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October 2, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

Responding to Evidence Read Out of Context in a Debate–The Option I Don’t Recommend Except in Extreme Cases

I would suggest winning on “substance.”

If you do want to run this strategy:
1) I would set up a double-dare of sorts to the other team. If you extend the card…..we will call you on it and stake the round on it.

2) I think setting up some standards for evidence that explains how truth and context is the basis for all fairness and education claims.

3) Provide specific parallel examples that would cause someone to pause (ie common to debate or common to history/philosophy)

4) Your final rebuttal is usually suggested to be just the ethics challenge.

Why do I advise against all of the above–the education of both your team and the other team.
1) This puts the judge in a super weird spot. (I can’t emphasize that enough) Its just not very comfortable. For me this is about the least fun debates to judge.

2) Clash on substance is almost always going to be better. Also, you are probably cutting 1/2 the round out or more education wise–narrowing it to one issue.

3) I think reading evidence out of context is bad–but sometimes the evidence is still making a truth claim that should be heart and will be heard for no other way but. This is particularly the case for the negative that has an extremely limited literature base.

4) This sounds weird–but I think the threshold for these types of arguments is higher in debate than it would be in other contexts. The line between…..this author actually concludes affirmative and this evidence merits an affirmative ballot, because you should never quote from an aff author is a weird gray line. Some of the best negative evidence comes from aff authors. And I think thats usually a good thing.


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