[eDebate] Rejecting the cult of fairness

Kade Olsen kade.olsen
Wed Nov 14 23:31:28 CST 2007

We are not really disagreeing on much.

 I think I can simplify or rephrase my argument.  Fairness is
obviously a catch phrase/jargon that doesn't mean anything.  I don't
think fairness is the implicit value in "theory debates." Instead the
value that we try to "sneak in" is "debating in itself is amazing."
This often isn't explicit in theory debates because it is assumed.
Its something we can all agree on.  I don't think the debate becomes
"I love conditionality" versus "I hate conditionality."  But rather in
most debates everyone in the round loves debate, therefore we try to
pick a particular practice that facilitates better debates.  Sometimes
this does clash with arguments.  For example, people consistently
argue "[Insert argument] isn't relevant because we are not policy
actors, we are debaters. Even if it is 'Socially/Politically
Productive" to do X, you should privilege debate because it is the
only thing we know/can determine."  And then the clash continues.

That may be a little unclear.

I think the reason why there isn't a lot of Value debates is because
debaters often times agree upon the general standard for determining
theory: will this be good for debate as debate.  Often times, however,
there are clear value clashes in theory debates.  Is it more important
we artificially limit the scope of the debate to the literal reading
resolution or do we expand it for a political/social reason? True,
debaters use the word "fairness" in these debates.  They don't,
however, just repeat the word over and over for their entire speech.
They make intelligent arguments about debate practice itself.

When debaters do agree about a given standard [equitable rules are
important to keep the game sweet], there is no value debate because
there does not need to be one.

I think your argument is people need to impact their theory arguments
better, but if we've agreed on the impact whats wrong with just
debating the links?

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