Turku Open 2014

The Joensuu Debate Society participated in its fifth international debating tournament this weekend at the Turku Open 2014. However, this was no ordinary tournament participation, no. This time we had a huge group of six people going, making it the largest participation we have had outside of Joensuu ever! Not only that, but all three teams did well in the tournament, placing reasonably, with Laura Halinen and Alexandra Shtromberg (former president of the JDS) narrowly missing the break into the semifinals!

For those who do not know what debate tournaments are like, I will quote myself from yesterday: If you like debating, then normal Wednesday debates are like having McDonalds, while debate tournaments are like going to a five star restaurant. It’s just that magical. The added competition and meeting old friends and new friends alike makes the experience something that you will miss for months. Not only that, but the tournaments are also the best places to learn debating (especially if you get good judges who are able to give good critical feedback). Quite simply put, nothing beats a debate tournament weekend!

However, tournaments are also competitions and we all have to treat them as such. One must be well prepared before going to a tournament. It’s clear that all six of us were up to the task though!

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Only four more hours to go till Juha, Thanh, Anton, and Alexandra get to Turku!

 

Pretty much all debating tournaments fall into a standard category: Five preliminary rounds where there are four teams of two people in each debate. At the end of the debate round, the judges score first, second, third, and last positions and give feedback and reasoning for the positions. The people with the best points break into two semifinal rounds and the winning teams from those two debates continue to the grand final. A team from Joensuu has yet to break into the semifinals – but one day, I know that some of us will. Let’s work hard for that day.

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Quite obviously, Alexandra, Arturo, and Thanh see the semifinals in the distant horizon

 

I am very happy for both the level of activity and the success we have showed this weekend. We are definitely placing Joensuu on the world map of debating which has been a longtime personal dream of mine! The debaters had a wonderful time and some of them had these things to say:

Alexandra Since setting up Joensuu Debate Society (named JoensuuDebate! at that time) and then leaving Finland, I have missed debating a lot. The weekly training may sometimes seem a kind of routine, but tournaments are the very reason why you should train and prepare yourself for amazing days spent together with your delegation, fellow debaters and qualified adjudicators!

For me this tournament was the fulfilling of my dream – not the dream of scoring 9 points and making it relatively close to semifinals, but of seeing how the debating mood is developing in Joensuu – we got 3 teams at the tournament and Joensuu was mentioned at the opening ceremony:)

To tell the truth, personally I was afraid of going to the tournament when I was just starting the debates. So, I am definitely happy that we had beginners bravely and successfully representing Joensuu Debate Society at Turku Open together with more experienced participants !

Thanh I really love the tournament. It’s one of my most amazing experieces in my student life. Many friends ask me about it and they’re really curious, also a bit jealous!

Arturo Ducks are ducks. (Seriously man, make better quotes!)

Of course, debate tournaments are not only about debating but also about having fun and meeting your peers! We had lovely after parties on Friday and Saturday and a grand 24 hour cruise to Stockholm on Sunday. Would it be weird, if I thought that was the best part of the debating tournament?

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JDS being totally social on Friday

Finally, I give you the representation from Joensuu: Teams ‘Deliberating Daisies‘, ‘Mobiles at the ready‘, and ‘Too cool for finals‘ (we were!):

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Turku Open 2014, Joensuu division

 

So JDS: Work hard, be active, and join the next tournament for the time of your life!

 

 

 

Summer debate picnic

Debate societies often end up being just as much of a social experience as a place where to debate. And I can safely say that we’re definitely more than just a ‘strictly business’ society – after all the summer debate picnic was both a fun outlet for our debating energies and finally a chance to see all the awesome people again! I’m glad that we got people together this summer – it’s a long three months.

From left to right: The rigorous debaters Alexandra, Maria, Anton, Juha, Arturo, Ari

From left to right: The rigorous debaters Alexandra, Maria, Anton, Juha, Arturo, Ari

So if you didn’t make it there, what did you miss? Well, a lovely weather at Ilosaari (not rock, the island), some yummy pastries and a unique debate motion – one about memes and all sorts of cat pictures!

We also had a special guest visiting us from Russia: Alexandra, the first president of the Joensuu Debate Society. She also wanted to add to our summer blog:

There are so many amazing things about debates. You can talk endlessly about how public speaking skills can be effectively acquired through debates, not to mention better command of English (or any other official debate language) and analytical skills. However, there is one undeniable advantage of debates – just hanging out around and sharing your thoughts and aspirations with other! Summer may be quite a relaxed season, not ideally suited for intellectual events but still, we managed to meet each other and have a nice open-air debate! And to say more, open-air debates are becoming a kind of new fashion for Finnish debate societies – I wish that one day we will have a big open-air debate session, uniting all debate clubs together and enjoying summer version of debates.

We’ll definitely make a habit of this and hey – maybe there are some special events we can create together during the fall semester too. I look forward to returning to our normal debate schedule.

Have a nice summer (what’s left of it, hehe).

Estonian Open 2014 blog

Dear readers, I believe it is about time that I told you the tale of the Estonian Open 2014 – debating tournament. After all, it has been a week since it ended! Actually a few hours ago + a week we were sitting in the audience, enjoying the great finals. Not on the stage though, pity!

It was quite the journey to Tallinn, as it was impossible to get there from Joensuu the same day as the tournament began: So we left one day prior, on Thursday. Two brave Joensuu Debate Society teams journeyed for the glory of all of us – ‘Deliberating Daisies’ and ‘Too cool for finals’.

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Arturo Gil, Katalin Kiss, Juha Kaltiainen, and me taking the photo.

And so it was Friday 13:00 and time to register for the tournament. The tournament had 62 whole teams (that means 124 debaters!). It would be a tough road to distinguish ourselves here, we thought to ourselves.

The two teams fully geared for some action!

The two teams fully geared for some action!

I must say that there were some annoyingly long intervals between the debate rounds. We did three on Friday (the evening ended around 22:00) and two on Saturday + the semifinals and finals after that. Saturday was about 9:30-20:30.  Long days! In total everyone did at least five rounds. Anyway, onwards to the motions:

R1: THW create a separate athletics league for athletes that choose to take performance enhancing substances.
R2: THW impose quotas that ensure at least half of a company’s board of directors is composed of women.
R3: THBT the gay rights movement should abandon the claim that sexuality is not a choice.
R4: THW allow individuals to enter into pre-nuptial agreements where infidelity is punishable by prison sentences.
R5: THS the creation and use of Autonomous Killing Robots.
Autonomous Killing Robots are a form of military technology which when activated, can identify and engage targets* without further human intervention. *targets include humans and light armoured vehicles

Open Semi Final: THBT the EU should offer membership to Middle Eastern and North African states that achieve successful democratic transition.

Novice final: THW give the public the power, via referendum, to pardon whistleblowers.

Open Final: In a parallel universe, there is a planet X which resembles Earth as it existed in the early days of humanity. Their human population face a choice of implementing one of two political systems.

TH, as the human population of planet X, would choose communism over capitalism.

On the whole, I personally enjoyed the motions for this tournament. I’m really happy that, outside of the semifinals, there weren’t any motions where we were required to have a large amount of factual knowledge about the topic. Sure, it’s good to have those once in a while but I feel it really favours those who study relevant fields, such as economics, law, etc (depending on the motion). I feel it’s so rare that someone who majors in English will have an advantage at a specific motion, hehe. Let me try: ‘THW swap the order of the adverbs in the sentence structure to first position’. Next Helsinki finals, called it! I don’t want to report or analyse the motions any further, as I believe that that is something you all can do on your own or together some fine Debate-Monday. I also feel that I can’t bring the experiences we all had at the tournament to you, let it just be known that every single one of us truly enjoyed it and gained a lot from it. I personally heard both Katalin and Arturo say that they want to go again – as for me and Juha – we’re going next month to Helsinki! And dear reader, I hope so are you *hidden advertisement*.

So what was so great about our tournament experience? For me, it was a huge blast meeting my old friends, for everyone else, I hope the Joensuu team enjoyed making new acquaintances and/or friends. As I mentioned in my earlier blog about tournaments, the debates are just always something else in a tense competitive atmosphere, surrounded by people who love debating just as much as you. As fun as the tournament was, the after party on Saturday was just as great – especially since the organisers gave us a 1000 euro budget in the bar! And finally of course, it always feels special to make a long trip to reach your destination, rather than just always come to the same Aurora 206.

Before I fade out for some photo montage, I must mention a few things I did not like about the tournament (for constructive critisisement purposes): The judges did way too little to punish the inactivity of POI answering and wrong whip speech models. Some people took their whip speech so far that, instead of summarising the debate, they were just saying new arguments for their side. Many teams answered 0 POIs and still won the room. I believe this is very wrong. And I don’t blame the debaters for doing it – if no one punishes them. So I hope the debating judge community will improve in the future on this matter – and it is always different in tournaments. Some are good some end up too loose.

That said, let’s show you some pictures from the tournament! Oh: I guess you are also curious how we did! Let’s just say that the weakest team that got into the semifinals had 10 points. ‘Too cool for finals’ had 8 points and ‘Deliberating Daisies’ 6. Well done Joensuu, I believe these are really good results!

The grand hall where there motions were released.

The grand hall where there motions were released.

 

Deliberating Daisies

Deliberating Daisies

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Too cool for finals

 

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Bye bye Tallinn!

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Bye bye Tallinn 2.

Cheers! And go to a debating tournament at least once!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debate-Monday 31.3. – Beginner debaters

Hello everyone and welcome yet again to another installment of the JDS blog! The only debating blog that makes no sense. This week we’ll talk about the (quite frankly hard) motion we had on Monday, as well as how it is like to be a first time debater. Though, mind you, it’s been a rather long time since I was in this position – so it might not be exactly spot on!

This week it was very nice to see two new cool members join us – may they learn plenty and have a great time with us! Having them debate with us made me think just how confusing and challenging debating might be at first. Sometimes you just see natural talents that get everything right away – but most of us (me included of course) have to work hard and practice a lot before we get to any decent level. Our website has plenty of good materials for how to improve your debating and why debating is good: Click here and here. However, it’s not only about knowing how to debate but also being able to do it when the time comes for it: And this requires a lot of practice. In addition to pure public performance and speech construction skills, practice also gives you a special intuition for debating and arguing – and this skill to improvise under any circumstance is extremely valuable for both debating and in other spheres of life. This, however, takes quite a while, so to all you new members: Be patient with yourselves! I know it’s confusing at first but with practice everyone can become better. Not everyone has natural born talent but everyone can become to be very good.

Juha

Juha, expressing his magnificent arguments

 

Now onto this week’s motion: ‘THW ban the sale of violent video games/censor violent video games’. This was a bloody difficult motion – at least for me, a person who really likes violent video games and sees no scientific proof that violent video games would cause any damage to young minds. I personally believe that a child develops the sense of what’s real and what’s fake at a very young age and can process the violence and themes portrayed in the games without taking it too seriously. Well – naturally me and my partner were opening government, so the job was to find as many arguments to oppose my own views as possible! That’s just how debaters roll, and it’s fun 😉

The model that the prime minister created was that violent games would be censored so that there is no excessive graphic portrayal of violence. This includes showing blood, using over the top violent methods to kill someone (GTA is a great example of this) and just simply limit the amount of killing that would occur. Furthermore, the true reason to do this is because the age restrictions in place now simply do not stop children and teenagers from playing mature games. They download them, they buy them, or their parents buy them – either way, 18+ games are ended up being played by 7-year-olds. The problems that violent games can cause are: Giving negative influence to children, kids might start imitating the violent behaviour, they glorify violence and build up an image that violence is a good way of solving your problems. Seeing their favourite hero shoot and hack people to pieces is definitely not teaching kids good things. The opening opposition countered this with the notions that the solution to this problem is not complete censorship but rather moderate how young the kids are and how much they play. Second of all, all violent game material cannot be censored, there we always be an underground market. It is also important to remember that kids are able to tell good from bad and that they can also learn positive things from such games, such as strategy.

The closing government questioned why we need to teach violence through such games, why cannot we focus instead on peace and love. Dealing with these violent video games from a young age can lead people having psychological problems later on, such as how to deal with people, etc. The closing opposition finished by saying that playing violent video games is an excellent way to relieve stress and anger (which is really true, by the way!). Simulating violence is a great way of not wanting or needing to be violent in real life – in a way – people have expressed their violent behaviour in an arena where they don’t hurt anyone real. And isn’t that great? They continued that kids have great skills to distinct real and fake and understand that it is not okay to behave in this way in real life. And last but not least – violence has the right to be an art form as well. Just think about GTA – is it not art just how creatively and graphically you see violence occur there?

Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough: What can we learn this week… Don’t be too violent and kill people with baseball bats and guns! Have a nice week instead.

 

 

 

 

 

24.3. Debate Monday and tournaments!

Hello, and welcome back to the ramblings of the Joensuu Debate Society! Let’s see what we’ve been up to…

Well, the foremost topic on many of our heads is the Tallinn debating tournament. May I remind you that we have a grandiose representation from our society, with two whole teams: ‘Too cool for finals’ (myself and Juha) and ‘Deliberating Daisies’ (Katalin and Arturo). I’m hoping that the rest of our society will be with us in spirit – and may we bring glory to Joensuu! Either way, it will be one step closer to bringing Joensuu on the world map of debating. It’s not the world championships yet but – still – it’s an international tournament in a different country: Not too shabby, if you ask me.

 

Overall, I believe that debating tournaments are the ultimate way of testing yourself and what you have learned. Once you arrive and see just how many amazing debaters there are from all over the world, you realise that this is it: I have to do my best, as it will be no cakewalk for anyone – even the most experienced of us. For those who have participated in tournaments earlier, it is also a joyous time of seeing your old debating friends from other societies once again. Our hobby is a very social one and you get to know people well from all parts of Europe and even outside of Europe! And if you are new, have no worries, for debaters are a very open people and will welcome you into their group quickly.

The debates also feel very different in a tournament surrounding: The emotions of stress are combined with the emotions of happiness that you are doing something as exciting as this, to form all sorts of new experiences – experiences that you truly appreciate and miss afterwards. Let me warn you though, it is no easy task to do 3-4 high profile debates per day, while experienced judges are giving you direct results afterwards. Sometimes you feel extremely disappointed with yourself: Sometimes some of us may even experience a feeling of never wanting to debate anymore. Yet, this is all natural – and where there are low points, there can be equal high points. And the feeling of the judges announcing you to be the victorious team feels on par with any other amazing achievements you might have achieved in your life. And no one ever gives up debating, it’s just too damn exciting and gives too much. It all then culminates in the final announcement of who gets to go to the semifinals. At the same time you feel that you’ve experienced quite enough debates and would be happy to just rest now – and yet – secretly you want your team to be announced more than anything at that moment. So what can I say – I love debating tournaments, and I hope that our teams will have much success and in the future we will have more and more new people representing the JDS.

Since I’ve been talking so much about tournaments, I will talk about our yesterday’s debate very shortly. The motion we chose was ‘THW alter human minds to make it impossible to tell lies’. For this purpose, we assumed that it was the year 2100 and such technology was invented. It was an interesting debate, one that mostly relied on philosophical discussion, rather than scientific truths, as from the perspective of our current world, it is very difficult to imagine such a world without lies. The conversation was about whether the society is better off with or without lies. The government suggested that lies are bad for the reasons that the (scams) criminal rate would go down; people would feel safer with others, knowing that no lie can be told- which would also make politicians more trustworthy. And just generally: Lies are very evil. On the other hand, the opposition defended lying with the ideas that white lies are highly important for us to get along with each other; social differences would grow even further, when people cannot use creative ways (such as bullshitting) of surpassing their social and economic classes – not to mention that, with corruption, some elite people might be left with the ability to lie, which would give them a huge advantage. Furthermore, social interaction and arts would greatly suffer, as there could be no more such innovation, as exaggeration, sarcasm and irony, etc. In the end, we still could not stop talking about this topic and it was interesting to hear what people thought about it themselves. Overall, a very successful debate, I must say! May we have many more – and meanwhile – have a great week JDS!

Debate-Monday 17.3.2014

Hello all! And welcome to another addition of the JDS weekly blog. That’s right, Jyväskylä Debate Society: We own the abbreviation JDS!

It has been a while since we debated, as last week we had a break. I hope you missed debating, I know I did! The motion this week was: ‘Assuming irrefutable proof is discovered that God doesn’t exist; THW (this house would) destroy the proof and hide it from public knowledge’. The discussion on this topic circled two major themes: If it is proven that God does not exist, do we need the concepts of God and religion? Would the society crumble down without the idea of some order and greater force or would it just be better? And second of all, is it ethical to hide some (controversial) scientific findings?

One of our veteran debaters, Thanh, making her speech.

One of our veteran debaters, Thanh, making her speech.

The debate kicked off with some heavy weaponry, as the opening government suggested that without God, many people would not feel obligated to be ethical or charitable – two things that are key to the survival of our societies. If there is no punishment of hell, why not just kill and steal whenever we feel like it – the police can’t catch us every time! Furthermore,  the government mentioned that it is very likely that people would continue to believe in the existence of God anyway. This is actually why I personally feel why God can never be disproved completely – there will always be people that believe all proof is just God’s way of testing us.  On the other hand, as opening opposition said, we need to give the choice to people, not hide it.  With no God or religion, people would be more equal and hate each other less: For example, it is very likely that the position of homosexuals would greatly improve. Also, there would be no more fooling people into believing in (fake) causes. An important point is also that people would stop restricting their lives just because of the idea of living in the afterlife. People would live in a way that they would want to, without the need to try to get into heaven or avoid hell. Now this is different from people running amok, killing everyone, as in most cases, it is not religion that stops people from doing so. Most atheists are just as ethical as religious people.

The closing government extended the case by reminding us that religion has brought humanity many valuable things, such as culture, art, spiritual values, hope, etc. It is very important for people to have something to believe in and something they can always hope to help them. The closing opposition’s expansion was that it is never okay to bury scientific truth: No one should have the power to cherry pick the nice things to tell the public and hide everything that is too ‘inconvenient’. People should have the power to make the choice themselves, not let the government hide facts. With that, we had come to an end on this topic. It was a difficult one but the good thing about us debaters is that we are used to this and don’t have to run away from a discussion like this one.

Don’t run away from difficult topics in real life either, dear debaters! And have a nice week.

 

 

 

Debate-Monday 3.3.

Hello there, dear debaters! Once again Monday is behind us and it is high time to write something about it. Weeks just go so quickly – it feels like I was writing a blog just yesterday.

This week we debated on the motion: ‘THBT (This house believes that) downloading music without permission is morally equivalent to theft’. I believe that we had one of the most ‘correct’ debates up till now. Both sides brought up all the issues that were important to mention. I think this is the case because it is such a familiar topic for everyone and people really love to play sides when it comes to the morale of downloading copyrighted material. Typically, there is the group of people who sees it as a criminal action, committed against the artists, who suffer economically due to people not baring to pay some money for their hard work. The yes-Sayers, on the other hand, like to note that it is far better to support artists with other – more efficient – ways, such as buying merchandise and going to concerts. This was definitely what our debate was about and the two main topics were whether downloading is stealing and how bad it is for the artists. Will we ultimately gain more or lose more from people being so active to download music for free?

The first government started out by mentioning that people downloading music for free makes artists less motivated to create more music and thus we would be losing new art and seeing less new artists come out. People also psychologically appreciate free things far less than things they have purchased: So they will also appreciate the music more if they pay the full price for the album. And of course, they mentioned very poignantly that everyone deserves fair compensation for their work – no one wants to work for free! The first opposition took great care to define what theft is: It is the physical removal of a physical item, which then affects the owner buy not being physically present anymore. When you download something virtually, nothing disappears, and most likely the owner does not even know about it. It is also a good idea to allow people to get free samples of music – then people will know what they like and what they don’t like. Art is ultimately meant to be a universal part of our culture that we all share. Something the opening opposition brought up was also that when we live in a world where people have free reign to sample anything they like for free it is extremely important that artists make quality music. If you make quality music and people like what they hear, they will want to support the artist financially. This is something that my partner talked more about in the closing opposition. Ultimately, one can speculate that if only the quality art is supported, then uninspired and rushed art will die out.

The second government brought to the table the definition of morality. Morality being something where people stick to a certain set of rules that we have agreed to live with as a society. The opposition having defined what stealing is, it was very important that the government made this definition of morale. In this case, the specific morale we should stick to is that we always compensate people for their work and do not take their payment away. My partner in the second opposition declared that all artists should by now be aware of the situation and learn to live with it and come up with new – better – ways of making a living. One such way is allowing people to download music and then make any sum of donations they feel like. This way the money would go to the correct people, unlike in the scenario in which only 10% of the money from album sales goes to the artists. He also reminded us that downloading music is not legally a crime in many countries around the world – and in Finland the law changed only recently.

Unfortunately we did not have a judge this time so no official outcome can be declared. I can still rule that it was a great debate and we all had some good points and speeches. This week everyone was a winner! Ugh, what drivel… Next time, we’d better have a real judge!

Have a nice week everyone and see you on Monday.

 

20th debate of 2013-2014; Debate-Monday 24.2.

Hello everyone! Wow… So now there are twenty debates behind us for the 2013-2014 semesters. When we first began in autumn, I was rather skeptical, as none of the debaters from spring 2013 were planning to come. This meant that we had to start from zero once again. However, here we are: And I am very happy to see so many new permanent members and that we still see new faces every time. Can’t get much better than this!

I am very happy to see so many new permanent members and that we still see new faces every time. Can’t get much better than this!

Our motion on Monday was thought provoking to say the least. The motion was the following: ‘TH prefers a world without pain and suffering’. This is my favourite type of motion: One that is purely philosophical, rather than based on true life events or science. In this kind of a topic, one really has to make his/her brains working hard. As there is no clear answer to the kinds of questions that we had to ponder over the course of the debate (such as ‘is pain and suffering necessary’ and ‘can there be happiness without them’), one needs to look deeper into his or her own beliefs and opinions. There is no straight answer in a book – which is always much more fun in my opinion.

There is no straight answer in a book – which is always much more fun in my opinion.

This time we had a change of judges; Thanh, Simo, and Mariia did excellent jobs as judges and gave some very good feedback. A big thanks to them! The definition of the motion was the following: This would be a philosophical discussion on an ideal world where there was no emotional pain or suffering. The reason why physical pain was not included was that it is detrimental to the survival of the human race (imagine not realising that you are on fire due to no pain!). I attempted to create an efficient example to encapsulate the whole issue efficiently: Imagine a person who finds out his girl/boyfriend has been cheating and is now feeling a lot of emotional pain. This pain may lead this person to a violent or alcoholic route, both of which are very harmful for the person’s life. In addition to this, the society loses an efficient worker.

The opening government brought the ideas that happiness (which is the absence of said pain and suffering) is a good thing and the more we have it the better. Happy people are more productive, spread more good around them, commit less violent crimes,  our economy can go up due to happy and productive people., etc. The first opposition countered with the ideas that it is very hard to approach the idea of there being no pain and suffering. It is even harder to define, as one’s pain can be someone’s enjoyment. They also added that without pain and suffering there cannot be happiness (this is one of those philosophical questions you could talk about for a whole evening!). When someone dies, being sad about it shows that we loved them. Without pain and suffering there also is no empathy. Therefore, the world would be a much shallower place to live in. The closing government extended the case very well by explaining in more detail what kind of a world the government is referring to and mentioning some even more valuable outcomes, such as further progressing science, art, technology, and such – the truly important issues for humanity. The closing opposition finished by talking about how we need both sides of the coin to understand what happiness is. Much like we need bad to understand good, we need misery to understand happiness.

This time the victory goes to the closing government, Juha and Denis for their excellent case extension. Congratulations! The two of you are really on fire lately, hehe. Even that we do not live in a painless utopia, may all of you still have a happy week! Till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

The fifth debate (17.2.2.2014)

Hello all and welcome to another JDS blogpost! First of all, my apologies for the late entry – after all – our debate was already two days a go. Speaking of the debate, we had some great speeches and two judges making sure the right conclusions were made. This also allowed me to judge what the strengths and weaknesses of our debaters currently are. Hopefully, we can have more tools to improve ourselves now. I always hope to see suggestions of how to improve our society and what you, the debaters, would like to do!

The motion for 17.2.2014 was ‘THBT (This house believes that) the state should financially incentivise the poor to not have children’. As we remember, this motion is one of those ‘belief motions’ (read more here) – so it requires no strict model. In our debate, we had a model anyway, which did not really make the debate worse – just a little different. The model was that each person accepting not to have more than one child would be paid 500 euros. The debate then majorly focused on whether 1) the government can afford this and 2) whether it is ethical to have a one child policy.

The first government talked about how making sure we have less children from poor families would be a good thing for the families and the world, where we are already suffering from overpopulation. The first opposition rebutted by saying that it is the opposite – in countries, such as Finland, our population growth is already too small. The restriction on the population might mean that we would not have enough workers (especially for manual jobs). And just generally speaking, it is unethical for the government to force the people to behave in a certain way. The second government extended neatly with good reasons why it is a bad thing that poor people would have children (reasons mentioned below in more detail). The second opposition then rebutted that this would be far too expensive for the society, we would have a deficit of poor people, who psychologically tend to be more hard working and finally, we can’t forget equality: This would only enlarge the gaps between the poor and the rich.

I would like to offer some analysis to the way this debate went. I think that the most important issue to mention is the surprising direction of the debate. There was a very minimal amount of discussion on the topic of why should we target poor people with this kind of a motion. What is the reason that poor people should not have children (or only one child)? What are the pros and cons of this? The second government touched on this by talking about the cycle of misery, where the negative things with the poor parents, such as low education, bad habits, addictions, etc are easily transferred onto their children. This was a very good point and never was rebutted by the opposition fully. However, what might be the other good and bad sides of poor people having children?

Nevertheless, on the grounds that the debate took, it was a very nice debate to follow. Our newcomers are making strong speeches and the older members are showing nice expertise in their structure and SEXI (state–>explain–>illustrate) argument building! The high amount of POIs (point of interest) was very nice to see as well. Our society has learned to ask good questions or say good things in the correct times. I think we are moving towards a very strong direction and we can’t ever forget that practice makes perfect! And we should all practice to make better explanations in all aspects of our lives.

So, without further ado, let me announce the winning team this time! The win goes to the second government, for their excellent extension and providing good points on why the poor should not have children. This was something that was very important to bring to the debate. A lot of the prior arguments were very well explained but I believe that it would’ve been much better to first touch on these key issues. In most cases, the most straightforward arguments are the ones that with the debate. So relax your brains, fellow debaters – we don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.

Have a nice week!

 

 

 

The fourth debate 10.2.2014

Hello everyone! It is time for another weekly blog post: And this one is quite different from the previous ones. Something really awesome happened yesterday – we had a total of 19 people at the debates! This meant that we could have two full debates with judges for both rooms. Speaking of that, thanks to Juha Kaltiainen for doing an amazing job in the second room. And this blog post is really all about that – celebrating the success of Joensuu Debate Society and thanking all people who have been loyal and hardworking members! It was a huge pleasure to meet so many new people yesterday and I can only hope that, you too, will become frequent sights in our room(s). We’d be lucky to have you!

10 people had their first debate speech yesterday. First speeches are very special: You have absolutely minimal clue what you’re supposed to do and yet all of them, in my opinion, are always promising and very pleasant to hear. Of course, there is room for much improvement – just like for those who have been debating for a long time. And trust me – there’s nothing like practice in the case of debates. Even the champions stumbled on their first tries, and that is never something to be ashamed of. They say that you learn way more from mistakes than from success. And together, as a society, we can become better and have fun at the same time.

I’m hoping that the future of the Joensuu Debate Society will continue to look amazing, as we catch up with other debating societies in Finland and eventually put Joensuu on the worldmap of debating! See you there. Until then, have an amazing week.

Here is what it looked like yesterday:

Megadebate 6

 

Megadebate 1

Megadebate 3

Megadebate 4

Megadebate 5

Megadebate 2