[eDebate] Rejecting the Cult of Fairness

Kade Olsen kade.olsen
Wed Nov 14 19:33:26 CST 2007

I have very little to add:

This speaks largely about myself, but I think it applies to many
people that are debating.  I impact arguments with fairness because
debate to me, if you want to reduce it down it its core, is a game.
It is an unexplainably awesome game that has uncountable benefits, but
its still a game.  Fairness is the easiest way to explain to a diverse
group of judges why an argument ought not be acceptable.  I'm never
sure what people think is "productive" because I don't know what  most
people think is valuable.  But, I can easily assume the people judging
me also love debate.  Thus, I explain theory arguments as "this would
make debate poor."  Fairness might be a bad "phrase" but in the end
its just "the game would be better if this was excluded/included."

In general, I think it easier to speak about productivity and
pedagogical benefits after being finished with debate.   I don't think
I could spend  hours doing debate research before a tournament in
order to "play well" and then drastically shift my train of thought at
a tournament to "how is this argument productive."  I mean, my life
goal is to make enough money to buy a cabin in the woods and garden
all day.  Productivity for me is to get me to that point.  I don't
think debate will do that.

I think the last paragraph just makes me sound crazy, but the point is
kinda simple.  I'm guessing most debaters are debating because they
love doing it.  You can't explain why you love doing it , you just do.
 So trying to explain why an argument is "unproductive" is like nails
on a chalk board to me.   If you are debating you can, however, easily
explain why an argument would be bad your ideal picture of what debate
looks like.  Admittedly,  there are many divergent views on what the
"ideal" debate looks like.  But, the closest thing to a universal
agreement we have is "we love debate."  Not productivity,


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