[eDebate] Topicality, Child Molestation, and Civil Disobediance

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Wed Jun 13 12:24:30 CDT 2007

Klemz does not like the analogy to child molesters. ok, how abot muderers,
rapists or people that embezzle money or commit fraud. THe analogy is still the
same, communities establish rules of conduct. When people break those rules of
conduct, they are sanctioned.

THere are norms in debate. Example, if a debater halled off and knocked the hell
out of a debater in the round, he would lose the round. There is no "rule"
saying violence is not condoned, but there is a norm of acceptable behavior.

As for contridictions--I think you are wrong. There is no contridiction, only
competing perspectives. From the perspective of a person who is the member of
the CEDA community, at a CEDA sanctioned tournament, the topic and being
topical is a norm that has been established. A team violating this norm should
be sanctioned. Allowing violations creates conditions in which the community
ceases to function as desired. For those who are trying to change the system,
i.e. those who choose to ignore the topic, they should be willing to accept the
sanction from the community.

How is this a contricdiction? Gandi, Gandhee, Ganje, however, you want to spell
it. The point is that those engage in activism and choosing to ignore a
resoltuion that was chosen by the community should be willing to accept the
minimal sanction of a loss in exchange for the right to air their grievences
for nine minutes without interruption. As a a judge I have to sit there and
listen to you for nine minutes rant about genocide in Tibet. I paid my dues by
listening to you. Now you pay your dues by taking the loss and moving on to the
next round. Same thing with the negative. They sat there silently and you read
Hindu poetry and talked about Neitzche for  nine minutes. They tolerated your
crap, now you can take your loss and move on down the road.

Certainly, You, Andy and any others who choose to ignore the resolution would be
upset and be ready to get into a fight if my negative team stood up in the
middle of your team's 1AC poetry reading and started yelling at you, or
throwing things at you, or ripping the CD out of the player.

Why? because you and your respective teams have a certain set of communication
expectations--norms. Namely, that the 1AC gets to talk without interruption.
And, if my team violeted that norm, all hell would break loose. We would
probably get into a fight or thrown out of the tournament. Minimally, the
"offending" team would lose the round and get zero speaks.

To me, choosing not to affirm the resolution violated a community norm. Perhaps
not as bad as assault or child molesting, but a violation of a norm nontheless.
As such, members of the community should sanction non-topical teams by giving
them losses.

No contridictions. Just two different groups of people. A judge in the back of a
room can vote negative on topicality to uphold community norms and to preserve
the Rule of Law, even if they agree with the Affirmative that genocide in
Darfur has not been discussed adequetely and that the Affirmative has a right
to talk about it.


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