[eDebate] argument #1

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Mon Jun 25 12:58:46 CDT 2007


there were two arguments flying below the radar in josh hoe's recent posts 
which i thought needed to be addressed more explicitly; this is the first 
one, and i'll save the second for later to cut down on length.

_

argument #1 -- 'you shouldn't win just because your topical'.

this argument has ample rhetorical appeal until you note the obvious fact 
that you can't win by virtue of being topical *unless the negative team runs 
topicality*.

ask yourself a question: why're judges reluctant to pull the trigger on a 
dropped case argument when the 2n.r. goes  for topicality?... widespread 
feeling here appears to error on the side of requiring the negative to 
concentrate entirely on topicality in their final rebuttal. what i'm 
proposing (judges should weigh topicality similar to how they weigh evidence 
challenges) simply takes this often unspoken convention to its logical end: 
before the round, demand that the negative team not accuse their opponents 
of being non-topical unless they intend to win that argument.

here's article 18, section D, subpoint 2 of the c.e.d.a. constitution: "When 
a[n evidence] challenge is made within the time limits of a given round, the 
challenge ought to be initiated by the opposing team and resolved by the 
judge(s). Given the nature of the accusation, it is advised that the round 
should focus solely on the challenge once that challenge has been made. The 
round need not be halted, however, as both sides should be allowed to 
provide full explanations. It is advised that if the challenge is found to 
be true, the judge should award the offending team a loss and zero speaker 
points, and if the challenge is found to be false or unsubstantiated, the 
judge should award the accusing team a loss and zero speaker points."

to automatically vote against a team that brings up an unsubstantiated 
evidenciary challenge isn't a 'reverse voter'... i'm not trying to convince 
debaters to run an in-round position (an r.v.i.), but trying to convince 
*judges* to alter their preferences. and argument #1 is as silly as saying 
'you shouldn't win just because your evidence isn't fabricated'... that's 
true; you win because your opponents argued you violated a rule and failed 
to prove it -- no one but them chose to bring it up.

imagine what might happen if evidence challenges were seen as mere 'tests' 
to be raised or kicked at will. consider what a colossal waste of time would 
result if such arguments were run in every single round, and you'd have some 
idea of how much time is being wasted now on topicality and other procedural 
abuse arguments.

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