How do I balance a resolution?

Author: Varrack ,

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  • Varrack
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    If the resolution of my debate was "Apples are better than oranges", then my opponent wouldn't have to argue that oranges are better than apples; rather, they'd have to argue that oranges are at least as good as apples. If I wanted to create a resolution where neither of us could argue a neutral stance, but rather had to prove the superiority of our fruit to the other's, how would I write a resolution saying that?
  • MisterChris
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    --> @Varrack
    Sounds like you should make your debate entitled simply "Apples vs. Oranges" and give more detailed guidelines in the debate description.
  • whiteflame
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    --> @Varrack
    Like MC said, setting out clear stances in the resolution and/or the description would be a good start. However, I'll note that if you're doing a debate on policy, this is usually a negligible problem. Essentially, the benefit the opponent has in those instances amounts to "if everything is too confusing by the end to pick a side that's winning, I automatically vote Con," which I would say is an uncommon or even rare outcome, at least when the debaters are doing a decent job. It matters more in cases like the one you're stating because their entire case can amount to "there's no way to know which is better," whereas in policy, they're forced to contrast two positions rather than arguing that all positions are neutral (unless they're rolling with a Kritik, in which case, all bets are off).
  • Sum1hugme
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    --> @Varrack
    In order to avoid this problem, I specifically state the resolution my opponent will be arguing in the description.
  • Varrack
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    Makes sense. Thanks guys
  • coal
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    --> @Varrack
    It might be easier to discuss this in the context of a specific topic you're looking to debate, rather than at this level of abstraction.

    The first thing you want to do is pick a normative topic (i.e., how things ought to be) rather than a positive one (i.e., how things actually are in the world). 

    So, here's the difference: 

    • Lockdowns slowed the rate of COVID community spread.
    This is an empirical issue that you can only answer with data.  If you're not citing hard, reliable data that's analyzed in proper ways, you're not even in the right ball-park.

    On the other hand:

    • The United States should adopt lockdowns in response to the COVID pandemic. 
    This is a normative issue that, while it implicates those questions about what is demonstrably true in the world, is really about a value judgment. 

  • Varrack
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    --> @coal
    What about the resolution, "China is oppressing its Uyghur minority"? I don't necessarily need hard data to affirm/negate the resolution, but it's not a normative topic either.
  • coal
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    --> @Varrack
    I'd change to something like:

    "China's treatment of its Uyghur minority is justified."
  • RationalMadman
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    @Varrack (I am blocked) 


    Click this and leave it empty as displayed, it will stop notifying you for each message you get on your thread.