Grouping Arguments

There’s a form of debate called policy debating, common in many high schools, and some colleges.

One style of policy debating is called spread debating, in which a debater speaks very quickly (up to several hundred words per minute), so that he or she can make as many points as possible in the time allotted.   

How does one defend against an opponent who makes well over a dozen arguments in just a few minutes?  One might simply try to respond to each point, but in response to a dozen arguments, one might need to make a dozen or more replies.  (It might be far more than a dozen.) 

Needless to say, an outline of that debate – a flow of that debate – would be cluttered quickly if every argument spawned at least one reply, if not more, each time someone spoke. 

One way to manage many arguments from an opponent is to group like arguments together, and respond to a few like groups rather than over a dozen points.   

In politics, opposing arguments may be grouped for easy dispatch, but one may find something even more advantageous.

Similar ideologues will, on their own, naturally band together, confirming the principle that birds of a feather flock together.  There’s initial strength in this, but weakness thereafter, if they parrot the same line.  It’s even worse to be part of that flock if they compete against each other to advance still further the same, ill-considered message.

For someone evaluating a political message, however, there’s this added benefit: while one might have to group their arguments in reply, one will not have to identify and group those who share that same, mistaken view. 

They will have done that work on their own. 

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