Some of you may remember The Great Debates thread from years past. Some thought it was fun, and some thought it was just too heavy.
So I thought I'd bring things back, but with a twist! The basic idea is still the same: two users will debate on a topic. The difference is that you won't get to pick the topic or which side you'll be arguing for.
Oh, and I almost forgot - the topics are going to be somewhat ... silly But that doesn't mean your argument has to be silly. In fact, if you can defend your silly point in a serious way, you might just earn yourself a merit! So it's not about winners or losers, it's about whether you can argue for, well, just about anything!
- Once 6 people (at least for now) have signed up for the current three topics, the signup thread will close and the debates will begin
- Assignments will be given on this thread (who will be debating for which topic and what side).
**NOTE** You are signing up to play. Which topic you get and what side you'll be arguing for will be decided randomly. So be prepared!
- You will only have 1 post in which to give your argument, so make it count! Keep in mind that your argument should stand on its own. So don't quote your opponent and just shoot down their arguments. But you should also anticipate potential objections and try to respond to them.
- Merit-earners will present well-reasoned and genuine arguments in favour of their position - even in the face of some pretty silly topics. What that means is that, if users on opposite sides each give great arguments, they would both earn merits!
- A loosely enforced time limit (which has yet to be officially established) will be in place. Once that time limit is reached, the next round will begin.
Good luck! And let the return of The Great Debates begin!
- 225 Replies
Here is my argument:
Are not dogs, cats and other pets considering living, breathing creatures? Is it not considered a crime to intentionally injure a dog/cat? Then why is it that we, as humans, can get away with what is tantamount with murder, to abort infants who have done nothing wrong?
I will agree with those who say that women have a right to choose what to do with their body, but their rights will only go so far. Why do women have the right to kill babies who, in fact, have done nothing wrong?
If, on the other hand, as in the case of Lori Grimes during childbirth. She had to choose between saving herself or saving her baby, chose to save her baby. This, however, is a different situation altogether. In this case, only one of them will make it out alive. If the mother chooses to save herself at the cost of saving her baby, that is okay. But on the other hand, if she chooses to save her baby at the risk of losing her life, that is also permissible.
To conclude, abortion is not permissible except in the case in which, at childbirth, the mother is forced to choose between her life and the baby's life. She may choose to say her life or the baby's life, because of the fact the only one of them might not make it alive.
If it were me, I would choose to save my child's life, since my baby has still a chance to live a life, while I have already lived a life.
Therefore, my stance is:
Not Permissible except in Extreme Cases (e.g. Lori Grimes Situation)
I knew you would put me in one of the deeper topics.
Sorry for the late post!
Ferrets are better animals than ferrets because they are easier to care for, financially, socially and spatially; ferrets are also less dangerous than horses, making owning one safer than owning a horse. Horses also consuming more resources and producing more methane gas would lead to the environment being hurt due to horses, ferrets do not consume the same amount of resources nor do they produce as much waste, making them superior to horses.
Ferrets are easier to care for because owning a ferret costs less than that of owning a horse, because of the space requirements and cost of owning a horse, they are a much larger commitment and as such, need to provide more joy in order to be worth it. By costing more and consuming more resources, it makes horses inferior by comparison. Because of this, ferrets with their easier to care for nature and their playful habits, it makes them more entertaining and better pets over all.
Since neither animal serves a realistic viewpoint anymore; horses being replaced by cars and other machines; it means their only value is that of the intrinsic use of them being pets and their love and affection for us. With horses consuming more resources and producing more waste, it makes them much more difficult to care for and they also do not have the exact same abilities as that of other animals. Because of their size, it makes them naturally harder to maintain and many horse owners will tell you that owning a horse means you make a huge commitment. Whilst with a ferret, you don't have to nearly be as involved and can focus on the positives of owning them.
Now it's time for my argument. This one was a hard one to think about, but I think I finally got a thing worked out.
We do not know we're not being radically decieved.
Let's think for a moment, we know know just about nothing, about everything. Let's face it, it's either religion or science explaining how something got here or how something got there.
Let's compare life to something... like the Sims for example. Basically in the Sims, you are playing God. You control what your character can do, but not fully, as some things may not go as planned. You can make your character a house to live in, the furniture he/she should have, and even his love life. However, while you can control life, you can also control death. You can drown your character, burn your character, feed it to a... cow plant? Seriously? What the heck is... never mind.
Does this sound familiar? Living in a house, choosing your furniture, your love life, how you die. Sure, some of this seems like you, yourself are choosing. But how can you be so sure? We don't know very much about the human brain and how it works. How can you be so sure you're making your own decisions? Perhaps the decisions you're making is someone else's... perhaps someone is playing God with your life. Sims is a perfect example of this, you're controlling someone's life while someone controls your life.
tl;dr You are the Sims.
Is it just me, or do I have this feeling that no one will be against abortion?
I have just seen that I made some terrible grammar mistakes in my argument.
Sorry for that, I hope that I have persuaded you anyway.
- I will provide three possible topics for debate. If you'd like to participate, then you can SIGN-UP HERE in the Art, Music, and Writing forum: click here
uhh you provided the link twice
Looks like the submissions have stopped, so I'll go ahead and end Round 3. Here's my feedback for your arguments. I'm planning on giving out merits/quests this evening, so keep an eye out for that. If you don't receive a quest/merit and feel as though you deserve one, feel free to ask me why on my profile. But if your argument is shorter than my response to it, there's your reason
@HahiHa - You've done precisely what I was hoping for - assess the premises of the argument on offer. I have two worries, however. The first is that there is some clear tension between two claims you've given: (1) an agent cannot a given fact, and (2) the agent is nonetheless free to decide. I get what you're after here, but some argumentation is needed to remove the tension between these two claims.
My second worry is that you talk about knowing what will be the case. But this has no bearing on our free will - at least, in any obvious way. I'm wondering if this is connected to (2) in some way, but I can't see the connection.
@Frank_Frooton - You've done well to express your views on the topic in a clear way. But I'm trouble finding a clear argument in support of these views. You question why a mother shouldn't just give the baby up for adoption. This seems reasonable. But your opponent could just answer 'because abortion is morally permissible' and there's not really a response to this move on offer.
@09philj - I don't think your argument is rubbish at all! It's a pretty neat move and is something well-supported in how we understand subatomic particles. You've also stumbled across a compelling philosophical notion of truth that's something like pragmatism. The thought here is that if a claim's being true or false makes no practical difference, then we can treat it as true. (This isn't really pragmatism, but it has a similar flavour.) There is, however, a step missing. After all, just because P is true doesn't mean we know that P. So making the connection from truth to knowledge would be the next step.
@riku_ullman - These are some really interesting (and really funny!) reasons to think that bananas are more valuable than carrots. You've also done what I was hoping you do by looking at different kinds of value (I can see at least 3 different kinds of value in play). One worry is that the notion of value in play is subjective, rather than objective. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does create a gap between what we think is valuable and what actually is valuable. To support your conclusion a bit more, you could offer some thoughts as to why we should only focus on subjective value.
@nivlac724 - This is pretty quick, but I get the idea. The main worry is that your claim needs more (what we in the philosophy biz like to call) unpacking. This notion of 'naturalness' isn't clear. To strengthen things, you would also need to look at how our preferences are linked to value.
@Laspa - You've done an amazing job here! This is exactly what I'm looking for with this question - an examination of lots of different kinds of value and rigorous argumenation in support of your conclusion. Not only have you used plenty of empirical evidence to support your claim, you've also got very strong theoretical support. Some of the claims you have don't link to value in an obvious way, but there are just so many that your argument is going to go through even without this link. Great job!
@Lowco1 - I didn't know horses were in Minecraft - I'll have to look harder! So you've got a few claims here, but there's not much connection between these claims and 'betterness'. A stronger argument would look at what we mean when we say that X is better than Y. Is better a simpliciter notion, or is it better with respect to something. To see this, consider your first claim. It involves this claim: If X is in Minecraft and Y isn't, then X is better than Y. But this claim is dubious at best. Why should I think this is true?
@DarthTyrannausarus - It's tough to argue against something you belief and is supported by your faith. You've taken a pretty cool angle in taking advantage of a vaguely phrased question. It could be read as "everyone in affluent countries is obligated to give to the distant needy". If this is how we read the question, your objection that there are people who can't afford it works really well. One thing to keep in mind when giving an argument for or against a view is to try and give it a charitable reading. While your argument will work on a less-than-chartiable reading, the main point might still stand. And in this, I think it still does. Still, you've done well to argue for a position you don't agree with.
@apldeap123 - You have a clear and intuitively plausible stance. After all, in a situation in which a life will be lost either way, why not permit the mother to choose herself over that of her fetus? But even though this claim may be plausible, you still need a bit more argumenation to get it through. As it stands, it reads more like your view on abortion rather than an argument for your stance. An explanation of what's going on that doesn't make abortion permissible in most cases would tighten things up.
@ellock - This looks like a pretty argument, nice job! And yes, horses do toot and poop quite a bit. You've made a pretty cool move by cashing out 'better' as 'more valuable'. This seems intuitively correct and a natural way to go. One thing I like to tell my students who are arguing for something is to assume their reader is stupid. So it might make things clearer to your reader if you made it obvious what you mean by 'better', though you're not wrong or anything like that for taking this claim as read. I really like how you defeat any sort of practical value a horse might have in our current society. This potential objection, if not refuted, might have been a problem for you. So really well done!
@R2D21999 - I see what you're saying here, but the way this reads it's coming across as more of a challenge to free will than to reality itself. Suppose we were actually being controlled so that the furniture we buy, the partners we choose, etc. are all actually being chosen by someone (or something) else. Does this imply that those things (my bed, my computer, my dog) aren't really there? To be fair, if we were actually being controlled, this would be a pretty big deception for us. Perhaps even radical! Since you haven't seen The Matrix (you should totally watch it - it's awesome), it's hard to fault you on this front. At the end of the day, you've presented a case for a kind of radical deception that would be impossible to know if it obtains. Not quite what I had in mind, but pretty cool anyway!
Oh dear, I'll still post mine sometime in the weekend though.
@Moegreche Could you just right that again in terms of my argument rather than X and Y please? I just want to be clear on it. ^_^
Could you just right that again in terms of my argument rather than X and Y please? I just want to be clear on it. ^_^
Great question! Just to make things a little bit more clear, this was (at least close to) your conclusion:
We can take as true the claim that we are not being radically deceived.
In other words, we can grant that everything we see is real (or something like that). But this is different from the claim that we can know this is the case. So here's the phrase you're talking about:
After all, just because P is true doesn't mean we know that P.
To see what I mean, let's just assume this this claim, which I'll call (Life), is true:
(Life): There is life on a planet other than Earth.
This claim might be true, or it might be false. But let's just assume it's true. What I'm saying here is that just because something is true, that doesn't mean that we know it. So maybe (Life) is true - we certainly don't know that it is. Of course, this also works if (Life) is false, since we don't know that either. So the point is that you might have shown that there's a sense in which it's true that we're not being deceived. But we need something to get from that claim to the claim in the question - i.e., that we know it.
I hope that makes sense. I'm trying to be precise and thorough, but I'm starting to feel like I'm rambling. If that doesn't make sense, please let me know and I'll try to explain it in a different way.
Here is some more horses are in history, and they helped George Washington and others in wars. Also minecraft is famous. Horses are basically famous.
I have been thinking about the problem for almost two weeks, and I can now freely admit that I've got nothing.
Sorry for taking so long folks. Been offline for a while. Too thosewho are curious, no, I'm not dead.
We *cannot* know that we're not being radically decieved (e.g. that we're in the Matrix).
We cannot know we are in the matrix, specifically, because the invidual itself wills not to be able to see that he or she is. For example, when one is immursed in a specific frame of mind thus shaping their reality it is impossible for them to get out of this reality (even a false one) unless they so choose to. To further example this, one can take religion. A man can say that God is not real and list all things that created the universe in full detail, yet the other party will still choose to accept the other half of what this story of creation details - a conscious being manifested all that exists and enforces this ultimate priniciples to his disciples. Now, in this case I am not going to say that either party is right or wrong or say one is ficticious or not, but this is an exact example of one choosing what is their reality, being a lie or not. One will stand by it until they so choose to change it, whether or not it is truth that drives their will to change.
Now, in a case where it is not the matrix, it is the same principle but has to deal with a more human factor, e.g trust. A man can tell a blind man who has never seen before in his life that the sky is green, and the blind man will believe him simply because of trust. The man (who is not blind and telling a lie) can even come up with a series of scenarios to explain why the sky is green, and use truth in his words to ultimatly lead to a lie, thus making the blind one more immursed in the belief the sky is green. When another says the sky is blue, the blind one will not believe this person. The reason why can vary between trust, avoidance of complication, or simply because of the principle I just stated. Because individuals choose what they accept to be true or false they will never know when they are being decieved.
so now my argument is basically why subjective value is important?
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