[eDebate] ans Saindon

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Tue Jun 12 17:45:14 CDT 2007

Saindon opines:
"whatever your colleagues will let you get away with."
"the topic is whatever your opponents and judges will let you get way with." 
"The judge and the other team let you get away with resuming the literal stability of the words."
"If the last 150 years + of communication research has taught us anything, words and phrases are anything but purely literal or stable."
"But again, as long as you can get away with it..."
This is exactly the wrong pairing of a critical attitude and silence in answer to the whisper "why not?"
In repeated calls for Andy to not sell out his "friends", two motions masquerade as proto-ethics:  1) a reminder that the cause comes first and 2) the implied threat of expulsion for apostasy.  Two ancient enemies of reason loosed in a philosophy of debate...  
Brent, should Andy vote for his "friends" even if they lose a round?  Wouldn't he be selling-out if he voted for the "policy" team, having let those arguments "convince" him?  After all, a little twist here, a slip of the ear there, a reminder to oneself about the futility of fixing meaning and maybe his "friends" did do the better debating, despite the lack of answers, the shitty reasons, the obviously absurd drama...  who is to say, really? "whatever your colleagues will let you get away with." 
Brent, should Andy really have to choose between his "friends" and what he concludes is right?  You don't have an opinion on that matter?  Because you have no opinion about anything except that you hear no answer when you ask the question "why not?"  Its all politics anyway, huh?  Slip Andy a joint or a fiver or a reach-around and he signs the ballot your way.  "But again, as long as you can get away with it..."
Brent, if you can get away with fabricating evidence?  Brent if you can get away with stealing their 1AC when they aren't looking?  Brent, if you can get away with reminding the judge that the other team is gay or presbyterian or black?  Brent...
This is exactly the wrong understanding of "there are no rules in debate":  somewhere along the way someone explained it sideways.  "There are no rules in debate" does not just mean that we are thus free to do anything "your opponents and judges will let you get way with".  "There are no rules in debate" also means the opposite:  we are responsible for our own actions, to choose and fashion our own conduct under cross-pressures, to find our goodness even when it hurts our chances to win.  Any self-respecting atheist could have explained it to Brent:  "there is no God" doesn't void ethics - it forces responsibility for our actions as our own, from the rules on out.
But ... Brent got one thing right... this discussion is largely about how much we should let those who don't seem to have internal constraints against forcing the one-way conversation on others to be able to get away with.
Michael Korcok
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