This guide to debating (as well as public speaking) has been compiled
for the purpose of facilitating the conducting of the regional debate
workshops, organized by the Mahidol University International College (MUIC)
Debate Club, with coordination from the Delegation of the European Union
to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
While this guide has been largely compiled by the MUIC Debate Club,
most of its contents have been derived from similar guides compiled by
other, experienced, debating societies in the world, in this case being the
Monash Association of Debaters Member Training Handbook and the
Australia-Asia Debate Guide (second edition). The aforementioned guides
have proven to be a great guide for new debaters (as well as public
speakers), and the way in which these guides have been constructed could
have been done better, which is why much of the content in the coming
pages will have been taken directly from the aforementioned guides.
We very much hope that this guide will be useful to you, not just for
debating, but outside of it as well, as the ability to communicate in English
with confidence, efficiency and reason cannot be underestimated in
today’s globalized world.
Introduction to Public Speaking
By Victor Finkel
A fear of public speaking is one of the greatest challenges many people
face in being successful in education, employment and social settings.
Conversely, confident public speakers often find it easier to have their talent
recognized in education, at work and in all manner of contexts.
The good news is that public speaking is a skill that can be worked on and
improved, just like any other. This chapter aims to highlight a couple of
simple things that can help you in your public speaking.
1) Have a message
The easiest way to be more confident in public speaking is to know what
you want to talk about. Whether speaking on a set topic or on something
that you have chosen, try and come up with a single sentence that
describes your main contention. Using a sentence like this makes it easier for
the audience to understand what you will be talking about, and will make it
much easier for you to make sure that your speech does what you want it
2) Structure your speech
A clear structure for a speech makes it much easier for an audience to
follow. In debate we like to talk about the “Rule of 3’s”. One application of
the rule of three is to try and have three points in a speech. Another is to
say everything 3 times. First, introduce the points that you are going to
make. Secondly, make each point in turn. Thirdly, summarize the points that
you have made. In this way people will clearly remember the main
messages of what you have to say.
Signposting is another trick that makes it easier for your audience to follow
where one point ends and the next begins. It is literally telling your audience
“My next argument is” or “Moving to the next point”
It’s important to remember to relax! Have a positive mindset – in nearly all
the public speaking that you will ever do, the people watching will want
you to succeed. Don’t feel the need to apologize if you make a mistake. It’s
natural to make mistakes, and everyone does. Just refocus on your speech
and move on!
4) Add some variety
Aim for a little variety in the way that you speak. In some ways learning to
speak in public can be just like acting. Try to think what the appropriate
emotion is before you make a point. For example, if talking about the horrors
of war, I should try to sound outraged, or maybe even distressed. If talking
about the potential for renewable energy to save the world, I should try to
sound excited. And if making complex points about the mechanics of
financial regulation, I probably shouldn’t sound too emotional at all!
Another useful way to add variety is to have a short pause between points.
This breaks up the rhythm of the speech and gives audience members a
chance to catch up - meaning they are fresh and ready for your next point.
The final thing to remember is that you already possess the speaking skills
you need. In the right context, you can be funny, clever, persuasive and
heartfelt. Try and remember what it feels like when you speak like that, and
apply it to your public speaking.
The best way to develop your public speaking skills is to practice! There are
many great ways to practice. Take the opportunity to speak whenever it
presents itself. Other great ways to practice by yourself include:
-writing short speeches and reading them aloud
-reducing the written speech to keywords, and then speaking from that
-reading opinion articles out loud
-practicing speaking into a mirror
By Tim Sonnreich
First and foremost, you need to know the difference between an argument
and an assertion. In simple terms an assertion is something that is stated as
true, without enough analysis to demonstrate that it is reasonable to believe
that the statement is likely to be true. It’s a statement of fact, without proof
of its validity. To avoid using assertions, you need to understand the
anatomy of an argument.
1. The IDEA
The idea is simply the point you are trying to make. It’s just a heading or a
title – it might be true, it might not, but that’s something for you to prove
later. So for example, in the debate “That we should ban smoking in pubs
and clubs”, the first speaker might have as the IDEA for one argument “that
banning smoking will improve the profits of the businesses involved”. Now
that may be true, but it hasn’t been proved yet, it’s just an IDEA. IDEA’s are
often the things you mention when you are signposting your arguments.
For example: “I will be talking about the economic reasons why we
should ban smoking in pubs and clubs. My first argument is that it will
improve the profits of the businesses involved.” (IDEA)
Once you have an IDEA, the next step is to provide the analysis to prove it.
Basically this is where you show logically or analytically that the IDEA is likely
to be true (it’s hard to really “prove” things in debates, but you can show it’s
highly likely to be true you can do this by demonstrating that logically the
IDEA is true when taken in the context of the topic, or you can offer a series
of reasons to support it. Using the previous example of banning smoking, a
speaker might say “banning smoking will actually generate more profits for
businesses because it will attract more customers. At present many potential
customers are put off going out to pubs and clubs, or cut short their visits
because they are put off by cigarette smoke, which they know is dangerous
to them”. You could explain this in more detail but I think you get the point.
However, although this ANALYSIS is partially persuasive on its own as a
justification for the IDEA, it would be stronger if it had some evidence. This
brings us to the last step.
The third step, EVIDENCE, is usually the easiest. This is the stage where you
provide something like a statistic, a survey, a case study or an analogy to
give greater credibility to your IDEA and ANALYSIS. Partly because it’s the
easiest to do, it’s also the least important link in the chain of an argument,
but it’s a good thing to have. So to finish our example-argument one piece
of evidence might be a survey conducted by ASH (Action on Smoking and
Health) that demonstrates how a significant number of people would spend
more time in smoke-free pubs and clubs.
Rebuttal - Deconstructing Arguments
Now that you know what a good argument is, you can effectively destroy it.
The argument chain is at weakest at link three -EVIDENCE- since it’s always
easy to dispute the evidence presented by your opposition. For example
you could criticize the study conducted by ASH - since it is an openly anti-
tobacco organization, it would probably be biased in the way it conducted
the survey. But attacking the argument here is a poor strategy. This is
because the opposition can repair the chain by providing more evidence
(which you attack, then they gives more and it becomes a stalemate) or
argue over whether ASH is a good source of evidence.
Attacking the argument a little higher, at the ANALYSIS, is more difficult but
more effective than simply attacking the evidence level. If you can
demonstrate that the ANALYSIS is illogical or based on assumptions that are
not true (or unlikely to be true) then you heavily damage the credibility of
the whole argument. This is the most common sort of rebuttal used by
experienced speakers. However, it is usually not a fatal blow. For example:
you might say that smoking is not really a reason why people choose not to
attend pubs and clubs, since less than a quarter of the Australian
population smoke, but nightclubs and pubs are full of non-smokers every
weekend. Unfortunately for you, a clever opposition can rebuild their
ANALYSIS by giving other reasons, or explaining the logical links in a different
way, and that weakens your rebuttal.
The Top of the Chain…
So finally we get to the top of the chain, the IDEA. This is usually very difficult
to attack since often they are reasonable ideas, it’s just that your team has
to argue that they are not true in the context of the debate. But sometimes
you can attack the idea, and if you can do it effectively, it’s a fatal blow to
So in our example, you can attack the idea that banning smoking in pubs
will be good for business by arguing that that firstly you don’t think that it’s
true (and attack the analysis), but even if it is, “it’s not the most important
issue in this debate. Smoking is a legal activity, consenting adults have the
right to do lots of things that are harmful to them (link drinking the alcohol
served in pubs and clubs) and the government can’t ban it simply because
it might make more money. People’s liberties are more important that a
night club owner’s profits”.
Now that you know the parts that make up an argument and the ways
you can attack them, you can start to use these techniques as you
go through your rebuttal. Not only do you have the strong framework
of thematic rebuttal to work within, you have more specific ways to
attack your opponent’s arguments!
Having read about how generally approach a speech as well as
constructing (and destroying!) an argument, the following pages will be
show you two sample debates, with both the pros and the cons listed for
you to look at. Try applying some of the techniques which you have learned
in the last couple of pages!
Background and Context of Debate:
This debate is the topic of the March 2009 Global Debates competition put on by The People Speak,
an Initiative of the United Nations Foundation. There are many questions involved in this public
debate. Are industrialized nations to blame for emitting massive quantities of green house gases into
the atmosphere during the industrial revolution? Does it matter that they were unaware of the
consequences of their emissions and global warming throughout most of the industrial revolution?
Does this make them less culpable and thus less obligated to resolve the crisis? Can global warming
be effectively combated if developing nations are considered "less" responsible for fighting it? Should
large developing countries such as China and India be held to a lower standard than larger
developed nations? What would this mean for fighting global warming? Should all nations be
expected to contribute as much as they are able to contribute, which would mean that some
developing countries would contribute less but not necessarily because they are less obligated?
Should the predecessor of the Kyoto Protocol be based on the conclusion of this debate - holding all
nations to the same standard or holding developed and developing nations to different standards?
What is most fair? What is best for planet Earth? Overall, should developed countries be more
obligated to combat global warming?
Differentiated responsibilities: Do states have a "common but
Developed/developing have common "Obligations"/"equality" distract from
but differentiated responsibilities The solving climate change The idea that
Rio Declaration from The United Nations some countries are more responsible than
Conference on Environment and others to cut emissions and fight global
Development states - "In view of the warming misses the point - global warming
different contributions to global is a collective, global problem that can only
environmental degradation, States have be successfully combated if every country
common but differentiated responsibilities. puts its wits and resources fully behind
The developed countries acknowledge the resolving the crisis. Developed and
responsibility that they bear in the developing countries are equally responsible
international pursuit of sustainable to resolve the crisis. Developing nations
development in view of the pressures their should swallow their legitimate frustrations
societies place on the global environment with developed nations for causing global
and of the technologies and financial warming, and focus their attention on
resources they command." helping form a collective solution.
Developed emit more per capita; more Seeking equality of emissions fails to
obligated to cut rate Emissions per capita cut overall emissions. If developed
are much higher in developed countries nations are forced to cut emissions and
(20t per capita in the US) compared to developing nations allowed to increase per
developing ones (less than 4t per capita). capita emissions - with both meeting in the
This means that individuals in developed middle - the ultimate result is that
nations are more responsible for causing developing-country-increases cancel out
global warming, more responsible for developed-country-reductions. Overall
continuing global warming, and so more emissions would be kept constant and not
obligated to cut emissions and solve the reduced. In fact, because developing
problem. These individuals must, therefore, nations have larger populations, meeting in
pressure their governments to take greater the middle on per capita emissions could
action on their behalf. result in even higher overall emissions.
Contraction and Convergence, while it might
Contraction/Convergence equalizes be "fair", would not help solve the principal
per capita emissions, burdens wealthy issue involved - global warming.
Contraction and Convergence is a good
proposal for addressing the imbalance Equality of per capita emissions does
between per capital emissions around the not work when states specialize. In
world. It holds developed countries modern international capitalism and free
responsible for cutting their per capita trade, states specialize in areas in which
emissions (contraction) and meeting they have a comparative advantage. This
developing countries in the middle may mean that some states specialize in
(convergence). Developing countries are manufacturing and some in services,
fairly allowed to continue to develop and industries with far different emissions.
increase per capita emissions to a level Attempting to hold these specializing states
equal to developed countries "in the to the same per capita emissions levels,
middle". The obligation, in this case, falls therefore, does not make sense. It would
more heavily on developed nations to require that all states have the same share
reduce their emissions. of all industries, which is neither
economically or environmentally desirable.
Blame: Are developed states more to blame for climate change, so
Developed countries caused global Developed states did not initially know
warming, they must fix it Chinese they were causing warming. Developed
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu - nations did not always know that they were
"It must be pointed out that climate change causing global warming by burning fossil
has been caused by the long-term historic fuels and emitting greenhouse gases into
emissions of Developed Countries and their the atmosphere. This knowledge only began
high per-capita emissions...Developed to form in the 1980s and 1990s, over a
countries bear an unshirkable century after the industrial revolution had
responsibility." begun. It is inappropriate, therefore, to hold
developed nations morally accountable for
Developed countries hypocritically starting the industrial revolution and
reprimand developing states. It is causing global warming; they knew not
hypocritical for developed countries to what they were doing. And, once developed
complain at developing countries for economies were dependent on fossil fuels, it
polluting more heavily at present, when was not possible for them to immediately
this is exactly what developed countries did act on their knowledge and stop using fossil
long ago to achieve their great wealth. This fuels - particularly when not everyone
overall sentiment is reflected in a accepted the science behind global
statement in 2007 by Luiz Inácio Lula da
Silva - "The wealthy countries are very warming. It is, therefore, wrongheaded to
smart, approving protocols, holding big "blame" the developed world for global
speeches on the need to avoid warming and saddle them with the
deforestation, but they already deforested "punishment" of a greater obligation to
everything [in their own countries]." combating it.
Furthermore, it should be noted that it is
only through this heavy industrialization "Blame game" distracts from solving
that developed countries are now in a global climate change The idea that some
position of wealth and know-how that offers countries are more to blame than others for
them the luxury of going "green". causing global climate change may be true,
but it distracts from the more important and
just cause, which is for the world to come
together to solve the problem.
Solution: Does greater obligation for developed nations help solve
Developed states emit more; their High emitters, not developed countries,
steps have higher impact "UN: Rich are most obligated. It doesn't matter
Nations Must Lead Fight Against Global whether a country is developing or
Warming". eNews. November 27th 2007 - developed. This is not the factor that
"The [UN] report criticized Washington for obligates a country to take up a "higher"
not imposing nationwide mandatory cuts on responsibility for combating global warming.
industrial emissions. [...] Stating the fact Rather, countries that emit the most -
that the world's richest countries are also whether developed or developing -
the biggest carbon emitters, the report said contribute more to global warming now and
the US has to take the lead by cutting so have a greater obligation to combat
emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 in global warming now. China and India are
addition to contributing to a new 86-billion- obvious example, and they should not be
dollar annual global fund to help poor held to lower standards.
countries adapt to climate change. [...] The
report said the 19 million inhabitants in Large developing states have warming-
New York state have a higher carbon obligation to cut population Developing
footprint than 766 million people living in nations, particularly China and India, are
50 least developed countries." Therefore, responsible for nearly catastrophic
developed countries are more obligated to population growth. This is one of the
cut emissions because such cuts will have greatest risks to global warming, as
such a higher bang for buck in solving developing nations industrialize and the
climate change. means to pollute disseminate rapidly and
broadly across massive populations. In this
regard, developing nations have, at least,
an equal responsibility to cut their emissions
because of their potential to emit
catastrophic amounts of greenhouse gases
into the atmosphere.
Leadership: Do developed states have a greater obligation to use
US is responsible to lead in fighting Largest states are responsible to lead
global warming Rajendra Pachauri, chair on climate change. US, Japan, China,
of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Germany, India, and Brazil are among the
Climate Change, IPCC. - "It is essential for largest and most powerful countries in the
the U.S. to take action. The rest of the world. This list, and a larger list of G20
world looks to the U.S. for leadership [but] states, includes both developed and
the perception round the world is that the developing nations. China, India, and Brazil
U.S. has not been very active in this area. are the most notable large developing
[... And, this would] undoubtedly nations in the G20. Due to their size,
reestablish confidence in U.S. leadership on economic power, and emissions (now and in
critical global issues." the future), they share an equal
responsibility to fight global warming. For
Developed states are responsible set the same reason, they share an equal
model of "green" economies. responsibility with developed nations to
Developing countries are not capable, with apply their leadership role in their
their limited resources and know-how to respective regions to lead the fight against
develop, on their own, the best "green" climate change. If they do not, surrounding
model for their societies. Developed countries - fearing a loss of competitiveness
countries have a responsibility to act first in particular - will not take strong actions to
and set an example that developing combat global climate change. Therefore, it
countries can follow. is important that all of the most powerful
nations in the world - developed or
Developing states will not go "green"
developing - lead their regions in the fight
before developed competitors China and
on global climate change.
India are very concerned with their
development and their capacity to compete
with the developed world. With significantly
greater poverty and instability, they have
far less flexibility to tamper with their
competitiveness with developed nations on
the global economic stage. They will only
go "green" if the developed world goes
green first, assuring them that their
competitiveness will not be jeopardized. In
a position of greater economic flexibility,
developed countries must take the first
step. Only then will developing nations
Resources: Are developed states more obligated with more
Developed states have more available Developed states are doing everything
money to fight climate change they can on climate change Developed
Developed states obviously have more countries typically are much more energy
wealth to employ in combating global efficient than developing countries. This is
warming. These more able countries have a an example of how they are already taking
responsibility to employ their available major steps to combat global warming;
financial resources toward fighting global steps which developing countries are not
warming. Developing countries also have taking. They have no further obligation
this obligation to commit as much as they beyond these steps.
can, but because they have far fewer
available resources, their obligation and Large developing nations are wealthy
commitment will simply be smaller. enough to lead on climate change.
Developed nations are uniquely obligated to China, India, and Brazil are all part of the
employ these greater available resources in G20, as mentioned in the above section.
the fight on global climate change. This means they are among the twenty
wealthiest nations in the world. As a result,
Developing states live in subsistence, it is wrong to assume that they do not have
lower "green" obligation Developing enough money to spare in the fight on
countries employ almost all of their climate change. They have plenty of
resources on subsistence living, while resources, through a broad tax base, to
developed countries spend much of their make major state investments in "green"
resources on luxury and excesses. When technologies. They are just as obligated as
this is the case, developing nations cannot developed states to commit these
be expected to contribute equally to significant, available resources.
fighting global climate change.
If poor are most effected, they should
Developed are responsible to commit be willing to invest. Poor states are
"green" technologies Developed states indeed disproportionately effected by global
have more applicable technologies and warming. Investing available resources in
know-how for the fight on global warming. combating global warming is, therefore, an
They are uniquely responsible to commit imperative of developing nations. It goes
these resources toward the fight on global hand-in-hand with - instead of taking away
warming. They are also responsible to from (as argued by the affirmative side) -
transfer them to developing countries, efforts to combat poverty, disease, and
which cannot effectively fight global social disruption.
warming without these technologies first.
Greater resources of developed
countries does not obligate them.
Developed countries do not have a greater
obligation to combat global warming as a
result of them having more resources. It
would be generous of them to contribute
more. But, it is not a greater obligation.
Economics: What are the economic pros and cons of this motion?
Developing nations need room to States should contribute equally to
develop without emission restrictions. combating climate change. It is true that
Developing nations need room to develop developed states will contribute more
industry and grow, just like developed resources and money on absolute terms,
nations were allowed to do in their simply because their wealth is greater. But,
industrial development. Heavy emissions they have no obligation to contribute more
regulations constrain such growth and are money and resources as a percentage of
unfair as such. GDP. This should be roughly equal across all
Going "green" in developed nations is
not burden, but opportunity. While it Developing states want lower
may be the case that developed countries standards for economic advantage Pete
are "obligated" to take the lead on global Du Pont. "Bali Who?". Wall Street Journal.
warming, this should not be considered a December 19, 2007 - "Under cover of
"burden". Increasing energy efficiency and fighting global warming, developing
establishing technical and capital countries try to slow America's economy.
dominance in the emerging global green [...] Developing nations don't want to be
industry is a potentially game changing limited in any way, and they do want to
opportunity for developed nations. slow down the economic growth of
Developed nations should, in this manner, developed nations so they can gain
rejoice in any perspective taken by economically."
developing countries such as China and
India that the developed world is somehow Developed nations create demand that
"burdened" by taking the lead in this new propels developing states. It is not
massive "green" industry. It would give economically beneficial for the world to stick
them a head start in establishing their developed nations with the obligation to use
economic dominance in the industry. At a more of their resources to combat global
minimum, developed nations should not be warming. The reason is that the wealth in
concerned about any economic costs developed countries is precisely what runs
associated with their "higher obligation" to the global economy and creates demand for
combat global warming; it's a good the work performed by developing nations.
investment in a promising industry.
Irony: Are developed states more obligated because poorer states
are harmed most?
Developed must protect developing Developed did not plan for emissions to
from higher costs of warming The harm poor most. Developed nations were
authors of a 2006 UN report warned that not even aware of the consequences of their
rich countries - especially the wealthy emissions through most of the industrial
Organization of Economic Cooperation and revolution. Therefore, they were certainly
Development (OECD) nations - are driving not aware that the consequences would
an ecological crisis that will hit the poor disproportionately fall on poor developing
hardest. These are nations living near the nations. Developed nations are not,
equator and in low-lying coastal areas most therefore, responsible or culpable for these
vulnerable to rising seas. This global disproportionate consequences, so they
warming "irony" creates a greater should not be disproportionately obligated
obligation on the part of developed to fight global climate change on this point.
countries to respond, and protect
developing countries from the costs of their
blind industrialization, mass consumption,
Developing growth: Will developing world growth negate
developed state cuts?
Even with lower obligation, developing Developing country exemptions negate
states are going "green" Both India and developed country leadership Kyoto
China are already establishing very strict Protocol exempted developing countries
emissions standards, largely because they such as China from meeting certain key
are so vulnerable to the local effects of emissions standards. The problem is that
their large emissions. Reducing smog in the new emissions from China would offset
their own cities is enough of an incentive all emissions cuts from developed nations.
for them to make such emissions As a result, the world, under Kyoto Protocol,
reductions. Therefore, even with a lower would/will emit roughly the same amount
"obligation" for developing nations, they and make little progress to cutting
are still taking strong actions to combat emissions overall. This is unacceptable.
climate change. Developed countries cannot be expected to
lead on climate change under such
Developing world growth will not circumstances. They are forced into a
negate developed emissions cuts Kevin situation in which they must ask, "what's
A Baumert and Nancy Kete. "Will the point?", for which there is no reply.
Developing Countries' Carbon Emissions
Swamp Global Emissions Reduction
Efforts". World Resource Institute. 2002 -
"One of the concerns regarding the Kyoto
Protocol has been that it exempts
developing nations from targets to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Accordingly,
many people worry that developing country
emissions will skyrocket as they develop
economically, effectively swamping the
expensive efforts of developed countries
required to make large investments in
lowering their emissions. However,
evidence has shown that this is not likely."
China/India: Should China and India be held to lower emissions
China is exceeding China is worst contributor to
expectations/obligations to lower its climate change; has equal
emissions As of 2008, China's per capita obligations In 2006, China's CO2
emissions of CO2 were still one-quarter emissions surpassed those of the US
that of the US. Though China continues to by 8%, according to the Netherlands
build emissions-intensive coal-fired power Environmental Assessment Agency,
plants, its "rate of development of making it the largest contributor to
renewable energy is even faster". Within global warming. This means that, in
reason, it is doing a good job of combating the era of knowledge regarding the
global climate change. effects of greenhouse emissions on
Kevin A Baumert and Nancy Kete. "Will global warming, China has at least an
Developing Countries' Carbon equal responsibility as developed
Emissions Swamp Global Emissions nations to cut emissions.
Reduction Efforts". World Resource
China is basically "developed", with
Institute. 2002 - One of the concerns
higher "obligation". While many
regarding the Kyoto Protocol has been
presume that China is a "developing"
that it exempts developing nations from
country, many others, particularly in
targets to reduce greenhouse gas
the much poorer parts of the Third
emissions. Accordingly, many people World in South East Asia, consider
worry that developing country China to be in the "developed"
emissions will skyrocket as they category. China was, after, the third
develop economically, effectively largest economy in the world at the
swamping the expensive efforts of beginning of 2009. As a "developed"
developed countries required to make nation, China would certainly have a
large investments in lowering their greater obligation to fight global
emissions. However, evidence has warming. Emissions exemptions would
shown that this is not likely. [...] violate this obligation.
developing countries are already taking
substantial actions to reduce emissions China and India emissions will
growth, even in the absence of increase over time; cannot be
international commitments (Biagini exempted. India and China are two of
2000). [...] China's actions are nothing the worst polluters on the face of the
short of remarkable. The world's most earth. As they industrialize, their
populous country reduced its contributions to global warming will
emissions, in absolute terms, 19 become astounding and far exceed the
percent between 1997 and 2000. This emissions from other countries.
is simply unprecedented, especially Compared to 2005, China's total
considering that China's economy grew emissions increased by 9% in 2006 (to
by 15 percent over the same period 6.2 billion tons of CO2), while
(EIA 1999). Although the exact causes emissions in the US decreased by
of the emissions decline are not certain, 1.4% (to 5.8 billion), compared to the
China has been engaged in sweeping previous year. China's increasing rate
energy policy reforms over the last two of CO2 emissions is heading toward a
decades to promote energy efficiency 50-100% increase above the current
and conservation (2). Measures taken world total for CO2 emissions, by 20
include the following: reductions in years from 2008. The scientists warn
fossil fuel subsidies; research, that if China continues to increase its
development and demonstration GDP at a rate of at least 7% per year,
projects; a national information it will by then be emitting as much
network with efficiency service and CO2 per year as the whole world
training centers; tax reforms; emitted in 2007, -- 8 gigatons per
equipment standards; and special loan year. China has a unique obligation to
programs, among other initiatives. cut this high and dangerous emissions
These measures represent emission growth rate. Holding them to lower
savings equal to nearly the entire U.S. standards with emissions exemptions
transportation sector, about 400 million would exacerbate this already
tons per year (Zhang 1999)." disastrous prospect.
China/India can't bare same costs China's emissions harm
as developed states on warming neighbors/world; exemptions are
China is not able to take up the same unfair. Japan has complained about
responsibilities in fighting global the dramatic local effects of China's
warming, mainly because it would pollution on Japans forests and people.
entail much greater economic Exempting China would condemn
consequences for them. This is the Japan to even greater consequences
case for the entire developing world, from Chinese pollution. In a world in
which is more vulnerable to any which the consequences of a single
external financial burdens. state's pollution affect its neighbors
and the entire world, exemptions are
Developed states are exploiting irresponsible and unfair.
standards to constrain
India/China. Many developed
countries nefariously see emissions
standards as a means to constrain
China and India's rapid development
and to minimize the effect of this new
competition on their own economies.
The world needs to be aware of this
conflict of interests when interpreting
the arguments coming from
developed countries to hold China and
India to equal standards.
China/India outsourcing: Are exemptions justified in context
Developed state demand drives Emissions exemptions for
emissions in developing states It China/India will inflate
is true that China is a manufacturing outsourcing to them By holding
behemoth, and emitting large developed countries to a greater
quantities of greenhouse gases as a obligation to fight global warming and
result. But, who is consuming the by exempting China and India from
majority of the goods made in the certain emissions requirements,
factories in China that is causing their developed countries will be put at an
huge carbon footprint? Developed economic and job-market
countries are the chief consumers and disadvantage. It will be even more
drivers of this manufacturing and likely that jobs are outsourced to China
emissions. They have, therefore, a and India, leaving the middle class of
certain responsibility for the developed countries suffering.
manufacturing and emissions that are
occurring in China and India. This is World's manufacturing is in China,
where exemptions for parts of their emissions must be cut there. It is
emissions help compensate for the true that much of the world's
fact they they alone are not manufacturing and emissions are
responsible for this manufacturing and occurring in China. But, this is not a
emissions - the world is responsible. cause for exempting these countries
from the emissions standards present
Developed outsource in developed countries. This would
manufacturing/emissions to effectively mean that the world and all
developed. Developed countries the nations that outsource to China get
frequently outsource an exemption, so long as they are
manufacturing/emissions to outsourcing to China, which would be
developing countries. For this reason, unfortunate on many levels. The world
developed countries should not be should not allow for such an emissions
treated on equal terms, and loophole, and must act to fully
developing countries should be given constrain emissions in China without
exemptions for the dirty outsourcing exemptions.
for foreign countries. China has
complained, on this point, that it is
"the place where the US effectively
outsources much of its pollution." It
has called for joint international
responsibility for at least part of
China's emissions, and has made
public, in Jan 2008, 130 violations of
Chinese environmental law committed
by multinationals in China. Other
developing countries have a similar
problem, in which they are accused of
polluting too much, when they are
merely the manufacturing engine of
developed countries that outsource to
Sectoral standards: Are global sectoral standards a bad/good
Sectoral emissions standards Developing nations should be held
constrain developing nations Fred to global sectoral standards. These
Pearce. "Rising nations face 'back are standards set across a specific
door' emissions limits". New Scientist. industry, most importantly
April 26, 2008: "Developing countries manufacturing, for the purpose of
are hostile to global standards, which ensuring that similar factories around
they see as a way of imposing targets the world are held to the same
by the back door on countries which emissions standards. This is important
have far lower emissions per head of because measuring the total emissions
population than most developed of a nation does not provide much
nations. 'India is opposed to all useful information. What is more
sectoral global standards,' said Malini important is that the most polluting
Mehra of India's Centre for Social industries around the world are held to
Markets at the Royal Society the same standards. They are also
meeting." important because they prevent the
shifting of production to countries with
Sectoral emissions standards risk lower standards for specific factories in
causing protectionism Shyam an industry. On this point, Ian Rodgers
Saran, special envoy for the Indian - director of the trade association UK
Prime Minister on climate change, said steel - said that a European carbon
in Mumbai in April, 2008, "There is a limit alone "is not going to curb
very real danger that in adopting emissions. It will just move the
sectoral standards among themselves, emissions elsewhere."
the developed countries would use the
Background and context
This debate shares something with Corporal Punishment (for Adults), namely
whether the infliction of physical pain can ever be justifiable; but the issue of
‘paddling’ or spanking for children is less about punishment in itself and
more about punishment as a means of education. How can young children
learn the difference between right and wrong? How can teachers establish
order in the classroom and enable a better environment for learning? Britain
is a major example in this debate, having allowed corporal punishment in
classrooms until 1986 when legislation brought it in line with the rest of
Europe. All industrialized countries now ban corporal punishment in schools
(not parental spanking) apart from the USA, Canada and one state in
Discipline: Can corporal punishment help discipline children?
Corporal punishment is a good tool for It is dubious that corporal punishment
disciplining unruly children Walter helps discipline children. Even the power
Williams. "Making a Case for Corporal of physical punishment to teach a child the
Punishment". Bnet. Sept 13, 1999: difference between right and wrong is
"Regardless of what the experts preached, dubious; a young child may learn that the
the undeniable fact is the 'uncivilized' adult is displeased, but not why. Spanking
practice of whipping children produced will cause a state of extreme distress and
more civilized young people. Youngsters confusion which makes it less likely they
didn't direct foul language to, or use it in will analyse their behaviour with clarity. In
the presence of, teachers and other adults. older children disciplined at school, a
In that 'uncivilized' era, assaulting a teacher physical punishment is likely to provoke
or adult never would have crossed our resentment and further misbehaviour.
minds. Today, foul language and assaults
against teachers are routine in many Corporal punishment can lower a
schools. For some kinds of criminal child's IQ "Child Corporal Punishment:
behavior, I think we'd benefit from having Spanking. The anti-spanking position".
punishment along the lines of Singapore's Religious tolerance: "Spanking lowers a
caning as a part of our judicial system." child's IQ: A study at the University of New
Hampshire, released in 1998-JUL, found
Corporal punishment can ethically help that spanking children apparently slows
save a child's future Walter Williams. down their intellectual development. 3 A
"Making a Case for Corporal Punishment". study of 960 children found an average 4
Bnet. Sept 13, 1999: "Let's think about point reduction in IQ among students, from
cruelty. Today, it's not uncommon for and average IQ of 102 (above average) for
young criminals to be arrested, counseled children who are not spanked, to an
and released to the custody of a parent 20 average IQ 98 (below average) for who are.
or 30 times before they spend one night in A reduction of 4 points is enough to have a
jail. Such a person is a very good candidate significant negative functional effect on the
for later serving a long prison sentence or, students. More information."
worse, facing the death penalty. If you
interviewed such a person and asked: Corporal punishment hampers
"Thinking back to when you started your life children's creativity Ms. Dawn Walker,
of crime, would you have preferred a executive director of the Canadian Institute
punishment, such as caning, that might of Child Health commented: "We know that
children who are under the threat of
have set you straight or be where you are violence or aggression develop a fight-or-
today?" I'd bet my retirement money that flight response system that has an impact
he'd say he wished someone had caned on creativity and imagination, both of which
some sense into him. That being the case, could influence their IQ...Children need
which is more cruel: caning or allowing discipline but not hitting."
such a person to become a criminal?"
Corporal punishment creates anti-
Corporal punishment can make a social behavior. Andrew Grogan-Kaylor,
valuable example of a student Oscar University of Michigan. "Even minimal
Goodman: "I also believe in a little bit of amounts of spanking can lead to an
corporal punishment going back to the days increased likelihood in antisocial behavior
of yore, where examples have to be by children."
shown." Corporal punishment fosters
violence in society.
General statements in support of
corporal punishment Mark Benedict, General statements against corporal
Christian Family Foundations: "I also punishment Psychologist H. Stephen
believe the scriptural reference to the 'rod' Glenn said "Corporal punishment is the
best corresponds to a switch or perhaps a least effective method [of discipline].
flexible paddle." Punishment reinforces a failure identity. It
reinforces rebellion, resistance, revenge
and resentment. And, what people who
spank children will learn is that it teaches
more about you than it does about them
that the whole goal is to crush the child. It's
not dignified, and it's not respectful."
Abuse: Does corporal punish invite abuse?
Abuses do not demonstrate corporal Corporal punishment often escalates to
punishment is inherently wrong While it child abuse "Child Corporal Punishment:
is true that corporal punishment can be Spanking. The anti-spanking position".
abused, this does not demonstrate that it is Religious tolerance: "It can escalate to
always abused, or that it is inherently abuse: Because a spanking works for a
abusive. If it is used abusively, than while, the parent often repeats the
measures should be taken to limit such spanking whenever the child misbehaves.
abuse, instead of eliminating the practice Corporal punishment may then become a
altogether, which would be an over- standard response to any misbehavior. This
reaction. can lead to increasingly frequent and
harsher spanking which can exceed the
There is a difference between corporal "reasonable force" threshold and become
punishment and child abuse. Corporal abuse."
punishment is designed to punish specific
acts of significant misbehavior and Corporal punishment of children is
delinquency. It is not a wanton and analogous to wife-beating. Comments
unreasonable act of violence. Child abuse, by Parents and Teachers Against Violence in
on the contrary, is the unjustified and Education (PTAVE) from their website at
unreasoned beating of children. The act of www.NoSpank.net: "Spanking does for a
child-abuse is not meant to punish a child, child's development what wife-beating does
but is inflicted without restraint or concern for a marriage."
for the general welfare of a child. The
intention of corporal punishment, on the Corporal punishment often over-
contrary, is meant to instill a level of responds to innocent child behavior Jan
discipline in a child that is necessary to Hunt. "Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids".
their future. It is in the child's best interest, The Natural Child Project: "2. In many
whereas child-abuse is clearly not. cases of so-called 'bad behavior', the child
is simply responding in the only way he
Not clear whether corporal punishment can, given his age and experience, to
increases abuse David Benatar. "Corporal neglect of basic needs. Among these needs
Punishment Social Theory and Practice". are: proper sleep and nutrition, treatment
Social Theory and Practice. Summer 1998: of hidden allergy, fresh air, exercise, and
"Clearly there are instances of abuse and of sufficient freedom to explore the world
abusive physical punishment. But that is around him. But his greatest need is for his
insufficient to demonstrate even a parents' undivided attention. In these busy
correlation between corporal punishment times, few children receive sufficient time
and abuse, and a fortiori a causal and attention from their parents, who are
relationship. Research into possible links often too distracted by their own problems
between corporal punishment and abuse and worries to treat their children with
has proved inconclusive so far. Some patience and empathy. It is surely wrong
studies have suggested that abusive and unfair to punish a child for responding
parents use corporal punishment more than in a natural way to having important needs
nonabusive parents, but other studies have neglected. For this reason, punishment is
shown this not to be the case.(7) The not only ineffective in the long run, it is also
findings of one study,8 conducted a year clearly unjust."
after corporal punishment by parents was
Corporal punishment induces fear and
abolished in Sweden, suggested that
despair in children Irvin Wolkoff.
Swedish parents were as prone to serious
"Spanked child can become self-loathing
abuse of their children as were parents in
adult." The Toronto Star. November 29,
the United States, where corporal
1999: "The message a toddler gets from a
punishment was (and is) widespread. These
slap or spanking is that a parent or other
findings are far from decisive, but they
loved and trusted adult is prepared to
caution us against hasty conclusions about
induce pain and even do physical harm to
the abusive effects of corporal punishment."
force unquestioning obedience. That's
Corporal punishment should be limited, terrifying to a little kid...However well-
but not abandoned David Benatar. intentioned, a slap registers as the
"Corporal Punishment Social Theory and shattering of the whole deal between parent
Practice". Social Theory and Practice. and child. Young children are left awash in
Summer 1998: "Opponents of the corporal feelings of fear, shame, rage, hostility, self-
punishment of children are rightly critical of destructiveness and betrayal that they can't
its extensive use and the severity with yet resolve or manage."
which it is all too often inflicted. They have
been at pains to show that corporal
punishment is not used merely as a last
resort, but is inflicted regularly and for the
smallest of infractions.(1) They have also
recorded the extreme harshness of many
instances of corporal punishment.(2) [...] I
have no hesitation in joining the opposition
to such practices, which are correctly
labeled as child abuse. Where I believe that
opponents of corporal punishment are
wrong is in saying that physical punishment
should never be inflicted."
Physical damage: Can corporal punishment cause physical
Physical injuries only occur in abusive Corporal punishment can cause serious
corporal punishment. Serious physical physical damage The actual physical
injuries only occur where disciplined, damage inflicted via corporal punishment
strategic corporal punishment becomes on children can be horrifying. Examples can
child abuse. There is a strict line between be found of students needing treatment for
the two (see above) and to ignore it is broken arms, nerve and muscle damage,
deliberately misleading. and cerebral haemorrhage. Spanking of the
buttocks can cause damage to the sciatic
Corporal punishment does not foster nerve and therefore the leg to which it
violent tendencies. leads.
Sexual abuse: Is corporal punishment associated with sexual
Risks of sexual abuse with spanking Corporal punishment on the buttocks is
can be regulated. David Benatar. a sexual violation Child Corporal
"Corporal Punishment Social Theory and Punishment: The anti-spanking position":
Practice". Social Theory and Practice. "Slapping or any other type of force used
Summer 1998: "It is, of course, a concern on the buttocks is a sexual violation: The
that some parents or teachers might derive buttocks are an erogenous zone of the
sexual gratification from beating children, human body. Their nerve system is
but is it a reason to eliminate or ban the connected to the body's sexual nerve
practice? Someone might suggest that it is, centers. Slapping them can involuntarily
if the anticipated sexual pleasure led to trigger feelings of sexual pleasure which
beatings that were inappropriate--either become mixed with the pain. This can lead
because children were beaten when they to confusion in the child's mind which
should not have been, or if the punishment influences the way in which they express
were administered in an improper manner. their sexuality as adults."
However, if this is the concern, surely the
fitting response would be to place
limitations on the use of the punishment
and, at least in schools, to monitor and
Last resort: Is corporal punishment justified as "a last resort"?
Corporal punishment is justifiable as a Violence of corporal punishment is
last resort Ken Gallinger. "Ethically never justified as "last resort" Laurie A.
Speaking". Toronto Star: "Spanking is an Couture. "10 pro-corporal punishment
act of violence, so ethically, it could be arguments & 10 commonsense answers".
justified only if there was absolutely no 2003: "Argument #4: 'I only use corporal
other way to improve the way kids act." punishment as a last resort.' Answer: This
reasoning teaches children that it is
acceptable to use violence as a last resort
to getting their way or to solving a difficult
problem. This teaches that violence is the
end result to frustrating situations that
seem to have no other solution. Wars are
fought on this principle. This argument is no
more acceptable than an angry spouse
saying that they "only" hit their mate "as a
last resort" to a problem."
Better ways exist; corporal punishment
is lazy way There are always ways to
discipline children that do not involve
violence, and which are inherently superior
than resorting to violence. Resorting to
violence is the lazy way out for parent or
Regulation: Can corporal punishment be properly regulated?
Corporal punishment can be regulated Regulation of corporal punishment
within orderly framework. Corporal does not soften ill effects. No matter
punishment must be used as part of a wider how orderly you make the beating of a
strategy and at the correct time: when child, there are a number of adverse
other immediate discipline has failed; when effects. They will lose trust in the adults
the child understands their behaviour and who administer the beating; they learn that
has had an opportunity to explain it; and force is an acceptable factor in human
after an initial warning and opportunity for interaction; they feel humiliated and lose
the child to repent. Crucially, the person self-respect; and they build up resentment
delivering the punishment must not be that cannot be resolved at the time but may
angry at the time. This undermines much of lead to severe misbehaviour in the future.
the hysterical argument against corporal
Psychology: Does corporal punishment increase rates of
Moderate corporal punishment is not Corporal punishment increases
psychologically damaging David Benatar. depression and suicide Murray Straus, an
"Corporal Punishment Social Theory and influential researcher on violence at the
Practice". Social Theory and Practice. University of New Hampshire's Family
Summer 1998: "[Claim:] Corporal Research Lab, writes in his book Beating
punishment is psychologically damaging the Devil out of Them, that corporal
[...] Although there is evidence that punishment increases rates of depression
excessive corporal punishment can and suicide.
significantly increase the chances of such
psychological harm, most of the Corporal punishment fosters
psychological data are woefully inadequate criminality and delinquency. Dr. Ralph
to the task of demonstrating that mild and Welsh, who has given psychological exams
infrequent corporal punishment has such to over 2,000 delinquents has said: "...it is
consequences. [...] First, the studies are now apparent that the recidivist male
not conclusive. The main methodological delinquent who was never struck with a
problem is that the studies are not belt, board, extension cord, fist, or an
experiments but post facto investigations equivalent is virtually nonexistent. Even
based on self-reports. [...] The second point after 10 years, the full impact of this
is that even if Professor Straus's findings discovery is still difficult to comprehend."
are valid, the nature of the data is
insufficiently marked to justify a moral
condemnation of mild and infrequent
Teacher authority: Does corporal punishment represent a failure
of teacher authority?
Corporal punishment does not Corporal punishment represents failure
represent teacher failures David to engage students The Christian Science
Benatar. "Corporal Punishment Social Monitor, 1989-MAR-21: "The fundamental
Theory and Practice". Social Theory and need of American education is to find ways
Practice. Summer 1998: "there is a big of engaging today's children in the thrill of
difference between [...] a failure in the learning. Fear of pain has no place in that
pupil, and a failure in the teacher. In either process."
case it is true, in some sense, that the
teacher failed to discourage the child from Corporal punishment reflects
doing wrong--failed to prevent failure in the breakdown of communication American
child. However, it is not a failure for which Medical Association, (1985): "Infliction of
the teacher necessarily is responsible. I am pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a
well aware that the responsibility for desirable method of communicating with
children's wrongdoing is all too often placed children."
exclusively at the door of children
Corporal punishment distracts from
themselves, without due attention to the
teaching and training. Bill Gothard: "We
influences to which they are subjected.
don't focus on corporal punishment. We
However, there is a danger that in rejecting
focus on teaching and training."
this incorrect evaluation, teachers (and
parents) will be blamed for all shortcomings
Corporal punishment helps protect
teachers and adults Walter Williams.
"Making a Case for Corporal Punishment".
Bnet. Sept 13, 1999: "During my youth, I
might have been doing something
mischievous, such as throwing stones. An
adult would come over to me and ask,
'Does your mother know you're out here
throwing stones?' I'd reply, 'No sir or no
ma'am,' and hope that the matter ended
there. [...] Today, it's quite different. An
adult correcting a youngster risks being
cursed and possibly assaulted. That's a sad
commentary. Adults are justifiably afraid of
children. Do we Americans as parents,
teachers, principals and others in positions
of authority have the guts and willpower to
control our youngsters?"
Generations: What about people that were spanked, but "turned
Generations of people have been People "doing fine" after corporal
subjected to corporal punishment. punishment were harmed Laurie A.
People have been subjected to corporal Couture. "Argument #1: "It didn't do ME
punishment for years and have turned out any harm!". Child Advocate.org.: "Answer:
just fine. Individuals of all types in society Often people who declare this typical
continually give testimony to their own argument do so very defensively. They may
happy and disciplined lives, following feel they must defend the actions of their
corporal punishment as children, and there caretakers. To do otherwise is to admit that
is no reason to doubt the validity of these as children, they never deserved to have
claims. Indeed, if someone was spanked as pain inflicted upon them. They must also
a child and turned out more disciplined, admit to the feelings of fear, anger and
successful, and happy as a result - even if mistrust that may have resulted from being
only according to their own interpretations - hit by loved ones who were supposed to
who is to say that their judgment to deal keep them safe from harm. Often, people
with their kids in similar ways is invalid. who use this argument use or have used
How can the government restrict their right corporal punishment on their own children,
to exercise this judgment and what they thus defending their actions to minimize
see as within the interests of their children. guilt. However, their actions reveal that
corporal punishment DID do them harm: It
perpetuated the cycle of violence that they
now endorse or inflict upon children."
International law: Is corporal punishment consistent with
Corporal punishment is an issue for Corporal punishment is illegal under
national not international law. Corporal international law. Article 19 of the UN
punishment is an issue that is sensitive to Convention on the Rights of the Child
individual cultures in different countries Article clearly prohibits any physical
around the world. For this reason, it is violence or punishment against children,
wrong to apply international law at the which includes corporal punishment:
expense of national law. Each nation must "States Parties shall take all appropriate
make this judgement based on public legislative, administrative, social and
feelings regarding the practice, as this is education measures to protect the child
one of the more important elements in from all forms of physical or mental
whether it can be deemed acceptable or violence, injury or abuse, neglect or
not. Like many moral issues, there is not negligent treatment, maltreatment or
blanket answer, and it is important to defer exploitation, including sexual abuse, while
to local populations' interpretation of in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s)
morality and culture to determine the or any other person who has the care of the
appropriate public policy and law. child. Such protective measures should, as
appropriate, include effective procedures for
the establishment of social programs to
provide necessary support for the child and
for those who have the care of the child, as
well as for other forms of prevention and
for identification, reporting, referral,
investigation, treatment and follow-up of
instances of child maltreatment described
heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial
Religion: Is corporal punishment justifiable under religious
Quotations from the Bible that promote Scripture can be cited to enforce or
corporal punishment. debunk corporal punishment. "The Devil
Proverbs 23:14. The authorship is can cite Scripture for his purpose."
traditionally attributed to King [Shakespeare] The Bible frequently
Solomon: "Thou shalt beat him with the condones practices that are outrageous to
rod, and shalt deliver his soul from the modern sensibility. It sometimes
hell." promotes what would appear to be
"He who spareth his rod hateth his son, retribution or wanton acts of violence, while
but he who loveth him is chasteneth at other times it promotes a more Jesus-
him betimes." (King Solomon, in the like philosophy of complete non-violence
Book of Proverbs [13:24]. and compassion. So, while there are
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of passage in the Bible that give support to
a child; The rod of correction will drive corporal punishment, there are also ones
it far from him." (Proverbs 22:15) that clearly condemn it. For this reason,
little value should be assigned to individual
"Do not withhold correction from a
passages in the Bible as they relate to
child, for if you beat him with a rod, he
will not die. You shall beat him with a
rod. And deliver his soul from hell."