EDEB8 - Ultimate Online Debating
About Us   Debate    Judge   Forum

Ignoring the Affirmative's Arguments

< Return to subforum
By Blackflag | Nov 2 2014 6:42 PM
Okay, I decided to make this forum, because a judge on this site has really been annoying me with his rule that you must answer the affirmatives arguments. IMHO, you don't need to refute every argument the affirmative makes, if and only if, you make new arguments the affirmative needs to prove.

On one debate, I lost on account of a judge pointing out that I ignored most of the affirmative's arguments. I didn't think this mattered, because I made about 10 arguments to supplement my own case. Arguments the affirmative has to refute, whereas there is no expectation from the opposition to actually win every point the affirmative makes.
For example, if I drop three arguments from the affirmative, and make 5 arguments of my own, the responsibility to refute still resides on the affirmative.

Dropping points does make the affirmative's case stronger, and if you're the affirmative, it will make your case less convincing, but that is a personal choice up to the debater. I agree with Lars that you should judge by who's more convincing, but seldom is the time when someone who doesn't fill the BOP wins the debated. Meaning it is a strategic choice to spend more time arguing on your own points, or arguing on the oppositions.

I've always agreed with the arguments made R1, because that's usually when they are the strongest. I concede the ones I think I wont win, and refute the ones I have a chance of winning. Conceding the arguments means that the government is closer to fullfilling the BOP on an on balance debate, but that doesn't stop the subsequent arguments from offsetting that impact.

Additionally, I think all debates should be treated as "on balance" unless otherwise specified, because people are to caught up on the "solid line of BOP".
By Blackflag | Nov 2 2014 6:46 PM
Lastly, I am very annoyed that two debaters recently claimed the BOP can shift. The BOP never shifts in any debate. It always resides on the affirmative to prove they are correct in the resolution.

If I make new arguments for why I'm in opposition to a resolution, I'm not putting the BOP on myself. I'm actually putting a larger burden on the affirmative.
By whiteflame | Nov 2 2014 7:24 PM
I can read your points by not logging in, but if you want me to defend my view, I'd appreciate if you could finally remove the block you've placed on my account so that I can actually see what you're saying here. It's annoying to have to log off just to see what you've had to say, copy and paste everything into a word document, and then log in and respond to it. I'd rather not do that continuously.

That is, of course, if you want to see my response. It seems you view my views on this issue as biased, so maybe you don't, but I would like the opportunity to defend what I've said.
By nzlockie | Nov 2 2014 8:21 PM
There's been a lot of talk around lately on exactly what wins a debate. Given my lack of experience in formal debate I've been interested to follow this conversation but reluctant to voice an opinion.

That being said...

On balance I agree with Admin when he says the winner is the one who makes the most convincing case. For 90% of the judges, that's going to mean the winner will be the one who best satisfied their burden in the debate - so the majority of the time Doc is correct when he says that BOP needs to be met in order to win.
However if a debater is able to shift the resolution slightly left and convincingly argue THAT, and the judges don't pick up on it - then more power to them.

Unlike an argument, a Debate should be less about who is right and more about who is more convincing.

In a perfect world, the winning side would be more convincing BECAUSE they were right, but that doesn't have to be the case.

All of this, in my view, actually supports Csareo's case in this thread. You don't HAVE to negate the Affirmative's views to win. Simply trying to outgun your opponent by presenting more arguments than them is a valid method and may win. In some cases it may even be the best form of attack.
My recent debate on the battle of Stalingrad was a good example. Rather than negate or contest the importance of the outcomes of the battle that my opponent produced, I decided to attempt to outgun him by simply finding a battle with MORE important outcomes.
Given the level of conjecture around retrospectively assigning importance to an individual battle over the course of an entire war, I decided this was the safer way to go. And I stand by that decision.

That being said, Csareo, you need to accept that this is not some formula. Most judges, rightly or wrongly, will not feel convinced unless you can address the opponent's arguments on most resolutions. Knowing this, your best strategy to win will usually involve negating, contesting or minimising their points.

One time I really feel your pain is when the opponent makes a lot of arguments and you lack the character space to address them all. But even then, when you almost certainly HAVE to drop points, you can do so in a way that gives the judges the impression that your opponent is grasping at straws and shooting off any and every case they can think of. Claim that they're trying to dodge the REAL issue by throwing up all this minor ones... language like that will give you a chance of convincing SOME judges.

All of this is probably why I'm reluctant to adopt any set formula for judging a debate.

By nzlockie | Nov 2 2014 8:25 PM
This reminds me of Poker, when you get those players that say, "If everybody played the way they were SUPPOSED to play, I'd win every time!"
By Blackflag | Nov 2 2014 8:42 PM
@Whiteflame, there is a block in place, so you should be ignoring my posts, and not finding ways to bypass the block.
@NZlockie - Absolutely agreed. Like I said, most of the time the more convincing person ends up being right, but not all the time. Proper debate organizations score speech and a burden of proof isn't even present on scorecards.
By Blackflag | Nov 2 2014 8:43 PM
I do think there should be set formulas, just several of them that you can choose from.
By whiteflame | Nov 2 2014 8:58 PM
I'm not attempting to bypass the ban, I'm very clearly asking you to lift it so that we can have a frank discussion. I removed the vote that so offended you as a show of good faith. You've made it quite clear that your only goal at this point is to ignore me completely while deriding my views. Csareo, this post is at least partially directed at my own comments on the matter. You apparently are fine attacking my views, but only if I can't respond.
Thumbs up from:
By Blackflag | Nov 2 2014 9:01 PM
I didn't mention your name, and even if I did, you would be one of 4 people being referenced in this post.
Please respect the block mate. If I specifically complain about something you did, then bring the matter up.

Whiteflame has been blocked
By admin | Nov 3 2014 12:30 AM
Blackflag: Look, you should be ignoring him if he's a problem. A block works both ways.
I'm the main developer for the site. If you have any problems, ideas, questions or concerns please send me a message.
Let's revive the forums!