By: Mike Weltevrede (Nederlandse Debatbond)
The corona crisis hit everything, including the debate sport. Earlier this year, the Erasmus Rotterdam Open, the Kalliope Groningen Open, and the Benelux Debate Competition, among others, already fell at the virus’ hand. Where several (student) debating tournaments were held online internationally, this was not the case in the Netherlands. However, the TU Delft Debating Club did not give up: they simply held their debating tournament online!
The Delft Open 2020 may have taken place later than the original schedule but the organization committee delivered excellent work with an excellently organized tournament via Discord. The registration went smoothly, exciting debates were held, and even a social was held with online games. I judged during the tournament and was lucky enough to see some really cool debates and chair the novice final. It was also of very high quality and only 1 out of 8 team comparisons had a consensus about the placement. That shows something about the persuasiveness of the teams: they were very well matched and that promises a lot of good for the future of the debate sport.
THW rather be an individual of average appearance and extreme intelligence, than of extreme beauty and average intelligence.Novice final – Delft Open 2020
In my opinion, the motion of the novice final is one of the most interesting of the Delft Open 2020. In this section, I will briefly outline an important characterization, after which I will present an argument for both sides of the debate. Have you come up with other arguments? Then leave them in the comments!
To start with the characterization: because it is not explicitly asked to take the position of a certain person (as in an actor motion), the arguments must be broad enough such that they can apply to almost every person. It is, therefore, important to explain what a general person would like to achieve in life. I think that differs, of course. Some care more about prestige and materialism, while others place more value on family and friends. In this debate, it is useful to choose the middle ground: the average person cares very much about their family and friends but also wants to earn good money to maintain a good lifestyle. If both sides of the debate accept that, the debate will be the fairest and you will not focus on a niche group.
The proposition must prove that extreme intelligence is more important than extreme beauty. I will highlight one argument, that having extreme intelligence gives you more options to organize your life in the way you want. At the moment that you’re extremely intelligent, it opens more doors to an average person (ceteris paribus – if everything else stays the same) than possessing extreme beauty. It is true that beauty will open other doors but the doors that are now opened are more versatile. This person will go on to follow higher education and will not be hindered by their intelligence: they can choose the course of study (and therefore also their career direction) that they are most passionate about. As such, that part of their life is well-organized. You can also explain how this trickles down to social life but I leave that to the reader.
The opposition argues that extreme beauty offers more or better opportunities than extreme intelligence. One argument that goes with this firstly acknowledges that the person in question is still of average intelligence. This allows them to still receive an excellent education but the crux is mainly in social life and mental health at a young age. The opponents can make the logical link between extreme intelligence and the feeling of loneliness. First, it can be done by explaining that children who are extremely intelligent are much more likely to be bullied. There are several mechanisms for this and I challenge the reader to explain these convincingly. The second reason is independent of whether the child is being bullied or not, namely the feeling that your immediate environment does not understand you. Nobody can do anything about that but it is frustrating for a child to understand many things better and/or faster than others. The effect of this can be a feeling of loneliness. If the opposition elaborates on and combines these two reasons well enough, they can explain why this can backfire on a child. Even if it is not a certainty, it is not a risk you would want to take.
By: Pjotr Koster (NSDV Trivium)
During the weekend of 29th of February and 1st of March, there was a little tournament called Leiden Open 2020. This debating tournament did not only have a strong CA team but also had a crazy good judge pool, which meant that the feedback was excellent. This was of course complemented by great (international) teams ranging from Leiden to the London School of Economics. Trivium was sadly only represented by myself and the powerhouse that is Mara Burgstede.Read More
Written by: Thomas Nighswonger (T.D.V. Cicero)
Editor’s note: From this tournament report on, we will use a new style where we give a shorter summary of the tournament and then dive deeper into one of the motions at the tournament so that this may be used for training purposes, for example. The writer will propose one argument in favour and one against. We welcome everyone to leave their thoughts on the motion in the comments at the bottom of the page!
On the first weekend of February, the days were finally here: the first-ever Eindhoven Open. We knew the CA team was excellent, we knew the Eindhoven debating society, so we were all really excited for the tournament. And looking back at the tournament now, I think we can all agree that it was a big success and definitely deserves another edition next year.Read More
Written by: Shakya Wickramanayake (T.D.V. Cicero)
It was cold early morning when we set off from the Tilburg station to Leiden on the 30th of November. Being our second tournament, we were visibly excited for the Leiden Novice tournament, especially after the Maastricht tournament that took place earlier in the month. The following are a few observations I made as a participant of the tournament.Read More
Author: Noah van Dansik, ASDV Bonaparte
On the twenty-third of November, we were allowed to travel to the distant Brabant again for one of the nicest debating tournaments of the Netherlands: the Cicero tournament! American Parliamentary (AP) tournaments are scarce in the Netherlands, so as Bonapartians we are always very happy if we can show our best side again in Tilburg.Read More