Debating has more negative aspects than positive ones
Debating has more negative sides than positive ones. I would like to point out that while not ineffective, debate teaches the wrong ways to argue. Ive not only been taught how to debate for a period of time but also observed many people and how they have changed after joining Debate. People have become more argumentative, contentious, and less open to accepting abstract theories after debating. When a topic or subject matter playfully comes up, they immediately accept it as a form of challenge and take it seriously.
Debate also enables one to turn cynical and obstinate. Instead of being more open-minded to controversial issues, debate makes one have a narrow-minded view on sensitive topics that are merely regarded as foolish dreams or hopes. Due to its aggressive nature, its purpose now seems to be intimidation rather than mutual agreement. As ironic as this seems, I would like to point out that debate therefore has a more negative side than the positive.
Before I move on to my points, I would like to rebutt some of the arguments put forward by the opposition. To begin with, the opposition has stated that debate teaches the wrong way to argue. I believe this to be quite incorrect, as debate teaches a formal, polite way to argue. While some people yell and scream whilst arguing, debate teaches to be polite and calm. This is clearly a positive side to debate. In addition to this, has the opposition considered that argumentative people participate in debate? In general, naturally argumentative people are attracted to the idea of debate, and therefore, debate does not make them argumentative and challenging. The opposition has also stated that debate causes people to be narrow-minded: however, I shall prove that it does not in the rest of my argument.
Debate teaches you to be more open minded. In a series of debates, the participant often has a single resolution, for which they must make an argument both for and against the motion. The participant may have a preference for a side in this debate, yet they must present arguments for both sides. In this way, debate makes one open minded. In impromptu debate, this is also true. One would be assigned the affirmative or negative side, and then the resolution would be revealed. Again, the participant may favor the other side of the argument, and arguing on the opposing side will allow them to be more open-minded. For example, if a person has to debate the resolution "parents should be allowed to implant GPS trackers in their children", the participant may actually strongly believe that parents should be allowed to implant the GPS trackers. But they may be assigned to debate on the opposite side, therefore forcing them to think of reasons against their opinion and causing them to become more open minded.
I would like to refute some of the points that the opposition mentions. The first is that debate does not teach us to be polite and calm. In fact it only engenders negative feelings such as intimidation, fear, and pressure. I would like to say that in the legitimate form of debate, the participant aside from being assigned to a different topic from which he/she believes in, there is the addition that he/she must complete it within a given time with the adjudicators and audience judging and scoring. This only hints that debate does not instigate the positive attitude of truly assimilating the opposite side.
The next point is that, no one is born naturally argumentative. People are only taught to be that way. And while argumentative people are usually seen in debate, the opposition side must consider it could have been the results of joining debate through learning the ways to speak more aggressively. However, please bear in mind the proponent of this argument was not referring to naturally argumentative people in the first place which means inclusive of the meek and innocent.
Contrary to popular belief, debate does not make people more open-minded. In fact, it has the dangers of making people more ignorant as people become more unapologetic and not withstanding to another's opinions and beliefs (outside the debating practice). This is in all honesty, a dangerous attitude to possess and once pervaded, hard to return. Due to its obstinate nature, it will cause people to become blind to their own faults or mistakes especially when arguing a case they strongly believe to be correct in.
This is how debate has more negative sides than positive ones.
Moonwater forfeited this round.
DAVcactus has forfeited this round as well.
While I accept that people are born naturally argumentative, the opposition should consider that the environmental effects of a person may not only include debates. Perhaps a child's parents influenced them to become argumentative, and this child would later on join a debate club or tournament. But even if the individual learned how to speak "aggressively" in debate, this is not necessarily a bad thing. "Meek" (as the opponent put it) individuals, should learn to stand up for themselves. Shy people should learn to open up. Is debate such a bad thing to teach them to do such things? Debate allows people to gain confidence in themselves, which can only be beneficial to "meek" and shy individuals.
In addition to all these benefits, debate also teaches one to think quickly. In a debate, one must think quickly to come up with rebuttals for the opposing side. In debate, people are not given much time to think, and so must think quickly. Being able to think quickly will benefit the individual in the long run. In addition to normal debates, impromptu debates are also wonderful for causing one to think quickly. I have done many impromptu debates, where your team is given only fifteen minutes to prepare after the resolution is revealed. One must quickly come up with their entire argument, and then successfully present it to a judge and their opponents. Quick thinking is obviously necessary for this.
To sum up all the benefits of debate so far: one, debate makes people more open-minded as it forces them to think on both sides of the resolution; two, debate teaches one how to argue politely and calmly; three, debate teaches one to work with a time limit; four, debate can help an individual gain confidence in themselves; and five, debate teaches one to think quickly. These are all clear reasons why debate does not have more negative sides than positive sides.
There are many other ways in which a person can learn to be brief and think quickly, such as extemporaneous speeches in class. Many people have admitted the ‘impromptu’ part of debate was what had terrified them the most, which only evoked feelings of apprehension and pressure. Instead of them learning to think quickly, they immediately lost their train of thought and faced public humiliation due to not only the given time limit but having the need to attack and defend themselves at the same time.
Therefore, instead of teaching them to ‘think quickly’, people only lose their focus and concentration.
You say that debate enables people to become more open-minded because it allows them to argue outside of their beliefs. Might I mention that debate has various almost to the point of cruel topics that are being used currently? Because of this so called openness, Ive seen Muslims having to defend why muslims should be terrorized and sent to prison. It degrades them. Ive seen gays having to defend why homosexuality is a sin. In the end, instead of learning open-mindedness debate has only hurt them and caused even more conflicts.
Also, the opposition side implies that the meek and shy must change themselves to become stronger and more open, but I would like to point out that why they don’t have to especially through debate. There are diverse people in this world and if there is the outgoing there are also the introspective ones who noticeably have their own charms and points of strength to being that way. I believe not all introverts must become extroverts to better express themselves. They have their own reasons and if they prefer to keep to themselves, I say let them.
After joining this sport, there has been changes to how a person speaks and acts, meaning what he/she has learned in debate inevitably carried on to their real lives. Many of my friends who joined debate find themselves being overly and unnecessarily emotional when being in fights that do not require so much ‘passion’. Of course, they apologize immediately afterwards, but the damage has already been done.
Debate may have its positive sides, but the side-effects are more negative than what its real purpose seems to be.
If people are terrified of the "impromptu" part of debate, shouldn't they try to overcome their fear? Isn't that what life is about: overcoming your fears and trying new things? Nobody is expecting a first-time debator to be amazing, and surely debate is daunting, but it is also enjoyable. By overcoming their fear, these people can gradually improve in debate, and enjoy the rest of the benefits it brings.
The opposition has stated examples of people defending a topic that was harmful to them. But shouldn't these people experience what others feel like? By doing this, they are attempting to understand other people's attitudes towards them. I am not saying it is good for a homosexual person to argue that homosexuals are bad, but if they do, isn't it just experience and understanding other people's attitudes?
While I know that the meek and shy don't have to change themselves through debate, I have never stated that they must do it through debate. I am merely expressing that debate can be a good way for them to do so.
Debate is an enjoyable thing. Once you get used to it, there is a rush and a thrill to debating, being able to convince others that one is right. And isn't that a wonderful feeling?
To sum up all the benefits of debate so far: one, debate makes people more open-minded as it forces them to think on both sides of the resolution; two, debate teaches one how to argue politely and calmly; three, debate teaches one to work with a time limit; four, debate can help an individual gain confidence in themselves; five, debate teaches one to think quickly. These are all clear reasons why debate does not have more negative sides than positive sides; six, debate helps people overcome their fears; seven, debate promotes understanding; and eight, debate is enjoyable.