“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” -Joseph Joubert
This quotation was the first thing that greeted me after walking into debate club this afternoon. To me, this really defines the purpose of debate, that of understanding the full spectrum of a topic before declaring the matter settled. Throughout the meeting, we were presented with a variety of topics, some of them were “hot topics” that people tend to take a strong emotional stance about (communism vs democracy). I noticed that the arguments for something that the speaker was strongly against became much more vague, and less defined. This would indicate that the speaker has a strong bias, but has not spent the time to think about or research the opposing view.
Outside the classroom, there was a small debate about the purpose of debate club. One student voiced their opinion that they only wanted to participate in debates about topics that interested them. The regular members of the debate club were speechless for a moment, and someone gracefully acquiesced the question by allowing that this was opinion. It is my opinion that the purpose of debate club is to refine our skills in debate (as well as enjoying the thrill of the mental challenge it provides), and this is done by arguing for things that we strongly disagree with.