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And The Winner Is...

By Student Guest

Sweaty hands, shuffling papers and deep breaths - this past Thursday, the IEGS inter-house debate competition came to its end with a final battle of wits between Pavlov and King.

The topic of the day was “This House Believes ‘God is Dead’”, which had been announced that morning. Based on a coin toss, Pavlov was put as the proposition and King in the opposition. After a day of preparation, the two houses were ready to enter the stage in the aula with words as their weapons and begin the fight for the trophy.

Pavlov - after establishing that they were not going to argue about the existence of God, but about religion’s place in society - put focus on science and development, arguing that God has played out his role and is no longer needed in modern Western society. King countered this by saying that science and religion can coexist, whilst also pushing the importance of morals and the security religion provides.

The two sides were judged by the standard debate criteria of style, strategy, and content. According to Dr. Whiteley, who was one of the judges and also the organiser of the IHC Debate, this final debate had more of strategic nature than focusing on style and original content.

“There are some strategic things in terms of what the proposition have to do,” Dr. Whiteley said, and went on to explain how the proposition have to prove their burden whilst the opposition has to disprove it. The opposition argues against the proposition, which then needs to reply to those arguments, and then vice versa. “The key arguments weren't replied to by the proposition given by the opposition, and the proposition didn't prove their burden, so for those strategic reasons the opposition won.” Despite some controversial arguments from King, it was Pavlov’s inability to reply to the opposition’s arguments that in the end gave King the trophy.

“I think the debate was much better this year. The Debate Club has had a positive influence on people’s awareness of the rules,” said Mr. Hemingway, who sat together with Dr. Whiteley and Ms. Weber in the judging panel. He also helped the debaters to prepare for the big competition. “I hope that they keep developing in this way because I think that debating can be a positive force at our school and it’s something that the school as a whole can be really good at.”

Mr. Hemingway also leads the Debate Club, so whilst the IHC Debate might be over, passionate debaters shouldn’t fret. The Debate Club will be back in a few weeks! Keep your eyes open for further information regarding the Debate Club, coming soon.

[Authored by Felicia Vági & Johanna Kauppi]

Image courtesy of Patrik Sanila

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