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Ideal paradigm

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On the 8 hour drive home from Las Vegas this weekend, I had an interesting discussion with my two senior debaters (both of whom are interested in judging next year after they graduate) about the "ideal" paradigm. I wanted to throw out some questions to see if any judges in the community have any thoughts on this discussion.

 

First, is it legitimate to refuse to vote for a straight dropped position? For example, if the neg reads "racism good" or "homophobia good", and the aff drops it (assuming it is a voter/round winning argument), can a judge ever refuse to vote for it? Essentially, can a judge refuse to vote on certain arguments, no matter how they are handled in round?

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I don't see any logical problem with a judge ignoring a dropped point when the team which ran the point did not make a prima facie showing in support of the point. Merely claiming that something is the case, without providing sufficient evidence to demonstrate the truth of your claim, is not a sufficient argument. If the other team could just as easily say "meh" or "so what" in response, then I see no harm in the judge's ignoring of the point because, even if we assume the drop amounts to a complete concession, nothing has been conceded since there was no point to concede.

 

There may be other cases too, but this is the first that popped into my head.

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Debate is a game, simple as that.

However, I think that as arbiters of this game, we are not absolved of moral responsibility simply in the name of the "game." Just like no baseball player should get away with publicly dropping the n- word, I don't think that "just because it's debate" means that any other person should too.

 

As a judge, I am very willing to vote against a team for using blatantly racist language, etc.

 

Now as far as "racism good" goes. Etc. If the argument is legitimately "racism good" I think that as adjudicators we can refuse to vote for such a position, even if conceded. (although, I can't think of a single scenario in which the neg can say racism good without the aff saying racism is bad...?)

My position is limited to this though. There is a difference in, say: Racism is key to hegemony (because we have to racially profile to define terrorists? [i'm not exactly up to date on my racism k2 heg lit]) or attempts to annihilate racism bad (Lacan, Schmitt, etc.), and racism is good because "those blackeys are biologically inferior".

 

Another reason I don't think it's intellectually flawed to not vote for something like "racism good" is because racism good, as an argument, is tautological. It relies upon the assumptions of racism in order for it to be true.

Edited by Studley Dudley
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Far more appropriate to punish for offensive arguments with speaker points.

 

That said, like all judges I have a threshold for argumentation before you can win on something, you can't win on a dropped "racism good because black people are inferior" with no ev or warrants

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Far more appropriate to punish for offensive arguments with speaker points.

 

That said, like all judges I have a threshold for argumentation before you can win on something, you can't win on a dropped "racism good because black people are inferior" with no ev or warrants

 

Even with ev and warrants, I'm not picking up "racism good because black/latino/white people are inferior" And for me, dropping speaks is not more appropriate than dropping the team. I see no reason to tolerate that sort of argumentation in a round I am adjudicating. I can punish the team with a loss should the argumentation be morally repugnant enough.

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Even with ev and warrants, I'm not picking up "racism good because black/latino/white people are inferior" And for me, dropping speaks is not more appropriate than dropping the team. I see no reason to tolerate that sort of argumentation in a round I am adjudicating. I can punish the team with a loss should the argumentation be morally repugnant enough.

 

I'm with this guy. I see no reason our morals should be sleighted for the sake of the game.

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I'm with this guy. I see no reason our morals should be sleighted for the sake of the game.

 

I tend to agree that our morals should not be sacrificed for the game that debate is. However, this seems to generate some problems for any attempted tabula rasa paradigm--at what point does that argument go too far?

 

Example: I would probably not evaluate a blatantly racist argument, even if it were conceded by the other team. I say this for moral reasons.

 

Another example: I judged some LD rounds recently, and teams were running epistemological skepticism. My personal and philosophical beliefs are fundamentally opposed to that position, and it hurts me to think that some people actually believe some of those types of arguments.

 

I attempt to be tabula rasa, to the point of allowing arguments I don't approve of, even if they hurt me inside. Because of those beliefs, I voted up the epistemological skepticism teams several times (because, based on those arguments, they won the round). However, what is the bright line at which point it is okay to vote teams down for arguments you personally don't like?

 

It's typically seen as not okay to vote teams down for running a politics disad you personally disagree with, so what is the point when personal belief has to take a side-seat to the blank slate?

 

Just food for thought. I've honestly wondered about these questions for a while now.

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I honestly disagree... If an argument is horrible, so what if they back it up with evidence... By voting for them you don't have to believe it, you just have to accept they ran it better than the other team could refute... If an argument like "Racism good b/c whites are da bomb" comes up and they defend it, and they provide voters and ev. they should win if dropped...

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Wow... I'm amazed to see my 15 month old thread bumped...

 

We're just that cool

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I honestly disagree... If an argument is horrible, so what if they back it up with evidence... By voting for them you don't have to believe it, you just have to accept they ran it better than the other team could refute... If an argument like "Racism good b/c whites are da bomb" comes up and they defend it, and they provide voters and ev. they should win if dropped...

 

I strongly agree with that, allowing your personal morals and beliefs to get in the way of your analyzing the debate is judge intervention at its worst.

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I strongly agree with that, allowing your personal morals and beliefs to get in the way of your analyzing the debate is judge intervention at its worst.

 

i agree to an extent. i think the best argument here is the bright-line argument. even if saying genocide good is morally bad, what if i think that bataille is just as repulsive? is it OK to vote teams down based on a personal preference for arguments? same goes for racism good arguments. because of what we think of it is totally subjective, a debater cannot accurately adjust all their args for a personal preference on them, making debate unpredictable and unfair. rejecting a team for saying racism good is the same as rejecting a team for not being hypotesters, it is your personal philosophy on debate and i don't think it should color your decisions.

also, some might say "but everyone knows racism is bad!!!!111!!" and to that i say that morality is subjective and it is egocentric for you to think what you believe is believed by everyone or everyone agrees on how bad it is, so the variability compromises the fairness/predictability of the activity

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Personal preference for arguments is entirely different from a moral rejection of arguments because of their absolute disregard for the sanctity of certain types of lives. I am not an advocate of "I hate biopower, therefore I won't vote on biopower key to hegemony impact turns." There's a difference between that and "blackeys are inferior." There is a brightline, it's called the Porn test. You know it when you see it, and while that may seem extremely subjective remember that the point of the debate is to convince the judge you are correct.

 

Simply put there are very few things that fall into the "you lose" category:

Dropping the n- word in a context where it is not necessary/required/part of an argument.

Straight up saying another race is inferior to White for whatever reason.

Saying that women should be raped.

Advocating violence against a group because of something they can't change (again, when it is not part of an argument. I.E. when it is not Black Rage, etc. Examples being Fred Phelps, et al.)

 

And yes, everyone should know racism is bad. That may be a universal ethic that I feel should be adopted (OMG I LINK TO LACAN AND NIETZSCHE!) but you can fuck yourself if you think otherwise. If you want to argue that we shouldn't marginalize the voices of people who think racism is good you can get the fuck out of this activity.

Edited by Studley Dudley
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I strongly agree with that, allowing your personal morals and beliefs to get in the way of your analyzing the debate is judge intervention at its worst.

 

Personally I'm in agreement,

 

But as S-Dud pointed out right above, the activity isn't about winning the round or winning the flow or even winning an argument. Debate is a game that involves winning a ballot- a judge's signature.

 

Any paradigm that is fair is functional--the only ones I absolutely disagree with are people who are prejudiced and will/wont vote for X debater because they are of Y gender or Z national origin or Q socioeconomic status or from W school.

 

to me, the Ideal Paradigm is one that is

 

1. NOT prejudiced, (hopefully that goes without saying)

2. Available to read on the Judgephilosophies wiki and written by the actual judge

3. Adhered to for the most part by the judge who wrote it--or updated if paradigms change

 

Basically, if you know what you're debating in front of, that's ideal. The Wiki's something I really wish we had when I was debating.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Well I should also add this to my paradigm since some situations I saw and heard of this year. Performance cases can be cool, but I draw the line, end the round, make a decision, and have a conversation with your coach and the tournament director when there's sexual harassment or a physical confrontation during the round. (take a lesson from the PuFo kids who got their right to stand during CX formally revoked by the NFL because of some fistfight) This isn't an issue of personal preference or moral high ground. It's purely a matter of liability.

 

One of my friends who coaches another team had a semi-big issue this year with students getting sexually harassed in a round under the guise of a performance aff that I still cant figure out, but involved the team displaying a bunch of porn and asking questions about their opponent's specific masturbation practices during CX. I think it was meant to draw attention to the fact that sex makes people feel uncomfortable or something to that effect. The norms don't yet exist in HS debate to deal with that kind of stuff--as opposed to CEDA which has a clear sexual harassment line that you don't cross. In any case, I don't think there's a place for that kind of stuff in High School, especially in the particular instance I mentioned because it was run against 2 new-ish debaters entered in their first Open tournament. They were not only very confused, but extremely uncomfortable. As a judge and from the tournament's perspective, that's a massive liability problem that I will not be a party to.

Edited by TejaVepa
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The ideal paradigm doesn't involve a specific decision making calculas, just a consistant one. That allows for adaptation.

 

If a judge blindly votes on dropped arguments versus needs the arguments to be plausible/convincing, as long as they are predictable in that type of decision making my teams have a chance. It is when we have no idea what the judge will vote on or that the judge is inconsistant in what is needed to win that ballot that it becomes a crap shoot.

 

The scariest judge is one that says, "Do whatever you want" or "I'm tabula rasa" because we know that if they know those terms they truly are not and thus are just not communicating their preconceived notions and thus are unpredicatable. The best paradigm is to explain your experience, your natural, human preconceived notions, and how you have reconciled rounds in the past to make a decision.

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The consistent paradigm can be a nightmare too. Imagine a judge who will automatically vote up the first team who says that hegemony is good. (I've seen some.)

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I solve most of these problems with my take on the Policymaker paradigm. I tell debaters to pretend that I am a policymaker (congressman, president, justice, etc. depending on their agent of action) and they don't just have to convince me, they have to give me arguments presented in such a way that I could repeat them to my constituents and they would be convinced (or at least persuaded that I made a reasonable choice).

 

So, if you run "racism good" in front of me, you're going to need an incredibly persuasive argument, because if my constituents definitely won't go for it, then I'm not going to either.

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Personal preference for arguments is entirely different from a moral rejection of arguments because of their absolute disregard for the sanctity of certain types of lives. I am not an advocate of "I hate biopower, therefore I won't vote on biopower key to hegemony impact turns." There's a difference between that and "blackeys are inferior." There is a brightline, it's called the Porn test. You know it when you see it, and while that may seem extremely subjective remember that the point of the debate is to convince the judge you are correct.

 

Simply put there are very few things that fall into the "you lose" category:

Dropping the n- word in a context where it is not necessary/required/part of an argument.

Straight up saying another race is inferior to White for whatever reason.

Saying that women should be raped.

Advocating violence against a group because of something they can't change (again, when it is not part of an argument. I.E. when it is not Black Rage, etc. Examples being Fred Phelps, et al.)

 

And yes, everyone should know racism is bad. That may be a universal ethic that I feel should be adopted (OMG I LINK TO LACAN AND NIETZSCHE!) but you can fuck yourself if you think otherwise. If you want to argue that we shouldn't marginalize the voices of people who think racism is good you can get the fuck out of this activity.

 

im not saying dont have preferences or do not let your morals sway you, im saying making decisions based solely on your morals is bad because it makes the activity unpredictable. you gave examples of automatic losses, and if i judged a round and that shit happened, i would get pissed as fuck, but i wouldnt drop the team, just raise their threshold for winning (by a lot). i think thats a more fair way to state your paradigm than having auto-losses, because for you racism/rape good args are an auto-loss, but for others heg good is an auto win (referencing chaos). i see no problem in stating your opinion to the debater or giving them hell or making them feel like shit afterwards, but your moral stance should not decide the round, although it can (and, almost without fail, will) influence your decision.

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What benefit is there to voting down teams who make racist claims? Why is it moral to do so?

 

You can probably achieve any benefits from this, if there are any, just as easily by writing on the bottom of your ballot that racism is objectively bad.

 

This is the best option because it stops judge intervention.

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What benefit is there to voting down teams who make racist claims? Why is it moral to do so?

 

You can probably achieve any benefits from this, if there are any, just as easily by writing on the bottom of your ballot that racism is objectively bad.

 

This is the best option because it stops judge intervention.

 

Because voting up a team and then writing "racism is objectively bad" does jack fucking shit to keep morons from repeating those claims. You act like people learn from the harshly-worded post-round "Here's why I hated voting for you."

 

Bullshit, debaters care about the ballot.

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Because voting up a team and then writing "racism is objectively bad" does jack fucking shit to keep morons from repeating those claims. You act like people learn from the harshly-worded post-round "Here's why I hated voting for you."

 

Bullshit, debaters care about the ballot.

You will not shape the morality of the debaters involved through the ballot. At best, you will suppress existing racist tendencies they have.

 

What is the benefit to voting them down if it does not stop them from being racist? Why is it detrimental to morality to make claims that are obviously untrue?

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Because voting up a team and then writing "racism is objectively bad" does jack fucking shit to keep morons from repeating those claims. You act like people learn from the harshly-worded post-round "Here's why I hated voting for you."

 

Bullshit, debaters care about the ballot.

 

Fuck that!!! It's not like people believe their arguments... Do you really think that providing water to people in Africa stops an "inheevitable" nuke war? Or medatative thinking actually does anything? fuck that... No one believes their own claims. The fact that they make a "morally repugnant" claim is no different. They don't believe it, and chances are neither does anyone in the round... but fuck, if they have evidence and the other teams doesn't answer to efficiancy or drops it... they win.

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Chaos: Yes, I may not shape their morals, but I'm standing up for mine. And you just said my ballot suppresses their racist tendencies... so I prevent them from acting on their racism? I'll take it.

 

Fuck that!!! It's not like people believe their arguments... Do you really think that providing water to people in Africa stops an "inheevitable" nuke war? Or medatative thinking actually does anything? fuck that... No one believes their own claims. The fact that they make a "morally repugnant" claim is no different. They don't believe it, and chances are neither does anyone in the round... but fuck, if they have evidence and the other teams doesn't answer to efficiancy or drops it... they win.

 

Yes, and most of that shit doesn't matter. You're right, people that run Heidegger probably engage in non-meditative thought. Is that as prolific and virulent as racism? Fuck no. Should debaters under any fucking circumstances whatsoever say that black people are inferior to whites? No! A thousand fucking times no. That is absurd to defend the "we should get to say racism good." Find another God damn way to win the round, you prick. I don't care if it's switch side debate, and I don't care if you think that makes it okay. Go fuck yourself, I will drop you, most judges will drop you, all judges should drop you.

 

EDIT: Has anyone who judges a round come in to defend the "they should get to say racism good and not lose the round, just speaker points?" side of this debate? I don't think I see any.

Edited by Studley Dudley

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Chaos: Yes, I may not shape their morals, but I'm standing up for mine. And you just said my ballot suppresses their racist tendencies... so I prevent them from acting on their racism? I'll take it.

 

 

 

Yes, and most of that shit doesn't matter. You're right, people that run Heidegger probably engage in non-meditative thought. Is that as prolific and virulent as racism? Fuck no. Should debaters under any fucking circumstances whatsoever say that black people are inferior to whites? No! A thousand fucking times no. That is absurd to defend the "we should get to say racism good." Find another God damn way to win the round, you prick. I don't care if it's switch side debate, and I don't care if you think that makes it okay. Go fuck yourself, I will drop you, most judges will drop you, all judges should drop you.

 

EDIT: Has anyone who judges a round come in to defend the "they should get to say racism good and not lose the round, just speaker points?" side of this debate? I don't think I see any.

 

So what if it's abusurd!!! So is timecube... Are you getting pissed because their mindset is not consistent with the worlds generally accepted astro-planetary-mindset? no. Because no one gives a shit!!! And honestly! If they don't believe their argument, and no one else does, but the other team drops it, and they warranted their arguments, you're being biased in voting them down... it doesn't matter that it's abusurd! Policy debate is absurd, that's no reason to vote a team down... and what about the people who run, ethnocentrism good, or west is best... isn't that the same idea as racism, except on a larger scale (One group > others)? I have seen it run on and won many times...

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If judges consistantly voted down absurd arguments, the problem would be moot. Teams would quit running them. I don't see a lot of warrants for why teams should run arguments they don't believe in.

 

And before someone says that is a natural consequence of switch side debate, it isn't. Impact turns are not a requirement and often aren't even the best strategy.

 

Therefore I contend that consistancy in decision making is the first criteria for a good paradigm. The second criteria would be aligning that decision making with what you want debate to be.

 

Personnally, I don't want teams running the most ridiculous arguments they can find just to win the game on paper, so I try to be consistant in my decision making in such a fashion to reward teams for developing postions that they can reasonably defend outside the debate competition.

 

Just because an argument was not responded to does not make the argument valid much less true, so dropped arguments do not result in automatic wins when I am the judge. Since I try to be consistant in that, teams can adapt to me and know that going for the spread strategy, while still helpful, is not a game winner, and they have to pick and choose their best arguments that they can defend. I think that produces a better debate experience for all involved than just playing a mindgame. I think I meet my two criteria, or at least try to, and that makes for a pretty good paradigm. For those who judge my teams, that is what I'd want them to do for my students.

 

Chaos, I too have known the judge whose bias creates bad consistancy. I would say they are not truly consistant, but actually the most random of all judges because you often don't know what argument they find to be the game winner. They are random in that of all the arguments, only one is the key argument, and that is unpredicatable. And for the judge who does tell the kids, "whoever says Heg good first wins" is not judging a debate but instead a quickdraw. They are the worst kind of "judge", stereotypically a young college kid who wants to look cool and doesn't realize or care about the importance of the activity or how they are damaging it. They over value their delusional self importance and waste everyone's time. I wouldn't consider them to be meeting my criteria for a good paradigm.

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