Point taken, but all things considered, the resolutional framework still does a remarkable job of providing educational debates. There are really only a few cases (like topical counterplans) where it doesn't
mesh well with "ideal" debate, and even then there is considerable controversy about what "ideal debate" even is. (Plenty of people think that topical CPs and PICs are just plain bad for debate.)
The alternative is pretty much to consider the resolution exclusively as a topic statement, and make all other theory judgements on the basis of "what seems like a good idea." This works, but it doesn't seem necessary, consistent, or particularly satisfying. Without any single basis to work from, theory could quickly become a confusing jumble of differing opinions and weird assertions.
I suppose this has already happened to an extent (performance arguments, anyone?), but the resolution certainly offers a stability that is hard to come by otherwise. There is
a "right answer"; there's just some disagreement about what it is. Without the resolution, the "right answer" is whatever your current judge happens to value most.
Last thing: condemning debate theory as arbitrary is like condemning tap-dancing for being noisy.
I would disagree, on two grounds:
- The whole point of debate theory is that it's not arbitrary. Making up rules is arbitrary. Debate theory is (or at least, is supposed to be) based on logical deductions from the resolution and the foundations of debate.
- You can always tap-dance on carpet
Now, the definitions get sticky here (is something "arbitrary" when it exists solely because it's a good idea?), but hopefully you understand what I'm saying.
(Speaking of Latin, fun side note: Someone once actually ran a case that would have required all courtroom discussion to take place in Latin.
_________________Abe bimuí bithúo dousí abe
- "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free"COG 2016 generics-only sourcebook
- NCFCA/Stoa (thread)Factsmith research software
- v1.5 currently available (thread)Loose Nukes debate blog
- stuff to read with your eyes.