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#1 Nonegfiat

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:02 AM

i'm wondering what people on this site think about big questions debate. Personally, i think I would be terrible at it. "Resolved: Science leaves no room for free will." What does that even mean?? Do they mean like does psychology/biology necessitate human beings react a certain way to a given situation or do we have some transcendent Will?

 

Has anyone ever watched or done big questions debate? How do these rounds normally play out?


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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#2 CalculusBC

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:26 AM

To someone who has only a minor idea of what Heidegger says from whispers I've heard, that sounds a lot like "Resolved: Heidegger had the right idea"


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I wonder if I actually understand half the arguments I go for, or if judges are just confused and think I'm right because I sound confident in my explanation...


#3 shreethebsmaster

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:57 AM

I too have big questions about big questions debate.


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#4 AlisonPotter

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 11:47 AM

I did BiQueD for a tournament for my IE, I usually do congress. People normally run the affirmative and neg cases provided on the NSDA website if people aren't particularly amazing in your area (and because it's really new). I wrote my own cases and it seemed to trip people up a whole lot. I would recommend looking at the provided resources on the NSDA website for it (they have cases and an actual round you can watch). If you have any specific questions, then I can answer them.

Also a note: not really a place for K Affs or anything that could be interpreted not as the topic because if someone decides to call you out, the penalty if it is determined to stray too much from the topic is an automatic loss.
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#5 Nonegfiat

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 04:06 PM

I did BiQueD for a tournament for my IE, I usually do congress. People normally run the affirmative and neg cases provided on the NSDA website if people aren't particularly amazing in your area (and because it's really new). I wrote my own cases and it seemed to trip people up a whole lot. I would recommend looking at the provided resources on the NSDA website for it (they have cases and an actual round you can watch). If you have any specific questions, then I can answer them.

Thanks, I found the sample cases you were talking about and they're pretty helpful. I will say I'm surprised to see how short the speaking times are. For a topic this deep, I would want a lot more than 5 minutes to lay out my case. Especially without spreading

 

Also a note: not really a place for K Affs or anything that could be interpreted not as the topic because if someone decides to call you out, the penalty if it is determined to stray too much from the topic is an automatic loss.

Yeah i learned my lesson running k affs outside of policy. took a major L and double 21's plus a 2 page long RFD for trying it in PF. I guess BQD is making extra sure they can maintain the purity of their event


Edited by Nonegfiat, 20 December 2016 - 04:06 PM.

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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#6 Chaos

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:39 PM

That topic might as well be Resolved: Neg wins.


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#7 Theinternallink

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:46 PM

My friend did BQD and said it was the ultimate clash of logical fallacies... but the interesting part was the slow talking that occured, it was like actual public speaking on nes behalf instead of that intense non-stop clash, like nobody really preps out other positions you just have to be a pretty speaker.

I hope my input helped 


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PM me for practice debates Im on this website far too often...

oh well 


#8 Nonegfiat

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:20 PM

That topic might as well be Resolved: Neg wins.

yeah now that i think about it, the affirmative has quite the burden. Science leaves no room for free will? I mean geez that's a bit much. Sounds more like this resolution "leaves no room" for weighing impacts. Because if the neg wins any of their offense, that's the end of it


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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#9 Nonegfiat

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:21 PM

My friend did BQD and said it was the ultimate clash of logical fallacies... but the interesting part was the slow talking that occured, it was like actual public speaking on nes behalf instead of that intense non-stop clash, like nobody really preps out other positions you just have to be a pretty speaker.

I hope my input helped 

sounds like lay LD


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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#10 CynicClinic

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 11:13 PM

Quoting the NSDA Big Questions Format Manual:

 

Big Questions is designed to pit opposing worldviews against each other in an effort to lead students to explore levels of argumentation that are rarely reached in other debate formats.

 

Do they really expect deeper levels of argumentation than policy debate despite each team having only one five-minute constructive speech? I'm welcome to being proven wrong here, but it certainly seems that these incredibly brief speeches (contrasting the massive literature bases of the, "big," questions under examination) are a good way to guarantee rounds made up of blippy soundbites and butchered philosophy. I mean, if you thought K debates were guilty of that sometimes, imagine them under even more restrictive limitations.

 

The above quotation also appears fundamentally at odds with a later one from the same manual:
 

Debaters will focus on identifying the areas they are garnering the best advantage and strengthening the analysis and argumentation in those areas; the form will not resemble a strict “line-by-line” treatment of the debate.

 

No line-by-line analysis or thorough, interacting levels of argument and counterargument - pick one.

 

Then you have gems like these about the Rebuttal and Consolidation speeches, respectively:
 

These speeches are known as the Rebuttal speeches, though their content may not be entirely made up of rebuttal.

Additional evidence or analysis on existing points of contention will be given, but new arguments are discouraged.

 

As it turns out, only the very last speech from each side (the Rationale) explicitly disallows new arguments - and the Negative gets the last word. Considering that, under the current resolution, the Negative only has to win a modicum of offense in order to win the round, this feels incredibly unfair for the Affirmative.

 

I think that this format has potential, but it first needs to work out some serious structural kinks - either smaller questions or longer speeches - and stop trying so hard to be, "not policy."

Edit: Speaking of trying to be, "not policy," at all costs, I later found this while rereading the manual:

 

...the assumption that every argument must be explicitly refuted or deemed to be conceded and true – is unlikely to be enforced. A common-person understanding of which arguments are important and which are not is a better method to evaluate what must be refuted.

 

This simultaneously seems to encourage judge intervention and discourage the deep levels of argumentation that this format ostensibly seeks to promote. Although I suppose it does mean that the brief nature of the speeches (perhaps my biggest complaint) doesn't matter as much, that's more so because the speeches don't appear to matter very much to begin with.


Edited by CynicClinic, 20 December 2016 - 11:42 PM.

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Nonegfiat. (2017, June 18). China VDebate- TheTrashDebater(Aff) v. Nonegfiat(Neg). Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.cross-x....atneg/?p=939106

 

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#11 Theinternallink

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 05:45 AM

The neg doesnt have an actual advantage, the aff gets to decide what free will is, if they define it aggressively enough the playing field gets a heck of a lot bigger, for example defining free will as the beliefs that we share and dont share


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PM me for practice debates Im on this website far too often...

oh well 


#12 Nonegfiat

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:11 AM

Quoting the NSDA Big Questions Format Manual:

 

 

Do they really expect deeper levels of argumentation than policy debate despite each team having only one five-minute constructive speech? I'm welcome to being proven wrong here, but it certainly seems that these incredibly brief speeches (contrasting the massive literature bases of the, "big," questions under examination) are a good way to guarantee rounds made up of blippy soundbites and butchered philosophy. I mean, if you thought K debates were guilty of that sometimes, imagine them under even more restrictive limitations.

 

The above quotation also appears fundamentally at odds with a later one from the same manual:
 

 

No line-by-line analysis or thorough, interacting levels of argument and counterargument - pick one.

 

Then you have gems like these about the Rebuttal and Consolidation speeches, respectively:
 

 

As it turns out, only the very last speech from each side (the Rationale) explicitly disallows new arguments - and the Negative gets the last word. Considering that, under the current resolution, the Negative only has to win a modicum of offense in order to win the round, this feels incredibly unfair for the Affirmative.

 

I think that this format has potential, but it first needs to work out some serious structural kinks - either smaller questions or longer speeches - and stop trying so hard to be, "not policy."

Edit: Speaking of trying to be, "not policy," at all costs, I later found this while rereading the manual:

 

 

This simultaneously seems to encourage judge intervention and discourage the deep levels of argumentation that this format ostensibly seeks to promote. Although I suppose it does mean that the brief nature of the speeches (perhaps my biggest complaint) doesn't matter as much, that's more so because the speeches don't appear to matter very much to begin with.

I agree with everything you've laid out here. I think the more events try to downplay the flow and "line-by-line" debate in favor of a "common person's" understanding of what's important in a debate, the further those events will move from the deep argumentation that makes debate special. If you want an event that doesn't emphasize deep argumentation, Public Forum I think does a great job of that. Deemphasis on tech and short speeches work well when paired with monthly topics which are all focused on current events and limited in scope. But not when it comes to "big questions" and a yearlong resolution. That's another issue I have with BQD. Yearlong topics work in policy only because the topic functions an umbrella for the cases and offcase which evolve and develop over the course of the year. 5 minutes constructives + lopsided resolution + emphasis on sounding pretty is not a good foundation for a yearlong resolution.

 

Also, I feel like mentioning, I'm a little annoyed by the way BQD seems to be full of itself. "Exploring levels of argumentation rarely found in other debate formats"? That doesn't sound very fair to policy and LD. For all the hate that kritiks get, I certainly credit them for bringing "big questions" into debate. Plus the BQD slogan: "Bringing life to debate". As if debate was dead before they came on the scene. I don't know, that level of conceitedness bugs me, especially when paired with all the flaws pointed out. 

The neg doesnt have an actual advantage, the aff gets to decide what free will is, if they define it aggressively enough the playing field gets a heck of a lot bigger, for example defining free will as the beliefs that we share and dont share

 

Regardless of how they define it, their burden is still to prove that science leaves no room for free will, whatever that may be, in every instance. Every other debate format leaves room for weighing in their resolutions. They ask the question of "should" or in the case of some PF resolutions "do the benefits outweigh the harms". All of those leave it up to the debaters to argue how their impacts implicate the resolution, which is important because it's unreasonable to expect a team to disprove every single thing the other team says.

 

Also, does the neg not get to contest the aff's definition of free will?


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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#13 TheSnowball

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 11:40 AM

Maybe they called it Big Questions Debate because of everything you're left wondering after seeing it.
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This cross-ex is taking too long.

Kafka 25 (Franz, Novelist, Translated by David Wyllie, "The Trial", 1925) //Snowball

K. was informed by telephone that there would be a small hearing concerning his case the following Sunday. He was made aware that these cross examinations would follow one another regularly, perhaps not every week but quite frequently. On the one hand it was in everyone’s interest to bring proceedings quickly to their conclusion, but on the other hand every aspect of the examinations had to be carried out thoroughly without lasting too long because of the associated stress. For these reasons, it had been decided to hold a series of brief examinations following on one after another. Sunday had been chosen as the day for the hearings so that K. would not be disturbed in his professional work. It was assumed that he would be in agreement with this, but if he wished for another date then, as far as possible, he would be accommodated. Cross-examinations could even be held in the night, for instance, but K. would probably not be fresh enough at that time. Anyway, as long as K. made no objection, the hearing would be left on Sundays. It was a matter of course that he would have to appear without fail, there was probably no need to point this out to him. He would be given the number of the building where he was to present himself, which was in a street in a suburb well away from the city centre which K. had never been to before.


#14 CynicClinic

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 12:17 PM

The neg doesnt have an actual advantage, the aff gets to decide what free will is, if they define it aggressively enough the playing field gets a heck of a lot bigger, for example defining free will as the beliefs that we share and dont share

I agree that that feels like how it should work, but, due to the absolute nature of (at least) the current resolution, that is not how it would work.
 
The Affirmative is free to provide interpretations of, "free will," and, "science," but the Negative is also free to provide counterinterpretations. Because the resolution specifies, "no room," for free will, the Affirmative has to somehow shut down every possible counterinterpretation that would allow for free will, as the existence of even one of them would no longer satisfy, "no room." There is no word like, "should," or, "ought," to give the debaters room to weigh impacts - even if you win that the Negative's counterinterpretations are bad, you still lose unless you win that they are completely wrong.
 
Even if we disregard this weighing problem in the current resolution, defining, "free will," as, "the beliefs that we share and don't share," or any other strategically exclusive definition under any future resolution, while theoretically placing the Affirmative in a better starting position, would almost certainly be at odds with the, "common-person understanding," that the manual advocates. With the event's stringent positions on topicality that have already been discussed in this thread, you're risking losing the round outright for straying too far from what the topic is ostensibly, "supposed to," be about.
 

Also, I feel like mentioning, I'm a little annoyed by the way BQD seems to be full of itself. "Exploring levels of argumentation rarely found in other debate formats"? That doesn't sound very fair to policy and LD. For all the hate that kritiks get, I certainly credit them for bringing "big questions" into debate. Plus the BQD slogan: "Bringing life to debate". As if debate was dead before they came on the scene. I don't know, that level of conceitedness bugs me, especially when paired with all the flaws pointed out.

 

That's kind of my take on it as well. As of right now, BQD looks like someone sat down and said, "Policy debate is just soulless speed-reading, so let's make a debate format that's as unlike policy as possible - consequences be damned." The other "new" debate formats don't tend to have these massive fundamental problems because they deftly constructed their unique identities on the shoulders of giants, rather than throwing out decades of knowledge and defining themselves as, "not X," in an attempt to be different.


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Nonegfiat. (2017, June 18). China VDebate- TheTrashDebater(Aff) v. Nonegfiat(Neg). Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.cross-x....atneg/?p=939106

 

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#15 Nonegfiat

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 12:43 PM

With the event's stringent positions on topicality that have already been discussed in this thread, you're risking losing the round outright for straying too far from what the topic is ostensibly, "supposed to," be about.

 

Speaking of their stringent positions on topicality, if you look at the survey that they want people to fill out after tournaments, there's a section which asks: "Did you listen to, debate, or judge any arguments that were not specific to proving or disproving the topic - Resolved: Science leaves no room for free will?*

If so, please explain."
They literally want you to report to them if someone runs anything critical or unorthodox. That speaks volumes to what you were saying about the "not policy" mentality.

Edited by Nonegfiat, 21 December 2016 - 12:49 PM.

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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#16 Chaos

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:01 PM

Despite the stringent restrictions on T, the affirmative might best be served by arguing that the concept of "room for free will" specifically is bogus. "Either free will exists, or it does not." That line could probably be used verbatim. There's a kind of vague line of thought that says "if science doesn't disprove free will, free will is a reasonable concept to believe in". That position can be reasonably criticized. This would require some persuasive stretching of the topic that I know I personally wouldn't be able to execute, however. Persuasive debate sucks.

TBH, I expect that the judges for this event are basically lay judges. And lay judges, in the event they aren't so biased they automatically vote for one side, will always vote for whichever team's arguments sound the strongest. That means that as long as you do a good job attacking your opponents points and defending your own, it doesn't necessarily matter how good a job those points do at upholding or disproving the resolution. These sort of judges want to vote for whichever team wins the most number of arguments in the most dramatic ways, not the team who wins the arguments that are most strategically important.

None of this is to say the restrictions on T should not be taken seriously. I would not read this as a standalone position. I would make it the trimming/spin/outgrowth of arguments more directly germane to the resolution, to trick the judge. Do not make it blatantly obvious that you are attacking the concept of "room for free will" rather than the concept of "free will" itself. Yes, I'm advocating tricking the judge as the best path you have to winning with this resolution. I think it's possible. But that it's necessary speaks to how bad this resolution really is. It's embarrassing me and I've only even heard of this event once before now.

A similar approach to the resolution would be to attack the notion of separate magisterium. Take a historical approach to the question, build Gould up, make him your strawman, then knock him down splendidly. Try to bait your opponent into embracing Gould's ideas and rhetoric, along with this. Maybe not possible to do this in five minutes. Ugh.

Also, lol if neg reads one of those fake scientific studies proving the existence of the soul. Bet it would win rounds, too. So bad nobody would anticipate it.

Also, I checked and apparently these guys are throwing lots of money around to get schools to use this event. They're paying schools to debate this topic. I was kind of wondering why this exists, now I know. Feels really tacky.


Edited by Chaos, 21 December 2016 - 03:28 PM.

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#17 Nonegfiat

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:36 PM

Also, I checked and apparently these guys are throwing lots of money around to get schools to use this event. They're paying schools to debate this topic.

 

They're sacrificing their money for the greater good. They're on a mission to save the debate world from the evils and excesses of policy, and for that noble cause one must spare no expense. 


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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#18 Nonegfiat

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:38 PM

They're sacrificing their money for the greater good. They're on a mission to save the debate world from the evils and excesses of policy, and for that noble cause one must spare no expense. 

on a more serious note, i agree the whole thing feels really tacky and i hope it either dies out once they stop paying people to host their event, or it adapts to become a more workable format for competitive debate. But do we really need more debate formats at this point?


Edited by Nonegfiat, 21 December 2016 - 03:41 PM.

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DOUBLE BIND- Either the harms of the aff are true and they can't solve until they control the levers of power OR the harms are constructed and you reject them for alarmism


#19 dillygent

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 04:59 PM

 https://manhood101.c...php?f=30&t=2358

 

There's the debate challenge.

 

Here are the RESULTS: https://www.youtube....k9gaUHzbnX5imNN

 

 

Some webcam debates from these guys: 

 

 

Women are too dumb to debate men: 

 

RAGEQUIT in record time by a feminist COWARD during a LIVE debate!  

 

Debating RAPE w/2 feminists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PjnFtAJxJ8

 

p2A9o5.jpg


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#20 CynicClinic

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 06:39 PM

Also, I checked and apparently these guys are throwing lots of money around to get schools to use this event. They're paying schools to debate this topic. I was kind of wondering why this exists, now I know. Feels really tacky.

 

"Tacky," doesn't even begin to cover it.

 

See, I did a bit of digging into who exactly is funding this event, and I am now absolutely convinced of its illegitimacy. The donors are called the John Templeton Foundation, and they are, "a philanthropic organization that funds inter-disciplinary research with a fundamentalist Evangelical Christian inclination." (Wikipedia said it better than I could.)  They are also frequently professionally derided for the actively biased projects that they choose to fund. When viewed in this context, the totalizing nature of the resolution and the overwhelmingly Negative slant in the debate structure makes complete sense.

 

Pardon my tinfoil hat, but these people crafted, "Resolved: Science leaves no room for free will," with the intention of it being unwinnable on the affirmative; the rabid anti-intellectualism in the supporting documents and post-round surveys is similarly engineered to prevent debaters from thinking in patterns that the John Templeton Foundation finds unacceptable. They have co-opted debate as a method through which to push their warped political agenda - and, quite frankly, the NSDA has tarnished their own reputation by proving that they can be bought out.

 

I have no problem with personal religious beliefs, but I absolutely take issue with those beliefs distorting the sanctity of debate and of education as a whole.


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Nonegfiat. (2017, June 18). China VDebate- TheTrashDebater(Aff) v. Nonegfiat(Neg). Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.cross-x....atneg/?p=939106

 

The 1NR is OK Computer.






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