The Instigator
hogan2993
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Yogurt
Con (against)
Winning
47 Points

High school Public Forum Debate should not confront Sensitive Religous Issues

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/8/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,025 times Debate No: 13597
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (9)

 

hogan2993

Pro

Resolved: High School Public Forum Debate Resolutions should not confront sensitive Religious Issues

Contention One: Biased Judges
When judging a round of debate Tabula Rasa is suppose to be exercised. This request is nearly impossible when the resolution incurs sensitive religious issues. According to the NY TIMES "the only way to avoid bias is to avoid the situations that produce it." When the resolution consists of religion, people tend to have very opinionated views on the topic. This makes judging a debate round unfair in many ways. The whole concept in debate is to be able to persuade the judge to agree with your case. When the judge possesses a strong belief for or against the resolution this makes for the debate to be impossible. No matter what the Affirmative or Negative states the judge will not be able to exercise Tabula Rasa due to the strong belief for or against the religion.

Contention Two: Abuse of Religion
In a Public forum debate the format consists of thirty minutes to discuss the resolution. When the resolution consists of sensitive religious issues this could be a problem. Followers spend their whole life trying to learn the religion and interpret the religion for them self. This could lead to a false interpretation of the religion causing hostility in the room. The false interpretation does not provide the correct guidance or education for any religion. The whole point of a debate is not only to learn how to persuade your judge but is also learning from the material. With the false interpretation and the hostility could cause a number of unsafe situations to exist. Everyone has different views on religion and by using it in a debate could downplay another's religion or the way they were brought up. This could also lead to belittling the opponent and making them feel "lesser" of a person due to the way they were raised. The point of debating isn't to belittle your opponent or even mentally abuse them. It is to persuade your judge with your case to vote for you resulting in a winner. By providing a winner there has to be a loser. This also belittles the opponent by saying their religion isn't good enough. They "LOST" because their religion isn't good enough. Switch side debate is also a key factor when having resolutions with sensitive religious issues. The ability to argue against your religion wouldn't provide the equality throughout the debate.

Contention Three: Separation of Church and State
Throughout America the education system prohibits the preference of one religion over another. This is in place to provide a learning environment that doesn't offer government intrusion on others beliefs. When allowing Public forum Debate to harness resolutions that involve religious issues this contradicts the amendment of Separation of Church and State. The school we learn in is an establishment backed and funded by the government. By allowing religion to take part in government funded events this would completely contradict the amendment. The whole concept of Separation of Church and State is to assure no religion is more dominant over another. Thanks
Yogurt

Con

First of all I would like to thank the Affirmation for starting this debate. Before I state my own contentions, I would like to offer some definitions and refutations

I do not know if he intended this to be one and the same of the November topic, but the main difference is in the fact that the November Public Forum topic has "High School Public Forum resolutions".

I will adhere to the standard public forum rules, and if my opponent agrees we may have somewhat of a crossfire.

Definitions:
High School Public Forum Debate: Debates occuring in tournaments endorsed by the National Forensics league. Debate as contentions or arguements within the resolution, as the whole of debate cannot confront sensitive religious issues
Confront: Oppose the resolutions containing
Religious issue: An issue pertaining to one or more religions
The reason i did not define sensitive was because i believe that all religious issues are sensitive, therefore the word "issue"

Since the Affirmation has not provided a standard I will state the one I believe we should adhere to, which is societal (or mainly in the debate community) welfare.
Refutations:
Contention 1: Judge Bias
Tabula Rasa is not a required style of judging. The judges of Public Forum are normal parents, in fact, Public Forum shuns experienced judges. The purpose of Public Forum was to appeal to normal American citizens.
What the Affirmation is inferring is outrageous. Everybody has a political view. There is no one in the world that has no bias. What he is inferring is because "the only way to avoid bias is to avoid situations that produce it", we should eliminate all the judges from Public Forum altogether. This will contribute to the disintegration of Public Forum.

Contention 2: Abuse of Religion
While there are only 30 minutes to dicuss an issue, I'd like to point out that they have a whole month, maybe 2 months if they do not participate in the previous topic, to prepare for the tournament. I would also like to point out that that we are not debating the religion itself, but rather the political issues that revolve around religious issues. The Affirmation makes it sound like we are opposing religion altogether. We are not. Merely talking about a religious issue does not mean we belittle them. In fact, Muslims may feel that their side is now well represented in a topic like "An islamic cultural center should be built near ground zero".
It is not accurate to say that "they LOST because their religion is not good enough". They lost because they had weak argumentation, speaking style, and/or refutations.
He says Switch-side debate is a key issue in this debate, yet he provides 2 sentences as to why it is so. "The ability to argue against your religion wouldn't provide the equality throughout the debate." I do not really understand this sentence, as he provides no reason as to why it is not equal.

Contention 3: Separation of Church and State
First of all I'd like to call this an issue on how far the separation of Church and State is carried. This only applies to public education. He says that the NFL is government-funded. This is absolutely false, as the NFL has no affiliation wiht the government. Because the NFL is a private entity, there is no separation of Church and State ground for The NFL.
Even if it applied to the NFL, which it does not, the very constitution which is the core of this contention negates this contention. We are provided with the freedom of speech and expression, basic constitutional rights, which cannot be trampled upon. The Affirmation suggests following an untopical cause that violates our basic rights.

Now I would like to state my own contentions:

Contention 1: The opportunity of being able to debate switch-side provides a unique opportunity to gain educational value that cannot be gained elsewhere. At school, where do we learn for and against the very religion we follow? Debate provides the educational opportunity in the form of debating for and against debaters' own religion. This enlightens debaters of how people oppose their religious view. This educational value is much more useful, as we gain tolerance through this debate (explained in my next contention).
Furthermore, debating these types of issues still provides the same amount of evaluation standards and the same skills. We still need to be better at argumentation, speaking skills, blocking, and delivering to win.

Contention 2: The educational value can be applied to inprove tolerance. The knowledge we gain is used to be more informed about an opposing religious view, and therefore increases the tolerance. Many misconceptions which lower tolerance can be lost when we debate. For example, almost half of Americans believe half or more Muslims hate Americans (Pew Research, 2003). Many others still exist and only by breaking this barrier of misconceptions.
General education is also linked to an increase in tolerance, by 12% from lowest education to highest education.
An increased tolerance results in more life satisfaction (14%) and community service (12%).
This improves society by increasing tolerance, and therefore acceptance for others in society, life satisfaction, and community service.

Contention 3: Almost every topic is inherently religious. Abortion, a sensitive religious issue, has been a popular topic for about 30 years, yet we may be limited to debate important topics like these if we do not allow sensitive religious issues to be debated. Immigration, health care , poverty, environmental destruction, and almost all topics may be limited if we affirm this resolution. Anti-muslim sentiments alone took more than 1/5 of news coverage from September 6-12, representing the most talked about topic in news (pew research). The Affirmation wants to cut us out from one of the most talked about topics in the current news. There is no benefit to not allowing the debate of sensitive religious issues, and only unnecessary censorship. Not allowing these kinds of debates severely cuts Public Forum out from hot and trendy topics and hurts society, namely the debate community, by censoring very possibly educational and beneficial topics.

Debating sensitive religious cannot be censored. It is too important of an issue to let go of. A vote for the Affirmation is a vote for depriving teenage minds of education and for them to become less tolerant. The Affirmation would like to boycott the recently most talked about topic in the news, and may also censor most of public forum. The vote would go against the very constitution we hold so dear, and calls for the disentigration of Public Forum. Voting for the Negation, on the other hand, teaches religious tolerance and educates young teenage minds. In today's world, barely 50% of the population can identify the Quran as the Islamic holy book. Lastly, almost every topic would not be able to be debated by restricting debate. For these reasons, I urge a vote for the Negation side of this debate.

Again, thank you for opening this interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
hogan2993

Pro

For a brief Roadmap I would like to rebuild my case and attack my opponents case

His attack on my first contention was that Tabula Rasa is not a required style of judging and that Public forum Debate Shuns Experienced judges

I wasn't saying that experienced judges are needed to judge this Type of Debate when reguarding this issue.1st let me define Tabula Rasa. Its a Hypothetical state of mind empty of all outside impressions until the evidence is provided. When dealing with Religious issues this happens to be a VERY opinionated topic making judges not able to put aside the way they live their life. Religion is a way a person lives their life and demoralizing their culture as a judge would completely bring bias so my first contention still stands.

2nd Contention- My opponent pointed out that the teams get two months(if they arent actively participating in other topics) to research and learn about the religion and material. This just goes to support my case even more by stating that christians for example can't even interpet or learn all about their religion in a lifetime. How is a high school student suppose to be able to successfully learn and educate their self in the course of two months without giving a false interpretation? My opponent also refuted my arguement on religion by saying that the reason the opponent lost was because their arguement wasn't good enough
My refute to that is this all ties in with my first contention. They lost due to a judgement or opinion of a judge who used his/her values making them feel like the way they were brought up wasn't good enough.

My two sentences to switch side debate meant that arguing against your religion could not provide equality. In the words of Ghandi he states that,A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes. If the team argues against their everyday values it wouldnt be as strong and offer blasphemy.

Contention 3- I never said the NFL was goverment funded. The schools that hold these events are suppose to uphold the Separation of Church and state and the money that is alotted for debate to exist IS from the goverment. This goes to show that this is topical. The dominance of one religion over another is UNconstitutional and this is promoted when resolutions consists of sensitive issues.

Now I attack my opponents contentions

1st&2 Contention- His first contention is talking about how switch side debate betters the education of the youth when talking about religion. I do not see how this betters the education with giving false interpretations of the religion. I stated this in my case about how two months isn't enough time to grasp the religion and better the youth. Teachers have to take special courses to structure the classroom when teaching it and in public forum debate there isnt a structure. Anything can be expressed or said offending many. When stating false interpretations tolerance is not bound to happen. This just makes it worse if anything.

3rd contention- My opponent state that "almost every topic is inherently religious" which I agree. BUT we are debating "SENSITIVE" Religious issues. Not everything is sensitive and this makes the contention fall. In PF Debate political issues should hold the higher standard. Not Sensitive religious issues. Political issues have the final say by the goverment. Religious issues have the say of the people.

My opponent shows great ignorance to people and their beliefs. If religion is a way a person lives on a day to day basis then why question it?

I urge you to vote PRO
Yogurt

Con

I would like to again thank the Affirmation for this debate

The standard today is Societal welfare. I have no reason to believe how any of his contentions actually uphold this standard today.

Before I begin I would like to make some clarifications.
When we debate, we are not debating about religion itself. We are debating about sensitive religious issues within the debate. The difference is that we do not actually need to attack a religion. In fact, we can have a reasonably fruitful debate without contentions that contain religious issues.

I apologize for misreading the contention about the separation of church and state.

I stated in my definitions what we are arguing for the arguments in the resolutions, not the resolution itself.

I will not rebut everything my opponent has said.

Contention 1:The Affirmation side has not addressed the issue that all political issues are also under bias in the judge's eyes. He has not touched on the attack on his case that he is implying to ban all judges from Public Forum Debate. Therefore, I will assume that he agrees with me. Ladies and Gentlemen, he is proposing to ban Public Forum altogether.
Every judge is biased on every issue. We cannot prevent that. He proposes that we remove the problem, which removes Public Forum as a whole.

Contention 2: Two months is adequate time to learn about a religious issue. We are not arguing the basis of religion in itself. I agree that this will take more than a lifetime. We are arguing a sensitive religious issue, which is different. It is not hard to make a good case in two months, and I don't see how this is different from any normal resolution. We do not need to attack religion itself to argue about religious issues.
In addition, ones who may feel it unfair can simply argue another contention. For example, the Islamic cultural center can be debated on property rights or educational value. The October topic had a religious contention: women rights. This is against the Taliban religion, which is the limitation of women rights. Yet many people who may feel offended by this can simply not use this contention.

He is also assuming that we will make a false interpretation in religion. This has obvious consequences and is already shunned upon. To make false interpretation can be called upon by the opponents and he or she will lose points on the debate round.

The Affirmation has understood what I have said about arguments not being good enough wrongly. I said that better arguments should win. This is up to the debaters to decide which one is more important than the others. This is not a matter of whether the judge thinks the arguments is good enough. The same evaluation standards are still held, and the basic structure of Public Forum is still held true.

I would like to oppose the Ghandi quote. If I think about being a bear one day, will I actually become one? Rather, I must say it is more reasonable to say that a man is the product of what he believes. You do not have to believe in a case to argue for it. In fact, their everyday values will become even stronger. This is because they will know how to refute an opposing side's arguments, therefore a stronger belief.

Contention 3: He has not addressed the issue of the first amendment regarding freedom of speech and freedom of expression and I will assume he agrees that the basic values in the constitution are being disregarded when we are censoring religious issues. The very constitution that is the core of his contention contradicts the separation of church and state. I also have no reason to believe that the debate about religious issues will result in the dominance of one religion over another.

Now to defend my own contentions:
Contention 1and 2: His core refutation for my first and second contentions is based on the fact that we will spit out "false interpretations" of a religious view. Remember, we are not not interpreting the Bible in a debate round. We do not have time to interpret holy scriptures. He has shown no evidence that debating these rounds will result in false interpretations.
As a brief overview, I said that debate creates educational value and tolerance. The increase in educational value also increases tolerance. Tolerance increases life satisfaction and community service.

Contention 3: I have put the Affirmation into the burden to prove that there is a difference in sensitive religious issue and religious issue in my introductions. He has not done so, so I will assume that he agrees with me that almost every issue is religious. Now we must examine a quote from his refutations. "My opponent state that 'almost every topic is inherently religious' which I agree." He agrees that almost every topic is inherently religious. This means he proposes to take away almost all resolutions in Public Forum Debate.

And does it matter is "political issues have the final say in the government" and religious issues do not? WE are debating current issues, ones that have not been solved yet by the government.

My opponent's refutation is made up of one main point: the false interpretation of a religion. I have refuted this over and over again in my contentions. He has consented the agreement of many of my points by not bringing it up.

A vote for the Affirmation is a vote for the abolishing of all judges in public forum and almost all topics in public forum debate. He proposes that we remove this thriving debate altogether. He also falsely interprets the resolution, which is about the debate of sensitive religious issues, not religion in itself. He supports the loss of educational value in debate. He also has not upheld the standard today, which is societal welfare.

The Negation, however, has proved repeatedly that education achieved. This relates to tolerance and increased community service and life satisfaction.

To uphold the growth of society and its welfare, we must encourage education and the acceptance of others of a different religion. This is the key to growth. Nothing will be achieved if we abolish Public Forum. For these reasons, I stand in the firm negation of the topic and urge a Negation vote. Thank you.
I apologize for the previous spelling and grammar mistakes, as I did not click the "done" button on the spell check :(
Debate Round No. 2
hogan2993

Pro

You can win this arguement. I just needed some key points attacked and I dont want everyone to see my case
Yogurt

Con

So... I guess... vote for the Con :)
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by samixxxjo 6 years ago
samixxxjo
Yall are amazing , i have a tournament tomorow , and this is a major help , im trainging a new kid and he has no idea what to do and hes my partner , therre both excellent cases , and gave me a great place to start off with , good job to both of yall , and have a good one .
Posted by Yogurt 6 years ago
Yogurt
theres not really any evidence cause this is a moral debate x.x but this might help http://www.forensicsonline.net...
Posted by hogan2993 6 years ago
hogan2993
Can you send me the links to your arguements so I can read more about the con side?
Posted by hogan2993 6 years ago
hogan2993
We do in Lincoln Douglas Debate but not Public Forum
Posted by Yogurt 6 years ago
Yogurt
lol sry o.o i didnt know. Do you have a value?
Posted by hogan2993 6 years ago
hogan2993
btw vote for yr self cos i accidentally did
Posted by hogan2993 6 years ago
hogan2993
cos you said something about a standard or something
we dont do that down here
Posted by Yogurt 6 years ago
Yogurt
it is a horrible topic
but if you really wanted to do a debate, why not just go through all the rounds x.x
Posted by hogan2993 6 years ago
hogan2993
The tourny is at Aubree In Texass

This is a HORRIBLE topic
Posted by Yogurt 6 years ago
Yogurt
haha yeah :) i guess if it's a bad topic, it must suck for the other team too
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