Friday, February 10, 2006

Why Not Have a Debate?

The following post is my response to a comment, left by an anonymous person self-titled "solution", to the post entitled "Misunderstanding Ends Dialogue". The comment reads: "Maybe to accomplish your goal to 'fascilitate a method of dialogue' between your groups you could have an organized debate and invite other students to attend. I think that would be interesting."

"Solution,"

Aristotle and Plato were perhaps two of the the greatest thinkers of our time. One of the methods that they used to understand the world around them was to debate. As I'm sure you know, debate, in the proper spirit, can lead to great change, deep understanding and respect.

Although a debate would be fun, I am personally opposed to a debate between the College Democrats and Republicans because I'm not convinced that a "debate", as it exists and is perceived today, serves to edify. Instead, a modern debate is often absent of true listening or empathy. A debate, as the modern world has made it, is now a chance for partisan groups to take swings at each other.

Beyond that, a debate may not be in the best interests of the College Democrats and it's purpose which is to promote faith, patriotism and service. The reasons are:

#1. This is an election year and a debate takes a lot of preparation that I'm not prepared to give. I believe the best course for both groups would be to dedicate the time to helping good, righteous candidates become elected to office.

#2. The College Democrats here at BYU-I are young and our platform is incomplete. Before we can have a debate we have to know who we are and what we stand for. Debate for the sake of competition serves no purpose except to stoke the fires of pride.

#3. A debate involves some amount of competition. Although I have no objection to competition in itself, this is not the spirit in which I envisioned for a dialogue to begin. What I saw was the leadership from the College Republicans and the leadership from the College Democrats sitting down together and discussing the mission of BYU-I and what our two groups were doing to magnify that mission. Common ground is where I wanted to start this dialogue, not differences.

1 comment:

solution said...
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