Written by Ybo Buruma
Principled argumentation is arguably no longer as prevalent as it was when I first started debating. Back in those days (long, long ago) proposition teams were basically required to bring at least some principled justification for their plans. Sometimes, these justifications were rather short. For instance, when the government already had very similar policies in place, or when a prisoner’s dilemma occurred. However, quite often, the principled discussion was the more important one in the debate: is the government allowed to protect you from yourself to this extent? Is the government allowed to torture someone to save millions of innocents? Those questions happen less and less frequently in the debates I’ve seen over the last few months and I think that’s a shame: principled arguments are both extremely interesting and can be very compelling.
In this short piece I’m going to look at the three things I believe are needed for a principled argument to stand, on top of that, I’m going to look at a few different ways for principled arguments to be used in the current ‘meta’ of debating.
by Matt Hazell
Many motions in debating will have proper nouns in them, and examples are always useful in these cases. However, you can never win or lose in BP debating via example alone. The purpose of outside knowledge in debates is to illustrate the arguments you are making. Importantly this means that facts, without good logical analysis underpinning them, are of little merit. In this article we will look at one specific motion set at the Amsterdam Open 2018, and look at how to approach this seemingly technical debate without knowing much at all. The motion is as follows:
Structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) consist of loans provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to countries that experienced economic crises. The IMF requires borrowing countries to implement certain policies (e.g austerity measures, reducing trade tariffs etc) in order to receive these loans (or to lower interest rates on existing ones).
This House Believes that the IMF should pay reparations to countries that experienced severe economic hardship as a consequence of IMF restructuring programs