Debate protocol: waiving arguments

Author: fauxlaw ,

Topic's posts

Posts in total: 31
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    There are some members who insst on conducting debates in which they impose that each participant in the debate waive a round of argument. I've asked, but no one has ever given me an adequate reason why such a format is desirable. All it it does is limit the actual number of rounds of argumet, and that makes no sense at all. Further, the policy of DART prohibits it. 

    "The argumentation is the stage when participants take turns publishing their arguments, the number of which is equal to the number of the rounds in the debate." [Information Center, "Debates"]

    The bold italics are mine for emphasis. Anybody want to explain their waiving reasons now?
  • David
    David avatar
    Debates: 82
    Forum posts: 1,202
    4
    7
    10
    David avatar
    David
    --> @fauxlaw
    Often times the purpose of waiving a debate round is for just that - to ensure both sides have equal time. See, for example, this debate. The instigator was con and the contender (me) was pro. The structure was:

    R1. Con waives; Pro's Case
    R2. Con's Case; Pro generic Rebuttal
    R3. Con generic Rebuttal; Pro generic Rebuttal
    R4. Con generic Rebuttal; Pro generic Rebuttal and Summary
    R5. Con generic Rebuttal and Summary; Pro waives

    The obvious point of the waives is to give equal time to the sides. 




  • PressF4Respect
    PressF4Respect avatar
    Debates: 10
    Forum posts: 3,159
    3
    8
    11
    PressF4Respect avatar
    PressF4Respect
    --> @fauxlaw
    There are two reasons that I can think of off the top of my head why participants in the debate would waive a round.
    1. On DDO (the predecessor of DART), there was no description field for debates. To compensate for this, the instigator would use the first round of a debate as a description to explain what the debate was about, to provide the definitions, to hammer out the rules of the debate, etc. Then, the contender could use their round 1 argument to contend with any part of the description they did not like. However, most of the time, there was nothing to say about the description, so the contender would often waive the first round and allow the instigator to proceed with opening arguments, and the instigator would waive the last round so that both sides had the same number of rounds. Since many people on DART came from DDO, it could be that this habit stuck with them and they brought it over to DART.
    2. The instigator has a position in a shared BOP debate (which constitute the majority of debates on DART) that would be impractical/impossible to start off with before hearing the contender's opening argument. In that case, they would waive their first round to allow the contender the floor, to which the contender would agree to waive the last round. 

  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @David
    Right, it is called a 4-round debate, but it really is still just a 3-round debate. So why the policy statement I quoted?
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @PressF4Respect
    1. Isn't DDO irrelevant to DART?

    2. If the instigator is that unsure of his position, perhaps he/she is not equipped to debate at all, regardless of sequence. And why would the Contender not have the same concern in leading an argument due to a waived round? Perhaps they're not well-equipped, either. Debate is a risk. Let's call it that, and stop this nonsense.


  • PressF4Respect
    PressF4Respect avatar
    Debates: 10
    Forum posts: 3,159
    3
    8
    11
    PressF4Respect avatar
    PressF4Respect
    --> @fauxlaw
    1. Isn't DDO irrelevant to DART?
    No, it isn't. DDO is the direct predecessor of DART, and many people on DART have been debating on DDO for years before they came to DART. As the original debate site, it has had a pretty significant impact on a substantial number of debaters. There are many connections between DDO and this site, some of which continue to this day. 

    2. If the instigator is that unsure of his position, perhaps he/she is not equipped to debate at all, regardless of sequence. And why would the Contender not have the same concern in leading an argument due to a waived round? Perhaps they're not well-equipped, either.
    Sometimes, yes, instigators are unwilling/unable to fulfill their BOP first. But in some cases, it is simply impractical to fulfill BOP as instigator without contender going first. I'll have to search for some examples, but there can be (and most likely are) debates where this is the case.

    Debate is a risk. Let's call it that, and stop this nonsense.
    I agree, there is a certain element of risk when it comes to debate (I should know, I've had to forfeit debates in the past due to unexpected events crowding up my schedule). However, that is what some people do, whether or not the reasons for it are legitimate. Here I'm simply saying it as it is, not as it ought to be.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Debates: 9
    Forum posts: 4,170
    3
    4
    10
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Discipulus_Didicit
    --> @fauxlaw
    I've asked, but no one has ever given me an adequate reason why such a format is desirable.

    The claim that nobody has ever answered this question for you in the past is a false one. When you asked me this question about two months ago it was explained quite clearly that the purpose of doing this is often to make it so that the contender lays out arguments first.

    An exact copy-paste quote of my answer to you at that time follows:

    The net effect of rule one does not remove any rounds from either side, it merely reduces the total rounds by one and allows you to go first (since you are the one introducing the definition). This is because I am not able to set who goes first when creating the debate.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    And I say an instigator who does not want to argue first is unsure of their confidence in their own argument. Therefore, I reject that explanation.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Debates: 9
    Forum posts: 4,170
    3
    4
    10
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Discipulus_Didicit
    --> @fauxlaw
    If I say "the reason I do X is because Y" you could say:

    1) Actually you have no reason for doing X.

    or you could say...

    2) I disagree that Y is a logical reason to do X.

    In the OP you are saying the first but in post 8 you are saying the second. Which is it then?
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Why are you beating a dead horse? I quoted the policy to in my #1: the number of arguments [for each participant[] must equal the number of rounds. That negates any other argument for waiving, which is why I claim that no argument made for waiving, on this site, makes sense, Xs and Ys not withstanding, and regardless of DDO, or any other bloody site. That's the policy of this site. Fair enough?
  • Ragnar
    Ragnar avatar
    Debates: 36
    Forum posts: 1,855
    5
    8
    10
    Ragnar avatar
    Ragnar
    --> @fauxlaw
    And I say an instigator who does not want to argue first is unsure of their confidence in their own argument. Therefore, I reject that explanation.
    That precise reason (shortage of confidence), seems a fair estimate.

    Another one of these sites, had an option for the first debater to post arguments to get a half round at the end (I think with related rules for minimize abuse). 
  • Discipulus_Didicit
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Debates: 9
    Forum posts: 4,170
    3
    4
    10
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Discipulus_Didicit
    --> @Ragnar
    That precise reason (shortage of confidence), seems a fair estimate.

    "There exists a natural cure for every possible disease"

    "Public prayer is currently illegal in the United States"

    "UFOs exist"

    These are a few examples of debates I have seen. Do you think it is equally fair for either pro or con to go first in all these cases?
  • Ragnar
    Ragnar avatar
    Debates: 36
    Forum posts: 1,855
    5
    8
    10
    Ragnar avatar
    Ragnar
    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    Good point. The estimated reason I pointed to, certainly does not apply to all (or even most) cases.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Ragnar
    However, everyone, including you, are talking around, but not to the stated policy prohibiting fewer arguments than rounds. So, what of the policy? Is it to be enforced, or not?
  • VonKlempter
    VonKlempter avatar
    Debates: 5
    Forum posts: 59
    0
    1
    10
    VonKlempter avatar
    VonKlempter
    --> @fauxlaw
    For simpler reasons, I've seen debaters waiving to allow the Contender to present arguments first. To explain, you may find many debates (Or at least a few) where the Instigator is debating for the Con position. However, it is a widely accepted fact that the Pro position should present their arguments first, and so the Instigator waives the first round, as per the status quo.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @VonKlempter
    Again, the occasional protocol of instigator waiving first round, whether they are pro or con, means that there are fewer arguments than stated rounds, which is determined by instigator, and that is against policy. Why doesn't anybody see that but me? Either change the policy, or enforce it, but it makes no sense to ignore it for whatever contrived reason.
  • Ragnar
    Ragnar avatar
    Debates: 36
    Forum posts: 1,855
    5
    8
    10
    Ragnar avatar
    Ragnar
    --> @fauxlaw
    that is against policy. Why doesn't anybody see that but me? Either change the policy, or enforce it, but it makes no sense to ignore it for whatever contrived reason.
    The policy you found, is just an explanation within one of the help files (said file has the statement near the top "** Outdated **"). https://info.debateart.com/help/debates
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    Meaning the entire debates section is "Outdated." So we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Why is it even listed if it is all outdated? And why doesn't it get updated? come on, we got top go by somethiing.
  • PressF4Respect
    PressF4Respect avatar
    Debates: 10
    Forum posts: 3,159
    3
    8
    11
    PressF4Respect avatar
    PressF4Respect
    --> @fauxlaw
    And why doesn't it get updated?
    It is being updated. There's a MEEP going on right now to ratify the new CoC here.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @PressF4Respect
    It is being updated.
    AS there is nothing in the MEEP expressly discussing what "changes" to what policies are to be "updated," you're spitting in the wind. It will likely remain the same relative to rounds and arguments numbersa, and, as before, will; not be enforced. So, what change?
  • Discipulus_Didicit
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Debates: 9
    Forum posts: 4,170
    3
    4
    10
    Discipulus_Didicit avatar
    Discipulus_Didicit
    --> @fauxlaw
    there is nothing in the MEEP expressly discussing what "changes" to what policies are to be "updated,"
    The MEEP thread OP has a link to exactly what the proposed new CoC would look like. It literally could not possibly go into more detail than that.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Discipulus_Didicit @PressF4Respect
    Both of you are assuming my issue is contained within the CofC. It isn't. The policy [yes, it says it's outdated, but I see no evidence of it being updated] I'm speaking to is under <help><debates> which stipulates that the number of arguments shall equal the number of rounds, which means that waiving rounds is not allowed. Can I be any clearer?
  • PressF4Respect
    PressF4Respect avatar
    Debates: 10
    Forum posts: 3,159
    3
    8
    11
    PressF4Respect avatar
    PressF4Respect
    --> @fauxlaw
    The argumentation is the stage when participants take turns publishing their arguments, the number of which is equal to the number of the rounds in the debate.
    Do you mean this? 

    Even if it wasn't outdated, this still wouldn't stipulate waiving arguments to be illegal. The rule doesn't mandate every round containing an argument. All it states is that the argumentation period is equal to the number of rounds in the debate, hence why it is under the "Argumentation" heading of the "Debates" section in the "Help" menu (where new DART members went to learn how the debates are structured).

    I think it's a simple error of misinterpretation.

  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,868
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @PressF4Respect
    Read it again. "The argumentation is the  stage..." [that's the entire scope of the debate, after its creation and challenge phases, beginning with round one, and ending with round n, as designated by the initiator.  The debate continues through the argumentation phase] "when participants take turns publishing their arguments..." ["arguments" being arguments/rebuttals/defense] "...the number of which..." ["which," referring to arguments, not argumentation] "is equal to the number of rounds in the debate." # Arguments = # rounds. Period. There is a distinction between argumentation [a phase of the debate including all rounds, combined] and arguments [presented in each round] That's what the policy says. It if means what you said, it should say as you've described, but it doesn't as currently worded.
  • PressF4Respect
    PressF4Respect avatar
    Debates: 10
    Forum posts: 3,159
    3
    8
    11
    PressF4Respect avatar
    PressF4Respect
    --> @fauxlaw
    "...the number of which..." ["which," referring to arguments, not argumentation] "
    "The number of which" refers to turns in the argumentation period, not the arguments themselves. 

    My point still stands.