VU Debate Seminar Opposition Strategies

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					Academic Debate Training
  Opposition Strategies
    Prepared by Kateryna
        Yablochkova



        Academic Debate Training -   1
          Opposition Strategies
Levels of debate (policy)


                        Definition



                    Need for change


                         Plan

                                     claim
    Benefits       Argument #2          warrant
                                              data

               Academic Debate Training -            2
                 Opposition Strategies
Challenge the definition ONLY if:


                        It is truistic, self-proving
                        or tautological
                        It is time-set
                        It is based on special
                        knowledge
                        It is non-topical

           Academic Debate Training -                  3
             Opposition Strategies
How to challenge the definition:

state why it has to be re-defined

state how you are re-defining it

state, where necessary, why you are re-
defining it in that particular way

              Academic Debate Training -   4
                Opposition Strategies
        Example 1 (Truism)
• Motion: This House believes that ends
  justify the means“
• Bad definition: Genocide is never an
  acceptable tool of domestic policy




               Academic Debate Training -   5
                 Opposition Strategies
          Example 1 (Truism)
• Motion: This House believes that ends
  justify the means
• Bad definition: Genocide is never an
  acceptable tool of domestic policy
• Conceptualisation: The institution that
  prosecutes genocide globally is the International
  Criminal Court. The opposition will argue that
  this institution is ineffective and we have to
  return to ad hoc tribunals
                  Academic Debate Training -          6
                    Opposition Strategies
       Example 2 (Time-set)
• Motion: This House would legalize it
• Bad definition: This House is the
  Congress of the US, it's the year 1925,
  and we argue that prohibition does not
  work




                Academic Debate Training -   7
                  Opposition Strategies
       Example 2 (Time-set)
• Motion: This House would legalize it
• Bad definition: This House is the
  Congress of the US, it's the year 1925,
  and we argue that prohibition does not
  work
• Conceptualisation: Opposition wants to
  restrict the use of alcohol now


               Academic Debate Training -   8
                 Opposition Strategies
Example 3 (Specific knowledge)
• Motion: This House doesn’t believe in
  Hollywood anymore
• Bad definition: The Rating Board of the
  MPAA should change PG-13 rating given
  to the movie Rent last year for NC-17




               Academic Debate Training -   9
                 Opposition Strategies
Example 3 (Specific knowledge)
• Motion: This House doesn’t believe in
  Hollywood anymore
• Bad definition: The Rating Board of the
  MPAA should change PG-13 rating given
  to the movie Rent last year for NC-17
• Conceptualisation: The US movie rating
  system should become more liberal


               Academic Debate Training -   10
                 Opposition Strategies
            Example 4 (Squirrel)
• Motion: This House will impose sanctions on Iran
• Bad definition:         Iran is an radical Islamic nation that supports
  terrorism. Therefore to impose sanctions on Iran means to impose
  sanctions on radical Muslims. We thus believe that state’s
  permanent residents that publicly advocate radical Islamic beliefs
  should be deported from the country




                          Academic Debate Training -                   11
                            Opposition Strategies
             Example 4 (Squirrel)
• Motion: This House will impose sanctions on Iran
• Bad definition: Iran is an radical Islamic nation that supports
  terrorism. Therefore to impose sanctions on Iran means to impose
  sanctions on radical Muslims. We thus believe that state’s
  permanent residents that publicly advocate radical Islamic beliefs
  should be deported from the country.
• Conceptualisation: International community should find other
  ways of making Iran refuse from its nuclear weapon.

• Alternative: This is SQUIRREL! IT IS NOT FAIR! However, not to
  disrupt the round, and being very smart opposition we will be able to prove
  that Status Quo is SO MUCH BETTER than the plan proposed


                           Academic Debate Training -                       12
                             Opposition Strategies
How to cope with close-to-being-
   unreasonable definitions

                              Desert Island
                              Third option
                              Precaution




           Academic Debate Training -         13
             Opposition Strategies
   How to cope with close-to-being-
      unreasonable definitions
Motion:
This House regrets injustice

Definition:
Governments of the world
should condemn the Holocaust




                      Academic Debate Training -   14
                        Opposition Strategies
   How to cope with close-to-being-
      unreasonable definitions
Motion:
This House regrets injustice

Definition:
Governments of the world
should condemn the Holocaust

  DON’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE THAT
             GUY?

         Here’s the solution!



                           Academic Debate Training -   15
                             Opposition Strategies
   How to cope with close-to-being-
      unreasonable definitions
Motion:                               1.      Holocaust doesn’t deserve a
This House regrets injustice                  special status comparing to
                                              other genocides that took
                                              place in the world and
                                              everyone’s trying to forget
Definition:                                   (Turkey’s policy)
Governments of the world              2.      Such action leads to ignoring
                                              the genocides of the present
should condemn the Holocaust                  day (Rwanda, Sudan)
                                      3.      Makes governments feel good
                                              and forget their contribution to
                                              Holocaust instead of
                                              analysing the policies they
                                              have conducted then (US
                                              immigration policy in 30s)



                      Academic Debate Training -                            16
                        Opposition Strategies
Levels of debate (policy)


                    Definition



                Need for change


                     Plan

                                 claim
    Benefits   Argument #2          warrant
                                          data

           Academic Debate Training -            17
             Opposition Strategies
ARGUMENTS THAT ATTACK:

                              the problem will solve
                              itself
                              only minor action is
Need for Change               needed to solve the
                              problem
                              the gov't is blaming
                              the wrong structure


           Academic Debate Training -              18
             Opposition Strategies
ARGUMENTS THAT ATTACK:

                              Plan has “holes” /
                              lacks something
                              “Right place, right
 Plan details                 idea…Wrong time”
                              “Right time, right
                              idea….Wong place”
                              Too expensive


           Academic Debate Training -               19
             Opposition Strategies
ARGUMENTS THAT ATTACK:

                                they are the short
                                term benefits
                                benefits are hard to
  Benefits                      reach
                                benefits don’t affect
                                the target group



             Academic Debate Training -                 20
               Opposition Strategies
 YOUR OWN ARGUMENTS

                         • Classical arguments
                         • Negative effects the
Disadvantages:             international arena
                         • Negative effects the
                           state
                         • Negative effects the
                           people (either target
                           group or the rest of
                           population)

           Academic Debate Training -              21
             Opposition Strategies
Levels of debate (policy)


                Definition



            Need for change


                 Plan

                             claim
           Argument #2          warrant
                                      data

       Academic Debate Training -            22
         Opposition Strategies
       ARGUMENT

DATA                                    CLAIM

                                     RESERVATION

       WARRANT

 BACKING FOR WARRANT

        Academic Debate Training -              23
          Opposition Strategies
                            ARGUMENT
The income of Industrial workers                                Therefore consumption and
is higher that a year ago                                       savings have increased




                                                   Unless it’s wartime economy and goods
                                                         are not available for consumption

           Since workers usually spend and save more when they earn more
                              and only when they do so



                  This is asserted in journal X based on Y year study of
                         behavior of industrial workers in Z state



                                   Academic Debate Training -                               24
                                     Opposition Strategies
       Some logical fallacies
Begging for the     Misleading                 Post hoc ergo
    question          statistics                propter hoc
The use of the       Hasty                     Loaded words
 non sequitur     generalization                and phrases
 Ad Hominem       The bandwagon Slippery slope
   fallacy:
   Doubtful       Shifted burden
   authority
                  Academic Debate Training -               25
                    Opposition Strategies
  Read more on fallacies:
http://datanation.com/fallacies/index.htm
Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies

http://users3.ev1.net/~rooftopyawp/loveis
afallacy.html
Love Is a Fallacy by Max Shulman



             Academic Debate Training -   26
               Opposition Strategies
Choose your philosophy
                           Be consistent
                         Attack only the
                         necessary parts of
                         case
                           Use “even if”
                          Choose your
                         strategy beforehand

      Academic Debate Training -           27
        Opposition Strategies
             Thank you for
             your attention!
                             


Academic Debate Training -       28
  Opposition Strategies

				
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