The Instigator
Manatee
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Raisor
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Public forum superiority.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Raisor
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/28/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,132 times Debate No: 31833
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (31)
Votes (7)

 

Manatee

Pro

Read before accepting. Failure to adhere to these rules results in a complete forfeit, with 7 points being awarded to the pro side.

Resolution: Resolved: On balance, Public Forum debate is a more useful form of debate than either Lincoln-Douglas or Policy.

Rules
Definitions/RA are both open for debate.
Con must provide at least one offensive argument. This is for personal preference, because I really don't enjoy one sided debates.
Con must choose whether they are arguing in favor of Lincoln-Douglar or Policy debate.
No semantics, lawyering, trolling, etc.
No new arguments in the final round.
First round may either be used for acceptance, or for con posting an argument. If con chooses to post an argument in the first round, then they must forfeit the final round to keep arguing time even.
Raisor

Con

I will use R1 for acceptance only, as the terms of debate allow me to do.

GLHF
Debate Round No. 1
Manatee

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting. This is a topic that I have wanted to debate for a while with other members of my debate team, but, unfortunately, my school only does public forum (the horror, right?). There are a number of misconceptions regarding all three forms of debate, and I’m sure that both sides will emerge from the debate with more knowledge and understanding of the opposing side.

FRAMEWORK

As the topic is fairly straightforward, I won’t be employing an extensive framework. The resolution asks both sides to compare the benefit to the individual in terms of overall usefulness. Thus, whichever side can convince the voters that their form of debate provides the most opportunities throughout an individual’s lifespan, and manages to weigh the impacts of these opportunities heavily, should win the debate.

COMMUNICATIONS

There are a number of differences between the two forms of debate, but they can essentially be summed up as follows: While Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate both focus on winning argumentation, Public Forum focuses on being the more persuasive debater. Thus, rather than making extensive use of plans, kritiks, theory, and otherwise complicated arguments in order to argue as effectively as possible, Public Form debate prioritizes arguing in a convincing manner.

This is accomplished primarily by making use of “lay judges.” As Public Forum is intended to be the common man’s debate, both teams must appeal to a judge which mirrors an average person off the street. Thus, speed, jargon, and theory are strongly discouraged and often result in a loss for the debate round. Rather, Public Forum teams must emphasize arguing clearly and efficiently.

By no means, however, does this turn Public Forum into a speech event. Clearly, being the more convincing team also requires effective argumentation. Thus, public forum teams learn both how to argue effectively, and how to argue convincingly – with more emphasis on being persuasive.

IMPACT: Quite obviously, being more persuasive provides greater use to an individual than being an effective arguer. This is because being more convincing will, by definition, convince an individual more than being a better arguer. If, for example, my opponent and I were debating in any sort of political setting, I would garner more votes if I could be more persuasive and appear to win the debate. This is true even if my opponent had absolutely wrecked me in terms of argumentation. Essentially, winning arguments means nothing if you do it in a way that is completely incomprehensible to the public (due to overuse of speed, extensive use of jargon, and complex kritiks and theory arguments, etc). Public Forum emphasizes skills necessary to convince the general public, rather than be a really good debater and then fail to persuade anyone.

TOPIC MATERIAL

I’m not yet sure which form of debate my opponent will be advocating for, so for now I will be comparing Public Forum to both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy. There are two keys differences between the topics provided for each form of debate.

  1. 1. Public forum topics change on a monthly basis. Lincoln-Douglas topics change every two months, while Policy debaters must argue the same topic for a year.
  2. 2. Public forum topics typically reference current political issues, such as health care, China, income disparities, etc. By contrast, Lincoln-Douglas uses topics regarding philosophical issues, primarily moral obligations. Policy debaters do argue political issues, like Public Forum, but the topics are based around creating plans regarding lesser known issues, such as public health assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa, space exploration, ocean environmental protection, etc.

IMPACT 1: We’ll begin with the impacts of a shorter topic cycle. When a Policy debater graduates high school, they will have debated four topics, each for a single year. Lincoln-Douglas debaters will graduate with 16 topics worth of experience. However, when a Public Forum debater graduates, they will have debated 32 topics over their career.

By simple math, we can tell that 32 topics is a lot more than four and sixteen. Thus, assuming that Public Forum and Policy/Lincoln-Douglas debate both allow for the same depth of research regarding a topic, Public Forum would grant four times the knowledge of current issues than Policy. This is likely the portion of my argument that my opponent will contest, by claiming that a longer topic cycle allows for a level of depth which will outweigh the knowledge gained by public forum. I don’t wish to establish a pre-rebuttal to this argument, as I’m not sure how exactly my opponent will argue it, so I will be reserving this for later.

The resulting impact of increased topic knowledge is clear. By gaining an understanding of more issues which affect modern society, Public Forum debaters have more opportunities to apply this knowledge. When arguments occur throughout a pufo debater’s life, they will already have an in-depth understanding of the topic and hand, and be able to apply it in a superior manner to a Policy or Lincoln Douglas Debater.

IMPACT 2: Next, we’ll look at the impacts of the superior topic material. An elaborate link is less necessary for this impact. By debating issues which are actually affecting modern society, rather than philosophical/plan based arguments that remain relatively unknown to the general population, public forum debaters will have increased opportunity to apply topic knowledge into the world. Indeed, some past topics can help to reinforce this point. Look to the first topics of this season.

  1. 1. For Public Forum, “Resolved: Developed countries have a moral obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change” and/or “Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.”
  2. 2. For Policy, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.”
  3. 3. For Lincoln-Douglas, “Resolved: The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens.”

Clearly, knowledge on the effects of climate change, and the necessity/lack of necessity for gun control could applied to society in a superior manner than knowledge on “terrorism justice” and a plan for transportation infrastructure. Public forum topics are far more pressing issues, which provide a superior benefit to the individual should they gain and apply knowledge in the subject.

I now turn the debate over to my opponent.

Raisor

Con

Overview:
In this debate I will draw on my involvement with LD, policy, and public forum debate as a judge and competitor to inform my arguments. While I believe that involvement in any sort of organized debate(including debate.org) is immensely beneficial to both the individual and society at large, the structure and culture of public forum debate hinder the usefulness of the activity of debate. It is my position that both LD and policy are vastly superior to public forum, but for the purpose of this debate I will focus my arguments on policy debate.

1. Education

a. The year-long topic requires a greater depth of knowledge than bi-weekly topics. Cases are developed and refined over the course of a year. Students learn which policy plans are better as well-evidenced and strong positions are proven through competition.

b. Year-long topic teaches students how to refine and develop arguments, as well as how to predict arguments that will be made against them.

c. The longer speech times of policy debate (8 min) compared to PF (4 min), and faster pace allows for in-depth comparison of evidence. Students wrangle over the details of arguments, learning not only about the topic but also how to critically engage with evidence. A debate I judged this year featured an intense battle about whether or not high speed rail reduced CO2 by focusing on whether the studies involved accounted for empty train cars. Public forum not only does not engage evidence comparison, but could not. The speeches are simply too short to allow for in depth analysis.

d. Pro’s analysis of topic breadth is laughable- having more resolutions does not automatically grant breadth of knowledge. Under the one policy resolution this year I have heard cases on dredging ports, Native American rights, use of solar panels in roadways, high speed rail, and much more. This year I have heard debates about Nietzsche, immigration policy, Buy American provisions, US budget negotiations, and MUCH MORE.

e. The real educational depth of policy debate comes from the emphasis of evidence. Debaters must research evidence by reading academic journals, keeping up with the news, and constantly refining their arguments to include the best information available

f. Apparently Pro thinks U.S. Infrastructure isn’t something that “actually affects society.” Maybe if he did policy debate he would be educated enough to know that the U.S. is facing a long list of infrastructure problems that cost the U.S. economy trillions annually and are causing manufacturers to move overseas [1].

2. Research

a. A year long topic requires greater depth of knowledge. Debaters spend all summer researching the topic and continue research throughout the debate season.

b. Policy debate values evidence more than public forum. Policy teams bring large volumes of evidence to debates and debate rounds often hinge on a judge reading evidence post-round to resolve disputes. Policy debate evidence frequently draws on academic journals and think tank studies. Public forum relies minimally on evidence, with evidence often consisting of only a few out of context sentences from a major news publication.

c. Longer speech time, combined with the faster pace allows for a wider range of arguments to be made. A single debate round might include arguments about which presidential candidate is best, whether U.S. hegemony is desirable, and the problems with capitalism. Policy debaters must draw on a broad range of resources when researching, teaching them how to analyze evidence from multi-disciplinary backgrounds.

d. Longer speeches allow debaters to pick apart conflicting evidence in-round; rounds may be decided based on the quality of evidence. This creates a strong motivation to find the best evidence possible on a given topic.

e. Research skills are a core skill for students; well-developed research skills put policy debaters ahead of the curve when it comes to writing papers for schools, writing grant proposals for graduate research, and completing challenging projects. Research skills are an important multi-disciplinary professional skill; doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers all rely on research skills to be successful. The ability to effectively research is also key to personal growth, enabling citizens to educate themselves and synthesize information efficiently.

3. Organization

a. The large volume of evidence and the fast-pace nature of policy debate make organizational skills a necessity for debaters. Individual pieces of evidence must be categorized and prioritized within a system of thousands of other pieces of evidence to allow immediate access during a round.

b. Public forum involves little evidence and creates no need for organization.

c. Organization is key to scholastic and professional success. The ability to manage information improves the efficiency of individuals.

4. Work Ethic

a. Policy debate requires a large amount of preparation outside of competition. The volume of research and broad range of information debaters are responsible for makes policy debate a massive time commitment. Success hinges on preparation; debaters spend time thinking up all possible answer to arguments, researching those answers, then creating debate files for easy access in-round. Debaters who commit their time and energy to policy debate realize tangible rewards in the form of speaker awards and tournament wins.

b. The work required for policy debate stems from the focus on evidence and rigorous logical argumentation. Public forum’s focus on superficial easily accessible argumentation pushes fails to generate a comparable need for preparation.

c. Work ethic underlies all of human success. The ability to focus on a task and see it to completion is at the core of humanities greatest achievements- from the Empire State Building to the U.S. Constitution.

5. Persuasiveness

a. The most important aspect of persuasion is the ability to present a clear and logical case, it is the pre-requisite to persuasiveness. A witty orator will persuade no-one with an incoherent argument, but even the dullest genius will win allies with a brilliant argument. Kant is one of the poorest writers in philosophy, yet he is incredibly influential due to the force of his arguments.

b. Pro concedes that policy debate better focuses on “winning argumentation,” demonstrating policy better teaches persuasion.

c. The use of jargon in a debate round doesn’t render a debater incapable of speaking normally in other situations. Speed and jargon are a way of speaking more efficiently and is situation dependent; I used to spread policy style but I am capable of communicating quite clearly.

d. Policy debate incorporates both lay judges and policy veterans, ensuring that debaters know both how to engage in both hyper-technical and clear everyday argumentation. Judge adaptation is a topic frequently discussed in the policy debate world. Policy debate incorporates the best of both worlds, while public forum takes the worst.

e. Pro outright says public forum teaches how to “appear” to win an argument. Public forum’s focus on superficial
argument teaches debaters how to be charming snake oil salesmen. This might benefit individuals by teaching them how to be manipulative, but it hurts society as a whole. The common complaint that US presidential debates are just a chance for candidates to swap BS is indicative of the type of debate public forum teaches.

f. Worst of all, public forum teaches debaters that they ought to value “appearing” to win over actually winning an argument. The fact that Pro takes it as obvious that we should prefer the ability to be rhetorically manipulative over the ability to construct thorough arguments is indicative of the damage public forum does to its participants. This is no hypothetical example- Pro is proof that Public Forum teaches that it is better to appear to be right than to actually be right.

[1]http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Manatee

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response. Also, Times New Roman yo.

What does it mean to be “useful?”

My opponent claims that a clear and logical case is a pre-requisite to appearing convincing. This is true, but only to a limited extent. Before we dive into my refutation of his claim, we first need to examine the ways in which policy debate emphasizes “clear and logical” argumentation. Unfortunately, this is fairly difficult – because there are none. As I claimed in my previous round, Policy debate emphasizes winning argumentation over being persuasive, at least when compared to Public Forum. So how exactly does it go about doing this? It doesn’t. In fact, it accomplishes the opposite.

Policy debate makes extensive use of complex argumentation, a claim which went virtually uncontested. I openly ask the voters: How useful is it to stand up in your post-debate career and claim you don’t have to solve the problem, because it’s inherently biased towards your opponent? How useful is it to claim that genocide shouldn’t be discussed, because it’s not cool to argue in debate? How useful is it to argue at a speed where you need specially trained judges to understand? The list goes on and on. While Public Forum emphasizes argumentation in a “clear and logical” manner, Policy debate employs kritiks, speed, jargon, theory argumentation, and more skills which will serve no purpose upon the end of an individual’s debate career.

Now that we understand how policy debate focuses on ridiculous strategies, his case on argumentation effectively falls apart. However, as claimed above, we’re still going to look at my opponent’s analysis of argumentation versus persuasiveness, where he claims that emphasizing argumentation is a prerequisite to persuasiveness, and thus is the superior option. To this, I have two responses.

  1. Public forum emphasizes argumentation to the point where it is necessary. Recall that I explicitly claimed Public Forum does not turn into a speech event. Public Forum debate does use a clear “claim, warrant, impact” structure. Evidence comparison is extremely extensive, especially in the recent topics, in which common arguments analyzed the internal warrants behind insurance saving lives, climate change, economic theories, etc. However, after a certain point (the point where an argument makes logical sense) being a persuasive speaker and selling your argument will outweigh actually winning your argument.
  2. Persuasiveness outweighs argumentation regardless. Recall that there is absolutely no benefit to winning an argument if it is done in an unclear manner. If I can convince the general public to vote for me, or to buy my cars, that’s more important than proving that I am the superior political option, or that my cars are the best on the market. My opponent makes a pre-response to this claim, so let’s analyze that next.

Benefits of “appearing” to win an argument

My opponent has, unknowingly, virtually conceded this point when he claims that being “charming snake oil salesmen” benefits individuals, but hurts society. Recall, however, that we are debating usefulness, rather than overall benefits. My framework was not extensive, but was still not responded to; and it clearly laid the round out to be judged on the opportunities available to an individual over their lifespan. If Public Forum allows me to sell my cars, but kills fifty seven babies, then the skill is still more useful, regardless of harms to society.

Indeed, my opponent himself lays out the benefits of appearing to win an argument. Just two of his examples include presidential debates, in which appearing to win the argument and manipulating the masses is more vital than effective argumentation, and selling cars. Manipulation, while it may seem to be morally wrong, provides greater use to an individual over their lifespan than actual argumentation.

My opponent does, however, have some saving grace, when he claims that the benefits of Public Forum are not mutually exclusive with the benefits of Policy debate because of the incorporation of multiple judges. Again, I have two responses.

  1. This argument can be turned on my opponent because it works both ways. While Public Forum may emphasize lay judges, they are not the only judges employed. I have had numerous rounds judged by policy/ld judges, in which I am able to spread, use more in-depth argumentation, and focus less on being the more convincing speaker. Thus, at absolute best, my opponent’s response washes both cases, because “judge crossover” is not exclusive to policy debate.
  2. We should be looking to what each form of debate emphasizes. Yes, policy debate may incorporate lay judges, but it still places heavy emphasis on complex argumentation for progressive judges, and that is the prime skill which a policy debater will gain.

Topic Knowledge

My opponent’s response is essentially non-responsive. Rather than looking at individual points and laying out 6 responses which each address a single word in my case, we’re going to emphasize the end result.

Policy will grant in depth knowledge on one topic. If we’re comparing this current debate season, then Policy debaters will have knowledge regarding transportation infrastructure and all sub-arguments. Public Forum debaters, however, will have knowledge on climate change, gun control, foreign policy, the benefits of taxes versus spending cuts, the Citizens United ruling, the effects of China on the U.S., government mandated health care, whatever the nationals topic turns out to be, and all sub-arguments. This outweighs for two reasons.

  1. Because the topics are more applicable to modern society. Yes, transportation infrastructure affects the United States. However, knowledge on transportation infrastructure doesn’t open as many opportunities as in-depth knowledge on 8 different topics. Whereas Policy topics are affecting society, Public Forum topics are affecting society in ways which are large enough to warrant the general public becoming involved. More opportunities would arise from knowing a variety of different topics which often become food for table discussions, rather than a topic that is unknowingly harming the U.S’ infrastructure.
  2. Because Public Forum topics allow for in-depth knowledge as well. Con claims that policy debate is superior for knowledge because of comparisons regarding evidence, but completely ignores the fact that public forum is highly evidence based as well. Are you going to convince a judge to vote for you without evidence? Absolutely not. Every claim is not only warranted, but is internally analyzed and compared against your opponent’s evidence throughout the debate. My opponent still holds an elitist view of public forum, and is entirely misunderstanding how the actual debate rounds go.

Organization/Work Ethic/Research Skills

Since these claims really don’t fit under any major voter, I’m just going to lay out two responses.

  1. These benefits are non-unique. Success hinges on preparation/organization in public forum as well. Research is done, evidence is analyzed, blocks are prepared, etc. People walk into debate rounds with gigantic mounds of evidence just as often in Public Forum. We often take 50-60 hours’ worth of self-research and well as 700-800 pages of briefs (on the computer, obviously) into each round, and our opponents do the same.
  2. The impacts are negligible. My opponent grossly exaggerates the long term benefits of learning how to sort evidence. The real story goes as follows: You put 600 pieces of paper on a computer, use control + f, and then apply roughly 1% of that experience to the rest of your life.


I eagerly await my opponent’s next round (and the response to our TOC at-large application bid, wish us luck).

Raisor

Con

Framework:
1. The Resolution asks which form of debate is most useful, but does not specify to whom it must be useful. Prioritize utility to society:

a. Magnitude of societal utility outweighs individual utility- we should prioritize what is best for the greatest number of people.

b. Societal utility subsumes individual utility. Individuals do better in flourishing societies, while individuals can do well at the expense of society. What is useful to society is inherently useful to individuals; society is made of individuals so this is almost definitionally true.

c. Societal utility is more relevant to the goals of debate. Debaters argue about public policy and what is best at the societal level.

2. On both the societal and individual level, prioritize education, including critical thinking skills, as more useful than persuasion.

a. Education cuts across professions; persuasion is situational. I use the critical and abstract thinking skills I learned in policy debate daily but very rarely engage in persuasion.

b. Political education is crucial to the success of a democracy- a well-educated populace will vote more wisely.

c. Education subsumes persuasion- better educated individuals can argue more persuasively.

3. Prioritize Work Ethic over Persuasion: Work Ethic subsumes Persuasion- a strong work ethic can be used to develop persuasive abilities while the reverse is not true.

What it means to be useful:

a) My opponent stated in R2: “Policy debate…[focuses] on winning argumentation… making extensive use of plans, kritiks, theory, and otherwise complicated arguments in order to argue as effectively as possible.” He has conceded that policy debate prioritizes winning arguments and arguing effectively; winning arguments is done by presenting a clear and logical case.

b) Pro dodges the meat of my argument, that force of argument trumps oratorical skill as exemplified by Kant, by focusing on the phrase “clear and logical” as a point of contrast to the complex nature of policy debate. This is exactly the type of dodgy lawyering public forum teaches.

c) Kritiks are philosophical arguments about the nature of justice and political advocacy- these are high visibility issues that manifest themselves in the form of Occupy Wall Street and libertarian advocacy. People engage in critiques all the time- Eisenhower’s “military industrial complex” speech was effectively a kritik. Kritiks question assumptions about how we talk about and interpret the world, they encourage self-evaluation and criticism. These are skills which help individuals constantly seek to better themselves. Philosophical challenges to the status quo are crucial to societal progress- it was precisely such a challenge which birthed American Democracy.

d) Theory arguments take up issues of what types of arguments and strategies are fair in a debate round. These arguments force reflexive thinking- debaters must analyze the activity they are participating in and justify the tactics they use. Theory arguments hinge on issues of maintaining educational and competitive standards in debate, keeping alive discussions about how policy debate should function to best serve these purposes.

e) Kritiks and Theory require critical thinking to understand and argue effectively. These issues challenge debaters intellectually and develop the ability to think about how abstract concepts . Additionally, they encourage strategic thinking in the same way that chess or poker does. These are universally useful skills in both the soft sciences like law and philosophy and in the hard sciences, where abstract concepts like mathematics must be applied

f) Pro points out that Kritiks and Theory don’t exist in PF, meaning they are a net benefit to policy via their educational benefit.

g) Pro demonstrates the educational damage PF does when he claims that “Public forum emphasizes argumentation only to the point where it is necessary.” PF teaches that argument is nothing more than a power struggle in which the goal is to get your way. Pro values logic and reasoning only as tools to manipulate others; he decries the use of “complex” argumentation because complex arguments are hard to use as tools of manipulation. This is bad for both the individual and society- a doctor or bridge engineer that prioritizes appearing correct over being correct will have a disastrous career and do massive societal damage.

h) Pro’s focus on “persuasion” and “winning” arguments misses the point. The ability to craft structurally sound but very complex arguments is valuable in itself, regardless of whether or not the arguments immediately result in persuasion. These types of arguments get published in scientific journals or become major philosophical works or make it in front of the Supreme Court. High level decisions are made based on the types of “complex” arguments Pro feels is not useful in manipulating the general public; knowing how to construct such arguments has enormous individual and societal value. Pro explicitly concedes that PF does not engage these types of argument.

Benefits of “appearing” to win an argument

a) Pro claims judge crossover is bidirectional, but note that PF judge crossover depends on the existence of the policy and LD judging community. This means that any usefulness PF gets from judge crossover is derived from policy debate, demonstrating that policy debate has spill over into other communities and is useful even to those who do other forms of debate.

b) If policy debate ceased to exist, Pro’s judge crossover argument would disappear. Policy has a diverse judging pool independent of PF, only policy debate is self-sustaining.

c) Pro says we should look to what each form of debate emphasizes: only policy emphasizes both strong argumentation and persuasion. Pro’s repeated claims that argumentation is only valuable as a means to an end proves PF places minimal value on argumentation.

d) Pro’s R2 framework was just an assertion, I equally asserted that societal utility was more important; see this round’s framework for further analysis. It is obviously ok for Pro to respond to my framework in his final round.

Topic Knowledge

a) Policy debate involves a broad range of topics. Feel free to check out the range of arguments available at the open evidence project as proof of this. List includes: Keystone Pipeline, Space Elevators, Keynesian Stimulus, Russian Oil, China...[1] Of the topic Pro lists that policy supposedly doesn’t talk about, I have heard every issue except gun control argued this year.

b) Pro concedes that policy debate results in deeper topic knowledge, but doesn’t address my arguments that topic depth is key to learning how to refine arguments, spurs more intense research, and forces critical engagement with evidence. These are useful skills that PF fails to engage.

c) I do not deny that PF uses evidence; Pro ignores my argument about how the structure of PF makes in depth evidence comparison impossible. The longest speech in PF is shorter than the shortest policy debate speech. Yes some evidence comparison takes place, but the level of analysis involved in PF is far below that of policy- I say this both from the standpoint of one who has judged both events and from the standpoint of the event structure.

My Case:

a) Pro doesn’t address that policy’s ability to critically engage evidence force evidential competition and creates a stronger research demand and burden. Policy rounds are twice as long and twice as fast so the evidence used per round is also much larger. This creates a larger work load, both a work ethic and educational net benefit.

b) Pro doesn’t address that longer rounds mean a wider range of arguments are involved each round. Whereas PF gets argument diversity by changing topics every two months, policy debaters are responsible for a wide range of topics all season long. This again increases research burden, work ethic, etc.

[1] http://www.debatecoaches.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Manatee

Pro

Persuasion versus Argumentation

Con has given you two rebuttals to this point. First, he claims that by encouraging people to focus on persuasion, they simultaneously provide harms to society. Second, he claims that a clear and logical argument, supposedly emphasized in Policy debate, is a prerequisite to being persuasive.

Recall, however, that this debate is not about whether Public Forum provides superior benefits. Rather, we’re debating the usefulness of Public Forum versus Policy. Con tells you that people will become charming snake oil salesmen, but doesn’t explain how this provides a net use harm to society. Instead, he lays out why it might seem morally apprehensible, or why we might look down on it. Clearly, however, becoming a charming snake oil salesmen will provide superior opportunities to an individual throughout their lifetime. If I sell cars, or manipulate people into voting for me, I gain personal benefits. Regardless of whether society is being harmed, there is still a net benefit to usefulness, as I gain an opportunity without depriving others of theirs (we live in a society based around persuasion, after all).

With my opponent’s first argument dismantled, we can move on to his second claim regarding logical argumentation. Recall my two responses throughout the round.

First, that policy debate does not promote argumentation in a manner which could be applied to persuasion. In his last round, my opponent attempted to justify how Kritiks and Theory are important forms of argumentation. Yet, I never once claimed that these were lower forms of debating. Rather, I claimed that they cannot be applied to society in the same manner which Public Forum argumentation can be.

Look to my previous round, where I laid out exactly why Kritiks and Theory do not benefit an individual to be persuasive. Regardless of whether or not it is a superior form of argumentation, the opportunities gained from saying “I don’t need to argue this problem, because it’s inherently biased toward my opponent” are slim to none. Similarly, an individual does not benefit from debating at a speed which the majority of society cannot understand, nor do they benefit from saying “X is off-limits when we’re analyzing this problem.” Public forum prioritizes arguing in a manner which is applicable to modern society and future opportunities throughout an individual’s lifetime.

By contrast, my opponent attempted to lay out reasons why we should emphasize Kritiks and Theory in his previous round. He claims that these strategies promote critical thinking, but fails to explain how this occurs to a greater extent than actual argumentation. I openly ask the voters: Does it really require more thinking to say “this topic is biased” instead of actually debating the topic? If anything, it takes less, and the argument is turned on my opponent. He also claims that Kritiks help to apply philosophy later in life, yet completely exaggerates the eventual benefits. First, he ignores that philosophical issues cannot be applied nearly as much as hard, tangible problems to society. Second, he fails to give you any sort of benefit stemming specifically off of Policy debate. Every single example he gave, such as Wall Street, Libertarian Advocacy, and American Democracy are already discussed in depth in Public Forum debate. Except, instead of pulling a Kritik, you learn how to clearly argue in an effective manner, and learn to convince average members of society.

Even ignoring these responses, however, we can look to my second claim: that public forum promotes argumentation to the extent which is necessary. Con will not doubt try and persuade you that you should look to clear and logical argumentation over persuasiveness, but has essentially been non-responsive to my claim that Public Forum teaches you both of these skills. In fact, the only major benefit that my opponent claims in terms of argumentation is that Policy Debate emphasizes evidence. While this will be discussed more in the next voting issue, for now we can simply recall that (a) Public Forum uses evidence for every claim, and promotes extensive analysis of evidence throughout speeches and crossfires and (b) extensive evidence analysis beyond what is gained in Public Forum has little value in future societal situations.

Topic Knowledge

My opponent has combined this section with evidence, so I will do the same. Conveniently, this leaves the end voters to be exactly what I laid out in my original case. My opponent will undoubtedly attempt to push through his arguments on work ethic, research, and organization, but remember that this offense is contingent upon the claim that Policy debate requires more evidence, which I will be disproving.

We’ll start off with breadth of issues. My opponent’s response to this has been that Policy debate also engages individual’s with a variety of different societal issues. His justification has been that each year-long topic contains sub-arguments which must be researched and understood. However, the extent of knowledge gained from researching sub arguments for Policy debate is laughable, for a few reasons.

  1. Sub-arguments are inherently going to be less useful in terms of knowledge than an actual month of debating and applying the topic. More extensive use of the topic means greater depth of understanding regarding your arguments which can be applied later in life.
  2. Sub-arguments are not always applied in each debate round. For Public Forum debate, each of our 8 topics has a month solely dedicated to it. With Policy, there is a possibility that you will never actually argue any of your sub-arguments, and thus, not learn to apply it in an effective manner.
  3. Sub-arguments are only used when they can apply to the year-long topic itself. For example, research for a topic on transportation infrastructure might also grant knowledge relating to Keynesian economics, but the only aspect of Keynesian economics which is learned is spending specifically relating to transportation infrastructure. However, if we look to the Public Forum topic, you research all aspects of Keynesian economics, rather than just those that can be used to advance a single topic, and simultaneously learn the effects of Keynesian economics compared to other economic theories. Thus, while there are a variety of sub arguments that a Policy debater researches, the actual knowledge gained on each of the topic areas is minimal.

Next, move in to evidence/research. My opponent’s analysis on this issue is essentially a claim that Policy debate requires more extensive comparison of evidence than Public Forum debate. There are a number of clear problems with this argument.

First, Public Forum also contains extremely extensive analysis and comparison of evidence. Recall that, in addition to every claim being warranted, each major piece of evidence is typically discussed in the 9 total minutes of crossfire, analyzed during the 2 minutes of prep, and brought to the attention of the judge throughout each side’s speech.

Second, comparison of evidence doesn’t mean more research. Even if evidence is analyzed more, it doesn’t change the amount of research which is done. The mere possibility of evidence being analyzed, and resulting in an immediate loss for the debate if it is misrepresented, forces each Public Forum debater to know every piece of evidence by heart.

Finally, evidence doesn’t translate to topic knowledge. At the point where debate degrades into finding a single card which links back to nuclear war, the actual analysis of evidence becomes irrelevant. Again, even if Policy debate forces an individual to do more research, the actual value of research declines when it is prioritized over actual understanding and logical argumentation.



I'd like to thank my opponent for engaging in this debate, and best of luck when it come's to voting.

Raisor

Con


In this round I will present an overview of my argument


Overview:


Policy debate is educationally superior to Public Forum for four independent reasons:



  1. Policy is twice as long and twice as fast, meaning at least 4 times as many arguments can be made. This is an educational benefit in terms of quantity of material covered, ability to engage evidence in depth.

  2. Only policy engages Kritiks and Theory. These arguments are educationally beneficial by forcing self-examination, philosophical engagement, and strategic thinking.

  3. Policy debate engages both specialized and lay judges, effectively capturing all benefits PF derives from using lay judges while retaining the benefits of hyper-technical debate.

  4. Only policy debate is useful to other debate forms – Pro concedes PF uses policy judges to enable more technical debates while policy does not rely on a PF judge pool. This means PF usefulness is derived from policy debate.


Additionally, Public Forum debate fosters an attitude toward argumentation that is detrimental to both the individual and society. Argumentation is valued in PF only as a tool of manipulation; this point is demonstrated by Pro’s insistence that logic is only good if it helps you get your way. The impact to this is that work ethic and a value of education are undermined. Individuals will prefer to try and “appear” correct rather than apply argumentative rigor to come to correct conclusions, with disastrous consequences as individuals move on to real world fields where reputation is key to individual success and “appearing” correct without actually being so can result in the loss of lives and wealth.


Pro has functionally conceded that education and work ethic outweigh persuasiveness in utility and that education and work ethic yield persuasiveness. Pro also concedes that utility to society should be valued first. I have demonstrated both that Policy debate gives a greater benefits of education and work ethic, while PF actively hurts education and work ethic.


Framework:


Pro’s only response to framework is that the debate is about “usefulness” and not “benefits;” I have no idea how to evaluate usefulness without evaluating benefits and Pro offers no explanation.


Pro offers no response to the argument that the benefit of individuals is tied to society- individuals will have more opportunities in a thriving society than a struggling one; and that the subject of debate is society and public policyrather than the individual, making societal utility more relevant in evaluating the usefulness of debate.


I have demonstrated that work ethic and education ought to be valued more than persuasion, as these two abilities offer the means to developing persuasive ability while persuasive ability offers no path to work ethic and education. If I have a strong work ethic, research skills, and the ability to self-evaluate, I can teach myself rhetorical ability. If I only learn that persuasion is paramount, not only will I lack the skills to foster work ethic and education in myself, but I will wind up like Pro and think that these traits are worthless as long as I can get my way.


Work ethic is the foundation to all human success and is patently useful at the individual and societal level. Education is critical for societal progress- the development of new technology and refinement of law- and for individual success- i.e. the ability to become proficient in a professional field.


Education:


The single strongest point on this topic is the fact that a policy debate round is much longer than a PF round. Pro can claim that the evidential analysis in a PF round is on par with that in a policy round, but the simple fact is that a 4 minute PF speech does not offer the same opportunity for critical analysis that an 8 minute policy speech does. The ability to engage in critical reading and comparison is an educational skill with wide utility.


Pro tries to claim that policy debate fails to achieve topic breadth by listing topics that PF covers but policy supposedly doesn’t. When I provide hard evidence that policy does in fact cover the same topics as PF, Pro back pedals and concedes policy debate achieves a breadth of topic but only through “sub-arguments.” What a “sub-argument” means I can only guess at; I will let the judges puzzle out how you have a debate about Keynesian economics ONLY in respect to transportation infrastructure without understanding Keynesianism as a concept. The simple fact is policy debate covers just as wide a range of topics as PF. Most likely the range is much wider, especially considering p=PF excludes Thoery and Kritiks.


Rather than address my specific warrants to why Kritiks and Theory are uniquely valuable, Pro strawmans my argument and claims they are just ways of dodging the topic.


Recall my R3 reasons why Kritiks and Theory are uniquely valuable: Kritiks are real world arguments that are well represented in US political discourse, Kritiks and Theory promote self-reflective thinking, Kritiks promote philosophical challenges to the status quo that are critical to societal progress, and Theory maintains educational quality in debate.


His response that PF covers Kritik topics like Libertarian advocacy does nothing to advance his case because:



  1. At best this is just a concession of the educational value of Kritiks and a claim that PF also captures the benefit.

  2. He doesn’t capture my R3 e) argument, that Kritiks enhance the strategic aspect of debate and promote critical thinking.


Finally, Pro does not address any of my arguments about the inherent utility of complex arguments. Real world professionals make use of complex arguments all the time- lawyers, scientists, and CEOs all have to take into account complex situations and come to a strong logical conclusion. This ability is uniquely fostered by the in-depth and year-long topic of policy debate, which forces debaters to get into the nitty-gritty of arguments and refine strategy throughout the year. Pro thinks debate ought to emphasize argumentation only to the point of “necessity”- but this is an artificial and vague goal post that does not account for the intrinsic utility of argumentation.


Work Ethic:


Longer and faster rounds, a year-long topic, and topic depth all create competitive incentives for higher quality research in policy debate. Long rounds mean weak evidence has more time to be picked apart; long topics means weak evidence is weeded out over the year and must be replaced by quality research; topic depth means that debaters must dig deep for good evidence. This all puts a greater work load on policy debaters, fostering a strong work ethic.


The manipulative nature of public forum undermines work ethic, teaching individuals that what is most important is “appearing” correct, rather than seeking out the evidence that conclusively proves and argument.


Persuasive Ability:


Pro’s entire argument for the persuasive superiority of PF rests on the use of lay judges which force simple argumentation. Pro concedes that policy debate also uses lay judges, meaning policy debate garners all the persuasiveness advantages Pro claims for PF.


Additionally, Pro concedes that PF uses policy judges as expert judges to improve the quality of PF rounds. This demonstrates that usefulness provided by PF is dependent on policy debate, meaning any unique benefits of PF are at least partly attributed to the policy debate world.


Finally, cross apply my Framework arguments that education and work ethic are a prerequisite to persuasiveness. Clear and logical argumentation are required for persuasiveness, thus they should be evaluated first. Pro claims public forum teaches both argumentation and persuasiveness, yet his entire presentation demonstrates that PF does not teach argumentation as a skill but rather as tool of manipulation. Only policy debate teaches both. Moreover, the primacy of education over persuasion means that emphasis on argumentation is more important.


Debate Round No. 4
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
Do LD. It is a respectable form of debate at least.
Posted by Manatee 3 years ago
Manatee
I can agree with that, at least. Two or three times I've walked out of tournaments vowing never to return to PF, only to be forced to because we have no actual debate program and I don't want to learn LD or Policy on my own.
Posted by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
I think the best argument against PF is that the judging is really just disgusting. Oftentimes the coin flip decides the winner.
Posted by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
cant wait to read this. Public Forum blows. And I did PF.
Posted by Manatee 3 years ago
Manatee
Just to clear up a completely irrelevant point, my opening for round 3 was simply quoting my opponent. "The most important aspect of persuasion is the ability to present a clear and logical case, it is the pre-requisite to persuasiveness."
Posted by Manatee 3 years ago
Manatee
No comments or complaints. I actually agree with the decision being reached; I lost this debate. Just wanted to state my appreciation for giving such an in-depth rfd.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 6):

So, Raisor wins work ethic and tentatively education. He wins persuasion because work ethic and education lead to persuasion. The non-rebuttal made judging harder and made this debate a lot closet than it had to be but Raisor comes out on top.

Manatee did well overall but the most frustrating parts was when he responded to things that were completely irrelevant such as arguing that Kritiks are "useless." So what? I guess time is wasted but Manatee never mentions wasted time. I have to GUESS what the impace is of Kritiks being useless. I also have to wonder what he was talking about when he mis-addressed the point about engagement of evidence and Raisor's claim of persuasiveness. This put him significantly on the backfoot. That combined with the way Raisor tied up all the loose ends and made it very difficult for Manatee to win in the last round is really why I see Raisor taking most of the points. And so, I am voting 3 points to Raisor on arguments.

If I missed anything or if you have any questions or comments about my judging, feel free to point it out and I'd be happy to explain. Overall, awesome debate. I hope my assessment didn't come across as too harsh Manatee, I was mostly typing major points as I saw them and posted my thoughts.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 5):

His response was interesting because he concedes the societal argument while saying that persuasion doesn't cause harm to society. He argues against (c) by providing his own reasons why PF leads to better breadth of knowledge. He says that there is a possibility that you won't actually argue the sub-arguments in Policy negating the benefit of interacting with evidence. Also, attacks that actual knowledge gained is minimal because of isolated knowledge. FINALLY, the issue of time is addressed. So, we have 9 total minutes of crossfire, 2 minutes of prep, and the speeches. This was what I was looking for the entire debate. Manatee claims that even if evidence is analyzed more, it doesn't change the amount of research being done. This is so pointless as an argument since Raisor's point was that ENGAGEMENT of evidence was a benefit by itself. However, his next point is very strong because he touches on the possibility of a loss if the evidence is misrepresented regardless of how deeply it is analyzed in round.

At this point, if Raisor had countered, I would have given him the win immediately but he makes my job a whole lot harder. He never responds to his refuted time argument. So, I'll have to say education is a wash. So, both PF and Policy have great educational benefits and both will help with persuasion. Raisor repeats himself on 8 minute Policy round vs 4 minute PF round. Yes, I read it the first time. I was more interested in seeing the rebuttal to prep time analysis and such. He makes good arguments to the Keynesian example and the necessity to understanding the concepts. He easily wins on work ethic saying that longer rounds mean that weak evidence has more time to be picked apart and discarded and replaced with better evidence. This doesn't come merely from the threat of a loss.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 4):

Societal over individual benefits:
Raisor wants to prioritize societal benefits as individuals do best in flourishing societies. Also wants to prioritize education, work ethic over persuasion because educated people argue persuasively and work ethic can develop persuasion. I found the second point particularly compelling. I know from personal experience that it is so much easier to speak and debate on topics that you know very well. If you don't understand the topic, you are often lost. So, the impact here is very strong because even if Manatee wins persuasiveness AND valuation of individuals over society, he wouldn't be able to win the debate unless he either a) destroys this argument or b) counters that point on time length of policy debate giving increased educational, research, and organizational benefits. This is because Raisor had some points standing from the education arguments about time length.

This is what I have coming into the last round with Raisor nearly on the brink of victory. I have three things I was looking out for in Manatee's round that could win him the debate:
a) whether individual benefits were asserted over societal benefits
b) whether persuasion was argued to outweigh education
c) whether the educational benefits of time length were refuted

Arguing (a) and (b) would win it because his points about presidential debates went uncontested from an individual benefits framework. Arguing (c) would negate education and the decision would rest on whoever won persuasion, in other words (a), because that is what persuasion came down to in this debate.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 3):

Manatee argues that speed of argumentation needs specially trained judges. This contradicts Raisor's assertion of lay judges. Judge crossover makes this argument a wash. Sure, I saw Raisor's argument about self-sustenance but I am not really buying it as it requires hypothetical arguments as to what will happen if Policy debate didn't exist. Manatee argues that PF encourages debate argumentation in a clear and logical manner whereas Policy teaches kritks, speed, jargon and other useless stuff. But useless isn't harmful. Raisor also pointed out useful stuff. Raisor responds to points about Kritiks and theories. This was a defensive argument anyways. Manatee really screwed up here. Pointing out that policy teaches "useless" stuff like Kritiks and theories made absolutely no dent in Raisor's case.

Manatee further argues that selling your argument outweighs winning your argument. So, this basically comes down whether individual should be considered over society.

Raisor claims concession that winning arguments is done by presenting a clear and logical case. However, policy emphasizes winning arguments with cases unclear to the layperson. No real concession here. He also claims that force of argument trumps oratorical skill and adds that these arguments make it to philosophical journals. Yet, no response to presidents and car salesmen. However, if societal benefits hold, these can be safely ignored.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 3 years ago
Misterscruffles
ManateeRaisorTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: CVB Lindseyloo
Vote Placed by lindseyloo92 3 years ago
lindseyloo92
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Public forum is the bomb dot com.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD has been provided in comments 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 3 years ago
vmpire321
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Reasons for voting decision: too much bias.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: I have no personal familiarity with any of the three academic debate styles discussed, so I am mainly relying on what is said about the styles in the debate. The purpose of academia is to prepare students to participate in society, and that is best done my teaching students how tell good arguments from bad ones and how to discover the truth of factual issues through research. I think Con made the case that policy debate does that the best job requiring in-depth research and preparation of careful arguments.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 3 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
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Reasons for voting decision: counter
Vote Placed by MaqicDan 3 years ago
MaqicDan
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Reasons for voting decision: At my school, we call PF pussy debate. Policy all the way. #statequalifier