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 Post subject: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Peter Voell (PITOC champ 2011), Patrick Shipsey (NCFCA TP champ 2010) and I made the parli resolutions for yesterday's March Madness VA parli tournament. We did something pretty new for Stoa/highschool parli (Peter's idea): scenario resolutions.

Interested in feedback on these and ideas for improving, to move towards characterizing the elements of good scenario rez construction.

GOV is the President and VP of the USA. Five minutes ago Israel informed you that it had assassinated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and launched a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but only destroyed 12 of 17 known sites before all jets were shot down. They have asked for assistance to finish the job.
Resolved: finish the job.

GOV, you are a leading expert and lab assistant in artificial intelligence and have discovered the secret to synthetically creating a sentient being. Resolved: destroy your research.

How should you debate these?
Not entirely sure. People did different things. If it were me, I'd say what is the essence of the decision, making the debate be about a decision framework or principles of a decision and less the facts. Once the decision debate is resolved, one would quickly walk the facts through.

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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:09 pm 
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The Great White Sharc
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Those sound like excellent resolutions and great fun! Similar to a BP one I heard about a few weeks ago that was something like: TH would, if it discovered conclusive evidence either proving or disproving the existence of God, not make this information known to the public. I thought that was a great one too.

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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:40 pm 
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013 wrote:
Those sound like excellent resolutions and great fun! Similar to a BP one I heard about a few weeks ago that was something like: TH would, if it discovered conclusive evidence either proving or disproving the existence of God, not make this information known to the public. I thought that was a great one too.

Were you at adelphi too? That was the finals motion. Very interesting round.

Isaiah wrote:
How should you debate these?
Not entirely sure. People did different things. If it were me, I'd say what is the essence of the decision, making the debate be about a decision framework or principles of a decision and less the facts. Once the decision debate is resolved, one would quickly walk the facts through.

I appreciate decision calculus, but I think some consequential analysis has to play into the decision, and I think that Opp would argue that as well. With that ground wide open, they could make a case for the benefits of opposing and outweigh any cost of "principle" (if they didn't also argue against the existence of whatever principle was involved).

I would love to see more scenarios like those two - or more scenario debates in general (like the one 013 brought up). I see those as the more enjoyable rounds.

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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:30 am 
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Utility Vest
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Isaiah wrote:
GOV is the President and VP of the USA. Five minutes ago Israel informed you that it had assassinated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and launched a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but only destroyed 12 of 17 known sites before all jets were shot down. They have asked for assistance to finish the job.
Resolved: finish the job.

GOV, you are a leading expert and lab assistant in artificial intelligence and have discovered the secret to synthetically creating a sentient being. Resolved: destroy your research.
These were great resolutions to debate. Drew and I went OPP and both of them.

In the first round (scientific research), GOV operated from a "fear of the unknown" paradigm. We directly refuted their framework and, like Isaiah mentioned, contested it from an "essence of the decision" perspective, which we identified as "is it moral to create sentient beings?", also labeled as "should we be allowed to imitate God?"

The second round had more clash, although I felt OPP had the better side. GOV justified action with "Iran is hostile/bad" and "Israel is our ally." Drew and I rebutted with a Solvency press, turn on their Iran justification, mitigation of their Israel justification, and a world war DA.

These debates were easily my favorites of the entire tournament. I would love to see these types of resolutions at NITOC.


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Give 'em a math topic. That'll stir things up.


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Hint hint peoples.
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Scenario motion resolutions sound like quite stimulating and fun topics of discussion in a Parli debate. They would help debaters "think outside of the box" and have even more of an enjoyable Parli round. I would probably reserve scenario motion rez's for final rounds or outrounds. My only main concern that I can think of now is that some resolutions like the ones others have proposed are somewhat similar to situational ethics - but that can easily be changed. Overall, I would probably support the idea of introducing scenario motion resolutions into Stoa Parli on a large scale.

BTW - Is anybody here planning on going to Stoa NITOC this year? It would be nice if I could meet you guys there. :)

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As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. -Psalm 42:1


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:13 pm 
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The Great White Sharc
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I don't understand how a resolution could be situational ethics. Explain, please.

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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Hint hint peoples.
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In situational ethics, right and wrong depend upon circumstances or the situation itself. There are no universal moral rules or rights - each case is unique and therefore deserves a unique solution. The resolutions proposed force an actor (the teams) to make a decision based on the situation. But, this is, for the most part, a minor issue with regards to scenario motions, and the issue would probably be neutralized by the shared common core Christian beliefs homeschooled debaters (should) espouse. I am fine with and would very much like to debate scenario motion resolutions as long as they don't force debaters to make a decision between two morally questionable choices. :)

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As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. -Psalm 42:1


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:35 pm 
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The Great White Sharc
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I can't think of any topic that would force anyone to adopt situational ethics. And I think that addressing complex issues where both sides are hard decisions is good for intellectual development.

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Marc Davis

I currently help coach at TACT in Region X.


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Casuistry – solving moral dilemmas that fit squarely into grey territory (e.g. 12 yr old blood transfusion patient in coma whose parents say no for religious reasons, but will die otherwise) is a KEY life skill to work on. Debate that finds situations that demand application of principle seems to me one of the most valuable types of debate available. (this is aside from scenario motions, but in general)

Debate is about learning to break a problem into pieces and then tackling certain pieces. That's why bringing "morality" into the round (how could you NOT have "why we do things" at the assumption of your cases anyhow? You can't) isn't bad at all. It's ultimately why we do things! But debaters can learn to agree with the sentiment and disagree with the application, all without getting mad at eachother (or forfeiting).

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Upside Down Debate. The book that teaches you the deeper why of debate, from the ground up.


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Hint hint peoples.
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I completely agree, 013 and Isaiah. Thanks for clarifying for me. :) Like I referenced earlier, I would very much like to see scenario motions introduced on a wider scale here in Stoa. :)

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As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. -Psalm 42:1


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:41 am 
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ParadigmPWNS wrote:
BTW - Is anybody here planning on going to Stoa NITOC this year? It would be nice if I could meet you guys there. :)

Yep! Just in speech though.

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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:50 pm 
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We have scenario motions on APDA all the time, and I love them. They're usually the most interesting types of rounds, because you get to talk about EVERYTHING -- not just the actual policy. The president topic that Isaiah mentioned could involve some sort of calculus about your reelection campaign, and the AI research could mention something about your prestige as a scientist, as well as science ethics that you probably believe. Reelection and prestige aren't usually arguments that you'd use in an objective policy round, but ARE arguments that real people consider (whether consciously or unconsciously).

Other APDA topics I've hit:
-you're MLK. The Civil Rights Act has been passed, the Voting Rights Act has not. Do you speak out against the Vietnam War?
-you're a Jewish father in a concentration camp. The Nazis have your son. They want YOU to execute a fellow prisoner. If you don't, THEY will execute your son. Do you kill him?
-it's 1957 and you're an African-American parent in Arkansas. Do you send your child to participate in the Little Rock school integration?

The third one in particular is a resolution you would never be able to have in a policy round. This isn't "is integration good or bad?" This is "do YOU participate in it?" This means a lot of arguments about your own child's safety, etc. related to your paradigm/decisionmaking. For MLK, we talked about whether or not other civil rights leaders might rise up to replace you if you don't speak out. For concentration camp, we talked about how the fact that you are Jewish means that you know your son is going to heaven, etc.

And like Isaiah said, a lot of this is way more applicable in real life than abstract policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:16 pm 
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I wanted to take the time and effort to acknowledge and thank Isaiah, Patrick and Peter for a topic I used at a Fresno, CA Stoa Parli tournament. I was made aware of the first resolution about Israel/Iran a few days before the start date of our tournament. It came to me via a third party in TX, and I found out about this posting later when someone mentioned they saw it here. It’s amazing how news traveled across the country so fast.
I was so significantly impressed that I rearranged my topics to place it in the third round. I choose the third round so that everyone would have the chance to get up to speed on debating Parli and could present interesting rounds to the judges. There was a universal favorable response to the topic after the round and the competitors continued to talk about it during the follow two days of the tournament. From a Tab perspective, there was a 50/50 split between Gov and Opp for the first 12 ballots, the 13 ballot broke the tie.
We shall see if more Scenario resolutions show up this year, a lot of people from Modesto were there and they will be hosting Parli. Someone from NITOC who has influence on this year’s topics found it interesting too. With 9 rounds total for Parli, there will be opportunities for it.
I didn’t see Evan from Paradigm, so he missed out on it this time. Here is a fun practice resolution for you. Resolved: Zombies make the perfect straw man.
Say hi at NITOC 2013.
Vsquared


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 Post subject: Re: Scenario Motions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Thanks for posting that! Awesome!!

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