Instigator / Pro
9
1519
rating
59
debates
54.24%
won
Topic
#5334

Conduct shouldn't effect your points in a debate

Status
Finished

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

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
3
9
Better sources
0
6
Better legibility
3
3
Better conduct
3
1

After 3 votes and with 10 points ahead, the winner is...

Barney
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Rated
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Minimal rating
None
Contender / Con
19
1815
rating
50
debates
100.0%
won
Description

No information

Round 1
Pro
#1
Conduct has nothing to do with the validity of one's points.

If a person makes a 100% correct and coherent point while being as rude as possible, it doesn't take away from the validity of their point on any level whatsoever. If their opponent is 100% incorrect and nonsensical but is as respectful as possible while doing so they are still doing 100% worse at debating in and of itself. The fact that they were nicer has absolutely zero relevance to how correct they were or how skillfully they argued their point therefore it is stupid to give the 100% inferior debater a point for anything over the 100% superior one.

Grammar is much more valid because good grammar helps with making your points coherently and helps demonstrate how educated an individual is.


Bad conduct is more entertaining and actually makes more sense in the context of debate.


When people are civil it can make debates more dry than they have to be. We're already here to debate rather than merely discuss, when you are debating someone the goal is to win and they are effectively an enemy that you are facing on the field of intellectual battle. If we were just having a conversation then maybe the goal would be to find points we can agree on and be pleasant to each other, but in a debate my goal is to intellectually castrate and mutilate your incessantly idiotic nutsack and nail your own scrotum to your dick head with the hammer of truth.

I am going to cut out your fucking retarded shit stained ass hole with a can opener and staple it to your forehead.
Con
#2
Forfeited
Round 2
Pro
#3
Con thinks he's being clever by intentionally forfeiting to show why conduct is supposedly important, but really this just gives you less chance to argue and thus it is an argument issue and not a conduct issue. Con has shot himself in his own foot while also slicing open his own dick head and pouring bleach on it.
Con
#4
“Forfeited”:
As seen above, without writing a single word I performed a strong implicit kritik. That pro doesn’t understand it is the fallacy of argumentum ad lapidem (aka argument to the stone) [1], which doesn’t actually negate it.

Note: To the best of my knowledge, this was my very first forfeiture. So credit to pro for getting me to creatively break my formula.

Breaking it down Barney style:
When someone has difficulty understanding something, sometimes one must over explain, AKA Break It Down Barney Style [2,3].

As such, the usually unnecessary explicit form of the Kritik is as follows [4]: 
  • Analysis: Without any vulgarity or rudeness, a forfeiture while harming arguments also calls for the deduction of a single conduct point (5). It is in fact the only surefire way to be penalized on conduct; regardless of which side is preferred by the voter, which allows said voter to pass a litmus test by unbiasedly assigning the penalty. Further, this is 1 point, whereas arguments are 3; meaning the “100% superior” debater in all other categories wins regardless of conduct issues. Should they not be notably superior, then conduct falls back on being a mere tie-breaker for otherwise closely matched debates which contain an egregious infraction by one side. Of course a debater massively superior in all categories except conduct, will be awarded 6 points from each detailed vote, making conduct of even lower impact.
  • Link: Pro’s case both assumes conduct is solely for rudeness/vulgarity, and somehow undoes the argument allotment. A forfeiture side steps both of those, and further implies additional issues which merit penalizing conduct, aside from just vulgarity and rudeness.
  • Implications: Were the K ignored, a useful voting tool would be lost; resulting in more tied debates, votes being less detailed, and low quality outright biased votes being harder for moderation to intervene against.
  • Alternative: It’s sound to penalize conduct for various reasons pro did not consider; ergo, the status quo of an optional conduct award should be maintained.


Conduct Penalties
From the Voting Policy [6]:
“Awarded as a penalty for excessive abuse committed by the other side, such as extreme unsportsmanlike or outright toxic behavior which distracted from the topical debate. Common examples are repeatedly using personal attacks instead of arguments, committing plagiarism or otherwise cheating.”

As can be seen, it is not given as a reward for one side being as “respectful as possible,” rather it is solely applied as a penalty for significant misdeeds.
As a penalty it discourages various bad behaviors without overriding argument allotments, and over time it results in better debates.

Additionally, the conduct point may not be assigned for infractions “too minor for a reasonable person to be significantly distracted from the topic” [6]. Which also allows for entertaining insults (within reason) to not be punished. This further elevates the quality of insults above lazy crass ones which distract from the topic.

Cheating:
Conduct is a remedy against cheating.

As written in the voting policy [7]:
“People lacking in intellectual integrity will always devise more ways to cheat. If you spot some true rubbish that invalidates their argument or the spirit of debate, call it out with a vote against them on conduct (or more as warranted by the comparative arguments) and move on.”

A few common types of cheating:
  • Plagiarism
  • Final round blitzkriegs
  • Absurd special rules
  • Flagrant misbehavior in the comment section

As an example, if we ignore conduct I could forfeit this round as well and swoop in for a win at the end, for which pro would have no chance to refute. Regardless of the superior quality of any argument I may offer at that point, a final round blitzkrieg is a shit move which violates the spirit of debate.

I could also plagiarize Chat GPT, rather than writing my own arguments.

I could even trick the feeble minded to voting for me, by creating a thread whining that pro is a big meanie and I won for a bunch of reasons not mentioned in the debate. And yes, this has occurred a few times, with said votes often being based on thread content which lied about what occurred inside the debate, instead of actual debate content.

Offenses like the ones above, frequently deserve sanctions greater than the three argument points. For one thing, assuming only two voters show up and one falls for the ploy, the second who notices the bullshit can only bring the debate to a tie if they do not have an extra tool at their disposal to give victory to the actual superior argument.


Litmus Test:
Unbiased conduct assignments (along with sources and legibility), help determine the integrity of any voter. 

As written in the voting policy [8]:
“Exploitive withholding of any category overwhelmingly against your majority point awardee, is evidence of profuse bias, and is therefore subject to vote deletion (e.g., someone forfeits half the debate and receives a favorable argument vote unmitigated by conduct).”

A voter who thinks one side is 100% superior in every way and criteria they lost on shouldn’t be considered, is actually casting obvious vote bombs and/or fluff votes (fluffing should always be left to the capable hands of professionals), which ought to be deleted. That they vote so unfairly to not even consider the clear misconduct, is an obvious failing of the litmus test, which makes the decision easy for moderation.

Should they outright award conduct in favor of said forfeitures, then the decision becomes one of disabling their voting privileges until such time as they’ve been successfully coached on the standards.

Of course the forfeiting party will still most likely win if they actually offered a superior case. If the case was overwhelmingly superior in all other categories, every valid vote may net them up to 5 points in favor of their victory, with the least being 2 if only arguments were superior. Their victory is in no way undone by real feedback to their case which includes a note of where it fell short.


Rebuttals:
In short, 3 > 1.
Unless pro can prove otherwise, he lacks any significant harm to warrant a change. Moreover, no one is forced to have the optional conduct point available in their debates, since debates may be set to Winner selection, thereby limiting the point allotments to just arguments [9].

Additionally, as laid out by Jeremy Bearimy, who is perhaps the all time greatest philosopher, pro's case goes against the most basic foundations of any postmodern ethical framework [10].

“Conduct has nothing to do with the validity of one's points”
You’re not even wrong [11].

As its name implies, only the argument award is for the validity of one's points. Whereas the other categories are for other criteria of consideration.
I.E., while infrequent, a side may lose arguments but win sources. In such a case the sources well supported their case, but the case failed to better affirm their side of the resolution (the argument award).

Of course none of the other awards alone can shift the victory, and each alone cannot even match the argument award.

Conduct can be for off topic attacks, but of course does not change the validity of one’s points. It refers to another criteria of measurement; one which is worth so much less, that some debaters intentionally skip rounds due to its impact being trivial so long as they argue decently in the remainder. Whereas someone who knows they're going to get a conduct point, may waste the opportunity of that forfeiture, and for failing to bolster their arguments be on balance voted the loser.

“it is stupid to give the 100% inferior debater a point for anything over the 100% superior one.”
This is accidentally correct…
If someone who is 100% superior, then their conduct is better anyways, so they will not be penalized. If their conduct is merely bad, they are very unlikely to be penalized. It is if their conduct is garbage that they face criticism in the point allotment; criticism which in no way undoes their victory. This isn’t a safe space, and they are not snowflakes who will be harmed if given unbiased feedback to their cases.

“Bad conduct is more entertaining”
And it needs to be severe to harm conduct, but again, conduct doesn’t outweigh arguments.

“[insults] makes more sense in the context of debate”
If it’s topical, conduct may not be penalized for it [6].

Hell, someone made a debate out of me calling him fat, and not one voter penalized me on conduct [12].
In hindsight, I regret that my first round wasn’t just “Yes.”

“[Sadomasochism]”
As much as I love Hellraiser [13], no thanks.


Sources:
  1. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_by_assertion#Argumentum_ad_lapidem
  2. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Break%20it%20Down%20Barney%20Style
  3. https://terminallance.com/2015/03/20/terminal-lance-371-barney-style/
  4. https://info.debateart.com/kritik-guide#form
  5. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#forfeitures
  6. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#conduct
  7. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#cheating
  8. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#further-notes
  9. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#casting-votes
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXrwSZJLYuw
  11. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong
  12. https://web.archive.org/web/20220521215644/https://www.debate.org/debates/You-called-me-fat-WTF/1/
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUlgwJNdu2I

Round 3
Pro
#5
Forfeiting is basically the lack of an argument, and the fact that it weakens your arguments by their not even being one is the more pressing issue than if it was unsportsmanlike or not.


 

 a useful voting tool would be lost; resulting in more tied debates, votes being less detailed, 
Votes would also be more detailed and have more tie breakers if we added or subtracted a point based on how well a debater was dressed, but unfortunately that has just as little to do with how correctly or how well they argued as whether they were rude or not.

 

 and low quality outright biased votes being harder for moderation to intervene against.
On the contrary, conduct is a tool designed specifically for the low quality biased voter. In 99% of cases, conduct is used so that "boo hoo I'm offended" becomes a valid basis to add or subtract points rather than the argument-quality itself and the more you see conduct as important, the more likely it is to effect how you view arguments themselves. 

Take Barney for example, when he votes he will often place emphasis on conduct issues as if they are equal or even more important than arguments. At the same time, he will dismiss the stuff he is offended by as "incel propaganda" or whatever else. Since incel isn't an ideology and there are blue pill incels, he obviously doesn't know what he's talking about but because my points offended him and he equates the word "incel" with misogyny he essentially transformed his arguments vote into a conduct vote.

Not only should conduct be removed from voting, but the rules of the site should clearly state that being offended is not a basis upon which to award or subtract argument points.



  • Plagiarism
This is an argument issue because when your argument is not yours, you effectively failed to make an argument. The site hypocritically rewards source-spamming with little to no arguments of your own such as when RationalMadman does it and wins both sources and arguments just for spamming sources and quotes but apparently plagiarism is against the rules? Since conduct only awards or subtracts one point it is just redundant and useless to punish plagiarism as a conduct issue because the voter will either end up voting against the plagiarist in both arguments and conduct or it will be relatively ineffectual anyway.


  • Final round blitzkriegs
In other words, not having an argument until the last round. This is an argument issue and once again punishing it as conduct does nothing unless you also vote against it with arguments.



  • Absurd special rules
If the structure of the debate violates rules it makes more sense to just delete it than to let voters decide if they want to take a point or not.



  • Flagrant misbehavior in the comment section
Just delete the comments or stop being a pussy?

I could even trick the feeble minded to voting for me, by creating a thread whining that pro is a big meanie and I won for a bunch of reasons not mentioned in the debate.

This is exactly what conduct allows people to do minus the external thread.



A voter who thinks one side is 100% superior in every way and criteria they lost on shouldn’t be considered, is actually casting obvious vote bombs and/or fluff votes (fluffing should always be left to the capable hands of professionals), which ought to be deleted. That they vote so unfairly to not even consider the clear misconduct, is an obvious failing of the litmus test, which makes the decision easy for moderation.
Wrong, this attitude is weaponized against people like me who think conduct is stupid or may not view conduct in the same way as others. For example, if one person is rude and the other person whines that being rude should discredit them, I would subtract conduct from the whiner who tries to weaponize their hurt feelings whereas other voters may actually become biased against the rude but superior debater in both conduct and arguments themselves.



no one is forced to have the optional conduct point available in their debates, since debates may be set to Winner selection
Since rated debates are always multiple criteria this is just a garbage excuse for an argument.


If someone who is 100% superior, then their conduct is better anyways
Wrong, if one debater has nothing but coherent and correct arguments with good sources and grammar but follows every point with an insult they will lose conduct even to an opponent with shit arguments, sources and grammar.


Con
#6
Needless to say, extend all. Pro’s case boils down to a non sequitur argumentum ad nauseam [1, 2].

Without disproving that 3 > 1 (arguments > conduct), his case is meritless. Exemplifying how odious it is, it’s not even tasty due to the absence of any sauce [3].


“Forfeited”:
“weakens your arguments by their not even being one is the more pressing issue than if it was unsportsmanlike or not.”
Again, 3 > 1.

The more pressing issue of arguments receives more points (3), whereas the less pressing issue of conduct receives less (1). It would take literally three voters assigning conduct to one side to even match a single argument vote for the other.

Breaking it down Barney style:
My opponent literally concedes that the presence of a conduct penalty results in more detailed votes and less tied debates. These are serious benefits, unmitigated by any harm.

As for his mock proposal for “a point based on how well a debater was dressed…” This is a text based platform in which we lack any means to judge that. However, I’d be ok with it in live debates. Just imagine your opponent shows up looking like and smelling like Golgothan [4], and every time you open your mouth to refute anything a fly (possibly carrying unknown diseases) flies in. This hinders the environment for healthy debate, in comparable ways to the conduct issue of if your opponent showed up with a swastika freshly tattooed onto their face and threatened your family if you dare to disagree with them. Both are issues outside of just rhetoric, but deserve to be graded instead of ignored and victory given to the shitface.

“conduct is a tool designed specifically for the low quality biased voter”
A claim like that needs sauce (aka, sources) [3]. With no evidence to even imply it has any basis in reality, it is pure garbage.

I do however give some credit here, since it’s pro’s one real attempt at meeting minimal burden of proof to be taken seriously.

“In 99% of cases, conduct is used so that "boo hoo I'm offended" becomes a valid basis to add or subtract points”
Name one? Oh right, again, no sauce [3]. On this there’s actually a reason for no sauce, which is that such votes (rare as they are) get summarily deleted by moderation; which in turn affirms my earlier point that the conduct point results in less “low quality outright biased votes.”

“Take Barney for example … he will dismiss the stuff he is offended by as ‘incel propaganda’”
This is grasping at straws… Please elaborate on how leaving conduct tied [5], mysteriously harms debates? This sounds like it’s going directly against pro’s own case, as if wishing to receive pity points in the conduct category for being an incel and thus failing to get laid.

“incel isn't an ideology and there are blue pill incels”
Off topic, but hilarious self-evident contradiction.

“he essentially transformed his arguments vote into a conduct vote”
Were that the case, pro would be losing said debate by fewer points.


Conduct Penalties
Pro has chosen to drop the following vital point:
“As a penalty [conduct] discourages various bad behaviors without overriding argument allotments, and over time it results in better debates.”

Cheating:
Here pro offers more argumentum ad nauseam [2], without first bothering to in any way defend against:
“Offenses like the ones above, frequently deserve sanctions greater than the three argument points. For one thing, assuming only two voters show up and one falls for the ploy, the second who notices the bullshit can only bring the debate to a tie if they do not have an extra tool at their disposal to give victory to the actual superior argument.”
Again, conduct helps assure “victory to the actual superior argument.” 

He further calls upon moderation to play control freak helicopter parents coddling weak debaters by manually deleting debates they should not have accepted, outright cover up that bad voters are being persuaded in the comment section by deleting the comments in question but leaving the trash votes in place, and other such absurdities.
Which means even if pro hasn’t wholly wrong, his proposal fails for how he wishes it to be implemented. It’s akin to a proposal that the poor should be fed, which sounds like a truism, until the actual means of it are fed rat poison.

Litmus Test:
More non sequitur argumentum ad nauseam [1, 2], with a hefty sprinkling of tears; such as when discussing the (apparently wrongful) deletion of fluff votes [6], pro responds to my humorous note that fluffing should always be left to the capable hands of professionals” with Wrong, this attitude is weaponized against people like me.” Pro’s case should be in favor of deleting such votes for containing superfluous unmerited point allotments, instead he’s basically saying help I’m being repressed [7]!

“if one person is rude and the other person whines that being rude should discredit them, I would subtract conduct from the whiner who tries to weaponize…”
Ironic, so much whining followed closely by whining about other whiners…
Worse, it’s an accidental concession for agreeing with conduct penalties “excessive abuse” which “significantly distracted from the topic,” as is spelled out in the voting policy [8].

As a hypothetical, if pro commits some minor faux pas, and con spends half the rest of the debate grumbling about it, it would be con who pulled the debate off topic and is worse in the conduct category.


Rebuttals:
Since rated debates are always multiple criteria this is just a garbage excuse for an argument.”
Once again, not even wrong [9].

If it’s just about ELO, the entire complaint could be better solved by the simple removal of a single minor line of code from the debate creation page, so as to allow rated Winner Selection debates. Whereas changing the whole categorical voting system, would require several modifications, and would risk breaking the site as there are so many ongoing debates using it. Not to mention the need for a referendum for such to even be considered [10].

“if one debater has nothing but coherent and correct arguments with good sources and grammar but follows every point with an insult they will lose conduct even to an opponent with shit arguments”
I literally pre-refuted this: “Of course a debater massively superior in all categories except conduct, will be awarded 6 points from each detailed vote, making conduct of even lower impact.”

Plus, pro’s continuous focus on extremely lop-sided debates undermines the foundations of his case.


Conclusion:
As spelled out above, an optional conduct penalty has many significant benefits, which significant outweighs the couple drawbacks

Benefits:
  • More detailed votes
  • Less ties
  • Superior debaters even more likely to win
  • Less voter bias
  • Cheating discouraged
  • Better debates
  • Less biased votes going undeleted
  • “elevates the quality of insults above lazy crass ones which distract from the topic”
  • And more…

Drawbacks:
  • snowflakes [may be] harmed if given unbiased feedback to their cases”
  • Some people who haven’t read the voting policy, mistakenly think it’s an award for being as “respectful as possible.”


Sources:
  1. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non_sequitur
  2. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_nauseam
  3. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sauce
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlqjtqkoRdM
  5. https://www.debateart.com/debates/5319/votes/10107
  6. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#fluff-votes-fv
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8ukak8P2vY
  8. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/voting-policy#conduct
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0
  10. https://info.debateart.com/terms-of-service/moderation#moderation-engagement-and-enactment-process