[eDebate] Purpose of Debate and Topic!
Wed Jun 1 11:13:34 CDT 2005
So I've looked through the previous posts...What specifically makes a resolution "ideologically
biased/driven"? If it's just that saying "contain china is imperialist and we should have to
defend that" then it should be an issue of switch side debate and the fact that "critical" teams
can always reinterpret the resolution or use a multiplicity of "rethinking" oriented options.
It seems people have been pointing to conservative vs. a more liberal literature/advocacy
base...Sure "Contain China" has a lot of advocates at the Heritage Foundation...but as a few have
pointed out, "contain" could refer to anything from send the 7th fleet to apply tech transfer
controls or vote against them in the wto..."Engage China"? Even some at the Heritage Foundation
agree....my point is that, while certain think tanks are more or less ideologically based, it does
not means people will necessarily use those authors or that they will be the primary authors. In
the area of tech transfer advocates (based on a cursory few searches) range from absolute
restrictions to conditioned transfers as restrictions and lifting current restrictions. They
obvious don't all come from the Heritage Foundation, Cato or the National Defense University...
--- debate at ou.edu wrote:
> Before you read my rant - 4 Arguments here
> 1. Ideological biased topics bad
> 2. Plan text in resolution bad
> Impact - Takes the "critical" out of "critical thinking"
> 3. Being able to research whole topic - overrated
So what is the purpose of the topic and what is good education?
>>>It's a starting ground for debate and discussion.
Are we attempting to be a training ground for future policy making?
>>>We should be...but only in part...see next...
What is the purpose of this activity?
>>>to foster critical thinking that benefits debaters now and in the future as policymakers,
social activists, educators, parents, Taco Bell managers, etc...critical thinking benefits PEOPLE
in whatever they do in life.
Is there value in just learning the blueprint of politics?
>>>Yes, but not as an exclusive focus...besides, debate is not now, nor likely to become an
activity that ONLY benefits people in this way...and of course several downsides to this exclusive
> Should the resolutions allow our community to explore alternative mechanisms for addressing
> problems in the policy making community? If the resolution starts out with forcing us into one
> ideological view, the resolution does not serve as a place to explore possible solutions to
> real-world problems. Is this where the education for policy-making occurs? If so, then we need
> to not blueprint the plan text in the resolution.
>>>Not sure exactly what you mean by a plan text blueprint...Take the sanctions topic...although
is was a limited topic, there was ripe critical and policy oriented arguement base...and was
widely popular...maybe that's an example...but I'm shocked OU has seemingly given up on resistance
and would ever feel "forced" into a topic blueprint! But seriously, debaters will always point to
the plan/1AC, etc. as "ideologically biased"---regardless of the topic wording.
> What about negative ground? I do not think that we should construct resolutions for the sole
> purpose of protecting negative ground. I think that you should negate what the aff says, and
> their ideas, not what the resolution states. Yes, limiting the area we discuss is an option,
> but it does not have to occur at the expense of trapping the affirmative so the negative can
> know what they have to say. This is not skeet shooting. It seems like we are caging the
> affirmative to make the hunt fair.
>>>Of course, ground can't be the sole concern, but it is an important concern (with the limits
you discuss above). But "what the aff says, and their ideas" requires adequate preparation...so
there has to be a middle ground of sorts..."trapping" the aff. by the resolutional wording is an
> I have had many arguments on edebate about these issues, and I constantly contend that the
> overlimiting resolutions take the "critical" out of "critical thinking".
>>>"Brightline"? Aren't "limits" something to be debated out? Where do you draw the line?
> Which comes first? Fairness or education? This may be the core of the debate.
>>> Fairness is important to education...but limits foster critical thinking skills that are
equally important...But again, let's not be absolutist.
But I know, of course those who support limiting resolutions think they are being educational
also. Is there a balance?
>>>yes, that's the importance of evaluating notions of "ground."
> As many have proven, a large topic makes your hair stand up in fear that you may not be able to
> research the whole topic. I thought the purpose of the topic was to not be capable of being
completely researched. I laugh at the idea of making the resolution smaller for the sole purpose
of being able to say we conquered it.
>>>The point is not to research the WHOLE topic, in terms of exhausting the literature...the
sanctions topic largely covered the lit base...arguably VERY limiting...R. The USFG should change
it's foreign policy/should contain china...Very UNlimiting...
>>>One last tidbit...consider the issue of tech transfer controls in the upcoming meetings. It
encompasses some popular favorites like prolif, agriculture, energy, lots of wars,etc...the
critical ground has specific links in areas of racism, globalization and all the critical IR
> PS - delaying my trip to KC
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