Debating

Democratic Discourse

Among assisted suicide, torture and the death penalty, the best form of government is one of those topics that always allow for a spirited and interesting debate. What’s better – a strong dictatorship or a weak democracy? Perhaps not the toughest question for a dictator, though.

Orderly Conflict

Conflict can be democratic but doesn’t have to be. If one claimed a fistfight was merely debate by other means, one would fail to see a central difference: while one is a row without clear rules culminating in the physical domination of one person over the other, a debate is about conflicting views competing against each other by means of argumentation. In society a debate should be an exchange of arguments, a process in which both sides acquire a deeper understanding and ultimately reach a more reasonable conclusion than would’ve been achieved without it. Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in this process and enrich the discourse with her or his own voice.

We practice this vital democratic discourse in a cozy and friendly, yet competitive setting.

Our Contribution/our value

Debating is not synonymous with discussion, though. It is about following a clear procedure, allowing views to clash, highlighting the core conflict – the debate. One’s own randomly assigned position is to be argued as convincingly as possible until the end of the debate. A good debate leaves you with a better understanding of both sides.

In a democratic society, the skill of debating is essential. In order to be heard and to exert a positive influence, one’s views and arguments need to be presented in a clear and powerful fashion. At the same time the readiness and ability to fairly assess and engage the opposing view is incredibly important.

A lively debating culture is the lifeblood of a strong functioning democracy. It is especially in the open clash of views that we find democracy’s advantage to dictatorship. In conjunction with other debating societies, through our regular and public activities, we seek to enliven our debating culture.