Instigator / Pro

Default Auto Loss On Forfeit


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

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

This stems from a disagreement on a feature suggestion ( This was initially issued as a direct challenge, but with that contender unwilling to debate, it's open for anyone who believes his logic to accept.

Pro is arguing in favor of a single automatic conduct point allocation* for each forfeit committed during debates.
Con is arguing against such a system, on the basis that voters would be unable to mark worse conduct for rudeness.**

To not backtrack, pro takes the weakness to his case that the system is unchanged for debates scored via the Winner Selection method.***

Definitions: As this is a debate pertaining to a technical aspect of voting, so plain English, defaulting to the site CoC ( should any disagreement arise. Very basic math shall also be used.

Of course no K's (we're debating a technical and ethical aspect of this site, we are not debating if the internet exists etc.).

For reference (the conversation which lead to this debate, call it round zero if you like)...
Pro: "An easier way to handle [automatic loss on forfeit], would just be automatically giving a conduct point to the other side for each forfeit (could be done as "Admin" placing votes, even during the debate).
Con: "Counterpoint: What if I'm a rude bastard and you forfeit one Round?"
Pro: "Actual voters would still be able to override that through the length of the voting period."
Con: "What if voters tie us for arguments or enough voters disagree on who won them to make it so the conduct points aren't outweighed?"
Pro: "That would just be the system working as intended. By forfeiting one side has set the default end state to be a loss."
Con: "That's really idiotic, lol. That means they can't mark worse conduct for the rudeness."
Pro: "You may be having a comprehension problem. Nothing about the existence of prior votes, limits anyone's ability to cast future votes; to include assigning conduct in a different manner than the earlier votes."
Con: "You have a logic comprehension problem."
Pro: "Please enlighten us on why you believe it is impossible ('lol. That means they can't mark worse conduct for the rudeness.') for people to award conduct if conduct only votes exist previously? ... I'll point to one of your votes ( as an example, since you gave the opposite conduct score than every other voter, but are now insisting that logically cannot have happened."
Con: "you are a troll, end of story."

* This allocation is could be handled as one vote per forfeit, a single vote edited with the summation, or even a direct point adjustment applied without a technical vote cast. The important detail is the point modifier influencing the voting outcome.
** That rudeness can be significantly worse than a forfeited round, is an accepted premise pro shall not argue against.
*** Under categorical voting, conduct is worth 1 point but arguments are worth 3. Under Winner Selection arguments are worth just 1, making a conduct vote for a single point worth as much as an arguments.

Round 1
The first three headings I offer are a preamble. Unless challenged (or you're curious as to matters of voting), they should not merit more than a skim reading.

Code of Conduct:
As per the COC, by using this site we accepted the social contract that forfeits are awful conduct to be penalized. With enough forfeits inside a debate, voters need not weight arguments at all.
Damage of Forfeits:
(no surprises here, I'm just not treating it as a truism)
Forfeitures disrespectfully waste the time of the opposite side in any debate, as the countdown takes up to three-days. Worse, should it take a long time for someone to be able to make their next argument, they are more likely to forget about the debate. Thus, forfeits waste time, and encourage more forfeits.
They can cause voter confusion which can be used dishonestly. Should a contender miss the penultimate round, the instigator will have nothing to respond to in the final, but the contender can still come back and make their case even while it can no longer be addressed. And yes, this happens.
Voting Irregularities:
Debates with forfeited rounds regularly fail to gain even one vote. Even full forfeits do not always garner so much as a single vote, there are multiple easy to find examples This is less likely a fate for debates involving more popular members, but would be highly discouraging to any new members who do not know how to advertise their debates.

---End Preamble---

1. Suggested Solution:
As suggested previously, a simple point allocation could be automatically assigned each time a member forfeits (this would be little more than a single line of code added to the existing script that writes "Forfeited" in lieu of someone posting an argument). While easily overridden should voters take interest, it prevents any erroneously tied debates slipping through voter radar, thereby discouraging users from forfeiting. Better yet, it handles the issue in a fair and non-exploitable manner.
Each time the script is executed, it is a single point change.
Should both sides forfeit an equal number of rounds, the change is wholly neutralized by their own actions. Thus, debates that should simply be ties, remain ties.
For debates under the "Four points" system, this has the weight of a standard conduct point, worth only 1/3rd of an argument vote. Unless they have repeatedly forfeited, a single vote in their favor (even if adding another conduct penalty) wholly outweighs it.
For debates under the "Winner selection" system, this has equal weight to an argument vote. However, under said system someone cannot lessen an argument vote with a conduct deduction no matter how bad the conduct, so this balances such against the unfortunate limit of that voting system.
2. Worse Conduct Counterpoint:
While I have my disagreements with the stated counterpoint, to not commit the straw man fallacy, I leave it to con to articulate it and any others how he wishes.
Round 2
Suggested Solution:
Extend argument.
Rudeness Counterpoint:
Due to the forfeited round by my current opponent, and to advance the debate, I shall fill in the original intended contender's case. Please note that I do not assume my current opponent shares their problem with math.
(Anyone who read the full description, may skip to the next heading)
"That's really idiotic, lol. That means they can't mark worse conduct for the rudeness."
As I previously stated: "...Nothing about the existence of prior votes, limits anyone's ability to cast future votes; to include assigning conduct in a different manner than the earlier votes."

"You have a logic comprehension problem."
This was made in light of him having already cast votes opposed to the conduct consensus of prior votes, nullifying the validity of his own standpoint. Rather than continue into his replies (just Ad Hominem attacks, and refusal to engage a real opponent in debate, or admit an error), I'll give a math lesson...

Proof in Numbers:
Debates are won using Boolean logic. Pro wins if pro's points are greater, tie if pro and con points are equal, and con wins if con's points are greater.
This can be simplified into a single value with con being negative: Pro wins if >0, tie if = 0, and Con wins if <0.
The original opponent insists that +1 + (-1) = 2, but anyone can verify the result equals zero.
Under the proposed system, right now this debate's score would be +1 due to the forfeiture. However, let's say the first voter finds me continuing the debate without prompting to be highly vulgar and wholly disagrees with my math (um, I never reached BOP and that calculator I linked is liberally biased), so they cast negative arguments (-3) and conduct (-1). The absolute debate score becomes just -3 (conduct nullified). If no more voters get involved, con wins the debate. Even assuming con forfeits the remaining two rounds (+2), the end result of that single vote would still outweigh their minor conduct failing (absolute score of -1).
Here's where it gets cool. Should that single voter decide conduct is tied, them voting arguments for my hypothetical BOP blunder concludes the debate at 0 (tied). So, any one voter can completely override the system, or neutralize its effects should they disagree with the outcome it would give.
Of course, should no one get involved, the debate quietly passes to the person actually present winning with no voter intervention required.
As for debates that get many voters in disagreement, the weight added is only enough to shift the default end state, serving as no more than a tie-breaker.
Sorry I'm late.  I probably should have read how much time I get for arguments. 

The problem with auto loss is that it has to be ran by a computer and can't account for context within the argument.  For instance, if one side conceded and the other side acknowledged the concession, then it could be argued that those forfeits shouldn't count against either side.   This is why it is better to leave it up to the voter.  They can weigh the context of the argument to judge the best way to spend the Conduct point.  

I noticed that you took the liberty of attempting to create my position in advance for me.  This is bad faith arguing.  I am allowed to argue my position on any basis I like for that is the nature of a debate.  The only thing you can say is that I have to be against your position and that is all. 

Furthermore, what is your core justification for using auto loss?  What are the real benefits?  

If your argument is that it benefits by stopping troll votes, then you're in trouble, because that argument could be made for any of the points that are awarded.  So why not just make them all automatic except argument?  why only this one? 

The other problem is that you have to prove that troll voting is even a big enough problem to take such an extreme measure.   Judging by how the moderation has went so far, I would say that this website does a pretty good job of moderating without automatic losses.  When people concede or forfeit, the people vote accordingly.  So you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. 

Your floor. 
Round 3
"Bad Faith Arguing"
This feels like an attempt to deny burden of proof, but as can be plainly seen within the agreed debate setup: "Con is arguing against such a system, on the basis that voters would be unable to mark worse conduct for rudeness."

What If Concession:
(reply to con's 2nd paragraph)
It is true that the Boolean rules will not account for minuet context issues. The weight of this counterpoint is very low, considering I've already indirectly addressed it. From the Suggested Solution, that assigned points are "easily overridden should voters take interest," which was verified in Proof by Numbers. Further, what con offers is a theoretical without precedence, as there are no debates outright conceded to which this system would have caused the wrong side to win; the closest we've had was an example I've already shown of a tie when someone forfeited then conceded. With this clear evidence, the known common benefit outweighs the hypothetical exceedingly rare harm (a harm which can only affect forfeiters).

"Core Justification?"
See R1, preamble.

See R1, preamble and suggested solution, with the main highlight: "it prevents any erroneously tied debates slipping through voter radar, thereby discouraging users from forfeiting. Better yet, it handles the issue in a fair and non-exploitable manner." ... As was shown with con's hypothetical, nearly a thousand debates in there has not been even one debate which would have been harmed by this system, while there were many which would have benefited.

If it might also mitigate troll voting is an interesting point in favor of the system, but wholly con's.


I have used evidence and reason to strongly support the idea of creating a default end state for debates fitting a criteria to which debaters must choose to engage (forfeiting rounds). This is not to be confused with a full automatic loss, as it is only a default one to which any voter (assuming said debate attracts any) can easily cancel out if warranted by the context of the debate.

My points have almost entirely been dropped to an extent which implies they may not have been read. If they're about to be picked up two rounds later, after I can no longer respond, goes back to the Damage of Forfeits point about how people use forfeits dishonestly. Further the lines of reasoning (even the application of math), was warned of within the debate description, giving con an optimal chance to prepare before accepting.
My opponent is trying to hold me to an arbitrary standard that I did not agree to at any point in this debate.  The description section is for explaining and defining the topic.  It is not an extra debate round for my opponent to use as a tool to force me to choose a specific counter argument.  This is a shallow attempt to make me agree to a false dichotomy.  

There can be lots of reasons that I might disagree with your position and the one you gave is only one small argument in a sea of potential arguments. 

On concessions.  I'm afraid you're inaccurate.  There can easily be a position in which the program could go wrong.  

All it takes is for somebody to forfeit several rounds and then there opponent concedes.  In a 5 round debate, this can cause a loss for the winner. 

As for overriding.  you seem to wave this off as if it's arbitrary.  It's not.  You're talking about making the users responsible for reporting and the mods responsible for making the program work right.  These are the same users who you're trying to avoid from trolling in the first place.  So you've taken it out of the user's hands, gave it to a machine and then gave the machine to the users. 

As for you preamble, you ignore the fact that almost every debate on this website gets voted on.  In fact, I have seen precisely one tie since I have been on here. 

Your preamble talks about wasting time, but ignores the fact that the time would still have to run for voters.  So you solution is saving any time. 

Your preamble talks about voting fraud, but ignores the amazing moderation that we get on here.  

You're proposing a system to fix a problem that doesn't exist which isn't nearly as good as the system we already have in place.  

You also make an argument that forfeits in the penultimate round can cause somebody to get you with an unanswered response in the last round.  The problem with this is that literally every debate ends that way.   The last round that somebody posts an argument in during a debate, is by definition, unanswered.  So your solution doesn't solve this either. 

On a side note, I would like to point out that there is nothing wrong with posting relevant argument in one's closing arguments.  This is just senseless stigma and has no logical basis.  If I say nothing in my last statement so it's not unanswered, then you're statement becomes unanswered, and if you do the same to stop yours from being unanswered, then you forego that one too, then we regress until there is no debate at all.  

Ultimately, the only strong argument you make is for the parameters of a system.  However, you have not demonstrated a sufficient reason to implement said system. 

Objectively, the current system is far more superior, holistic, and tested than yours.  I would suggest developing the idea further to account for the problem with 5 round debates that would case false losses, because that's one obvious example of a bug that would always happen under fairly common circumstances.  

Good debate.