Sabtu, 10 September 2011

Debate for Newbie

Case 1 : Opinion

Everyone have opinions! For example, I live in Jakarta and believe that Jakarta is the Best Town in Indonesia. What do you think? Do you agree? Or disagree?
Other simple examples are arguing couples that always think he/she was true, or could be, opinion war in Debate Forum!!

MODELS: Types of Opinions
Opinions are the starting point of discussion or Debate. Just as Roof of a Building can have many types, forms and shapes, Opinions also have different types. Opinions usually fall into three main 
types: Value, Policy and Fact.

Value (X is better than Y)
Opinions of value states one thing is better/worse than another.
Policy (X should do Y)
Opinions of policy states that some form of Authority (Government, Companies, School Management or Person) should do something
Fact (X was/is/will be Y)
Opinions of fact states that something is true, was true or will be true

Case 2 : Arguments

Everyone have opinion. But opinion does not stand by themselves! Opinions are based on reasons which, especially in debate, have to be delivered. Without explaining the reasons for an opinion, communication breaks down and become as childish as fighting children. When explaining, the key point is to provide reasons that other people find it reasonable and convincing.
So, what are strong reasons??!! As the analogy of House, a roof needs walls and pillars, or else, it will fall down. Similarly, an opinion needs reasons, or it will fall. Reasons are like walls and pillars. Some pillars and walls might hold up the roof well, while others might be weak. Similarly, reasons can be strong or weak.
Next topic would be “Were you convinced by those reasons?”. Not all reasons that might pop in your mind could be convincing. Sometimes the stated reasons could be lame. Then, which reasons make you convinced? Which reasons were not at all? In debate, your job is to find convincing reasons to make judges and audiences agree with your opinion, surely, by providing reasonable explanations. It is judge’s job to decide which team’s explanations are most convincing and thus wins the debate. Then, your reason in debate have to be, simply, good!
Then what are good reasons? There are at least 3 indispensable qualities of good reasons to convince people:
-            A strong reason have to logically support the opinion (relevant)
-            A strong reason have to be specific and state the idea clearly (effective)
-            A strong reason have to be convincing to a majority of people (populist)

Supporting a Reason :
We have learned that opinions requires Strong Reasons to be a good opinion. These reasons have to be suppoted to keep stand strong and supporting your opinion.
Once opinion is given and the reasons that holding an opinion are clearly explained, those reasons have to be supported by Evidences. Evidence is a concrete foundation that supports Reasons, the Walls and Pillars. Evidence can be in the forms of Explanation, Example, Statistic or an Expert Opinion.

As we know that debating is clashes of opinions. To clash each other, opinions need something to attack the others opinion’s reasons. But we are not just going to compare each other and using reasons. We also need rebuttals to prove that other team’s reason is false.
In this chapter, we turn our attention to look critically on the construction of other side’s house. In debate, we must examine the construction work very closely and attack any construction errors or fundamental weaknesses.
Types of Rebuttals
There is always two sides of every story. For every opinion, there is an opposite opinion. For every reason to believe in an opinion, there is also a reason not to believe in it. To really understand an opinion on an issue, it is not enough to only see it from only one point of view. True understanding of an issue means to think about the opinion and the reason behind every existing point of view.
Rebuttals, which means to negate or deny something, is used in debate to tell why the opposing team’s point is either not true or not important. More specifically, a point can be refuted by saying that it’s not true, or that is not always true, which means there are several important exceptions. Or we can say, that is not necessarily true, which means there are some doubt about the supporting evidence.



If the point is not important, it may be unimportant because it has nothing to do with the resolution and thus not relevant, or maybe, a very small numerical difference and thus not significant, or finally, it maybe a very simple problem that is easy to solve.

NOTES: Keep in mind that these are terms of PROPER rebuttal. But to have a GOOD rebuttal, you will have to make two layers of rebuttals, which is “Why your idea won’t work?” and “Even if it is working, it’s wrong”.

Know-How: How to deliver a refutation
Signpost & Rephrase : Stating your refutations by saying their points
Their first point is about .... and they said that ...
Example: Their first point is about care, which cats requires less care compared to dogs.
Negation
This is not true!/this point was untrue!/even if it is true, it is not important!
Example: That is not important!
Why
It can’t be true that ... / the point was not necessarily true that ...
Example: the whole point is about care which is not relevant with owning a pet
Rationale
There’s no connection between ... / the reason that ... / to solve it, do X instead of Y!
Example: The reason that we have a pet is to enjoy taking CARE of it!





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