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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:23 pm 
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sons_of_thunder wrote:
Hammy wrote:
The issues surrounding American Independence were substantially more pressing than even the best grievances I've ever seen anyone present.

I Second That.


And I third it.

The issues are proportionally tiny, and the decision to leave the organization is, also, proportionally tiny. But the mindset and the reasoning are both the same.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:29 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
Also, you did leave NCFCA. :P While I would view such strong negative sentiments to be unfounded and irrational, if you do feel that strongly, then yes, get out.


They are strong negative sentiments, but only because of the triviality of the organization in the first place. Debate is, at best, a ridiculously poor analogy to how legislation works the real world, and most of the judges of speech are driven not by reason, but by their emotions. Is NCFCA conducive to the development of speaking skills for a short amount of time? Yes. Is it good for you in the long run? No, because it is conducive to deception and emotivism.

Add to that the fact that the organization is prima facie undesirable and I don't know why I ever did it in the first place.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:40 pm 
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Slightly off topic, but still.

mountain dude wrote:
a ridiculously poor analogy to how legislation works the real world,

Debate has never been a summation of real world policy. Of course we don't do it like legislatures do, do you want to know why? Because we aren't legislators. We adopt fiat power so that we can discuss the impacts of legislation outside of a real world policy setting.

mountain dude wrote:
and most of the judges of speech are driven not by reason, but by their emotions.

Yes, yes, and all black people are criminals, right? That's an outrageous generalization if I ever saw one.

mountain dude wrote:
Yes. Is it good for you in the long run?

NCFCA isn't a long term organization. Just like you don't learn everything in high school, you don't learn everything in NCFCA.

mountain dude wrote:
I don't know why I ever did it in the first place.

Maybe because you saw the benefit before the adjudication convoluted your viewpoint? (not to sound rude, but your viewpoint has grown more and more spiteful)

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Last edited by Hammy on Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:43 pm 
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Look, Jonathan, I'm sorry you have such negative feelings about the NCFCA. I'm sorry you felt the need to leave the organization. But you need to be rational. There is no logical reason to negatively judge (or judge at all, for that matter) a program that hasn't even been established yet. There is nothing inherently wrong with the structure of this council. There is nothing specific in any of the information released about it that could support any argument that it won't bring about any change. The structure is sound. Thus, your attacks on the concept come exclusively from your views of the people involved. You're not attacking the idea or the structure, because there's nothing there to attack; you're attacking the people in leadership. You were a debater; you have to recognize that pointless ad hominem will have absolutely no benefits. You're treating the leadership, who sacrifice countless hours to run this league, like their goal is to make you miserable. Why do you suppose they run this league, Jonathan? They're not competitors. They're not getting rich off the system. They do it for the benefit of the students, students like you. They're not perfect. But your posts have given us plenty of evidence that you aren't either. So if you felt the need to leave the NCFCA, that's your prerogative. But you need to stop attacking other people. You need to stop bashing a plan that's designed to satisfy people like you who have expressed their negative opinions. If you had some kind of substantive reason to believe this council won't work, we could discuss that opinion rationally. But all you're doing is attacking the motives and intentions of other people. If you want us to respect your opinion about the NCFCA, you need to stop whining and attacking people and make meaningful, respectful points.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:03 pm 
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Quote:
Add to that the fact that the organization is prima facie undesirable and I don't know why I ever did it in the first place.

[/quote]
I love how you bash the quality of debate but then use debatery terms when you are communicating.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:04 pm 
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Quote:
and most of the judges of speech are driven not by reason, but by their emotions.

Also, news flash: PEOPLE are driven by their emotions. Whether you like it or not, and even if you want everyone to be Spock, you can't change that fact. You are basically complaining about human nature.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:43 pm 
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Hammy wrote:
Debate has never been a summation of real world policy. Of course we don't do it like legislatures do, do you want to know why? Because we aren't legislators. We adopt fiat power so that we can discuss the impacts of legislation outside of a real world policy setting.


Which actually proves my point. There's no point talking policy if you don't talk change. There's no point talking change if you can't actually show how it could be done. And the only way that change actually really happens in the real world is through legislatures, courts, executive branches, and government structures. Debate can never get there because you might be the stupidest person in the world, and so might your source, but you can still beat the other team unless they have a ridiculous amount of research at the table. Heck, you can win without evidence if you can convince the judge with only a few clever assertions and some shaky evidence to stand on. That's why I said it's conducive to deception.

Hammy wrote:
Yes, yes, and all black people are criminals, right? That's an outrageous generalization if I ever saw one.


I did not say all judges. I said most. You can argue with my assertion, but please check what I say before you accuse me of a logical fallacy.

_idontknow_ wrote:
Also, news flash: PEOPLE are driven by their emotions. Whether you like it or not, and even if you want everyone to be Spock, you can't change that fact. You are basically complaining about human nature.


But if the league is mostly judged by people who care more about what they feel than what they think, then human nature has corrupted it to the point where it is firstly, unproductive to compete in, and secondly, harmful to be around. (look up this cool little word that I used: 'emotivism,' or just go read The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis, and the first few chapters of After Virtue by Alasdair Macintyre)

The question we should ask is: SHOULD people be driven by their emotions, and does debate encourage that or discourage it? At the end of the day, it's a heck of a lot easier to do less research and more crying and screaming at the podium, and it's also easier to win that way, which is what a lot of debate teams end up doing. The only way to fix that is to have better judging criteria. The judges need to judge by reason, and not by what they feel. That doesn't happen, which is why I said debate is conducive to emotivism.

Hammy wrote:
NCFCA isn't a long term organization. Just like you don't learn everything in high school, you don't learn everything in NCFCA.


You only sort of...well, no. You completely missed the point. I agree, NCFCA isn't meant to be a "long term organization." I don't think you could or should try to learn anything from one organization (though some people definitely idolize NCFCA in that regard). I was meaning, does NCFCA justify itself in the long run? I would say no. Argue with my assertion, don't try to sneak around it.

Hammy wrote:
Maybe because you saw the benefit before the adjudication convoluted your viewpoint? (not to sound rude, but your viewpoint has grown more and more spiteful)


No, I'm not any more spiteful towards NCFCA than I was at the end of last year. I hold the same views about the administration of the league, but I hold different views about the activity that they facilitate. And, if you read what I actually said about my adjudication, I agree with the decision; it's others' adjudications that have me angry at NCFCA.

_idontknow_ wrote:
I love how you bash the quality of debate but then use debatery terms when you are communicating.


"Prima facie" is not a debate term, it's a Latin term that I learned from my Latin textbook when I was like 9 or 10.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:43 am 
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mountain dude wrote:
Hammy wrote:
Debate has never been a summation of real world policy. Of course we don't do it like legislatures do, do you want to know why? Because we aren't legislators. We adopt fiat power so that we can discuss the impacts of legislation outside of a real world policy setting.


Which actually proves my point. There's no point talking policy if you don't talk change. There's no point talking change if you can't actually show how it could be done. And the only way that change actually really happens in the real world is through legislatures, courts, executive branches, and government structures. Debate can never get there because you might be the stupidest person in the world, and so might your source, but you can still beat the other team unless they have a ridiculous amount of research at the table. Heck, you can win without evidence if you can convince the judge with only a few clever assertions and some shaky evidence to stand on. That's why I said it's conducive to deception.


Maybe I'm missing the point of TP since I'm an LD'er, but from my perspective, the main point of debate is not the content. It's the skills developed. Formal debate is simply a framework, a mold that can be filled with any number of issues. The content is valuable of course, but the point is developing essential abilities like research skills, writing, oratory abilities, analytical thinking, dealing in logical syllogisms and fallacies, and thinking on your feet. The given issue (i.e. federal court system reform) is simply a platform used to develop those skills. It's a training arena. So no, we're not passing actual legislation. That's not the point. The point is to weigh the merit of ideas, which can later be applied to real-world policy, and to develop essential skills.

Mountain Dude wrote:
Hammy wrote:
Yes, yes, and all black people are criminals, right? That's an outrageous generalization if I ever saw one.


I did not say all judges. I said most. You can argue with my assertion, but please check what I say before you accuse me of a logical fallacy.


First, you're still making a rather ridiculous generalization. You cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, make any sort of judgment about "most" judges. You can only speak to your own personal experience. Yes, it's true that some judges are swayed by emotional bias more than they maybe should. But to contend that "most" judges are weighing rounds on emotional appeal alone is ridiculous. Second, good judgment should be made based on a combination of logical thinking and emotional impact. Humans are emotional creatures. It's a fundamental part of what makes us human. We're not confined to pure, unadulterated logical thought. God has given us the gift of feelings. Yes, it's possible for those feelings to be corrupted. But in and of themselves, they are a beautiful thing that God placed in us for our benefit. You act as if emotion is a sin. The best judges are the ones that can weigh issues based on their logical and emotional consequences.

Mountain Dude wrote:
_idontknow_ wrote:
Also, news flash: PEOPLE are driven by their emotions. Whether you like it or not, and even if you want everyone to be Spock, you can't change that fact. You are basically complaining about human nature.


But if the league is mostly judged by people who care more about what they feel than what they think, then human nature has corrupted it to the point where it is firstly, unproductive to compete in, and secondly, harmful to be around. (look up this cool little word that I used: 'emotivism,' or just go read The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis, and the first few chapters of After Virtue by Alasdair Macintyre)

The question we should ask is: SHOULD people be driven by their emotions, and does debate encourage that or discourage it? At the end of the day, it's a heck of a lot easier to do less research and more crying and screaming at the podium, and it's also easier to win that way, which is what a lot of debate teams end up doing. The only way to fix that is to have better judging criteria. The judges need to judge by reason, and not by what they feel. That doesn't happen, which is why I said debate is conducive to emotivism.


First, this is a conditional argument. You started with, "If the league is mostly judged by people who care more about what they feel than what they think." Perhaps if that was the case, your point would have some weight. But that absolutely is not the case. Your mistake here is that you're equating any emotion with emotivism. Those are very, very different things. Again, emotion is not a bad thing. Too much emotion can be a bad thing, sure. Being ruled by your emotions can be bad. But the same applies to "logical thinking." If you divorce yourself from feelings, you destroy one of the most fundamental elements of human nature. Not sin nature, mind you; human nature. God designed us to be creatures of both thought and feeling. You ask if people should be driven by their emotions? I say people should be driven by a balance between their thoughts and their feelings. Do some debaters/debate teams win by appealing too much to emotion without enough logical support? Yes, unfortunately. But you know what? That's life. I don't like it any more than you do, but that's the real world. You say that debate is "conducive" to emotivism. That's not true at all. NCFCA teaches you to communicate with real people, instead of the imaginary people you wish existed. It does you very little good to have brilliant, logical ideas that would be very convincing to Spock if you can't communicate those ideas to the actual human beings that populate this world. The best debaters are the ones that have solid, logical ideas that are conveyed with emotional weight.

Mountain Dude wrote:
Hammy wrote:
Maybe because you saw the benefit before the adjudication convoluted your viewpoint? (not to sound rude, but your viewpoint has grown more and more spiteful)


No, I'm not any more spiteful towards NCFCA than I was at the end of last year. I hold the same views about the administration of the league, but I hold different views about the activity that they facilitate. And, if you read what I actually said about my adjudication, I agree with the decision; it's others' adjudications that have me angry at NCFCA.


One final point I'd like to make. Your issue with the NCFCA seems to be twofold: first, you have a problem with the NCFCA as an organization, and second, you have a problem with the activity of formal debate itself. You have a problem with the NCFCA because of decisions that have been made that you consider to have been unjust. You have a problem with debate because you believe it's conducive to emotivism. In response to the first issue: I'm sure that bad decisions have been made in the past, and I'm truly sorry for those who have been affected. However, these instances are the exception, not the rule. In the vast majority of cases, the NCFCA simply seeks to be fair and ensure that rules are followed. They have made mistakes, sure, but so have we all. You would be wise to extend grace to the organization, rather than being spiteful, disrespectful, and downright hateful. I understand if you'd like to see changes made; that's exactly why the Student Advisory Council is being formed, so it makes no sense for you to attack it.

In response to your issue with debate, in addition to everything else I've said, I'd simply like to point out that you're the one who seems to be ruled by emotivism in this case. You're making an absolute judgment of the ethical value of debate based on your personal issues with it. In your own words:

Mountain Dude wrote:
And, if you read what I actually said about my adjudication, I agree with the decision; it's others' adjudications that have me angry at NCFCA.


In case you've forgotten, anger is an emotion. You need to recognize that, from everyone else's perspective, you seem to be driven by anger and spite. We've responded to your arguments with logical responses through respectful discussion. You've continually attacked the NCFCA and debate as an activity out of apparent hatred and anger. Perhaps I'm just reading it wrong, since we've never spoken face-to-face. But reading your posts, the only vibe I pick up is that of frustration, anger, and spite. If you're going to attack debate because you believe the judges are ruled by their personal feelings, maybe you should stop judging debate and the NCFCA because of your personal feelings.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:02 am 
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^ I just witnessed an LDer destroy.
Thank you Ben, thank you.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:13 am 
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The Ginga Ninja wrote:
First, you're still making a rather ridiculous generalization. You cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, make any sort of judgment about "most" judges. You can only speak to your own personal experience. Yes, it's true that some judges are swayed by emotional bias more than they maybe should. But to contend that "most" judges are weighing rounds on emotional appeal alone is ridiculous. Second, good judgment should be made based on a combination of logical thinking and emotional impact. Humans are emotional creatures. It's a fundamental part of what makes us human. We're not confined to pure, unadulterated logical thought. God has given us the gift of feelings. Yes, it's possible for those feelings to be corrupted. But in and of themselves, they are a beautiful thing that God placed in us for our benefit. You act as if emotion is a sin. The best judges are the ones that can weigh issues based on their logical and emotional consequences.


It could be that, because of some ridiculously improbable roll of the dice, the 200+ rounds that I have debated in and watched are not representative of the judge pool in my region. But I doubt it.

I would have to disagree with you on the logic/emotion front. Emotion is never necessary in making good decisions, but logic is necessary in many, if not all, cases. You don’t need to be emotional to know that murderers and rapists ought to be incarcerated. You don’t need to be emotional to know that helpless children need to be cared for. But you do need to be logical to know that, in most places in America, a man with no home and torn clothes who walks up to you on the street and asks for a 20 dollar bill is probably in his condition because he misuses what money he had. Should you give it to him? Would he use it for food, or shelter, or would he use it for his next beer? Any decision can be made correctly without emotions. Few decisions can be made correctly without logic.

The Ginga Ninja wrote:
First, this is a conditional argument. You started with, "If the league is mostly judged by people who care more about what they feel than what they think." Perhaps if that was the case, your point would have some weight. But that absolutely is not the case. Your mistake here is that you're equating any emotion with emotivism. Those are very, very different things. Again, emotion is not a bad thing. Too much emotion can be a bad thing, sure. Being ruled by your emotions can be bad. But the same applies to "logical thinking." If you divorce yourself from feelings, you destroy one of the most fundamental elements of human nature. Not sin nature, mind you; human nature. God designed us to be creatures of both thought and feeling. You ask if people should be driven by their emotions? I say people should be driven by a balance between their thoughts and their feelings. Do some debaters/debate teams win by appealing too much to emotion without enough logical support? Yes, unfortunately. But you know what? That's life. I don't like it any more than you do, but that's the real world. You say that debate is "conducive" to emotivism. That's not true at all. NCFCA teaches you to communicate with real people, instead of the imaginary people you wish existed. It does you very little good to have brilliant, logical ideas that would be very convincing to Spock if you can't communicate those ideas to the actual human beings that populate this world. The best debaters are the ones that have solid, logical ideas that are conveyed with emotional weight.


See my first paragraph.

I did not say we should become unemotional creatures. I do think, however, that we shouldn’t rely on our emotions when making decisions. You misused comparison here–I’m not saying that we should become robots, but I do think that judges need to listen to the voice of reason, not their emotions, when they are making their decision.

Think of it this way: Team A is better at using logic. Team B is better at using emotion. Which one should always be voted for? Team A. Which one is (in my experience) usually voted for? Team B.

I’m not trying to equate emotion with emotivism, actually. I was making a different point. When debaters learn through debating in this league that they can win more effectively by manipulating emotions, not using logic, then they will build that preference into their every day life. That’s what I meant by saying that it is ‘conducive to emotivism.’ They will learn through their experience in the league that what they feel is more important than what they think, which is what I’ve seen even from some of the best debaters I know.

The Ginga Ninja wrote:
One final point I'd like to make. Your issue with the NCFCA seems to be twofold: first, you have a problem with the NCFCA as an organization, and second, you have a problem with the activity of formal debate itself. You have a problem with the NCFCA because of decisions that have been made that you consider to have been unjust. You have a problem with debate because you believe it's conducive to emotivism. In response to the first issue: I'm sure that bad decisions have been made in the past, and I'm truly sorry for those who have been affected. However, these instances are the exception, not the rule. In the vast majority of cases, the NCFCA simply seeks to be fair and ensure that rules are followed. They have made mistakes, sure, but so have we all. You would be wise to extend grace to the organization, rather than being spiteful, disrespectful, and downright hateful. I understand if you'd like to see changes made; that's exactly why the Student Advisory Council is being formed, so it makes no sense for you to attack it.


On the contrary, I’m trying to be practical and logical (and failing at times, admittedly). But I think that most of the reaction against the types of things that I say about the organization find their source not in what I’m saying, but how shocking it is to people just because they are not used to hearing people say these things about NCFCA and debate in general before. Please look at what I’m saying in an objective light, and I’ll try to do the same thing.

The Ginga Ninja wrote:
In response to your issue with debate, in addition to everything else I've said, I'd simply like to point out that you're the one who seems to be ruled by emotivism in this case. You're making an absolute judgment of the ethical value of debate based on your personal issues with it. In your own words:

mountain dude wrote:
And, if you read what I actually said about my adjudication, I agree with the decision; it's others' adjudications that have me angry at NCFCA.


In case you've forgotten, anger is an emotion. You need to recognize that, from everyone else's perspective, you seem to be driven by anger and spite. We've responded to your arguments with logical responses through respectful discussion. You've continually attacked the NCFCA and debate as an activity out of apparent hatred and anger. Perhaps I'm just reading it wrong, since we've never spoken face-to-face. But reading your posts, the only vibe I pick up is that of frustration, anger, and spite. If you're going to attack debate because you believe the judges are ruled by their personal feelings, maybe you should stop judging debate and the NCFCA because of your personal feelings.


I stand corrected. You’re right–I shouldn’t judge NCFCA by my own feelings towards them. I should be emotionally objective, and judge them by what I think of their organization, not by how they make me feel.

I set the same standard by myself, and by the organization. But I have to point out that you don’t want that standard to be set. You believe that I should judge NCFCA both by how I feel and by how I think, even though they are in no way to blame for my feelings. But you call me out for being angry with the organization, and you’re right. Set the same standard for what you yourself are defending, and then set that standard against me. You were right, but your argument was ad hominem, not on topic.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:20 am 
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mountain dude wrote:
The Ginga Ninja wrote:
First, you're still making a rather ridiculous generalization. You cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, make any sort of judgment about "most" judges. You can only speak to your own personal experience. Yes, it's true that some judges are swayed by emotional bias more than they maybe should. But to contend that "most" judges are weighing rounds on emotional appeal alone is ridiculous. Second, good judgment should be made based on a combination of logical thinking and emotional impact. Humans are emotional creatures. It's a fundamental part of what makes us human. We're not confined to pure, unadulterated logical thought. God has given us the gift of feelings. Yes, it's possible for those feelings to be corrupted. But in and of themselves, they are a beautiful thing that God placed in us for our benefit. You act as if emotion is a sin. The best judges are the ones that can weigh issues based on their logical and emotional consequences.


It could be that, because of some ridiculously improbable roll of the dice, the 200+ rounds that I have debated in and watched are not representative of the judge pool in my region. But I doubt it.


I can't speak to the judging pool in your region. I guess it's possible that in the five states of Region 5, people are far more emotionally driven than they are out here on the west coast. But in my experience, some people are overly swayed by emotional appeal, but the majority do their best to make objective decisions based on logic. Emotional impact is used to drive home points, but the points themselves still stand or fall on logical reasoning. It's possible that you're right about people in your region, but based on my experience it seems more likely that you're simply operating based on a cynical and jaded viewpoint that has skewed your ability to objectively judge the judges (wow that sounds weird) in your region. Again, I can't make an absolute statement. I could be wrong. I'm simply looking at my personal experience, and while I see how one could be led to think all/most judges are weighing rounds based on emotion, when you don't allow yourself to be swayed by personal bias (i.e. having lost rounds because of perceived emotivism in the past) it becomes clear that such a blanket generalization can't be made.

Mountain Dude wrote:
I would have to disagree with you on the logic/emotion front. Emotion is never necessary in making good decisions, but logic is necessary in many, if not all, cases. You don’t need to be emotional to know that murderers and rapists ought to be incarcerated. You don’t need to be emotional to know that helpless children need to be cared for. But you do need to be logical to know that, in most places in America, a man with no home and torn clothes who walks up to you on the street and asks for a 20 dollar bill is probably in his condition because he misuses what money he had. Should you give it to him? Would he use it for food, or shelter, or would he use it for his next beer? Any decision can be made correctly without emotions. Few decisions can be made correctly without logic.


I never said we should make decisions without logic. Not even close. I said that good decisions should be made based on both logic and emotion. Neither should cancel the other out. You act as if the two are opposites. They aren't. They're complimentary principles. Yes, it's possible to allow emotion to cloud your logical judgment. It's also possible to be blinded by perceived logical superiority to the point that you make morally wrong decisions. If you had the option to sacrifice your life to save another person, but the other person was weak or elderly or disabled, logic divorced from feeling would dictate that you ought to preserve your own skin. But a society that operated on such a basis would be horrible.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and play the trump card here. How logical do you suppose it was for God to take on human flesh, experience human life and suffering, and accept the most horrific and painful death imaginable, for a bunch of jerk-wad sinners who would spit in his face even after he did that for them? If God was purely ruled by logic, He never would have allowed himself, who clearly is infinitely more important, to suffer for our sake. It's because God operates not only on logic, but also on love, that He is who He is. If we're going to reflect the image of God as we're designed to do, we need to find the beautiful harmony between logical reasoning and emotional understanding that God has modeled for us.

Mountain Dude wrote:
The Ginga Ninja wrote:
First, this is a conditional argument. You started with, "If the league is mostly judged by people who care more about what they feel than what they think." Perhaps if that was the case, your point would have some weight. But that absolutely is not the case. Your mistake here is that you're equating any emotion with emotivism. Those are very, very different things. Again, emotion is not a bad thing. Too much emotion can be a bad thing, sure. Being ruled by your emotions can be bad. But the same applies to "logical thinking." If you divorce yourself from feelings, you destroy one of the most fundamental elements of human nature. Not sin nature, mind you; human nature. God designed us to be creatures of both thought and feeling. You ask if people should be driven by their emotions? I say people should be driven by a balance between their thoughts and their feelings. Do some debaters/debate teams win by appealing too much to emotion without enough logical support? Yes, unfortunately. But you know what? That's life. I don't like it any more than you do, but that's the real world. You say that debate is "conducive" to emotivism. That's not true at all. NCFCA teaches you to communicate with real people, instead of the imaginary people you wish existed. It does you very little good to have brilliant, logical ideas that would be very convincing to Spock if you can't communicate those ideas to the actual human beings that populate this world. The best debaters are the ones that have solid, logical ideas that are conveyed with emotional weight.


See my first paragraph.

I did not say we should become unemotional creatures. I do think, however, that we shouldn’t rely on our emotions when making decisions. You misused comparison here–I’m not saying that we should become robots, but I do think that judges need to listen to the voice of reason, not their emotions, when they are making their decision.

Think of it this way: Team A is better at using logic. Team B is better at using emotion. Which one should always be voted for? Team A. Which one is (in my experience) usually voted for? Team B.

I’m not trying to equate emotion with emotivism, actually. I was making a different point. When debaters learn through debating in this league that they can win more effectively by manipulating emotions, not using logic, then they will build that preference into their every day life. That’s what I meant by saying that it is ‘conducive to emotivism.’ They will learn through their experience in the league that what they feel is more important than what they think, which is what I’ve seen even from some of the best debaters I know.


Your argument is, in essence, that debate teaches people to take the "easy road" by appealing to emotion rather than logic. And you know what? Sometimes that happens, unfortunately. But it's not a valid argument against debate for two reasons. First, the fact that people can take advantage of other people's emotions is a fact of life. It's by no means exclusive to debate. Debate doesn't teach people to be emotionally manipulative; it's just an unfortunate reality that sometimes shows up in debate. But the main reason this isn't an argument against debate is that the easy road can only take you so far. Sure, you can win some rounds that way. Maybe even win some qualifiers. But the day that Team B goes up against Team C, who have learned that the best way to debate is to make logically-sound arguments that are delivered with emotional weight, Team B is going to lose. Every time. Because logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive. The best decisions are made by considering both logical soundness and emotional impact. Thus, the best debaters are the ones that can argue with both of those elements. That's why we learn the three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. If you want to do well, you need all three of them.

Mountain Dude wrote:
The Ginga Ninja wrote:
One final point I'd like to make. Your issue with the NCFCA seems to be twofold: first, you have a problem with the NCFCA as an organization, and second, you have a problem with the activity of formal debate itself. You have a problem with the NCFCA because of decisions that have been made that you consider to have been unjust. You have a problem with debate because you believe it's conducive to emotivism. In response to the first issue: I'm sure that bad decisions have been made in the past, and I'm truly sorry for those who have been affected. However, these instances are the exception, not the rule. In the vast majority of cases, the NCFCA simply seeks to be fair and ensure that rules are followed. They have made mistakes, sure, but so have we all. You would be wise to extend grace to the organization, rather than being spiteful, disrespectful, and downright hateful. I understand if you'd like to see changes made; that's exactly why the Student Advisory Council is being formed, so it makes no sense for you to attack it.


On the contrary, I’m trying to be practical and logical (and failing at times, admittedly). But I think that most of the reaction against the types of things that I say about the organization find their source not in what I’m saying, but how shocking it is to people just because they are not used to hearing people say these things about NCFCA and debate in general before. Please look at what I’m saying in an objective light, and I’ll try to do the same thing.


I'm not shocked to hear what you're saying. I've heard it before. In fact, I've considered the merits of these ideas myself in the past. I've simply come to a different conclusion than you. I have been looking at your arguments objectively, and will continue to do so. My point here was simply that you're painting the NCFCA as an inherently harmful organization simply because of a number of isolated cases that are, as I pointed out, the exception rather than the rule. Yes, mistakes have been made. We should work to prevent those sorts of unfortunate mistakes. But we shouldn't label the NCFCA "harmful" simply because they aren't perfect. That's an impossible standard to uphold.

mountain dude wrote:
I stand corrected. You’re right–I shouldn’t judge NCFCA by my own feelings towards them. I should be emotionally objective, and judge them by what I think of their organization, not by how they make me feel.

I set the same standard by myself, and by the organization. But I have to point out that you don’t want that standard to be set. You believe that I should judge NCFCA both by how I feel and by how I think, even though they are in no way to blame for my feelings. But you call me out for being angry with the organization, and you’re right. Set the same standard for what you yourself are defending, and then set that standard against me. You were right, but your argument was ad hominem, not on topic.


I was not holding you to a different standard. I was pointing out your internal contradiction. There's nothing inherently wrong with being angry. In many cases, rightful anger can be the instrument of positive change. Ephesians 4:26 says, "Be angry, and do not sin." It only becomes a problem if that anger becomes destructive in nature. If you feel that the league has been wronging people, it's OK to feel angry. It's OK to have feelings. And allowing those feelings to come through when you present logical arguments is usually a good thing. But as I said earlier, good judgment means finding the balance between your thoughts and your feelings. I was pointing out that you yourself were making the mistake of allowing your emotions to negatively impact your logic, rather than balancing the two. The argument was certainly not ad hominem, and I'm so sorry if it came across that way. I was not attacking you at all. I was simply pointing out the inconsistency I saw in your position.

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www.lifeinthesunrise.com

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:23 am 
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Dear Lord,

Thank you for Ben Vincent.

Amen.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:49 pm 
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The Ginga Ninja wrote:
I can't speak to the judging pool in your region. I guess it's possible that in the five states of Region 5, people are far more emotionally driven than they are out here on the west coast. But in my experience, some people are overly swayed by emotional appeal, but the majority do their best to make objective decisions based on logic. Emotional impact is used to drive home points, but the points themselves still stand or fall on logical reasoning. It's possible that you're right about people in your region, but based on my experience it seems more likely that you're simply operating based on a cynical and jaded viewpoint that has skewed your ability to objectively judge the judges (wow that sounds weird) in your region. Again, I can't make an absolute statement. I could be wrong. I'm simply looking at my personal experience, and while I see how one could be led to think all/most judges are weighing rounds based on emotion, when you don't allow yourself to be swayed by personal bias (i.e. having lost rounds because of perceived emotivism in the past) it becomes clear that such a blanket generalization can't be made.


Ok so we're basically both accusing each other of being blinded to the truth by our own bias, and claiming that we both see opposite things from different perspectives. Because we can't get anywhere from here, you think what you want, and I'll think what I want.

But I’m going to point out that, if this is the way it is in my region, my family is unlikely to move to somewhere else or travel an extra 4-5 hours per tournament just so that I can get to a better area of the league. I’ve met and watched some Region II teams and, I admit, they seemed a lot more wholesome than most of the R5 teams that I’ve debated, so maybe it’s better up there. But the league here (and, from what I’ve seen of other regions, this is true in other places as well) is not much like that.

The Ginga Ninja wrote:
I never said we should make decisions without logic. Not even close. I said that good decisions should be made based on both logic and emotion. Neither should cancel the other out. You act as if the two are opposites. They aren't. They're complimentary principles. Yes, it's possible to allow emotion to cloud your logical judgment. It's also possible to be blinded by perceived logical superiority to the point that you make morally wrong decisions. If you had the option to sacrifice your life to save another person, but the other person was weak or elderly or disabled, logic divorced from feeling would dictate that you ought to preserve your own skin. But a society that operated on such a basis would be horrible.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and play the trump card here. How logical do you suppose it was for God to take on human flesh, experience human life and suffering, and accept the most horrific and painful death imaginable, for a bunch of jerk-wad sinners who would spit in his face even after he did that for them? If God was purely ruled by logic, He never would have allowed himself, who clearly is infinitely more important, to suffer for our sake. It's because God operates not only on logic, but also on love, that He is who He is. If we're going to reflect the image of God as we're designed to do, we need to find the beautiful harmony between logical reasoning and emotional understanding that God has modeled for us.


I'm going to push this, because you really aren't making sense. But firstly, love is not a sentiment, emotion, or feeling. If you have a crush on a really cute girl, that doesn’t mean you love her. Actually, the extreme version of that is voyeurism, which isn’t love at all–it’s exploitive and often downright abusive, not loving. My chemistry teacher has failed me on a few quizzes. He gets a bit angry at me angry and asks, “Why didn’t you get this? This is simple. You should know it.” But even while he’s angry, he’ll say, “Yeah I failed you but it doesn’t mean I don’t love ya.” Because love is not affection, and it’s not “liking” somebody. It’s caring for and about someone, not having warm fuzzy emotional feelings about the person. The Bible tells us “Greater love has no one than this, that he laid down his life for his friends” (reference). The greatest love is not an emotion (see definitions below). It’s caring for a person.

It was logical for Jesus to say, “Ok, how can I save them?” if he cared for us. So he came up with a solution. If you really think that Jesus' sacrifice was illogical...go read On the Incarnation by Athanasius and Cur Deus Homo by Anselm, then tell me if his sacrifice was illogical. I honestly find the idea that it is "illogical" a pretty big offense to my faith.

To be honest, I don't understand what situations you could be referring to when we ought to allow our logic to overcome our emotions. If our logic is based in the Bible, then we never need consult our emotions when making decisions, because the Bible is the perfect word of God. The Bible is supremely logical, and it’s an insult to God to claim that his actions are not so. “Perceived logical superiority” is not intrinsically logical at all, and can’t be, because if we knew anything about the truth, then we would know that our “perceived logical superiority” is complete rubbish.

You can look further to the definitions of ‘logic’ and ‘emotion.’ The first definition of emotion that I found (in my 20-volume OED =D) is “a moving out, migration, transference from one place to another” which I think ties perfectly into the nature of emotions, but, more specifically to our discussion, it’s “a mental feeling or affection of pleasure or pain, desire or aversion, surprise, hope or fear, etc. as distinguished from cognitive or volitional states of consciousness.” A second definition calls it “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” Logic, however, is “the branch of philosophy that treats the form of thinking in general, and more especially of inference and of scientific method. Also…a formal system using symbolic techniques and mathematical methods to establish truth-values in the physical sciences, in language, and in philosophical argument.” Another definition calls logic “reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.”

Is love a mental feeling? Is love (itself) affection? Does love change–does it move in or move out? Is it something which only operates on instinct, based on circumstances? No. Go read 1 Corinthians 13. Emotions come and go by definition; they triumph and fall based on our circumstances, but love is everlasting. Would he have done it in other circumstances–did he only act on instincts that arose because of the specific time? It's an insult to God's nature to claim that he saved us because of some quasi-emotion that happens in his mind. I'd point out that if Jesus had done what his emotions were driving him to do, then he would have taken a different road (read Matthew 26). Is there any emotional inclination or feeling in your body that would make you sacrifice yourself for the entire human race? I doubt it. Our sinful nature means that we are more emotionally and materialistically attached to ourselves than others, so based on our own selfish emotions we would probably not do what He did. Jesus himself cried out to his father in his sorrow, asking for him to take the cup from him. What he did was logical, because he cared for us. He was not following general human instincts and emotions.

Finally, now, the question. Is emotion ever more important than logic? God gave us the ability to use both, so which should we use? Is it ever preferable to eschew inference, the scientific method of reasoning, truth, principles, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy, and validity for volatile feelings or instincts of desire, pleasure, aversion, pain, sympathy, and fear? I’d love to hear you make that argument, because it would get to the root of the question rather than just scratching the surface.

The Ginga Ninja wrote:
Your argument is, in essence, that debate teaches people to take the "easy road" by appealing to emotion rather than logic. And you know what? Sometimes that happens, unfortunately. But it's not a valid argument against debate for two reasons. First, the fact that people can take advantage of other people's emotions is a fact of life. It's by no means exclusive to debate. Debate doesn't teach people to be emotionally manipulative; it's just an unfortunate reality that sometimes shows up in debate. But the main reason this isn't an argument against debate is that the easy road can only take you so far. Sure, you can win some rounds that way. Maybe even win some qualifiers. But the day that Team B goes up against Team C, who have learned that the best way to debate is to make logically-sound arguments that are delivered with emotional weight, Team B is going to lose. Every time. Because logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive. The best decisions are made by considering both logical soundness and emotional impact. Thus, the best debaters are the ones that can argue with both of those elements. That's why we learn the three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. If you want to do well, you need all three of them.

I'm not shocked to hear what you're saying. I've heard it before. In fact, I've considered the merits of these ideas myself in the past. I've simply come to a different conclusion than you. I have been looking at your arguments objectively, and will continue to do so. My point here was simply that you're painting the NCFCA as an inherently harmful organization simply because of a number of isolated cases that are, as I pointed out, the exception rather than the rule. Yes, mistakes have been made. We should work to prevent those sorts of unfortunate mistakes. But we shouldn't label the NCFCA "harmful" simply because they aren't perfect. That's an impossible standard to uphold.


Firstly, no. Sin is a “fact of life,” but that does not mean that we should just ignore it and move on. Speech and Debate competition can be wholesome, but if emotional manipulation corrupts the activity to the point where it doesn’t fulfill it’s purpose, then we need to either throw it out or fix it. I believe that it has been corrupted based on what I’ve seen.

Secondly, in the second half of that first paragraph you basically said “the main reason that you are wrong is that you are wrong.” I made the observation that emotion seems to be trumping logic more than the other way round in this league. You basically said “Well your argument is invalid because A) it’s a sinful world but so what and B) your assertion is wrong because I say so, therefore your argument is invalid.”

You’re getting ahead of yourself. Attack my assertions and prove them wrong, don’t try to skirt around them. If you can’t prove my assertions wrong, then don’t try to accuse me of logical corruption just because you don’t like my assertions.

You’re correct that we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater–NCFCA can never be perfect. But the imperfections need to be at a point where it doesn’t corrupt the main purpose of the league-“addressing life issues from a biblical worldview in a manner that glorifies God” (or something very close to that), and honestly, in my experience, it isn’t there. TP is becoming a pity-case competition. Impromptu is becoming a game of who can memorize the sappiest, most emotional stories. Apol has become a sermon competition. Extemp is mostly won by whoever has the best canned jokes. Open and Duo have become a game of who can tell either the most shockingly graphic or the most hilariously funny story. Why do competitors do this? Because they win that way. NCFCA has become not about giving good speeches, but about how many medals you have in your closet, and the judge pool has largely decided that they will vote for the people who give the most emotional, not the most logical, speeches. I’m glad I got out before it got any worse, (and from what I’ve heard from my former fellow competitors, it has). Winning is fine if the winners deserve the win. If they don’t deserve it, they’re learning to love doing the wrong things. They learn to appeal to the emotions, because that’s how they get people to vote for them. You can testify about Region 2, because maybe your region is different, but in my region, it’s definitely the case, and I know what I saw at nationals in outrounds and at the showcase was largely the same thing I had been seeing for the past 4 years.

Should people be awarded for manipulating emotions? Ought we to admire people who are more emotionally manipulative, or ought we to admire those who are logical? It’s because I’m seeing NCFCA move from the latter towards the former that I’m really hesitant to ever compete again. I’m okay with isolated incidents, because they’re unavoidable, but that’s not been my experience. This is a debate that I’ve had over more than just speech and debate, but music, theology, worship, and everything else you can think of. I’ve turned to the Bible. “No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison,” “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,” “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”

Ok so if I pass tests then I’m going to come out of next week with 15 college credit hours…but if I don’t then it’s your fault. :P jk, but meaning to say, I probably won’t get around to looking at this or replying to it for a week or maybe more.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 1:07 am 
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mountain dude wrote:
The Ginga Ninja wrote:
I can't speak to the judging pool in your region. I guess it's possible that in the five states of Region 5, people are far more emotionally driven than they are out here on the west coast. But in my experience, some people are overly swayed by emotional appeal, but the majority do their best to make objective decisions based on logic. Emotional impact is used to drive home points, but the points themselves still stand or fall on logical reasoning. It's possible that you're right about people in your region, but based on my experience it seems more likely that you're simply operating based on a cynical and jaded viewpoint that has skewed your ability to objectively judge the judges (wow that sounds weird) in your region. Again, I can't make an absolute statement. I could be wrong. I'm simply looking at my personal experience, and while I see how one could be led to think all/most judges are weighing rounds based on emotion, when you don't allow yourself to be swayed by personal bias (i.e. having lost rounds because of perceived emotivism in the past) it becomes clear that such a blanket generalization can't be made.


Ok so we're basically both accusing each other of being blinded to the truth by our own bias, and claiming that we both see opposite things from different perspectives. Because we can't get anywhere from here, you think what you want, and I'll think what I want.

But I’m going to point out that, if this is the way it is in my region, my family is unlikely to move to somewhere else or travel an extra 4-5 hours per tournament just so that I can get to a better area of the league. I’ve met and watched some Region II teams and, I admit, they seemed a lot more wholesome than most of the R5 teams that I’ve debated, so maybe it’s better up there. But the league here (and, from what I’ve seen of other regions, this is true in other places as well) is not much like that.


I'm truly sorry if competition in your region is as bad as you make it out to be. I was not intending to discredit your opinion, I was simply pointing out that you can't apply your experience to the rest of the nation any more than I can apply my experience to your region. In my experience, the NCFCA is a wholesome, encouraging, logical community. That's why I was very surprised at and, I will admit, suspicious of, your claims that it's harmful in your region. If it's truly like that in your region, then I'm sorry for that. I believe you. I was just hoping that what you said was an exaggeration because it's so different from my experience in the league.

Mountain Dude wrote:
The Ginga Ninja wrote:
I never said we should make decisions without logic. Not even close. I said that good decisions should be made based on both logic and emotion. Neither should cancel the other out. You act as if the two are opposites. They aren't. They're complimentary principles. Yes, it's possible to allow emotion to cloud your logical judgment. It's also possible to be blinded by perceived logical superiority to the point that you make morally wrong decisions. If you had the option to sacrifice your life to save another person, but the other person was weak or elderly or disabled, logic divorced from feeling would dictate that you ought to preserve your own skin. But a society that operated on such a basis would be horrible.

Also, I'm going to go ahead and play the trump card here. How logical do you suppose it was for God to take on human flesh, experience human life and suffering, and accept the most horrific and painful death imaginable, for a bunch of jerk-wad sinners who would spit in his face even after he did that for them? If God was purely ruled by logic, He never would have allowed himself, who clearly is infinitely more important, to suffer for our sake. It's because God operates not only on logic, but also on love, that He is who He is. If we're going to reflect the image of God as we're designed to do, we need to find the beautiful harmony between logical reasoning and emotional understanding that God has modeled for us.


I'm going to push this, because you really aren't making sense. But firstly, love is not a sentiment, emotion, or feeling. If you have a crush on a really cute girl, that doesn’t mean you love her. Actually, the extreme version of that is voyeurism, which isn’t love at all–it’s exploitive and often downright abusive, not loving. My chemistry teacher has failed me on a few quizzes. He gets a bit angry at me angry and asks, “Why didn’t you get this? This is simple. You should know it.” But even while he’s angry, he’ll say, “Yeah I failed you but it doesn’t mean I don’t love ya.” Because love is not affection, and it’s not “liking” somebody. It’s caring for and about someone, not having warm fuzzy emotional feelings about the person. The Bible tells us “Greater love has no one than this, that he laid down his life for his friends” (reference). The greatest love is not an emotion (see definitions below). It’s caring for a person.

It was logical for Jesus to say, “Ok, how can I save them?” if he cared for us. So he came up with a solution. If you really think that Jesus' sacrifice was illogical...go read On the Incarnation by Athanasius and Cur Deus Homo by Anselm, then tell me if his sacrifice was illogical. I honestly find the idea that it is "illogical" a pretty big offense to my faith.


You're rather missing my point here, again. I was not saying it was "illogical" for Jesus to save us. In fact, my point was precisely that it wasn't illogical. My point was that logic and emotion are not opposites. Remember, the point I was making with my argument about Jesus's sacrifice was that we're supposed to find the beautiful harmony between logic and feeling that God has modeled for us. Ultimately, that's the primary point I've been trying to make. Your whole case is built on the idea that logic and emotion are somehow mutually exclusive, when that's not remotely true. Emotion and logic are both essential elements of what makes us human. Because we are created in the image of God, we are able to process things logically; we don't operate purely on instinct, but on logic. Because we are created in the image of God, we are able to feel. We don't run on pure logic; we temper our logic with feeling. The combination of those two is what makes us human; we can think and we can feel. Because we are sinful, we tend to lose the balance between those two. Yet we are meant to operate based on both of those things. You act as if feelings are inherently bad. They aren't, not remotely. They have been corrupted by sin, yes. So has everything else. But when we look at God's example, we see that He chose a logical course of action because of how He felt about us. God is not a physical being; His emotions are not powered by chemical reactions or hormones. Our emotions are merely a pale reflection of God's ability to truly feel. God saw that we were broken. He saw that we rejected Him. He saw that we turned our backs on Him. And he still loved us. God chose a "logical" course of action in regards to how He went about carrying out his plan of salvation; yet the motivation behind his decision to pursue our redemption was not logic. There is no way you can argue that God was simply operating on logic when He chose to do what he did. God was not illogical; but he wasn't acting because it was logical. He was acting because he loves us. Now, I recognize that having a crush on a girl isn't love. I absolutely agree. But you have to understand that love is not powered by logic alone, or by emotion alone. Love is an incredible thing that transcends all our understanding of what drives a person. Ultimately, love is about being like God; putting others before yourself. Laying down your life for them. And you know what? Sometimes, that means operating based on what is right, rather than on what is simply logical. I'm not saying logic is bad. Not at all. What I am saying is that logic is not the be-all-end-all of our existence. It's a tool. It's the organon of all academia, as Aristotle pointed out, because it makes sense of the world around us. Yet we were not created to be logical with no emotion. We were created to think and to feel. Again, that's why I brought up the three canons of rhetoric. We aren't meant to operate on logic alone. Calculators operate on logic alone. Computers operate on logic alone. We do not.

Basically, my point is this: logic is not bad. Emotion is not bad. But logic with no emotion can be bad, and emotion with no logic can be bad. They're meant to work together. That's what we see when we look at God's example, that's what we see when we look at human nature, and that's what we ought to pursue in the setting of formal debate.

Mountain Dude wrote:
To be honest, I don't understand what situations you could be referring to when we ought to allow our logic to overcome our emotions. If our logic is based in the Bible, then we never need consult our emotions when making decisions, because the Bible is the perfect word of God. The Bible is supremely logical, and it’s an insult to God to claim that his actions are not so. “Perceived logical superiority” is not intrinsically logical at all, and can’t be, because if we knew anything about the truth, then we would know that our “perceived logical superiority” is complete rubbish.


You're misunderstanding and twisting my argument. I never said, and never will say, that emotions should overcome logic. What I did say is that logic and emotion are meant to work together. In an imperfect world, both logic and emotion tend to fall short, because our logic is often flawed and our emotions are often misguided. That's why I've been looking to God's example. In the character of God, we see his feelings for us displayed through his logically sound actions toward us. We see the sort of harmony that we're meant to display. It's really sad to me that you would say we "never need consult our emotions when making decisions." That takes away our humanity, and it utterly disregards the example we are given in Christ. 1 Peter 2:21 says Christ was "leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." When I look at the life of Jesus Christ, I don't see someone who believed we should "never consult our emotions." I see someone who struck the harmony we are meant to strive for; I see someone who was sensible, logical, and wise, yet who truly cared for those around him to the point that he laid down His own life, which was infinitely more valuable than theirs, because He loved them. I see someone who possessed understanding and logic beyond anything we can comprehend, yet at the same time wept bitter tears at the loss of a dear friend and was filled with righteous anger at the sight of His father's house being defiled. He truly struck the perfect balance. Yes, the Bible is supremely logical. Yet it's also a story of God's love for us. The fact that it's logical need not get in the way of the fact that it's an expression of God's feelings toward us. They're meant to work together.

Mountain Dude wrote:
You can look further to the definitions of ‘logic’ and ‘emotion.’ The first definition of emotion that I found (in my 20-volume OED =D) is “a moving out, migration, transference from one place to another” which I think ties perfectly into the nature of emotions, but, more specifically to our discussion, it’s “a mental feeling or affection of pleasure or pain, desire or aversion, surprise, hope or fear, etc. as distinguished from cognitive or volitional states of consciousness.” A second definition calls it “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” Logic, however, is “the branch of philosophy that treats the form of thinking in general, and more especially of inference and of scientific method. Also…a formal system using symbolic techniques and mathematical methods to establish truth-values in the physical sciences, in language, and in philosophical argument.” Another definition calls logic “reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.”

Is love a mental feeling? Is love (itself) affection? Does love change–does it move in or move out? Is it something which only operates on instinct, based on circumstances? No. Go read 1 Corinthians 13. Emotions come and go by definition; they triumph and fall based on our circumstances, but love is everlasting. Would he have done it in other circumstances–did he only act on instincts that arose because of the specific time? It's an insult to God's nature to claim that he saved us because of some quasi-emotion that happens in his mind. I'd point out that if Jesus had done what his emotions were driving him to do, then he would have taken a different road (read Matthew 26). Is there any emotional inclination or feeling in your body that would make you sacrifice yourself for the entire human race? I doubt it. Our sinful nature means that we are more emotionally and materialistically attached to ourselves than others, so based on our own selfish emotions we would probably not do what He did. Jesus himself cried out to his father in his sorrow, asking for him to take the cup from him. What he did was logical, because he cared for us. He was not following general human instincts and emotions.

Finally, now, the question. Is emotion ever more important than logic? God gave us the ability to use both, so which should we use? Is it ever preferable to eschew inference, the scientific method of reasoning, truth, principles, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy, and validity for volatile feelings or instincts of desire, pleasure, aversion, pain, sympathy, and fear? I’d love to hear you make that argument, because it would get to the root of the question rather than just scratching the surface.


OK, again, I'm going to be reiterating similar points here. The most basic flaw with your argumentation here is that you're comparing an idealistic standard of logic to a broken standard of emotion. The definitions themselves are fine, yet you're comparing emotion as it is corrupted by human sin to logic in its ideal form. Ideally, both logic and emotion are perfect. Emotion expresses feelings, which, outside of sin, ought to be a completely good thing. The Bible teaches that sorrow, anger, excitement, and other feelings are meant to be good things. It is sin that breaks them. The same is true of logic. Yes, ideally logic can't be bad. But pragmatically, it's just as tarnished by sin as emotion. Logic is used as an excuse to ignore principles of fundamental morality. "Abortion is necessary," they say, "Because overpopulation is going to hurt more people even more." From the standpoint of unadulterated logical validity, the argument could potentially be made. I believe it's flawed, but there are many who do not. But regardless of whether it is or is not logical, it's still wrong, because it allows logic to trump morality. Basically, emotion and logic should both be good, but when either is used to trump morality, it becomes bad. You pointed out that, if Jesus had operated solely on emotion, He would have chosen to reject the pain of the cross. You're right. If He'd operated solely on logic, He never would have subjected Himself to the suffering of humanity. It would fit the rigid standards of logical validity and reasoning for Him to have just stayed at the Father's side. But He didn't operate solely on emotion or on logic. He operated on love: the perfect balance between them. You rather exposed the flaw in your reasoning in that last paragraph. In your own words:

Quote:
Is emotion ever more important than logic? God gave us the ability to use both, so which should we use?


And therein lies your most basic error. God gave us the ability to use both, because we're supposed to use both. You say you'd love to see me make the argument that we should occasionally value emotion over logic; yet that exposes your misunderstanding of my position. I'm not contending that logic is any less valuable than emotion. I'm simply arguing that allowing emotion to play a part, alongside logic, in one's decision-making is not a bad thing. God gave us both, not so we could choose which one to use, but so that we could use them both, just as He does.

Mountain Dude wrote:
The Ginga Ninja wrote:
Your argument is, in essence, that debate teaches people to take the "easy road" by appealing to emotion rather than logic. And you know what? Sometimes that happens, unfortunately. But it's not a valid argument against debate for two reasons. First, the fact that people can take advantage of other people's emotions is a fact of life. It's by no means exclusive to debate. Debate doesn't teach people to be emotionally manipulative; it's just an unfortunate reality that sometimes shows up in debate. But the main reason this isn't an argument against debate is that the easy road can only take you so far. Sure, you can win some rounds that way. Maybe even win some qualifiers. But the day that Team B goes up against Team C, who have learned that the best way to debate is to make logically-sound arguments that are delivered with emotional weight, Team B is going to lose. Every time. Because logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive. The best decisions are made by considering both logical soundness and emotional impact. Thus, the best debaters are the ones that can argue with both of those elements. That's why we learn the three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. If you want to do well, you need all three of them.

I'm not shocked to hear what you're saying. I've heard it before. In fact, I've considered the merits of these ideas myself in the past. I've simply come to a different conclusion than you. I have been looking at your arguments objectively, and will continue to do so. My point here was simply that you're painting the NCFCA as an inherently harmful organization simply because of a number of isolated cases that are, as I pointed out, the exception rather than the rule. Yes, mistakes have been made. We should work to prevent those sorts of unfortunate mistakes. But we shouldn't label the NCFCA "harmful" simply because they aren't perfect. That's an impossible standard to uphold.


Firstly, no. Sin is a “fact of life,” but that does not mean that we should just ignore it and move on. Speech and Debate competition can be wholesome, but if emotional manipulation corrupts the activity to the point where it doesn’t fulfill it’s purpose, then we need to either throw it out or fix it. I believe that it has been corrupted based on what I’ve seen.

Secondly, in the second half of that first paragraph you basically said “the main reason that you are wrong is that you are wrong.” I made the observation that emotion seems to be trumping logic more than the other way round in this league. You basically said “Well your argument is invalid because A) it’s a sinful world but so what and B) your assertion is wrong because I say so, therefore your argument is invalid.”

You’re getting ahead of yourself. Attack my assertions and prove them wrong, don’t try to skirt around them. If you can’t prove my assertions wrong, then don’t try to accuse me of logical corruption just because you don’t like my assertions.

You’re correct that we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater–NCFCA can never be perfect. But the imperfections need to be at a point where it doesn’t corrupt the main purpose of the league-“addressing life issues from a biblical worldview in a manner that glorifies God” (or something very close to that), and honestly, in my experience, it isn’t there. TP is becoming a pity-case competition. Impromptu is becoming a game of who can memorize the sappiest, most emotional stories. Apol has become a sermon competition. Extemp is mostly won by whoever has the best canned jokes. Open and Duo have become a game of who can tell either the most shockingly graphic or the most hilariously funny story. Why do competitors do this? Because they win that way. NCFCA has become not about giving good speeches, but about how many medals you have in your closet, and the judge pool has largely decided that they will vote for the people who give the most emotional, not the most logical, speeches. I’m glad I got out before it got any worse, (and from what I’ve heard from my former fellow competitors, it has). Winning is fine if the winners deserve the win. If they don’t deserve it, they’re learning to love doing the wrong things. They learn to appeal to the emotions, because that’s how they get people to vote for them. You can testify about Region 2, because maybe your region is different, but in my region, it’s definitely the case, and I know what I saw at nationals in outrounds and at the showcase was largely the same thing I had been seeing for the past 4 years.

Should people be awarded for manipulating emotions? Ought we to admire people who are more emotionally manipulative, or ought we to admire those who are logical? It’s because I’m seeing NCFCA move from the latter towards the former that I’m really hesitant to ever compete again. I’m okay with isolated incidents, because they’re unavoidable, but that’s not been my experience. This is a debate that I’ve had over more than just speech and debate, but music, theology, worship, and everything else you can think of. I’ve turned to the Bible. “No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison,” “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,” “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”

Ok so if I pass tests then I’m going to come out of next week with 15 college credit hours…but if I don’t then it’s your fault. :P jk, but meaning to say, I probably won’t get around to looking at this or replying to it for a week or maybe more.


Firstly, I was not in any way implying that we should just suck it up and deal with it. I was merely pointing out that the issue is not caused by speech and debate, because it is not at all unique to speech and debate. My second point did not contradict my first one, because it was addressing a different issue. My first point was addressing the question of whether this "emotivism" was being caused by speech and debate; clearly it wasn't, because it exists just as much in every other area. The second point was addressing the question of whether speech and debate particularly encourages emotivism. It doesn't. You didn't respond to my point about Teams A, B, and C. If "emotionally manipulative" competitors came out on top all the time, then maybe I'd see your point. But that simply isn't the case. Maybe "manipulative" competitors beat those who act like Spock. Maybe all-emotion-no-logic beats all-logic-no-emotion. But neither approach is correct. And both get creamed by those who learn to balance logic and emotion. I've seen some of the symptoms you're talking about. I've been frustrated by impromptu competitors who win with the same tear-jerking opener every time. I've been annoyed by debaters who appeal to pity the whole round. But I've also beaten them. A lot. Not in any way attempting to brag, but I've been pretty successful this season by learning to strike the necessary balance.

So no, we shouldn't honor those who are emotionally manipulative. We shouldn't honor people who are manipulative in general. But honestly, we shouldn't honor those who reject all feeling in favor of cold logic, either. People in either category have a lot to learn. I've studied plenty of logic in my time. I'm a homeschool debater, for crying out loud. I'm also a musician and writer who crafts songs and poems designed to evoke an emotional response. If I try to manipulate people with either of those things, I'm in sin. But if I can speak the truth in love, then and only then am I following Christ's example. And I truly believe that, in the long run, that's exactly what the NCFCA teaches people to do.

And good luck on your tests ;)

_________________
Benjamin Vincent, RII Alum
Biola University '21
www.lifeinthesunrise.com

"Everything in this world is either a potato... or not a potato."


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