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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Donald Warden (Oglethorpe University) vs. Opposition: Nathan Stouffer (Wood River High School)

Judge: Randal Horobik (Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama)

Resolution: RESOLVED: The United Nations should adopt a resolution decrying or demanding an end to the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

  • Donald Warden
    Donald Warden

    Nathan Stouffer
    Nathan Stouffer
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    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at April 22, 2014 12:21:59AM EST by Donald Warden




    Posted at April 23, 2014 03:28:28PM EST by Joe Leeson-Schatz



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 23, 2014 10:59:35PM EST by Donald Warden



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 24, 2014 07:53:28PM EST by Nathan Stouffer



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 26, 2014 01:56:14AM EST by Donald Warden




    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 26, 2014 06:54:03PM EST by Randal Horobik

    Category Donald Warden Nathan Stouffer
    Use of evidence: 3.5 2.5
    Delivery skill: 4.3 4.3
    Coherence of arguments: 3.5 3.8
    Responsiveness to opponent: 3.5 4.1
    Identification of key points: 3.3 3.7
    Comments: Donald, thank you for identifying early that you were coming at this topic from a value standpoint and clearly labeling your criteria and value. You were a clear speaker and your "two worlds" approach in rebuttals was extremely useful. My biggest suggestion for you is to please make sure you go back and address his attacks on your case. You address the Opp contentions in your first rebuttal, but you never get to what he says about your case until your final rebuttal when your answers come across as new arguments. Nathan, you have skill beyond your years and I predict a bright future for you in this activity. Please stick with it and strive to maximize the inherent skills that you have. Thank you for unique Opp points as well as the clash with the Prop case. Please cite your evidence, however. My suggestions for future improvement is to budget time a little better so you can attack deeper on Prop's contentions rather than scratch the surface with a sentence or two. Also, don't be afraid to "look ahead" as you're reading the Opp contentions. Cross-apply your first to his first as you're reading your case -- this saves you from having to explain it again when you transition to an attack on his case and you've saved 15-20 seconds to use on attacking his 2nd and 3rd better.

    The decision is for the Opposition: Nathan Stouffer

    Reason for Decision:

    Opening Prop asserts that we're in a value environment. This goes unchallenged by Opp, who even agrees that ethics and equality are "amazing" in his constructive. Never let it be said that I'm not one to entertain a request. You asked for it, you got it -- Voila!! I'm looking at the values of ethics and equality and who better presents them to me.

    That was the easy part. Now things get messy for multiple reasons...

    Reason 1 -- Prop basically drops every attack made on his case within his first rebuttal. He sets up a good evaluation methodology via the two-worlds approach, but only alludes to Opp's points in that speech. This is troubling since I've been asked to consider ethics and equality and Prop's third contention was, conveniently, "equality." I never hear this point again in the debate after Opp constructive.

    Reason 2 -- Much of Prop's claim in rebuttals for my ballot stems from the idea that discussion of an idea leads to benefits. Unfortunately, this is one of the few claims he makes that isn't supported via evidence. Where's a card on discursive theory when a guy needs one? This also gets muddled as Opp catches that discussion of a resolution is not synonymous with adoption and that if improvements come from discussion, those are in Opp's territory, not Prop's. Prop's last rebuttal example of this tournament being an example of discussion being created, to my mind, works against his claim that we need to adopt a resolution to get ethics and equality in this area.

    Reason 3 -- Opp grants value status and that equality and ethics are "amazing," then spends a significant chunk of the debate talking on his first contention which isn't really value related but more of a policy-esque claim that UN resolutions can't solve anything. Or, to use the language of Opp's first voter..."the UN is incompetent for the job" -- that's not a value claim really with regard to equality and ethics.

    Reason 4 -- Opp also, through silence, essentially grants the two-world paradigm of with resolution vs. without resolution, which I'm not certain is necessarily in his best advantage.

    So, the million dollar question...why am I voting the way that I am? Since the bulk of the round was spent arguing within Opp's two constructive points, I am drawn there by sheer preponderance of talk time. Prop drops arguments on his side of the case that Opp brings up in constructive and then extends in rebuttal. Answering these in the final rebuttal is a new argument -- I cannot weigh.

    Opp's catch under his first contention that mere discussion (without passage) that Prop talks about in first rebuttal feeds his position that the world without a resolution can still achieve greater ethics and equality via simple discussion. This is fed by Prop's example in final rebuttal that this tournament is an example of moving toward equality and ethics. I see no arguments on flow now telling me why a resolution gets me MORE ethics and MORE equality than discussion. If both sides of the debate end on level footing, Prop hasn't convinced me of the superiority of his world vs. Opp's.

    Prop also makes a quizzical statement in rebuttal on the second Opp contention that we should deal with dolphins via a resolution and with chickens via human behavior...this strikes me as an unequal treatment of cases that, through argument here, are, at best, similar and, at worst, as chickens being worse off than dolphins and in greater need of equality and ethics (if I buy Opp's line of reasoning). This paints an image that a resolution leads to a world that's further from rather than closer to equality and ethics.

    In conclusion, I think Prop had the framework to easily win the round, but lacked the execution by not bringing his original case structure into the two-world paradigm while explaining it in first rebuttal. Prop's third contention was easily the most thought-provoking argument of the round and I was sad to see it altogether vanish.

    Good round and close round gentlemen. Thank you for your time and taking the matter seriously. My inbox is open if you have questions not covered in the above RFD that you'd like to ask about.


    I would like to thank my opponent and judge for their time and a great round. - Nathan Stouffer on April 28, 2014 at 11:47AM EST
    I would like to thank my opponent and judge for a great round! - Nathan Stouffer on April 28, 2014 at 11:35AM EST

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