Just Healthy Debate…

I’m learning from Debate club that it’s incredibly important to know both sides of an issue that you’re taking about. I was in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate tournament this past weekend, and the resolution was, “the public’s right to know is of greater importance than an individual’s right to privacy.”

In LD debate, you have to prepare both sides of an issue, and, whether you are defending the affirmative or negative side, you need to convince the judges that the resolution is either completely true, or completely false.

There is no one, solid, definite answer to this question of privacy. There are things that we should know, and things that, perhaps, we shouldn’t. There are things that we should be able to keep to ourselves, and things that, perhaps, we shouldn’t. But it stretches and challenges one’s mind to have to fully affirm or negate an idea.

I think it’s its helpful– in terms of honing the skills to defend one’s self, one’s religion, or a cause the one consider’s important– to have to categorically defend something. Whether it’s what one believes or not, the exercise of debate is really about validating a point and proving that it’s more sound than someone else’s. It’s not only an essential skill in discourse, but also in essays and writings.

For me, debating from a separate standpoint than my my own helps me to define and re-affirm what I believe. It helps me to understand where someone else may be coming from and teaches me to find the flaws in both sides of an issue. Again, there is no concrete answer to any resolution, but there preparing both sides helps weed out weaknesses on the opposing side.

What do you think? Is the public’s right to know more important than an individual’s right to privacy? Weigh in.


One thought on “Just Healthy Debate…

  1. As you said, the neither extreme is correct. Life is lived in the gray areas. Neither the “right to know” nor the “right to privacy” are spelled out in the Constitution. As soon as what you are keeping private is a danger to society, then it ought be be made public. The problem is figuring out when that is.

    I’d say the right to healthy debate is more important than either of these.

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