RFD for debate

Author: Death23 ,

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  • Death23
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    Not sure about docdroid.net

    The meaning of the resolution was disputed in thisdebate. The disputed term is "non-sense". Pro contends that themeaning is "doesn't make sense" or "ridiculous", orsomething like that. Con's provided definition is from a dictionary. Thiscreates, effectively, two competing resolutions. Ultimately though, undereither resolution, Con's arguments prevail. So, it isn't necessary for me todecide which competing interpretation of the resolution is correct, but I willdiscuss that anyway.
    Resolution 1: "non-sense" using Pro'sdefinition
    Pro provided no evidence that anything in thedebate made homosexuality "non-sense". Con more accurately summed upthe situation as "it merely neglected to explain why homosexuality makessense." (perhaps more accurately stated would be "it neglected todiscuss homosexuality") Which, from the gist of things, is really what I'mgleaning was going on with the documentary, at least based on Pro's statements.(e.g. "By the end of the documentary, you'll ask yourself a question.Something to the effect of " Well where does this leave homosexualattraction?"" - A viewer puzzled by homosexuality after watching thedocumentary suggests that the topic was passed over; "the science of sexappeal deals with explaining sexual attraction via biological, anatomical,physiological, hormonal analysis to the point where it leaves no room toascertain how homosexuality fits amidst the various analytical data." -This further makes it seem like there was simply no discussion of homosexualityin the documentary.
    Ultimately I'm inclined to go with Con here,though it was close. Pro provided no evidence. Pro even admits there is noevidence. Pro states that the documentary thoroughly explained the heterosexualphenomenon and left him wondering how the homosexual phenomenon could possiblybe explained. An explanation for a phenomenon is not evidence that a differentphenomenon can't have an explanation or "doesn't make sense". This isn'tconvincing in the slightest.
    Con doesn't present any evidence, either. Though,really, it's not like Con can prove a negative. Pro admits that the documentarydoesn't discuss homosexuality. So, there's really no purpose in Con watchingthe documentary or linking it. I would have liked to Con discuss this"Resolution 1" more thoroughly than he did rather than focus on thecompeting definition. Though, given Pro's lack of evidence, this is somethingthat seems like a default victory scenario based on burdens.
    Resolution 2: "non-sense" using Con'sdefinition
    Con's case using this resolution is clearly in hisfavor. Using Con's definition, the claim that "homosexuality isnon-sense" is saying something like "homosexuality isunintelligible". The falseness of such a claim isn't disputed by Pro, whoinsists on using his definition. It appeared that both debaters agreed thatusing Con's definition the resolution was false. So, not much RFD needed here.
    Re: Correct interpretation of the resolution
    I view resolution interpretation as something thatis not part of the debate and not subject to the ordinary rules of debatejudging. In other words, I'm not confined to the arguments and reasoning of thedebaters for or against particular interpretations.
    I refer to CACI 314 and 315 (google-able)
    314.Interpretation—Disputed Words
    [Name of plaintiff] and [name of defendant]dispute the meaning of the following words in their contract: [insert disputedlanguage].
    [Name of plaintiff] claims that the words mean[insert plaintiff’s interpretation]. [Name of defendant] claims that the wordsmean [insert defendant’s interpretation]. [Name of plaintiff] must prove that[his/her/its] interpretation is correct.
    In deciding what the words of a contract mean, youmust decide what the parties intended at the time the contract was created. Youmay consider the usual and ordinary meaning of the language used in the contractas well as the circumstances surrounding the making of the contract
    315.Interpretation—Meaning of Ordinary Words
    You should assume that the parties intended thewords in their contract to have their usual and ordinary meaning unless youdecide that the parties intended the words to have a special meaning.
    The usual and ordinary meaning is in Con's favor. So,unless there is evidence that a special meaning was intended, Con's definitionprevails.
    There is evidence that a special meaning wasintended. In the debate description, immediately following the resolution isthe resolution paraphrased as follows:
    This documentary, "The science of sexappeal", which I highly recommend you watch in order to really debate thistopic makes sense of heterosexuality. So much so in contrast, homosexualitydoesn't make sense at all .
    The phrase "doesn't make sense at all"aligns closely with the resolution's use of the term "non-sense".Further evidence that such an interpretation was intended by Pro is that Con'sdefinition was so heavily in his favor that it would be somewhat strange forPro to have used it. Additionally, there is no mention of homosexuality being"unintelligible" or something like that in the debate description,while there is further implication of Pro's usage -
    By the end of the documentary, you'll ask yourselfa question. Something to the effect of " Well where does this leavehomosexual attraction?"
    Basically all of the studies in the documentarywere pointing to one thing. That is baby making.
    The foregoing evidence of an intended specialmeaning was clear to me when I read the debate description for the first time.This special meaning was reasonably discernable from the debate description andCon was therefore on fair notice as to Pro's intentions. Accepting this debatein good faith would require using the objectively implicated special meaning.Ergo, Pro's definition prevails despite the fact that it is not consistent withthe usual and ordinary meaning of the word.