Humans Are Livestock

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Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:59 pm

Claim: Most humans are livestock, and those that are not livestock are either farmers or plantation owners
Arguing in favor: HaHaHa
Opposing: Carleas

Format: 7 posts total, three from Hahaha and four from Carleas, as follows:
Post #1: Carleas (100-150 words)
Post #2: Hahaha (200-300 words)
Post #3: Carleas (200-300 words)
Post #4: Hahaha (200-300 words)
Post #5: Carleas (200-300 words)
Post #6: Hahaha (200-300 words)
Post #7: Carleas (100-150 words)

Participants will have 3 days for their posts measured from whenever their opponent last posted, except the 1st and 7th posts for which Carleas will have 1 day.

No images are to be used in the debate.

Honorable and Impartial Judge: WW_III_ANGRY
Honorably and impartially sitting on the sidelines and making rude comments as he sees fit: gib

Carleas has 1 day to post the intro.

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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:00 pm

Thank you to my interlocutor, our esteemed judge, and thedesignated heckler.

In the literal sense, the claim that 'humans are livestock' is trivially false: clearly, we aren’t literally livestock. On the other extreme, it is also trivially true that we share similarities: we are animals, we are arguably ‘domesticated’, and we are useful. But neither of these trivial definitions is worth debating. Instead, we must focus on salient characteristics, traits central to humanity and livestock-ness, to see if on these traits we can be said to be identical.

In this debate, I will argue that agency, self-determination, is that salient trait. Livestock are livestock because their lives are determined for them from before birth, and humans are distinct from livestock because we self-determine, because we are agents in our own lives. On this most salient characteristic, we a definitely and non-trivially not livestock.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Mictlantecuhtli » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:05 am

As a small level of courtesy I just want to give a shout out to everybody here observing and thank Carleas for an opportunity of some friendly debate. Now that we have those formalities out of the way I'll proceed to the debate itself.


It is my esteemed hope that my opponent Carleas understands what metaphors are because when I state human beings are cattle or livestock metaphorically what I am really describing is the existence of captivity many live under concerning the artifice of the human hierarchy in civilization.

Moreover I've also stated that beyond cattle and livestock there are farmers or plantation owners. Those are metaphors for those that rule civilization or assist the rulers in the captivity of other people.

Domestication for me is another word in describing this captivity which is separate from our more wild or feral existence of our ancient past. What my opponent means by the word useful is beyond me because one wonders, useful for exactly whom?

It would appear that my opponent is arguing from a stance of free-will yet one has to wonder how much free-will individuals really possess in an environment of total control. To that I would say very little or none in assurance.


Indeed, in such an environment of total control people's lives really are decided for them from before birth.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:29 pm

Be careful that captivity doesn't prove too much. Stones are captive in a gravity well, a clock's gears captives of the passage of time. To make the metaphor meaningful, it needs to say more than that humans are captive to other humans, but that they are captives in the special way that livestock are captives: that they are means to someone else's ends, i.e. they lack agency, and their subjective values aren't valuable.

But here too, be careful. If I can grow food but need tools, and you can make tools but need food, we can both treat each other as means to our individual ends without each making livestock of the other. We are all farmers as much as livestock -- that is very different from the situation of cows.

Like livestock, we must eat, but unlike them we can choose where we get our feed. Like livestock, we may earn feed by providing some labor of value to another, but unlike livestock we can choose what labor we will provide for what compensation, and we can choose to starve if that's what we'd prefer. Unlike livestock, humans have the agency to decide whether or not to participate.

Humans are a social species, we live and work in groups. The bald fact that our lives depend on other humans cannot establish that we are all livestock. Other humans are useful to us, as we are useful to them. We are the farmers and plantation owners in equal part; when we are treated as livestock, we have a say in the terms on which we work. We aren't livestock because, though we be treated as a means, we remains ends; when we decide to act as a means, it is towards our own ends.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Mictlantecuhtli » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:53 pm

Carleas wrote:Be careful that captivity doesn't prove too much. Stones are captive in a gravity well, a clock's gears captives of the passage of time. To make the metaphor meaningful, it needs to say more than that humans are captive to other humans, but that they are captives in the special way that livestock are captives: that they are means to someone else's ends, i.e. they lack agency, and their subjective values aren't valuable.

But here too, be careful. If I can grow food but need tools, and you can make tools but need food, we can both treat each other as means to our individual ends without each making livestock of the other. We are all farmers as much as livestock -- that is very different from the situation of cows.

Like livestock, we must eat, but unlike them we can choose where we get our feed. Like livestock, we may earn feed by providing some labor of value to another, but unlike livestock we can choose what labor we will provide for what compensation, and we can choose to starve if that's what we'd prefer. Unlike livestock, humans have the agency to decide whether or not to participate.

Humans are a social species, we live and work in groups. The bald fact that our lives depend on other humans cannot establish that we are all livestock. Other humans are useful to us, as we are useful to them. We are the farmers and plantation owners in equal part; when we are treated as livestock, we have a say in the terms on which we work. We aren't livestock because, though we be treated as a means, we remains ends; when we decide to act as a means, it is towards our own ends.


We're not talking about captivity of stones or anything else in this debate. We're talking about the social and existential captivity of people in human societies by those that control them as owners. I believe I've already gone over that in my articulation of how I am using these metaphors.


I would argue that those who are held captive are a means to the owners ends, lack agency, and that their subjective values in living isn't valued at all. I've already thought this was apparent in the kind of language I'm using here.

Tools can be disposable much as these dispossessed individuals in captivity I describe as cattle are to chattel.

We choose where we get our feed? Prove it.

We choose our own labors? Prove it.

Individuals choose their own starvation? A funny thought, can you articulate on that more?

Human beings can choose not to participate? An interesting thought. Provide evidence for that claim.

Yes, human beings are a social cooperative species where the stronger groups work together to devour and enslave the weaker ones. I've never claimed all human beings are livestock, just a majority of human beings as there are the owners of livestock along with their assistants. On a farm you have its owner, its field hands or assistants, and the livestock itself speaking in metaphors once again.

I like this term useful you're using. Can you be more specific in your usage of the word?

People have a say in terms of work? :lol: Please explain this.

Ah, but if we all worked for our own ends purely simultaneously at the same time there would be chaos.

Social Order revolves around ranks of power and with power there are winners along with losers, is there not?
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:16 am

Of course there are ranks, but ranks and power aren't enough to prove your point. The fact that some people are strong does not make the weaker people powerless. You're arguing on behalf of a difference in kind: the farmers, who run the show, and the livestock, who go through the motions. But a hierarchy doesn't get you there. A gradation is not a difference in kind.

And we know this most acutely because, somewhere in the world right now, people are actually treated as livestock, i.e. they are chattel slaves, owned, denied any right or agency. And there is a world of difference between that life and the lives of even the most disenfranchised members of modern society in developed world. We know that most people are not livestock because we have an example of people-as-livestock against which to contrast.

People who aren't in chattel slavery, though poor, have choices. Their choices are limited, granted, but the choices of chattel slaves are limited in a different way. The non-slave poor can't choose to live anywhere, but they can choose to live somewhere else; they can't choose to do anything, but they can choose to do something else. Chattel slaves do not have that choice; true human livestock does not have that choice. We know, because there are people who are in fact human livestock, and their lives are devoid of choice.

People in a hierarchical society have more choice or less choice, but more-or-less is a question of a very different kind from the question of something or nothing. Actual human livestock has no choice. That is not, thankfully, the situation of most people.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Mictlantecuhtli » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:59 pm

Carleas wrote:Of course there are ranks, but ranks and power aren't enough to prove your point. The fact that some people are strong does not make the weaker people powerless. You're arguing on behalf of a difference in kind: the farmers, who run the show, and the livestock, who go through the motions. But a hierarchy doesn't get you there. A gradation is not a difference in kind.

And we know this most acutely because, somewhere in the world right now, people are actually treated as livestock, i.e. they are chattel slaves, owned, denied any right or agency. And there is a world of difference between that life and the lives of even the most disenfranchised members of modern society in developed world. We know that most people are not livestock because we have an example of people-as-livestock against which to contrast.

People who aren't in chattel slavery, though poor, have choices. Their choices are limited, granted, but the choices of chattel slaves are limited in a different way. The non-slave poor can't choose to live anywhere, but they can choose to live somewhere else; they can't choose to do anything, but they can choose to do something else. Chattel slaves do not have that choice; true human livestock does not have that choice. We know, because there are people who are in fact human livestock, and their lives are devoid of choice.

People in a hierarchical society have more choice or less choice, but more-or-less is a question of a very different kind from the question of something or nothing. Actual human livestock has no choice. That is not, thankfully, the situation of most people.



Of course there are ranks, but ranks and power aren't enough to prove your point.


Is that so? Why is that?

The fact that some people are strong does not make the weaker people powerless.


It doesn't? Explain.

You're arguing on behalf of a difference in kind: the farmers, who run the show, and the livestock, who go through the motions. But a hierarchy doesn't get you there. A gradation is not a difference in kind.


Doesn't get one where? Not a difference of a kind? Explain.

And we know this most acutely because, somewhere in the world right now, people are actually treated as livestock, i.e. they are chattel slaves, owned, denied any right or agency. And there is a world of difference between that life and the lives of even the most disenfranchised members of modern society in developed world. We know that most people are not livestock because we have an example of people-as-livestock against which to contrast.


Yes, this is touted out by all the western progressives and conservatives alike politically. In all actuality it is very similar where the only difference is that western civilization is better at keeping its people in captivity out of the public spotlight to give off the impression that no such captivity even exists.

The west with its propaganda techniques has mastered masking things so very well as to make everyday things that exist not exist with the control of public opinion or perception.

Overseas they let their people in captivity starve to death. In western civilization they're still slaves living in captivity but are well fed in order to give the illusion that they're indeed cared for in the name of the facade that is egalitarianism. Still, starved livestock versus well fed livestock are still livestock all the same at the end of the day, right?

There are differences in forms of captivity all across the planet to be sure where the west likes hiding these facets of society to give off the illusion that its own societies are somehow more progressive. At the end of the day however concerning the entire planet there are the owners and the owned where autonomy is given to those that can afford it where for everybody else there is captivity under the power structure of human hierarchy.


People who aren't in chattel slavery, though poor, have choices. Their choices are limited, granted, but the choices of chattel slaves are limited in a different way.


What choices are those? Once again, in the west compared to the rest of the world there is only the illusion of choice where other nations by comparison don't feel the need in having even that.

The non-slave poor can't choose to live anywhere, but they can choose to live somewhere else; they can't choose to do anything, but they can choose to do something else.


Yes, the ghetto, government projects, trailer park slums, or homeless on the streets. About those choices....

We know, because there are people who are in fact human livestock, and their lives are devoid of choice.


I would argue that in the west once you deconstruct those illusions of choice you find an entire landscape devoid of choices.

People in a hierarchical society have more choice or less choice, but more-or-less is a question of a very different kind from the question of something or nothing. Actual human livestock has no choice. That is not, thankfully, the situation of most people.


The people in power and charge of western civilization a long time ago figured out that in order to have an effective human hierarchy it became necessary to give its slaves the illusion of choice. Not only does enslaving them become easier but also they'll practically line up selling themselves into slavery when they are led to believe that they are free.

Once could argue this illusion of freedom, opportunity, choice, and independence in the west is a kind of slavery mastered to such excellence that it is unrivaled anywhere else across the planet.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:00 am

That standard is too high. People in the west have real choice. Median income is higher than median cost of living. People work for about half of their waking hours. Unemployment is low, and there are millions of unfilled jobs. The internet makes access to information and training cheap and ubiquitous. This adds up to real choice

Your position suffers for being impervious to facts. People literally in bondage are livestock, but also people free to choose how to spend their time and money are livestock just the same. The way you present it, no matter how free a person is, unless they are sitting at the table with the Freemasons or some other shadowy cabal, they're livestock; unless they control everything, they control nothing.

An argument that purports to prove too much proves nothing at all. You are indeed talking about the captivity of rocks in a gravity well.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:01 am

The debate is over, on to judging. Judges, post your thoughts below.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:43 pm

First let me say that I imagined this debate discussion was very difficult. What we have is an obvious metaphor that humans are livestock. What's odd in this debate is that the claim seems to be definitive, in that it is deductively argued that humans are metaphorically livestock. So to me this is a weird subject to take on as a formal debate as such. I thought this would be very difficult to judge and I imagined this coming down to subjective perception and could possibly come down to a subjective valuation of livestock and humans or who made the best case for why it isn't a metaphor or why it is.

Now, with that being said, Carleas kicked things off with a rather weak opening by essentially debating against their own position somewhat by stating " it is also trivially true that we share similarities: we are animals, we are arguably domesticated and we are useful." A part of what I would consider livestock is domestication yet Carleas claims that these trivial definitions are not worth debating and attempts to open by pushing the debate towards a different standard of justification why humans are or are not livestock - in that "we must focus on salient characteristics, traits central to humanity and livestock-ness", to see if these traits can be said to be identical.

Now I'm not sure what part of a metaphor requires "identicality", if you will. Or is similarity all the concern in a metaphor? Similarity being much more lenient to compare something as identical. I will leave that matter to the debators. Carleas strengthens his initial argument by stating he will argue that agency and self determination is that salient trait, that livestock are livestock because their lives are determined for them before birth and that humans self determine, because we are agents in our own lives, thus separating how humans are not similar to what he considers to be the key aspect of what makes humans to be seen as livestock metaphorically, Carleas presents reasonable criteria and attempts to lay the framework of what this debate should consist of. It is up to Hahaha to engage this framework, or provide the actual framework that may differ from Carleas. Hahaha, in this debate, does indeed engage this framework primarily, although not entirely I would say, in this debate.

Hahaha responds with his reason for why the metaphor is "true" - in that humans and livestock are both in captivity, humans under the "artifice of human hierarchy in civilization". One might see this as another metaphor in itself - that being captivity and the artifice of human heirarchy. "Human heirarchy" being key here - in so much as to me creates a schism from livestock living under their own "livestock hierarchy", which obviously isn't the case as livestock seem to live under human hierarchy as well. Carleas as I see it throughout the entirety of this debate, does not sieze upon what I see as an opportunity for him directly, but rather indirectly, which upon my judgment, is a more difficult path for Carleas. Nonetheless I judge Hahaha's metaphor within a metaphor and "human heirarchy" being a key matter as an exposed weakness. It is up to Carleas to capitalize on this exposed weakness, in my eyes. Hahaha also brings into the foray "domestication", which was defined as essentially part of how humans are captive, under the artifice of human hierarchy. Domestication as defined by Webster is : "the process of adapting wild plants and animals for human use". Which means, humans are domesticated by themselves, essentially. For other humans to use. Hahaha needs to expand on who these other humans are, or do we all benefit from using each other? In so much as livestock do? Or is livestock strictly domestication from "human hierarchy"? Hahaha essentially repeats his argument of being under the artifice of human hierarchy with domestication. Essentially it becomes one argument and is attempting to use a word that identifies more with humans being live stock - "domestication" - instead of being under the artifice of human hierarchy. The question here is, how? Hahaha does not answer how in his second retort and leaves it to Carleas.

The initial round is given to Hahaha on the grounds that Carleas essentially argued against himself - but does set up the framework nonetheless based on that argument being "trivial". Hahaha thinks the artifiace of human hierarchy, or "domestication" if you will, (a case not made very strongly) is the crux of the matter, which is similar but not precise, as to how Carleas thinks agency is the M.O. of how humans ought to be compared as livestock, which he then must debunk. Hahaha subtly sidesteps this, either accidentally or intentionally, in that living under the hierarchy of human "captivity" is not necessarily a matter of "agency" as Hahaha did not make that connection clear. It is up to Carleas to make that connection or make it clear that there is no connection between agency and hierarchy. Otherwise we get into a debate about what is more important to the state of this metaphor, agency or being "captive in human hierarchy". Does that mean humans lose agency? Does that mean we have agency but still live under human hierarchy? To what extent do we have agency and how comparable/contrast-able is it to the agency of livestock? Hahaaha does state that he recognizes Carleas arguing against position that livestock have less free will than humans, and Hahaha makes the allusive claim that humans are in an "environment of total control". But does not back that up with reason.

I am going to post this here as this debate is going to take some time to parse in its entirety, I will follow up with another post on the final results hopefully today. *Please note an edit to my initial post*
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby WW_III_ANGRY » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:51 pm

Continuing on to round 2,

Carleas continues to reinforce what he views as what should be the focus of the metaphor. That it needs to say more than just humans are captive to other humans, providing a warning to Hahahha to be wary of taking such a route. Carleas concedes that humans can make other "means" to ends, but without making "livestock" of them, or rather each other. In such, Carleas does now take on Hahaha's "artifice of human heirachy" by stating we humans can benefit from each other, however livestock cannot. In so much as making the analogy we are all farmers as much as livestock, and notes it is a very different situation of livestock. A compelling argument from my view - it is up to Hahaha to counter this or he will lose a point for his case.

Carleas continues like livestock, we must eat, but we can choose where we get our feed unlike livestock. Another distinction that coincides with Careleas initial argument of "agency". Unlike livestock humans have the agency to decide whether or not to participate. As judge, I would say that is true, but livestock simply do not have the physical capability to effectively commit suicide. I would consider this point to be trivial and a non issue for the sake of Carleas stance. Nonetheless it does not take away from his greater argument, it just doesn't add to it. Human's are very much more capable than livestock we know this, I would not suspect our capabilities to be the reason for the metaphor, and as such would be a reason to counter the metaphor. It was not a reason that Hahaha provided as well. Carleas then makes the point that we depend on each other, which is why we cannot establish that we are all livestock (please note ALL of us being incorporated here. This was never made clear earlier, as such it should be seen that we are in a debate that all humans are livestock, not just some, as that distinction was not yet made). Carleas' rebuttal here is fairly on point.

Hahaha opens his second reply by stating we are not talking about captivity of stones - and I would agree we are not. Hahaha seems to effectively counter Carleas' submission that because humans are more capable naturally, that they have more agency. I would agree here that this shouldn't be a factor for the metaphor - but agency of what each are capable of naturally is, and if that natural agency is taken away by artificial means. Hahaha does go ahead and counter Carleas point by asking for proof that we choose to get our own feed or that we choose our own labors, or that we can choose not to participate. This is a reasonable quest - as Carleas did not back that up with reason previously. Hahaha uses his reponse here to make Carleas prove his previous claims. Not necessarily the best way to rebut in my judgment, however it isn't the worst. Hahaha seems to want to keep the burden of proof on Carleas, not necessarily a bad choice considering Carleas opened up on the debate in an abnormal fashion. Typically Hahaha would be the one to provide the initial argument in for a positive claim that Humans are livestock. As such, it seems Hahaha wants to capitalize on this anomaly of a debate. Hahaha however ends with 2 new claims, that if we all work for our own ends there would be chaos, and that social order revolves around the rank of power then there are winners and losers, asking Carleas "is there not?". I'm not sure the point of either statements, we will see if this opens up further in the debate.

Round 2 seems to be in favor of Carleas - as Hahaha didn't do much to back his previous assertions and is now focusing on Carleas backing up his previous assertions. Carleas did provide some reason previously, but Hahaha has requested Carleas solidify his assertions and reasons with "proof".

Round 3 Carleas claims ranks (hierarchy) aren't reason enough to prove Hahaha's point by providing reason that because some are strong does not mean weaker people are powerless - alluding to the livestock being powerless I presume. Carleas apples this distinction in the farmer/livestock analogy - an interesting point by stating livestock just go through the motions and hierarchy doesn't "get us there" - which means to be the point of validating the metaphor. Carleas interestingly states that agradation is not a difference in kind - between farmers and livestock. I need more reason from Carleas to consider this an effective point. Carleas backs this up by stating we know that people are treated as livestock in certain ways making a distinction that shows that not all people are livestock, because here are the people that actually are worthy of the metaphor of being livestock... the ones that are disenfranchised. A valid point, however, is this another means of the natural way humans have more choices naturally? Carleas furthers his argument by pointing out Chattel slaves are the ones who have no choice as livestock doesn't. A solid point - one that I think Hahaha would be put in the juncture of arguing just what humans are livestock. I see no reason to shift that argument to some humans are livestock however, so Hahaha must effectively counter this reason provided by Carleas or risks losing the debate.

Hahaha counters this with more questions. It seems hahaha is either learning from Carleas or is still trying to keep the burden of proof on Carleas. In any case, I don't find this to be an effective way of winning the debate at this point has Hahaha has some more important claims and reasons to counter, and Hahaha does so in alluding to propaganda is controlling public perception on the matter of all people being like slaves - as opposed to just the Chattel slaves. Overseas they let their people starve to death Hahaha says, (i'm not sure if "let" has been proven - nor does Hahaha provide evidence here that this occurs.) Hahaha says in the West they are still slaves living in captivity but are well fed in order to give the illusion that they are indeed cared for in the name of egalitarianism. An interesting point but does it effectively counter the Chattel slave analogy? Carleas has already pointed out that people have choice - cattles do not have choice and Chattel slaves do not have choice. Hahaha is arguing with a broader generalization without much reasoning provided, as if we are supposed to understand immediately that we are under propaganda and people "let" people starve. Hahaha does note that those in the ghetto have no choices, I presume - or very little choices - but states it sarcastically. Not good form for a debate such as this - sarcasm should be avoided when providing a counter point - instead clarity and reason should be given. Hahaha makes another claim that people in power have figured out that in order to have an effective human hieracrchy it was necessary to give it slaves the illusion of choice. This statement is fairly bold and needs a lot of backing up. Also - there is no distinction that those in power also are part of this hierarchy and have no choice. Apparently they may have choice just the same or may not, or do they have more choice? If so, how? Nonetheless, this doesn't effectively counter how livestock have no choice. Round 3 decisively goes to Carleas

Round 4 is unfortunately all Carleas. Which means the content and debate winner will be Carleas at this point, if he merely said nothing. However, the format has given Carleas an edge by not only being the first poster, but the last poster. To counter that edge, I would judge Carleas the winner if this format would have ended here. Hahaha did not effectively support his claims as well as Carleas and has left us exposed to the no choice factor in livestock to the some choice factor in humans - but the distinct separation of no choice in Chattel slaves. As such, Carleas seemed to effectively argue that some humans are livestock, not all. Hahaha was arguing much more broader, but not distinctly, that either all humans are livestock, or just the ones not on top of the hierarchy. Hahaha did not make that distinction. Carleas warps up the debate reinforcing his previous reasons that humans have choice - an easy lay up at this point considering his is the final argument.

To wrap up the entire debate - Carleas is the clear winner. I hope that you enjoyed my analysis of the discussion and found it informative of your own debate styles as much as you may have on my style of judging. Thank you all for your participation and allowing me to judge your debate - in the future I think Hahaha could have made a more effective argument had there been more posts allowed and if Hahaha was the final one to post, but I wouldn't necessarily think that could lead him to victory either, in this one.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Mictlantecuhtli » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:33 pm

I think the limitations of this debate is why you would favor Carleas over me. His four posts against my three. Had I been allowed one more post I could of totally blown Carleas out of the water with what I view as ridiculous assertions by him.

This is my first confined internet philosophical debate with somebody one on one where it should be publicly noted for the record.

Next time I debate publicly I will not agree to such egregious limitations and confines of such a debate giving the opposition free reign or favorability. If Carleas is indeed the winner I view it as nothing more than a win by default and certainly not that by wit or reasoning.
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Re: Humans Are Livestock

Postby Carleas » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:53 pm

Thanks to Hahaha for the debate, and WW_III_Angry for judging. I'll save the rest of my comments for the Discussion thread.
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Carleas
Magister Ludi
 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:10 pm
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