[eDebate] Shame on critics without philosophies

Brent Culpepper brentonculpepper
Thu Sep 20 16:39:14 CDT 2007

In response to the very effective calling out strategy of getting people to
post their judging philosophies, I have copied and pasted mine from an
obscure website http://judgephilosophies.wikispaces.com to edebate. [very
covertly titled I know]  It is not tailored to this year's topic.  Frankly,
I don't know much about it.  If you have any questions about it feel free to
ask Jarrod Atchison - I pretty much copied his.  Eli's post was funny......

Here is the way I tend to view certain debate issues:

Critiques/Performance Debates: I start with this because this is where I am
the least comfortable judging debates. I am familiar to an extent with some
critical theory but am by no means an expert.

For the negative, I am much more sympathetic to critique ground and believe
it can be a valuable tool in a 2N's arsenal. However, Critiques must either
win that the alternative solves (or resolves) the affirmative at some level
? If you concede the affirmative advantages and fail to call them into
question and do not have an alternative that solves them then it will be
difficult for you to win. That being said ? certainly arguments can be made
that would lead me to disregard the affirmative advantages. However, those
arguments are often difficult given the presumed specificity of the
affirmative's evidence and the generic nature of most K cards.

For the affirmative, I believe that unless otherwise persuaded the debate is
about resolving whether the plan is preferable to the Status Quo or a
competitive policy option. I believe the affirmative should defend the
implementation of the plan ? not just the plan as some transient moment in
time that ruptures all of international politics as only your plan could.
There has also been an unfortunate trend among affirmatives to merely say
all of debate is bad, rules are bad and Topicality is nothing more than the
Holocaust reincarnated. I find all three of these claims to not just border
but embrace the limitless abyss of absurdity. If you find the debate
community to be beyond salvation then I strongly encourage you to find
another activity worth your while and not continue to disrupt my ability to
enjoy what you consider the root cause of all violence. That being said,
debate is ultimately about those debating and not me thus I will attempt to
remain an objective evaluator. The only time this goes away is if you ask me
to become a part of debate or ask my ballot to send a message. If you do
this then I will not endorse something I do not politically believe in. If
the ballot is merely a telling of wins and losses then I will remain

This does not mean that critical affirmatives are not cool. Many critical
affirmatives claim advantages off of a topical plan and that is a valuable
argument choice of which I often find incredibly strategic.

Topicality ? Topicality is ultimately about establishing a fair division of
predictable ground that ensures each team has access to a constructive
debate. This means that my default is not the most limiting interpretation
but typically a reasonable interpretation by the affirmative that provides
the best vision of debate is sufficient.

Theory ? Arguments require a certain level of logical coherence before I
will regard them as arguments and thus relevant to a decision. Many theory
arguments fail to do this when they are blippy and ill explained.
Conditionality is almost always ok as well as PICS, Agent CPs etc?.Although
when your back is against the wall do what must be done. Consultation
counterplans are only competitive to me in a world where the answer is No.
In a world where the answer is yes, then it seems as though the permutation
is plan plus.

CP/DA/Case Strategy ? Sounds Good.

Cross-Examination ? This is a vital portion of debates and can direct the
outcome of a decision if done correctly. Do not merely use it as preparation
time for your partner.

Speaker Points ? Two major factors that can increase speaker points are good
C/X's and high evidence quality. They can also decrease speaker points.

Everything that I have said above are my biases. I don't believe I left
anything of note out. However, remember that the object of debate is to WIN.
When facing another team that you will need to upset or what have you ? do
what you think gives you the best chance at winning. Just understand that
what I've written above can affect the ability of certain arguments to be
persuasive to me. At the end of the day, remember that while for some this
is your last high school tournament, don't get so caught up in it that you
fail to spend time hanging out with the friends you have made. That may even
beat out winning as your first priority.

On 9/19/07, EMarlow at ucok.edu <EMarlow at ucok.edu> wrote:
> Thanks for pointing this out.  There are multiple places, but the most
> easily accessible is debateresults.com
> Don't think I was trying to waste you time with my self indulgence...I
> really am not, but you can make up your own mind if you ever actually get to
> know me.  Thanks for the ad hom from the cheap seats.
> Marlow
>  *"Eli Brennan" <elibrennan at gmail.com>*
> 09/19/2007 02:12 PM
>   To
> "EMarlow at ucok.edu" < EMarlow at ucok.edu>  cc
>  Subject
> Re: [eDebate] Shame on critics without philosophies
> Very informative post.
> Except that you don't provide any information about where these
> philosophies are hosted/viewed... so on the off chance that your venom was
> misplaced- that maybe the rules of posting philosophies are not as self
> evident as they are for you- a judge may follow up on your suggestion and
> post their philosophy.
> [sigh]
> another casualty of utterly self-indulgent rhetoric.
> eli brennan
> umn debate
> On 9/19/07, *EMarlow at ucok.edu * <EMarlow at ucok.edu><*EMarlow at ucok.edu*<EMarlow at ucok.edu>> wrote:
> I would like to call out all of you who refuse to post your philosophies.
>  I don't know if this is some bullshit ploy to avoid being prefered or if
> you are just lazy, but it sucks that I have to make decisions about critics
> without knowing their bias.  This also goes out to those of you who did
> yours in 1999 and haven't updated it.  That's just plain laziness.  Get off
> your lazy asses.  If you are an educator, you should try to help create more
> educational debates and stop trying to get out of judging your commitments.
> Sorry, but it sucks that I have to rank every judge at G-State and there
> are a bunch that I don't know and don't have any way of garnering more
> information.  This also goes out to directors with multiple judges.  I know
> that I make sure that all of the people that judge for UCO have a philosophy
> that is accessible to the debaters.  If you have people judging for you
> without them, you aren't doing your job.
> Forgive the rant...If you are one of these people, I say shame on you.
> Peace,
> Marlow
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> --
> Eli Brennan
> "So it goes." - Vonnegut
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