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When faced with a topic that suggests that there is something special about our particular point in history, you really should ask a few key questions. The answers to these questions are vital for developing your case (which will come later). As a general rule, you should ask the following questions: • Why would it be the particular age or generation? This question directs your thinking to the issue of the debate. ”. • Why would it be the particular age or generation now? This question is easiest to overlook, but it is vital for developing your case.

Edmund: I seek information about a Wisewoman. Crone: Ah, the Wisewoman... the Wisewoman. Edmund: Yes, the Wisewoman. Crone: Two things, my lord, must thee know of the Wisewoman. First, she is... a woman, and second, she is ... Edmund: .. wise? Crone: You do know her then? As Edmund realised, the principle to ‘big, red ball’ topics is not particularly difficult to grasp! com Preparation: The Issue and Definition 2. That it is red and 3. That it is a ball. What would the negative team need to show?

Incidentally, Hitler is a remarkably common example in debates about all manner of issues, perhaps because he is simultaneously a very well known historical figure and such an obvious incarnation of ‘evil’ that he can (apparently) be deployed to win any argument! This approach is, unfortunately, very weak. Hitler and his regime were very extreme in almost every way. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that any issue, argument or perspective today would be “like Hitler” – Hitler was so extreme that he and his regime hardly show any ‘general truth’ today.

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Debating by Simon Quinn

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