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Inter House Debate Reflection
Out of all the different Inter House Competitions taking place at IEGS, the debate competition is one of many trophies that the different houses fight for every year, and by far one of my personal favorites. For many it can be quite scary and stressful to go up and debate in front of an audience, but this year all four houses with teams consisting of both experienced debaters and complete novices took part with great enthusiasm!
This year, we were challenged by relevant and sometimes controversial topics, that lead to intense discussions in the preparation room as well as heated debates in the aula. The first day of the debate, King and Pavlov were given the motion “This house would ban porn”. Although many people may read the motion and believe that they have a clear standpoint regarding the topic, it soon becomes clear that multiple perspectives must be considered to really be able to tackle the motion and fully formulate strong arguments. After a very interesting debate with many great arguments presented by both sides, King won and was ready for the finals. The next day, Russel and Curie debated vegetarianism, a topic that many of us have an opinion about without necessarily being a vegetarian ourselves.
During the final day of debate, King and Curie were presented with the motion “This House Believes that autocracy is doomed in the age of facebook”. Once again, both teams were presented with a challenging motion that required cooperation, analysis and thinking from different perspectives to be able to create strong, bulletproof arguments. After a very interesting and engaging debate, with many different arguments and points given, King House maintains their title as winners of the IHC Debate, and so the trophy will remain in King corridor.
But to say that this competition is all about which cabinet the trophy is placed in is wrong. Many people ask me why I find debate so interesting, why I invest so much time into it and why it means so much to me. I personally believe that debate is so important and interesting because it truly makes a person evaluate, reconsider and reflect over what may be perceived as obvious. When presented with a motion such as “This house would ban porn” it may be easy to draw a conclusion without thinking, to answer the question without really looking at it. But in a debate, you are forced to step out of your own shoes, pushed to question your own assumptions, encouraged to question and look at things from different perspectives. As young people in a democratic society it is so important that we are being critical thinkers, not taking things for granted or being satisfied with the way information is given to us. And this is perhaps why debate is so important to me. However scary it might be to hold an eight minute speech in front of an audience, however stressful it might get in the preparation room, every debate and every point made is a challenge that pushes you to do these things.