Sep 5, 2008

Lincoln-Douglas open forum

Have a question about the current resolution or debating theory and practice? Want to rant or rave about certain facets of LD? Want to share your email address with spambots? Consider this the place.

If you have a specific question about the "morally permissible" resolution, and it's really good, I might dedicate a post to answering it. Now that school's started, I'm a much busier man, but I'll try to make some time to blog about it, even though my team always starts with the next resolution.


Sexy Beast said...

Let's assume that me and Anon. have been having an LD debate over the resolution Resolved: Spreading is a morally permissable practice.

Let's further assume that I am the negative, and this is my last stance, with the affirmative giving his last speech after me.


Now lets begin. For the fairness of this round, lets consider the two arguments that I wasn't able to answer dropped, and my opponent can extend them if he so choses.

Before I begin, I'd like to make a couple observations: First, as to what persuasion is. Persuasion should not be defined as just "pretty words", as my opponent would like you to believe. Persuasion is the perfect balance between Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. It therefore is a skill that you can learn. Statistics, professional manner, and audience relation are all components of persuasion, and its what you see good public speakers doing that makes you want to say "Hey! I may not agree with him, but hes got a point!"

My second observation is that "Warrants" are not just statistics and evidence. It is also common knowledge and reason. Furthermore, my opponent cannot win by saying I've dropped a warrant, when I actually have offered a warrant.

Now, I'm going to refute my opponents arguments, and defend my case.

#1. You're point here is simply absurd. Obviously, reason does in fact tell us that fairness is good, since fairness is one of the values every one wishes to uphold, and without fairness, people lose their inherent worth. Also, we hold philosophers such as Rawls to high esteem based upon their significant worth of their reasoning. So yes, my appeal to a higher authority who defends this argument should definently be extended.

#2. Actually, there really is a link back to my criterion of fairness, because if you extend my argument that spreading results in a loss of communication, then that cannot be Fair.

#3. Now this part is a little crazy. Common knowledge, society, and esteemed philosophers all tell us that justice is in fact a good thing. Thats my warrant. Same goes for why its bad to be a hypocrite. Stop saying that I do not warrant when I clearly do.

#4. Again, common knowledge, The more challanging the tournament, the better it is to succed at it. Plus, I believe that a poster before me made this point as well.

Out of time, I'm sorry. I'd like to refute the rest of your case if you allow me the opportunity, but in closing I'd like to ask everyone to go to the and watch the TOC final video before voting on who wins our debate.

If you'd like to vote for the Aff or Neg, then please say who you vote for and why. I hope I have convinced you to play fair and focus on persuasion over spreading, for the sake of education and fairness.

Joe Blogg said...

I've read both, Anon's and sexy beast's, posts on the subject of spreading/speeding.

Things I would like to note:

Anon is making a mistake when he doesn't recognize common sense and logic as a warrant. Both are very valid sources of proving a claim. I think it is ridiculous when Anon. say that fairness is not necessarily good and just because Rawls talked about fairness doesn't make it a good thing. First of all, fairness intuitively has a positive connotation for a reason and common sense can tell us that being fair to your opponent and the judge is a relatively good thing. Go ahead and prove me wrong "technically" or otherwise, but finding loopholes and weaseling your way out of situations isn't going to get you far in life. Second, as a circuit debater, you probably already know about Rawls and his warrants for fairness as justice, etc. Then you should take that into account before you say that "just b/c Rawls said it doesn't make it good." It is quite absurd to expect sexy beast to explain Rawl's warrants to fairness just to point out that philosophers have DEDICATED THEIR LIVES to the subject which on its own makes out that fairness is a pretty important aspect in debate and life as well. Finally, I'd just like to re-stress that it is completely douchey and pompous to ask people to warrant why justice, morality, fairness, etc. are good things when you perfectly know why most of the reasons behind it.

My personal view on the subject:

I personally dislike spreading/speeding because:

A. Many judges cannot understand you well enough to make an educated inference about your case

B. More importantly, I find it abusive to the many opponents who take a normal, more humane route of talking at a normal pace, because the pen cannot flow as fast as they heard words, mind you words that may be slurred, etc. Also, many people can plain just not understand it, whereas everyone understands words at normal rate of speed.

C. If you can only prove your case by having 10 contentions and talking as if you had been hyped up on tons of caffeine, you don't give the impression of confidence in yourself or your ideas. It seems as if you are trying to hide a flaw in your logical syllogism or a problem of nervousness.

D. Debate should be an activity that helps you be a better public speaker and thus open up your future to more possibilities. Obviously you don't see public speakers and presidential candidates spreading. This is because in real life, you want to be a persuasive, understandable, calm, speaker who can efficiently voice an opinion to the common man. The only options you have with talking that fast are occupations related with telling traffic reports or speeding through legal jargon in advertisements.

E. Spreading puts a burden on debaters who don't spread to learn a useless long term skill whereas it doesn't go the same way around.

F. Spreading doesn't encourage new debaters/novices to learn the true arts for which it was meant: Persuasion (as defined by sexy beast), Logic, and Philosophy (and its applications in real-world topics).

I'd just like to leave this with a helpful and in my opinion more ethical way to practice spreading.. if you must in order to be successful in debate.

1. Make two cases, one which you spread and another which is of a normal length and has a reasonable amount of contentions.

2. Ask for judge preferences on speed/spreading before a round. Change your cases and the speed of your rebuttals accordingly.

3. (Most important in my honest opinion) Ask your opponent if they can handle speed/spread. The goal of debate is not to crush your opponent by making yourself not understandable. It is to crush them using persuasion and logic.

I do realize that there is a potential for some opponents to lie about this so they can have 10 responses on each of your contentions and in return spread their case. However, if you ask deliberately in front of the judge it will make you seem much more humane/kind in their eyes for asking and it will make them seem like complete jackasses. They will also be quickly tagged in the debate round as a liar and unethical debater (in terms of honesty).

Hope you understand where I am coming at as both a judge and debater.

Sexy Beast said...

Well, in my addimitedly biased opinion, those were excellent words, Joe. I'd just like 2 point out that in the TOC final round, the AFF weres a pink hoodie throughout the db8. Now, I was taught that debate was about being profesional and giving the judge a good impression. But what kind of impresion do you make on the judges when you dont even take off your hoodie? The judge isnt gana take you seriously at all! Especially when nearly every member of this activity is wearing suits!

Anonymous said...

I watched that TOC Final video a while back and was appalled by the affirmative. I had to make sure that I wasn't watching Policy before I could believe it. Watch the 2005 TOC Finals and see how much LD debate has changed in terms of speed and style.

Anonymous said...

Well, it would probably be best if you wanted to start the debate over from the beginning in order to have a full blown round, but the 2AR is ready. I'll get to Joe's post later.
I concede the two observations they aren't responsive. The first is that pathos is good, but he drops that you can still use logic in fast rounds, so it doesn't matter. Moreover, the "perfectly balance" is vague and there's no reason why any are more important than logic so speed is consistent with his persuasion claims. The second is also true, but those weren't my arguments. Saying "Rawls said it's good so it is" makes no sense. If Hitler says "donating to charity is good" it doesn't mean the statement is wrong because he was a bad guy. Likewise, just because Rawls was smart doesn't mean justice is good.
Sure, "common knowledge" and reason are warrants, but you have to explain either why it is commonly accepted or why reason would deduce to such principals. Saying "reason tells us it is" is just an assertion. To preempt Joe's response, Nietzsche thought striving for justice was stupid, so the "philosophers devote their lives to the subject" is 1) non-unique because Nietzsche was a philosopher 2) even if I know the warrants behind it it doesn't mean that a) the judge does or b) that I should assume my opponent said it when he obviously didn't.
Moreover, extend why we logically deduce that fairness is bad because we are inherently self-interested. We are self-interested because we are constrained by mere survival. This means that we don't like fairness because we want give ourselves the biggest advantage possible. This straight impact turns the fairness voter.
Specifically, the #1.
No warrant why "everyone wants to uphold fairness" or why a) being unfair harms human worth or b) why human worth is good. I know these points make me look like a douche bag, but I'm arguing for the sake of arguing. Cross-apply the Nietzsche example.
#2 You're dropping two things: 1. there is no reason people can't understand speed and this is empirically denied because people spread and respond to spreading all the time and 2. There is no link between not being able to understand and fairness. (i.e. it's not unfair to speak English even if your opponent can't speak it)
#3 Just asserting that a bunch of people say justice is good doesn't mean it is. Note the argument I made about the NFL not being the best tournament. Being bigger doesn't equal being better because we could be bad, stupid, or ignorant. Thus, just because a lot of people say justice is good doesn't mean it is. Moreover, a lot of philosophers say justice/morality is bad like Nietzsche.
#4 Cross-apply bigger doesn't equal better.
I don't need to go for the dropped points to win. I've got a lot of defense across the flow. Appeals to common knowledge doesn't link to fairness because bigger doesn't always equal better. Moreover, radicals like Nietzsche take out "common knowledge" claims. That's all the defense I need to take out most of the points. The only offense he has left is "prevents communication", but that's taken out because it's empirically denied and there's no link between that and fairness. I'm clearing impact turning fairness because we are self-interested beings because we're constrained by mere survival meaning we want to give ourselves the biggest advantage possible.
Off the record, the arguments I made wouldn't have been made in a real debate. Link turning the education voter is probably the best way to go if you get in a "speed bad" debate.

Sexy Beast said...

Just to clarify, this obviously isn't a real debate, and I would have had a different strategy if we were really debating, and would have offered some voters, but oh well.

If you want to vote for me, don't vote for me because you believe I had debated better, or my opponent because you believe he did.

Please vote for the side who persuaded you the most, the side which you are more likely to follow this season. I hope I have convinced you, for the reasons I offered, to avoid spreading and focus on persuasion.

Tim Paige said...

I definitely vote for Sexy Beast.

His word choice was better chosen for the purpose of this then Anon's who used a lot of jargon. He also intuitively won me over and gave me a better big picture. I have problems with Anon's style of debating on a matter as such as this. Anon used "lack of warrants," and other arguments on the level of technicality where is should really been trying to give a more cohesive, pathos orientated arguments. This is because the purpose of your debating was to try and influence/persuade other debaters to either spread or not spread. Anon especially fails to win me over when he concedes "I'm arguing for the sake of arguing" though it was evident throughout the most of his posts.

RFD: Sexy Beast was more persuasive. I think this "debate" was good to show the difference in the levels of persuasion between a spreader and someone who does not spread.

Anonymous said...

Voting doesn't bother me, but I think we should have a debate about what a judge should vote on. Personally, I didn't follow your "be persuasive" paradigm here, but merely tried to win on the e-flow. I think judge philosophy needs to be discussed before there can be any accurate evaluations of the round. I was obviously just on a rant for fun. To be honest, I could care less if debaters spread or speak slowly. Both sides of the speed argument are fairly easy positions, but the purpose of my rhetoric was not to say "you should spread" it was to point out that the argument "speed is good is viable".
I'd like to move on to "you should wear business like attire to be credible" or the role of the ballot (for the fun of arguing of course).

Anonymous said...

I don't mind SOME speed. When you talk moderately fast, its still understandable, fine to flow, and your opponent is therefore fairly getting more information out supporting his side.

But I DONT call that spreading. I call spreading talking so that no one can flow what they are saying, and the speaker is talking faster than his brain can think. That has ruined so much of the fun I used to have when I debated. Logic and persuasion can only be enjoyed and implemented fairly through normal speaking speeds.

Ok, for my "vote." I vote for SB, obviously at least a little effected by biased opinion, but definitely not entirely.

As I saw it SB had whole true and PERSUASIVE arguments. That's really weird, because you can't spread over the internet... yet anom's arguments didn't persuade me AT ALL. Persuasive arguments, like SB noted, should make people that disagree with you note that the other person has a point. That didn't happen with me. It seemed to me while SBs arguments were well thought out, easy to understand, easy to believe, and very persuasive, Anom's were the complete opposite. Most of the time, Anom's arguments didn't make much sense and it seemed as if he was beating around the bush. His arguments were NOT as direct as SBs on the issue, instead, filled with unoriginal open ended question type of rebuttals that have no real answer, weak arguments that don't really need to be contended, and technicalities that have no place in online debates.


It really does seem that spreading in RL has some effects on your speaking and debating in general.

Matt said...

I vote SB, too. While Anon seemed to be saying some thing like "we can't be entirely sure/ there's no definite reason why SB is correct" (which is a viable arguement) he gave few arguements for why we should accept his point of view. Basically, most of what he was saying was under the lines of "well we can never really know anyways," something which is already assumed by most judges.

Matt said...

I'm wondering--what are the best places to get in depth LD analysis/evidence?

Sexy Beast said...

Debate champs, and Victory Briefs Daily

Sexy Beast said...

And anyways, The point of this debate, as I hope I have conveyed to you all, is that persuasion and conversation beats spreading any day. You are not beating your opponent to submission verbally, you are persuading a judge to see your perspective.

Anonymous said...

couldnt we also use degrees of morrality? either way the resolution turns out there will be morall resentment, but the question should be which way will bring about less personal resentment?

halopwns said...

Could we get back to the issue of the resolution and finding ideas for speeches becuase i have found that no one has responeded for a couple of days on the other post.

Anonymous said...

That's what this section is meant for...

Anonymous said...

i need a value for moral relitivism

Sexy Beast said...

There can't really be a value for a criterion that contends that values are ambiguos and thus should not be evaluated.

I guess pragmatism could work, but the way I see it, is that you'll be screwing yourself over by running moral relativism.

If you must run it, I personally think that if you switch what I said earlier and put M.R. as the value, and Pragmatism as the criterion, then you may have a somewhat viable case.

Ricky said...

Is there any evidance supporting a Neg value:Morality and a Crit of Responsibility? I have run this and have had it torn apart by people who say my connection of "if we act responsibly then we are acting morally" is nonexistant at best. I have a def of responsibility "1:the quality or state of being responsible: as a: moral, legal, or mental accountability."
are there any card the will help me prove my connection?

AliceH said...

i need help filling up a few more minutes (3) of my affirmative case.
on my first debate, a few judges said that i deffinitely need evidence, but i can't see how to apply it, or defend it.
any suggestions? I can post my case if it helps. (value: morality, criterion: social preservation)
my second tournament is too soon for very many revisions, but help would be much appreciated.
and since i'm a novice, i would appreciate simplified help.

Sandra said...

I need rebuttals against the following NEG points:

1. the action of killing an innocent is immoral under any circumstances.

2. the ends cannot be determined, therefore we must look to means. (because the resolution does not guarantee that if the one innocent person is killed, the others will live.)

3. morality is relative

Anonymous said...

to sandra,
your third ques...
i have a value of Justice in my aff case, and all i do is set it up in cross x, "would a serial killer have the same moral standards as a pope?" then they usually say "no" and you have it. if the say that a serial killer is the same as a pope then you continue with "why?".