induction, if not personally than at least on his debates than they will remember this debate and vote on it when hall of fame nominations come around. The attention this debate receives will cause more people to read it’s arguments. As you’ll see below there are chronic problems on this site with voting. It is a multifaceted problem. We have a mixture, of poor voting and strategic voting as well as well intentioned but still incorrect voting. If the attention this debate gets, fixes or works to improve on those problems by bringing them and their solutions attention, than it will have been a success.


conclusion 1 – Whoever should win a debate is whoever made the biggest positive impact with their win. 

Conclusion 2- Had imminentdomain won, than less attention would have been paid to that debate and the problems with it that need to be seen by more people.

Why the debate needs attention

definition of Tabula Rasa:

Tabula rasa (or tab ross) is technically defined as having no preconceptions. Thus one is not allowed to bring in their own knowledge or opinion into judging a debate round. They simply have to vote on what is there……………………………………….A tab ross judge is the fairest because they vote strictly on the debate, not on any opinions, bias's, or anything else. Just the debate.”

There are several flaws with voters here in general. They think too rigidly, and are incapable of tabula Rasa judgments. For example there are good arguments for why we should nuke the entire planet, but if somebody was arguing a pro abortion case on this site and advocated for self extermination via a self directed nuke, it doesn’t really matter how well they argue the point, the judges are incapable of putting aside their biases and judging fairly even if pro argued for an expansion of abortion to include eradicating all potential pregnant women and the men who could impregnate them. I would argue that it is very very difficult to overcome confirmation bias on this site. 

This lack of an attempt at Tabula Rasa does not just effect obscure arguments like the one mentioned above though. It effects common arguments such as in the debate mentioned where one person advocates for veganism and the other almost advocates against. Fauxlaw and Terjetics are both meat eaters. One was able to set aside that bias, while the other made no attempt at tabula Rasa judging. This is a problem, and this debate is an attempt to expose this problem. 

I’d argue that Terjetics vote for pro was Tabula Rasa for the most part and was fair. The problem comes where he awards source points, when a true tabula Rasa judge would only award source points based on arguments made from the debaters on why they deserve those points. Fauxlaw for example also awarded source points based on his personal opinion as opposed to any arguments from the debaters as to why they deserved those points.

When fauxlaw decided to award argument points, he did not use Tabula Rasa judging. For example the following phrase indicates his mindset.

“The ethical argument was defeated because Pro’s R1 claim was that killing animals is murder. That is wrong. It is killing, but not murder.”
The above statement shows fauxlaw is using his own opinion of what “murder” is which is unfair because now the debaters have to anticipate arguments not brought up that the judges might have. 
I don’t have to go into how the conduct point was not Tabula Rasa. It was worse than not being Tabula Rasa though. It was a strategic vote, which is another major problem on this site. Clearly strategic votes are unacceptable and unfair. 


There is a serious problem with bad votes here. When focusing on how to correct bad votes, we need to also focus on how to encourage more voting so bad votes do not have so much impact on the results of a debate. To do this I suggest weighting votes with one of the following 3 methods to be voted on by the community.

1. Community based weighting- We as a community decide which voters are the best at Tabula Rasa voting and assign those individuals somebody to kinda just ghost them. For example if Terjetics is one of the best, we assign him one ghost who matches his vote without question. If Fauxlaw is a terrible voter and incapable of Tabula Rasa logic, then he is assigned zero ghosts. If somebody is twice as good as Terjetics, they would be assigned 2 ghost voters. This would mean that everyone gets to vote, but votes are weighted fairly so debates end with the person who had the better arguments more often.

2. Site based weighting- Site based weighting would be something like employing an ELO system for voters, and allowing their elo to be their vote total. Currently we rank debaters based on ELO, this would not work much different, other than people would get to vote on the voters quality of judgements, which would go toward determining the judgers ELO, which in turn would determine the weight of their vote.

3. incentive based weighting- A small handful of people who care about improving voting standards on this site, would get together to build a cryptocurrency that would be awarded to each good vote (Tabula Rasa).  This would provide incentive for better votes and we would start moving the ball in the right direction in terms of voting standards.

I want to point out, none of the 3 above suggestions would punish people for low effort or bad votes. Any moderation that alienates  voters in that way discourages not only votes, but improvement of voting. 


It’s not just me that thinks Tabula Rasa should be the defacto voting style on this site. The site itself by pinning the following voting guide agrees that, it is the culture it wishes to have. 

I am asking the voters to not make the same mistake Faux Law made on that previous debate, which gave imminentdefeat an unfair loss. I am asking them to apply the Tabula Rasa method to judge this debate. With a Tabula Rasa mindset, let’s review what I have argued.

The winner of a debate “should” be whatever would have made the biggest impact on the real world. The debate being a loss, to the rightful winner should have happened, because it helps expose a recurring, systematic and serious problem on this site.

What may be confusing to some voters is that I am arguing that people should use a Tabula Rasa style of voting as well. However it isn’t confusing when you consider the next point.

Who should win, has very little to do with how people should vote. Who should win is determined by impacts on society and is not something judges should take into account unless debaters bring it up and defend the position well enough. How people should vote is determined by a Tabula Rasa judgement of people’s arguments within the debate.

Similar to how justice demands no guilty person go unpunished and no innocent person be punished for crimes he does not commit, but juries are required to abandon that in favor of allowing nobody to be convicted of a crime unless there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt they committed a crime. The optimal goal of the justice system is not the optimal goal of jurors. 

Round 2
Con makes three arguments. 

1. Hall of fame induction
2. Bringing attention to voter bias and tabula rosa voting
3. Solution to improve site voting

While Imminent Downfall's sacrifice looks honorable in the long term, I do not think it was necessary to keep his mistake in order to catch this problem. Fauxlaw has always had questionable voting in a lot of debates, whether with his specific world view or his lack of tabula rosa. 

Firstly, I reject argument 1. Even though there is a small chance that we would induct me into the hall of fame, I do not think that this debate would deserve such a high title. Countless debates have exerted far more effort, while this debate merely draws upon Imminent's effort as well as my own interpretation combined with Tejeretics' vote. The selfish gain that I would receive merely from analyzing another debate also feels it could encourage bad mistakes and interpreting loopholes. This seems rather counter productive of a standard to set.

Secondly, argument 2 seems to be a good idea, however, "tabula rosa" has already been set as a standard since the beginning of the site's construction. Despite its existence, questionable votes have popped up from time to time. So this argument doesn't seem to offer a unique benefit. Fauxlaw already had many votes removed that hinder the tabula rosa method, but we did not consider it a big problem. Con's showing of the issue is impressive but it's hard to say for sure the moderators will take this into consideration. We have recently tried to exert stronger standards and better voting guidelines, but nevertheless, Fauxlaw's vote was still considered borderline acceptable, and hence Con cannot find a solution other than my reversal of Imminent's defeat.

Argument 3 is interesting as well. Con presents three potential solutions, including adding weight to good voters, or voting elo, or based on incentive. However, the third one is very hard to implement as the site has nearly zero ads and hence cannot have the revenue to continue giving currency to voters. Hence, incentive is out of question. Next, voting elo seems very difficult to determine. While the quality of vote can help bring credibility, keep in mind that other bad voters can also unset the voting. In addition, it feels like it would also encourage disagreements to reduce the quality of votes. For example, if Fauxlaw still reads the other votes with lack of tabula rosa, he would have the advantage if he waited to vote second. So if Tejretics voted first with 5 points and Fauxlaw voted 6 points, downvoting Tejretics, if nobody care enough about the debate, then Fauxlaw would've still won (due to the implementation). The first solution seems the best, but it also puts a big amount of pressure since you basically only want to hire the best of the best, and the average person would be less inclined to vote. If a debate was particularly hard to decide, the swing would be unfair since a decent voter worth 2 points would be outweighed by an amazing voter worth 5 points. It's entirely plausible that one side only won by a single sentence or phrase. The big gap of difference would be bad especially due to the small community in DART.

Conclusion: Con and I both agree that Imminent was the true winner of the debate, however, Con argues that Pro's sacrifice is worth it. I don't see why the moderators would act merely because of one debate brought to attention -- as far as they're concerned, maybe only fauxlaw is the problem, or different interpretations that make debates hard to judge properly. Regardless, all three solutions seem very hard to implement and difficult to justify logically. And Con's argument 1 is selfish and unlikely. There are far superior contenders and thus my hall of fame induction holds little weight.

We can practically ignore all of pro’s round one arguments. I challenged what “should” means. My opponent started with the hidden premise that who should win a debate is the debater that performed better. In my round one arguments I pointed out that, whoever wins the debate should be the individual who made the greatest impact by winning. Pro does not dispute that who should win is whose victory would make the biggest impact.

Pro has had plenty of opportunity to respond to that argument and it is clear that he chose to concede the framework of the debate to me. In particular he has agreed that my opinion of what “should” happen is correct, by dropping the argument. It is too late for him to challenge the framework now if he refused to do so in his rebuttal round.

Pro has the bulk of the burden of proof this debate. I ask the judges to remember that if pro disproves everything I say wrong, than that is still not good enough to win. He has to prove some reason why the greater positive impact on the universe came from imminentdownfall winning the debate (theoretically). Pro has accepted my framework, so failure to prove a win from imminent downfall would make a greater impact on the universe, means he lost. It doesn’t matter who he believes debated better or how many points he made in that direction.

It appears at the end of pro’s round that he forgets this. Here is what he says;

“Con and I both agree that Imminent was the true winner of the debate”

The true winner of that debate is the person who actually won, Benjamin. The scoreboard confirms it. I think in this use of the word “true”, pro means the “deserving” winner. Deserving being determined by who performed better in the debate. The current debate is not about who deserved to win or who argued better. Despite the fact it offends meritocratic thinkers. We are arguing who should win, and pro concedes my point that the person who should win is the person whose victory would make the biggest impact. It is an anti-meritocratic type of system of determining who should win, but it is the one we are using for this debate.

As confusing as this might be to some, this is differentiated between how people should vote on a debate. Just like the comparison that though the justice system should never let an innocent person be convicted of a crime, nor a guilty person go free, what should happen is not what jurors should think about. Jurors should be considering whether there is evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which means in practice that a lot of guilty people go free and a few innocent people go to jail. This confusing but true logic that differentiates how people should vote and who should win a debate goes unchallenged by pro. So keep all of this in mind when judging, even if you think the logic I am applying is silly.

Hall Of Fame

I am conceding the points on the hall of fame arguments, While true that pro deserves to be in the HOF, this debate is unlikely to cause it. I asked pro to crowd source his arguments so that way he could have hall of fame tier arguments here. He refused to do so. Don’t get me wrong. Pro is capable of making those types of arguments. However he is in a season of life where he doesn’t want to give that much effort. Maybe he is too busy to go all out, but still finds debating fun so engages in it. Maybe there is some other reason, but I am aware he is in that season of life. I concede the arguments about the potential for this to be a HOF debate.

The Problem with voting

Me and pro agree that there is a problem with voting on the site. The whole debated was created by pro to highlight a problem with voting and to confront it directly. The creation of the debate itself is an admittance to the fact that fighting the weight of bad votes outweighing the votes of people like Terjetics is a worthwhile thing to pursue.

I have a confession. I had also kept in mind when formulating the solutions that voting is so rare that it needs to be encouraged or at the very least, not discouraged when formulating ways to make sure good voters have more impact on the results of the debate. I am glad that me and pro, both agree this is a real problem, which is why I take issue with pro’s next statement;

“"tabula rosa" has already been set as a standard since the beginning of the site's construction. Despite its existence, questionable votes have popped up from time to time. So this argument doesn't seem to offer a unique benefit. Fauxlaw already had many votes removed that hinder the tabula rosa method, but we did not consider it a big problem.”

On a personal level I want to ask pro “What the hell did you create this debate for then?” . Pro acknowledges there is a problem, creates an entire debate to highlight the problem and then when I offer some potential solutions. Just 3 of literally millions of possible solutions to the problem he throws his hands in the air and acts like solutions aren’t worth pursuing.

On top of that pro makes the next assumption. The next solution I think is a huge problem with kids these days, society in generally but mostly with those of a liberal type of mindset. This is what pro says;

“Con's showing of the issue is impressive but it's hard to say for sure the moderators will take this into consideration. We have recently tried to exert stronger standards and better voting guidelines, but nevertheless, Fauxlaw's vote was still considered borderline acceptable”

I don’t personally think any of Fauxlaw’s votes ever should be removed. Everyone should be allowed to vote, and the more thorough the vote is and the more they gain a reputation as a competent voter, the more weight their vote should hold. However the statement above gives us a window into pro’s brain.

Pro thinks community change should be based on just the efforts of moderators. I think the last people involved in community change should be moderators or developers or site owners. If change occurs from the ground up, it ensures that any change made at the top levels has the blessing of the community. That is what the next section get’s into.


The solutions I suggested just touch the tip of the iceberg of possible solutions that are community based. The solutions fall into 3 categories, none of which would discourage or punish bad voters, while at the same time would either incentivize good voting or make good voting more heavily taken into consideration when determining the winners of debates. Let’s see.

1. Community based weighting- This does not require mods to do anything. This solution would in fact make the jobs of voting mods easier, because it means they take non action. If whiteflame votes and we decide his votes should be worth triple, we just recruit 2 people to always ghost his votes. We just build a grassroots team to do this and ask the mods to back off.

2. elo based incentives- Okay this one would remove the mods also. It is just something the developer can build. My opponent can argue that the system might be imperfect, but their seems to be a community census that some people are better voters and thus when they have the option of thumbs upping or thumbs downing the vote to help determine the voter’s ELO, I doubt there will be much controversy on who have the highest voting ELOs.

3. Crypto voting- This is also a community solution and not a mod or developer thing. We just have a group that creates and hands out crypto dollars to people based on the quality of their vote. Incentives can be community based as well. Use it to purchase things like my friendship or other intangible items like maybe the mods allowing them to say maybe spam a thread for one hour. I don’t know, the sky is limitless,


I win. My framing of the debate went unopposed and pro has made zero arguments that are even relevant to the accepted framework and has only mitigated the good of my arguments by claiming that encouraging the right thing is pointless and we should give up.
Round 3
Con thinks the debate will have big impact with Benjamin winning, but offers no such evidence. By contrary, there is a clear detriment with Benjamin winning because it upholds bad standards for voting and it encourages Fauxlaw to continue arbitrarily justifying points for any reason.

Con asks: What the hell did you create this debate for then?

Since Fauxlaw's vote was accepted, and we weren't able to outweigh his points, I thought that perhaps more people agreed with his opinion and offered a debate to counter the idea that Benjamin deserved to win the debate. 

None of Con's suggestions are inherently necessarily based on merely Benjamin's win or losing. Remember that they can still be implemented even if Imminent Downfall had won. While this debate in particular allowed you to bring the issue to light with a clear example based off of Tejretic's vote, it's entirely plausible that another person's unjust lost could've proved the same thing.

The community based voting seems arbitrary and encourages bandwagon. If I could get two of my friends to vote for someone in a debate using the same reason I did, then they only need my justification rather than their own judgement. The whole entire point of debate is that different voters think differently and so you have to convince the crowd based on the set standard. 

Elo based incentive based on thumbs up or down also seems rather arbitrary. Remember that I said people who disagree with your decision can merely thumbs you down to oblivion and hence it cancels out.

Incentive voting looks ok but it also encourages spam voting since there's little to lose, and also more pressure on the people. Imagine Whiteflame gets tired and now starts demanding money, because who wouldn't want to get paid if they could get paid? The incentive now becomes more about money and encourages this to be a rich man's site. It's hard to say for sure that he would vote fairly if one of the debaters paid him money to vote on their debate.
Round 4
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