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郑博:辩论的终极目标:妥协 Debate for Compromise  

2012-04-14 14:52:42|  分类: 外研社辩论赛辅导 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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邓博:辩论的终极目标:妥协 Debate for Compromise - 斯碧驰 - 英语演讲与辩论博客
 
生  日:1986-1-9    
高中 :北京师范大学第二附属中学 - 2001年
大学 :   清华大学 - 2004年- 精密仪器与机械学系  
独立辩论培训师

 

                                       辩论的终极目标:妥协 Debate for Compromise

 

本文是最近所写,不过恐怕它并不能实现创作它的原本目的。本希望它可以用来向没接触过辩论的人介绍辩论,但是几位试读过的非辩手好友们纷纷表示仍有些晦涩。希望各位辩手与非辩手们批评指正。

 

 

辩论的终极目标:妥协

Debate for Compromise

 

在我数年的英语辩论培训师生涯里,总有许多初识辩论的人问我:“你为什么教学生吵架呢?”

我只好无奈地回答:“不,这绝对不是吵架。实际上,我在教学生如何相互理解与信任,如何在事情的正反两方之间寻找妥协。”也许你乍看之下并不会理解我为什么这么说,那就让我在你定论之前讲几个故事给你听吧!

 

不妥协?那么永远没有赢家

It always haunts me what happened in one of the debate I’ve judged a few years ago. It was on the topic that “this house [1]would give Japan a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council[2].” The debate happened between some Chinese debaters, who, though sitting on different sides, clearly shared equally strong nationalistic values as well as anti-Japanese sentiments. So the debate went as follows.

The first Proposition speaker: “We would give Japan a permanent seat because Japan is economically strong!”
However, the proposition never explained why “economy” is an important factor in judging which country should be the permanent member in UNSC.

The first Opposition speaker: “But once Japan takes up a permanent seat in UNSC, the emotion of people in Asia would be deeply hurt!”
This might be true, as I can tell that he would be hurt emotionally. But, again, he didn’t ever try to explain why the emotion of Asia matters in the discussion of who should be permanent member in UNSC.

The second Proposition speaker: “But Japanese economy is strong!”
The second Opposition speaker: “But our emotion would hurt!”

正反方的其他辩手也是重复着上述的论断却一般无二地不加解释。

所以,作为裁判,我抓狂了。这是两个并行不悖永远没有交点的论断——也许两个观点都对,但是不论谁对谁错这两个观点却都无法否定对方。因为没人解释为什么本方观点为是“日本入常”的关键,辩论进入了死循环。

 

为了寻找妥协,我们必须了解事物的正反两面

The story above perfectly resembles what a bad debate would be, yet it is also analogues to how quarrelling in our everyday life was like. Suppose that a son was arguing against his parents about what major in University he should sign up for, before the College Entrance Exam, and the debate would very much goes like this:

Parents: “You should study engineering!”
Son: “I want to study art!”
Parents: “You should study engineering!”
Son: “I want to study art!”

Again, the debate is never ending. Would it be different if both sides can offer us some depth in their analysis?

Parents: “You should study engineering, as the skills you can learn from a degree in engineering would promise you a good job. With these skills you would never worry about surviving in our society, because our society always needs people to produce, and the process of production always demands the involvement of engineers.”

This is no longer a claim. It is now a statement clearly explained. It does not only provide clarity in the presentation of arguments from the parents, but also makes it easier for the son to hit the target in creating a meaningful response.

Son: “Even though engineering skills are needed, we see as fact now in job market many engineering students end up unemployed after graduation. We have way more supply of engineers in the job market than demand. Because of this, studying engineering is no longer the choice definitely with high returns.”

Son: “In the meantime, witnessing a significant growth in the arts market, becoming an artist might give me better return on my study. As economy develops, people now no longer simply pay attention to cheap products; they want products which would please them both in terms of function, and aesthetics. The success of Apple clearly manifested this trend. As much as society needs engineers, it needs artists.”

After rebutting his parents, the son can even make one more new argument.

Son: “We can’t conclude that the return on studying engineering surpasses that of studying arts. But what I’m quite sure of is that I regard arts as the love of my life, giving up on arts would make me painful. Job helps provide a means of living, but living with depression can turn life into hell even though I can be economically affluent[3]. We want a good job to make life easier and happier. A job that causes pain defeats the purpose.”

The assumption in the parents’ argument lies in the fact that a degree in engineering would give the son higher pay off, comparing to a degree in arts. To refute, the son challenged this assumption by analyzing our society’s demand for engineers and artists, drawing the conclusion that artists are also needed and well paid, while engineers are currently over-supplied. He added that choosing a major, as well as consequently choosing a job, is a choice for life, so he needed to choose something he loves.

It is still hard to draw a conclusion who is right and who is wrong, but in this debate we have now a lot in principle upon which both sides agreed – both of them believes that choosing a major affects life after university; both of them want a good life for the son; and both of them have their criteria in judging what would make up a good life.

Instead of an unreasonable quarrel we faced in the beginning, we now know clearly that the judgment of who is a right lie in only one question: whose criteria are more reasonable?

请注意!上述的例子只是一个帮助大家理解辩论的例子,不是所有的家长都乐意让自家的儿女挑战他们的权威,所以在现实生活中千万慎用上述的例子。如果你的父母对你表示气愤,请不要告诉他们是我教你学了坏。

假如上述的讨论能够理性地发生,虽然父母与子女的立场与论点不同,我们却在针锋相对的冲突以外明白正反双方有着深刻的共识——双方都以子女的利益为基本原则。这样的原则是“求同存异”的基础。明白了这一点,创造和谐家庭就更容易了:我们可以有争议,但是只要父母和子女相互阐释自己的观点并互相理解对方的立场,双方就可以搁置争议。父母的一味强加与子女的一味叛逆,就像“日本入常”辩论的例子一样,是永远无法解开的死循环。

不加解释的武断的论述只能创造死循环,而打破它的工具,只有对观点背后原因的深刻分析。

这样的辩论不仅能在家庭讨论中产生积极的意义,更能在分歧丛生的社会之中创造不同人群间的理解与互信。社会中的分歧,往往也是一系列不加解释的信条之间的冲突。

比如反对堕胎的人说:“堕胎是杀死一个幼小的生命!”
支持堕胎的人说:“堕胎是妇女对自己身体的自决权!”

比如反对死刑的人说:“死刑犯也该享有生命权!”
支持死刑的人说:“死刑犯不杀不足以平民愤!”

双方永远都会认为对方的观点荒谬,却难以通过在坦诚的基础上冷静地研究与对比双方的观点。我们只有拷问双方对立背后的原因,才能弥合分歧,实现互信。否则,就只能在无休止的循环争吵中越陷越深。关于同性恋者婚姻权的争论就是一例。

People are often divided because of the differences in their own sets of value in which they firmly believe. It is very easy for you to accuse people hold completely different opinions, yet these accusations might cause even bigger social divide. A very typical case to illustrate this point is to consider the controversies surrounding homosexual marriages.

Supporter: “The Homosexual’s [4]right to marriage should be protected as much as Heterosexuals[5].”
Opposition: “Marriage has never been between two people of the same sex!”

When the two sides are simply pointing fingers at each other, we can never figure out who should we support. Instead, we see many people going with their intuitions, and with these intuitions, many refuse to think about the other side of the story.

Many a time I ask debaters I teach, “Why can marriage only happen with people from different sex?”

They thought that they can get away with an easy answer, many reply, “If not, marriage seems so strange.”

“Why is that strange?”

Indeed, it seemed strange for African American slaves to be desegregated, before racial segregation[6] got abolished; it seemed strange for American women to enjoy equal right in voting, before women’s right to vote was respected; it seemed strange for Chinese women not to bind their feet, before foot-binding[7] was deemed too cruel to be allowed. The question is not whether something is strange, but rather, why does that “strangeness” matter?

They had to think harder.

Some tells me that marriage was traditionally defined that way. But if that’s true, why can we stop Polygamy[8] in China, which was clearly something in line with tradition, and allow only Monogamy[9]?

Some say, “If homosexuals get married, they can’t have babies!” But if that’s true, why do we allow DINK[10] families to exist? Should we invalidate all the marriage between people who do not want baby, or who are not capable of giving birth to a child?

Can you, my readers, give me better reasons than these?

I would be flattered if you disagree with what I said, as much as if you agree, because by choosing to do either, you are thinking. Social harmony doesn’t come from people turning a blind eye on things they don’t like. It comes from this process of self-questioning: Why do I support what I support? Why do I oppose what I oppose? If you can’t find your answer, you need to look for them. The great things we derive from these questions, are not the conclusion you eventually make, but the understanding that certain compromises are valid; that stories always have two sides; that we need to learn both of them and tolerate both of them.

不论你从同意或是反对上述的观点,只要你我一起思考,我们就迈出了通往和谐的一大步。观点的对立在社会之中必定存在,然而盲信于自己的观点不仅不能创造和谐,反而会加深正反双方盲信者们的对立。和谐只能来自于“自我拷问”——当你反问“自己为什么对”的时候,当你向自己索取一个理性而冷静的答案的时候——你将能够在迷雾中看到反方观点的道理,因此你对反方的仇恨自然会被消减;或者你将发现反方观点中的谬误,因此你将能够更有力地驳倒反方。不论怎样,这个社会都将能够走出由盲信带来的恶性循环。

到那时,我们不会有恐怖主义、排外主义、种族歧视、以及其他许许多多的社会问题。我们将真正拥有“和平与发展”的世界。

这才是我从事辩论教育的真正原因——不是为了吵架,而是为了互信与宽容。


[1] This House: 英语的议会制赛制辩论发端于议会中的议事流程,所以辩题中的“this house”本意为“本议院”。实践中“this house”虽然由于传统被保留下来,但并无实际意义,或可以译为辩论的“辩论场”。

[2] United Nations Security Council: 联合国安全理事会,即下文简称的UNSC Permanent Seat: 联合国安理会中的常任理事国席位。拥有此席位的国家称为“常任理事国”即下文中的“permanent member”。

[3] Affluent: 富裕的,富足的

[4] Homosexual: 同性恋者

[5] Heterosexual: 异性恋者

[6] Racial Segregation: 种族隔离

[7] Foot-binding: 裹脚

[8] Polygamy: 一夫多妻制

[9] Monogamy: 一夫一妻制

[10] DINK: “Double Income No Kid”的缩写



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