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Debate: Debaters make better spouses

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This House believes that debaters make better spouses

Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

This is one of the "debates for fun", usually quite popular among younger debaters. It is also a good one for beginners, as it does not require any research.

The fundamental question is, whether debaters really differ from other people - and if these possible differences are for the good or not.

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Problem-solving: Are debaters generally better at solving crises than other people?

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Pro

  • Debaters are able to see both sides of a coin. Debating teaches people to look at both sides of a problem, thus debaters have this skill usually more developed than other people (and are able to find positives even there where the others give up).
  • Debaters can approach problems from many different angles. Not only can debaters look at positives or negatives, but they are also able to analyze situations from many perspectives, which in turn benefits them as well as others.
  • Debaters have unique researching skills. Given that every good debater is able to research almost any topic and discuss it afterwards, he gradually develops a unique system of processing information, which helps him to deal with (even unexpected) crises.
  • Debaters are used to dealing with problems, resolving them and shaking hands after each and every discussion. This means that debaters are able to come up with solutions, instead of new fights.
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Con

  • Debating is not about solving problems, quite the contrary. Most debaters tend to research the topics given as much as possible, thus making it harder for themselves to finally come to a conclusion (as every good debater is able to argue both for and against any motion).
  • Debaters´ way of thinking is too complicated. In a debate, complex analysis is usually an advantage. In normal life, it may cause more harm than good.
  • Solving crises has nothing to do with debating. There is no correlation between one's ability to solve crises and skills acquired through debate experience, as debate is a competition, not a row that would be supposed to come to a conclusion.
  • Debaters need the feeling that they "won". Instead of analyzing properly what the pros and cons are, debaters tend to stress only those points that can make them seem as the "winners" or the row. Therefore, they are less likely to reach a consensus.
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Debaters' attitude towards life: Is it better than the common one?

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Pro

  • Self-confidence and ambitiousness is the way to go. Modern world needs innovative people who know what they stand for, and why. People who are unable to justify their opinions are going to experience great trouble in today´s highly competitive society.
  • Debaters are a very "tolerant minority". Debaters are open-minded people who spend weeks in different countries, learning about cultures and getting rid of prejudices. Should they grow up to be our political leaders, the international community would be much better off.
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Con

  • Debaters tend to debate all the time, even when it is not the best thing to do. Imagine a debater's response to a wedding day's (in)famous question "Do you take this man/woman as your lawfully wedded husband/wife?". Instead of just saying "Yes, I do" or "No, I don't" (which would do, and is actually expected), a debater is easily imagined to begin a debate on the topic, bringing a number of pro/con arguments up, before the gathered crowd. So maybe debaters really would make better spouses, but it's hardly imaginable that a true debater would ever become one. And even if he or she did really successfully make it through the wedding, the marital life of such a person would certainly be - instead of harmonic cooperation - full of persisting debates.
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Personality: Does debate affect people's behavior in a positive way?

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Pro

  • Debate helps to build up self-confidence. It can be argued that, in general, debaters are more self-confident than their peers, because public speaking helps them discover not only their weaknesses, but also their strengths. Moreover, debaters tend to learn quickly (especially from their own mistakes) and are always willing to work on improving their skills, thus building up their knowledge, with which usually self-confidence comes.
  • Debate enhances cooperation. Debating on teams effectively enhances communication and cooperation among people, as they have to come together in order to come up with proper arguments and strategy for each and every debate. Should they fail to do this, a loss becomes almost inevitable.
  • Debate enhances tolerance. Given that debaters participate at many international debate competitions, they get to know a lot of people of different ethnicity, religious belief, etc. This effectively helps the debaters to find out more about other cultures and get rid of prejudices. Where else than at a debate competition can you see people from different states (which are currently unable to settle their regional disputes) to debate the very topic and shake hands afterwards?
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Con

  • Debaters tend to be arrogant. Most debaters expect their peers to know a lot about current affairs (just as they themselves do), which could cause misunderstandings. Worse still, debaters like to demonstrate their strengths, therefore they would show themselves off, ignoring the fact that not everybody has to be interested in climate change or cap and trade.
  • Debate tournaments are not just about debating. Sadly, debate tournaments can be also seen as an opportunity to get drunk with one´s friends, because parents are far away - and tournament´s organizers do not (usually) care. Worse still, peer pressure causes even younger children to join such "parties", which is clearly harmful for their health and personal values.
  • Fierce competition harms relationships. Debate is based on competition, however, sometimes this gets out of control. People quarrel about nonsenses, they are reluctant to share evidence they found as materials for a particular motion - and the spirit of friendship is ruined. Everything for the sake of a trophy.
  • Competitive debating is very stressful. Debating as such takes up a lot of time (research, tournaments, sessions with trainers...), which means that the best debaters tend to miss a lot of school lessons (and other extracurricular activities). This, in addition to general ambitiousness of debaters, in long-term leads to stress, which clearly ruin people's health as well as relationships.

See also

External links and resources

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