Debating News

FIRST III DEBATING REPORT

While the COVID-19 induced lockdown has forced a halt to nearly every aspect of our lives, even a global pandemic is not enough to stop Trinity’s Debating Society, as Friday 23 July saw the start of Trinity’s CAS Debating campaign, albeit in a remote manner, with the 2021 CAS Debating Season being conducted at home. As I reminded the boys last Friday, Trinity has not won this competition since 2004 – when Mr. Ikeuchi was School Captain. However, the resilience that our Debaters constantly exhibit will set us up for a strong campaign this year. This round, being hallmarked by ‘Economic Issues’ as the prescribed topic area, made the team excited, with us all being economics students. 

The First III of W. Martin (12WH), K. Kwok (12WH) and J. Perera (12La), entered the debate against Cranbrook, last season’s state semi-finalists, confident and prepared for any challenge that would be thrown at us. Indeed, this is what happened as we received the negative side to the topic “That we should not encourage young people to pursue their ‘dream job’ where it comes as the expense of their long-term financial security”. The affirmative team, Cranbrook, proposed a model of societal discouragement towards ‘dream jobs’ and greater encouragement for young people to pursue jobs that aligned with long-term financial security. Cranbrook’s points were that ‘dream jobs’ were over-idealised, the pursuit of these would harm future wellbeing, economic ramifications and the principle obligation of the older generation to provide sound advice. Conversely, Will strongly rebutted Cranbrook’s lattermost point, identifying Cranbrook’s assumption that the older generation know what jobs lead to financial security in the future and argued in his substantive that jobs should not be discouraged on the basis of the financial security they provide and that the discouragement of ‘dream jobs’, which often exist within creative sectors, would stifle innovation and creativity. Keith refuted the affirmative’s point on the over-idealisation of ‘dream jobs’ and in his substantive argued that while ‘dream jobs’ may appear financially volatile presently, they can be a stable source of income in the future. Keith also put forward a point that explained how young people are more likely to excel in pursuing their dream job. The debate room were fortunate to hear IB Business Management being integrated into this analysis as the motivational theories of Abraham Maslow and Daniel Pink were used to support this point. (A special thanks must be made to the Economics Department for the knowledge they bestow upon us, as well as being our biggest fans). Both third speakers summarised the debate, judging it to be in their respective favour to conclude the debate. The adjudicating panel’s time spent deliberating enabled the teams to foster a strong link, which was followed by a vote of thanks from myself and the Cranbrook representative.

Despite technical difficulties, beginning my speech while muted, and a relentless opponent, the Firsts put up a strong fight with the adjudicator panel noting the closeness of the debate, finding that the debate concluded at a point in between both sides, but leaning closer towards the affirmative. Despite the disappointing loss, the team has been encouraged by our performance in the Debate and are more motivated than ever with our premiership hopes still alive. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank; D. Chuchra (12He), for his support and perspective in watching the debate, and Mr Christopher Taplin, for his persistence in ensuring we would still have some sort of a season.

J. Perera | 1st III Captain

10A DEBATING REPORT

While debating online is possible, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Last Friday evening saw the commencement of the CAS debating season in an online format with round 1, in which we were pitted against Cranbrook. The CAS 10A team wasn’t happy about having to debate online, as debating online deprives both sides of the ability to communicate during a debate. The topic we received wasn’t kind to us either and took the form of the financial/principle question of whether or not we should discourage young people to pursue their ‘dream job’ where it comes at the expense of their long-term financial security, with the Trinity 10A team arguing for the topic as the negative. As this topic was a blur between principles, practicality and finance, the Trinity team comprised of V. Singleton (10WH), W. Taplin (10WH), A. Jacob (10Fo) and C. Kong (10La) had to make careful decisions when framing our points, lest we unintentionally give our opponent an advantage or missed the mark entirely. We ended up taking a hybrid approach, incorporating elements from both practicality and principles to ensure that we had a strong case, irrespective of where the debate ended up.

Cranbrook’s first speaker explained how the government ultimately knows what is best for the individual, especially in terms of how to achieve financial security. They also proposed the idea that most ‘dream jobs’ are unrealistic goals for a person to set for themselves, and that people should instead look to more ‘normal’ jobs to achieve a stable income.

Trinity’s first speaker refuted these statements, explaining that not all dream jobs are necessarily unrealistic and that ultimately the individual decides what their dream job would be. They then compellingly explained why the individual ultimately has freedom of choice and knows what is best for themselves, drawing links to the USSR, where government officials tried and failed to create a successful economy by allocating workers to certain jobs. He also spoke about how not all successful people are ‘financially secure’ in terms of their job, making reference to careers in the arts, which are primarily powered by the offering of roles and jobs to individuals. Cranbrook’s second speaker responded with a hasty clarification and re-definition of their model and definitions, affirming that they supported individuals to strive toward their dreams, but only to the extent that it doesn’t harm them. They then went on to speak about how young people need to strive towards achievable goals and establish financial security and independence before trying to strive toward a dream job.

Trinity’s second speaker responded to this by declaring this as a contradiction of Cranbrook’s other points before presenting the idea that motivation and happiness are key to success and productivity in the workplace and that a worker should thus be allowed to strive towards a job that will make them happier, as it will inadvertently make them more productive. He also spoke about the risks of cutting off entire sectors from a stream of new workers, and the effects that this might have on other related industries.

The third speakers from both sides then delivered their thematic evaluations of the debate, with Trinity’s third speaker narrowing the debate down to the two main issues of the effect of encouragement on individuals and society. He also pointed out the fact that the opposition had not defined anything in relation to what financial security was and how the government would discourage people from following their dream jobs. Overall, Trinity narrowly won the debate thanks to the fact that our system would not only improve productivity of workers but would also boost happiness and provide encouragement for workers. Overall, this debate was a great start to the CAS season and provided us with insightful feedback and lessons to prepare our team for the debates to come.

W. Taplin (10WH)


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