@cynthiajeub @tantjams thanks for the great debate any questions just ask
@ajgibson0418 that was such a solid breakdown of the round, thank you so much for being thorough in explaining your decision. I only have one question, I'm unfamiliar with the phrase "risk of solvency," would you be willing to define that?
@cynthiajeub basically what I’m saying is I don’t think you fully proved that it’s possible BUT with your main advantages and con not showing any true disadvantages I vote for pro because a “risk of solvency” even if it doesn’t solve has no real disadvantages so I vote pro cause I have nothing to lose but a chance to gain your advantages
@ajgibson0418 ahh that makes sense. Solvency gets the benefit of the doubt even though my case was more of an advantage based one than harms/solvency. Thanks.
@cynthiajeub right so even if it doesn’t solve I don’t have anything to lose by risking it
@cynthiajeub but I have a chance to gain so much....I hope that makes sense
@ajgibson0418 yep. That's actually a really helpful argument I can make in the future too.
@ajgibson0418 hey thanks for the great Analysis. I have a few questions about impact calculus. so first of all what did you mean when you said "why is it bad that this would cost a ton of money" and "why is it bad that this would take away from more important things". Again, thanks for the analysis
@tantjams I want you to show me the impact so like if this costs 1 million dollars so what education costs millions of dollars I’m a blank slate so you need to link it out if this costs a million dollars money is taken away from military or roads. If this takes away from medical studies this means students don’t get proper educations and are not prepared for college you have me the link this takes from other areas of education what is the impact or bad thing that happens from that happeningDoes that make sense
@ajgibson0418 absolutely. again, thanks for watching and the detailed analysis.
The judges have spoken!@cynthiajeub Congrats for advancing to the next round!@tantjams Hard luck on this one, hope to see you at our next tournament starting next week - registration is open:https://www.qallout.com/tournament
@cynthiajeub hey good debate. that was really fun
@tantjams Agreeeeed! We were both going at it ferociously, I love good clash
@cynthiajeub ya that was fun, good luck
Well done to both debaters, this was a close debate. The spirit of this round was certainly fun and enjoyable to watch. It was a very frustrating round for me to vote on, though, because I was conflicted between how much weight to put on technical aspects of debating versus evaluating the actual arguments presented on their strength. I was taught to "never let the judge think for themselves" as a policy debater, but I don't know if I holding that level of objectivity when voting is necessarily productive for a public debate forum that doesn't always have debaters with competitive experience. Especially when said forum leans towards weeding out le bullshit. I don't know, maybe someone has some input on that. Anyhoo, ultimately, I voted pro in this round, here's why: Pro's first speech sets up a definition of "should" in this debate as an advocacy statement because it would make the most productive debate. Con provided a counterinterpretation that was exactly what pro wanted to avoid because it sticks pro with the burden of a plan. Pro concedes it so the debate boils down to whether or not the implementation of it in schools is possible/practical. If pro had come back with a stronger reason to prefer her interpretation and told me why it would make for a more productive debate, this could've been an easy win seeing as con concedes meditation is good. Implementing Meditation in Schools---Poorly Taught Education Bad---I think the claim that teaching meditation in schools would lead to rage or psychosis is pretty obviously ridiculous. I'm not familiar with the studies that con cites, but I do not believe for a second that this is a legitimate threat. I'd imagine it's pretty hard to teach sitting quietly and focusing on your breath SO wrong that would be the CAUSE of such severe disturbances in an individual. I am interested to see what those studies actually were looking at because I don't think "poorly taught meditation" was the real problem there. All that being said, pro never makes these arguments in response to con, which is actually a bit frustrating because it nearly meant having to flow this argument in his favor. However, pro does call out con's link which is enough for me to vote against it. Con doesn't ever articulate a link to why meditation would be incorrectly taught if it were implemented. ---Meditation Trade-Off---The claim that meditation would replace some other critical subject was another argument that I think the pro could have easily refuted but struggled to. I think it's something like 10-15 minutes of meditating a day is enough for the benefits in pro's case. Schools have carved this time out of lunch, recess, boring homeroom announcements that everyone sleeps through - point being that the time it takes to dedicate to meditation is not so much that it would have to entirely replace a subject. Again, pro's response to his was on the weaker end, which makes me have to decide on whether or not to give it to con for making the argument even if it's not a very good one. Pro ultimately responds that meditation would be supplemental and I do buy's pro's arguments that the personal obstacles that distract students from paying attention in classes wastes more critical learning time than meditation. ---Meditation Expensive---Okay, so con's only claim is that trained meditation professionals are inordinately expensive. No real evidence or warrant., just a repeated claim. This was a painful part of the debate for me. Again, we're talking about having students sit down for a few minutes and focus on breathing in and out. A youtube video could do this... pls. And yet, pro lets him get away with this argument. Fam, just say NOPE. My poor heart. Anyway, I am more than familiar with the feeling of being in a round and getting caught up with other arguments so I get it. It happens. The fact that this is an unsubstantiated claim makes me feel less guilty about rejecting it despite pro not properly responding to it. ---Counterplan---Just wanted to comment on this for clarification. If the pro has a plan or advocacy, yes, the burden is on them to prove that it is better than the status quo and all con has to do is prove that it would be worse. However, when the con presents a counterplan/advocacy, the burden does fall on them to prove that the counterplan is better than the plan. In this case, con sort of vaguely says something about a counterplan towards the beginning of the debate, but he never actually had one.
@lina Solid advice, duly noted. I used to compete but it's been many years and it's good to know that I could have made my refutation far clearer and stronger. Especially noteworthy that it seemed I was conceding to Con's redefining "should" and "school," which let him get away with dropping my second and third contentions. The best judge comments are those that highlight where I can improve, and you've done exactly that, so thank you.
@cynthiajeub it was by no means a bad debate. You both did really well. I do think he kind of baited you into the debate you didn't want to have, which is why I think there was more of a struggle with rebuttals. Glad any of it could be of help.
@lina That was Con's point though. Perhaps he didn't explain it well enough, but "poorly taught meditation" can and does have significant side effects, which was what his studies were talking about. Con's point was that either you have elementary school teachers with no knowledge of psychology or meditation be the ones who are teaching meditation to kids in school (and thus risk all the harms from poorly taught meditation), or you hire an expert teacher for every school, which is inordinately expensive.
@debateme13 Right. I don't believe his claim because he didn't make an argument as to why it would be true. Granted, pro shouldve pointed this out. Outside of collegiate debate, I have more of a problem weighing claims just because they've been asserted. This is where the conflict of debate technicality and strength of argument comes into play. When pro defines meditation in her speech, she is talking about the activity of meditation, not the theory or history behind it. I have no reason to believe that one study, which he doesn't explain at all against the overwhelming benefits outlined by pro and that are simply common knowledge. I also just don't believe it takes an expert to teach meditation as a practice. Do you get the most out of meditation with the help of an expert? Maybe. But people also do it on their own with no experience and get the benefits so there's no risk of spending inordinate amounts of money. Which again, he just asserted. There was no evidence proving that to be true. @tantjams, if you have a link to that study, I'd me more than happy to look at it. I'm curious to see what it says. I just doubt it actually makes the argument you're making in this debate.
@lina I appreciate the time you put in to make an analysis of the round, but I also question your reasoning here. As I reread your comment, it seems to me like you already know who you should vote for, but you don't personally agree with him. You're looking for reasons to discount all of Con's points, because they contradict your personal beliefs. For instance, "I think the claim that teaching meditation in schools would lead to rage or psychosis is pretty obviously ridiculous.""I'm not familiar with the studies that con cites, but I do not believe for a second that this is a legitimate threat.""All that being said, pro never makes these arguments in response to con""However, pro does call out con's link which is enough for me to vote against it.""I don't believe his claim""Granted, pro shouldve pointed this out""I have no reason to believe that one study""I also just don't believe it takes an expert to teach meditation as a practice"The thing is, I agree with you that Con didn't explain the methodology of his studies or analyze his points as well as he could have. But I think we both know Pro's responses didn't actually counter his points.When I vote, I try to put away my personal biases and vote for the debater who makes the better case, whether that case agrees or disagrees with my personal opinion. If I let my biases influence a vote, I could find a reason to always vote for the side that agrees with me, but if that's the case, what was the point of the debaters even debating?This isn't to say that we should vote for outlandish claims, but if one side is saying something that we consider outlandish, and yet they have evidence supporting their claim, as voters/judges, I think we should accept that evidence, unless the opposition successfully refutes it. Tbh, I don't think the Pro successfully refuted it in this round, and I don't think you do either.
@debateme13 Yeah, see, this is where my judging philosophy is probably different than yours. I don't view the debate as a blank slate where the things the debaters say exist in a vacuum. I try to take into consideration that lay people do not evaluate debates in the same way as debaters and I think that matters because I have to consider how the actual information is being processed by someone who isn't viewing this through a technical lens. I think debaters should aim to be skilled enough to spread legitimate information out in the real world so that we don't perpetuate the massive shit storm we've find ourselves in today. When I see the resolution, and in general when I think about my position on any topic, I try to make my stance proportionate to the evidence.Pro very clearly articulates why meditation produces the benefits it does. She talks about why the time one spends being mindful and focusing on the breath leads to a reduction in anxiety and increased focus, etc. This does happen to be consistent with my existing knowledge of meditation, but it's not an inherent bias against the con because he has an opportunity to teach me something I didn't know. "The thing is, I agree with you that Con didn't explain the methodology of his studies or analyze his points as well as he could have"He didn't explain the methodology or analyze his points at all, is the thing. Not even a little bit. I do think con's claim is outlandish and I don't think think that these kinds of claims should be reinforced in debate. I don't think "pro's plan leads to X 'because this study says so" is an argument. It's an appeal to authority and even though pro doesn't point this out, I don't know that it's good for the overall community of debate to reward weak arguments based on technicality. That being said, pro has technicality on her side anyway because her no link argument was a sufficient response. She explained it, it made sense. I think there were stronger responses, but hers was perfectly fine.And thank you for engaging in my feedback in the first place. I appreciate being able to discuss these things because if I'm way off, I'm happy to reconsider. As should be the case for anyone on this site, I think. It's a good way to keep us all in check. The whole point is improving the way legitimate information spreads, right? Less BS and such.
@lina I don't think you're way off. I think this round is hard to judge because both sides missed a lot of opportunities, and that makes it confusing to decide which side was right when they both had relatively weak reasons supporting their cases. I'm not "tabula rasa" and I agree it's kind of stupid when judges do that. But I also don't want to vote on my own arguments from outside the round. I'll vote on what was debated about, and then use my own mind as a weighing tool to measure the arguments. But one thing I won't do is throw away one sides metastudy of numerous different studies that came to a conclusion, just because I personally don't agree with that conclusion.It's possible the Con was misciting that study, but Pro never challenges him on it or explains what might be causing the outcome of his study. Based on what's in the round, both sides agree there can be significant dangers from poorly taught meditation. If Pro had challenged him on that, this round would feel a lot different to me, but as it stands, one side had substantiated claims, and the other side didn't. It's personal experience versus academic evidence.I definitely don't think we should just vote for the most technically savvy debaters, but we should vote for the ones who make the best case, and part of the way of doing that is to bring in academic research.
@debateme13 I actually don't think they both had weak reasons. I think pro struggled with rebuttals, but built an overall better case in terms of argumentation. Con did well in a technical sense by extending his arguments consistently, but he just as consistently made claims without backing them up. So it's not that I'm voting on my own arguments, I'm using my reasoning skills as a viewer to identify who has the better argument. Claims aren't arguments.I guess where we disagree on is whether or not his claim is substantiated. I will absolutely throw away a metastudy if you do absolutely no work to tell me what was researched. He didn't even give the title of the study which would've at least provided some semblance of the paper's argument. He just asserted that it said bad things happen as a result of poorly taught meditation. For all I know, those could've all been subjects that were having bad trips on LSD because some random person was guiding their meditation. Like... there is literally no information provided by the con. It's the definition of an unsubstantiated claim, which is how I determined that con did not make a better case.
@lina heres the reason i dont need a study to back up my point. first, it cost money to hire a math teacher, but because math is a very common school subject, there are lots of teachers, but even still, it costs american taxpayers a lot of money to pay for these math teachers. now, if you vote pro, the demand for meditation teachers goes up, which means the price shoots up. it's actually pretty basic supply and demand. now to your point about actually needing an expert teacher. the reason people can meditate on there own without an expert teacher is because they already know what to do because of how the religion tells them to. but because in a class you have many different religions, you need an expert to tailor each meditation to ones religion.
@tantjams No use in adding post-round argumentation. The above comments are helpful for informing our future debates, and I've found it helpful to recognize that I can make better use of my time with being more clear and making my refutations more apparent and concise. As a judge I land somewhere between these approaches, but both Lina and Daniel have stated that we could have done better. It was a good round, please leave it at that, and good luck to you on the final decision.
@tantjams The analysis you just did was not in support of the claim that poorly taught meditation has bad psychological cause so while you don't need a study to back up your point you need some kind of actual analysis or reasoning explaining how meditation can be taught poorly and how that actually makes people lose their mental shit. You didn't need the study, but you brought it up and it would have been much more beneficial to you to explain it. Still curious in seeing that, by the way. Do you have a link?In regards to having to hire an expert:"People who meditate on their own without an expert do so because of how their religion tells them to"That's just false. Meditation is not inextricable from religion, anyone can do it. I'm not religious and I do it. This is the case for most of the people I know. Pro does make this argument against yours. It's practice in mindfulness that anyone can do and it's kind of incredibly easy to learn how to do (achieving a meditative state, on the other hand, is another story). You do not need an expert to teach it, a math teacher could conceivably be the one to do it. Realistically, if a school implemented meditation, they'd likely hold a training seminar for existing teachers or something like that. Now I am starting to make my own arguments, but the point is you didn't convince me that meditation would be a threat to tax payers because I don't think it necessitates an expert.
@lina maybe you are not religious but still meditate, my point is that you would do it differently if you WERE religious
@lina and I will post that study when I get home. It's a meda-study so it is 50+ study's put into one
@tantjams how exactly would it be different? We can actually do our own debate on this if you'd prefer. We can discuss it in a free form format. Let me know.I'll keep an eye out for it.
@tantjams @lina I'd be interested to watch that debate.
@lina alright, I'm not sure how exactly to frame the res but let me know. This is fun btw, nothing personal. I'm new to qallout So why don't u challenge me or something. Keep me posted
@cynthiajeub I agree, if any judges look at my comments please do not count the. Towards your vote seeing as they were after the round.
@lina here is the meda-study http://spu.edu/depts/spfc/happenings/documents/13_2009_Lustyketal_MM_safety_AMBM.pdf
@tantjams I didn't take it to be personal, don't worry :) I'll just do the same topic and we can discuss whatever arguments you want to revisit for this position.
@lina cool, did you check out the meda-study?
@tantjams @debateme13 Yeah... have you read it? Like I guessed, it does not at all make the argument you're making. Even the title of the paper doesn't in any way imply that they are looking at effects of poorly taught or poorly implemented meditation. My guess of people having bad trips wasn't far off either. This is why that kind of claim doesn't fly with me. The paper is so far off from what your argument was that it ends up being wildly misleading to people who just take your word for it.We can break this down in more detail during our discussion if you want. I have plenty to say about it.
@lina I just read it. It looks pretty straightforward to me. It pretty clearly states that Mindfulness Meditation can have adverse side effects. Perhaps one might make the case that a different form of meditation would not have such side effects, but Mindfulness Meditation is the main variant of meditation being promoted in the US. Yeah it doesn't say anything about requiring a teacher, but I think William was saying he thinks meditation can be good, but that you need someone to help in order to avoid the side effects that can and do come up from meditation. That seems pretty clear to me.
Also his study is from Seattle Pacific University. Didn't he say that in the round? That name rings a bell to me so I'm pretty sure I remember him saying it.
No wait, this study says exactly what he was saying it said. It specifically advocates having trained professionals available to aid in the process. I don't know what your criticism is. This is a really solid study for him to have quoted.
@debateme13 Yeah, I think you guys conveniently skipped over the most important information. In every single study that is reviewed in this paper, the people who experienced adverse side effects did so after intensive meditation retreats. We're talking day to week to month-long stretches of nothing but meditation (with two exceptions. two studies looked at people with epilepsy who did shorter sessions of meditation. These people didn't experience the severe mental issues that some of the other studies found). That's an incredibly important detail. Not to mention that they point out some of the severe mental health experiences, like psychosis, were due to a predisposition to those problems to begin with. "We stress again, that currently no prerequisite training standard for researchers exists. As such, MM interventions may be taught and investigated by well-intentioned but inadequately trained researchers creating another safety issue" This paper is looking at an incredibly specific component of meditation research. It's in the title of the paper: "Mindfulness Meditation Research: Issues of Participant Screening, Safety Procedures, and Researcher Training ". If anything it is advocating for researchers to be trained professionals and use safety measures in the context of studying extreme stretches of meditation where things like extended sensory deprivation and isolation is likely to occur. Also something about it in relation to epilepsy, which I'm less clear on.That has nothing to do with con's arguments that short meditation sessions in schools require professional teachers or else students are at risk of severe mental issues. This paper is talking about meditation in a very specific context that is not comparable to the one this resolution presents.This happens a lot when people try to cite studies. They don't actually attempt to understand the research, they just skim through the sections that sound like it might say what the debater wants it to say, then they jump to their own conclusions and create a whole argument that is baseless. This is terribly distressing. This is how false information becomes belief for people. It is entirely possible that someone did study adverse side effects of meditation as practiced by students in school. If that study exists and if that study has found cases of severe mental deterioration were caused by underqualified teachers, the con can make his argument. However, if it exists, I've never heard of it, I can't find it, and con certainly didn't bring it up.
@debateme13 I'm honestly confused as to why the study is such a big deal... Check out the judge analysis below and maybe you'll see why it really didn't drive much impact in the round as a whole.
@cynthiajeub You seem uncomfortable with this thread. If it helps at all, we aren't having this discussion because this was a make or break argument in the round or to change my or @debateme13's vote. It certainly isn't a personal attack on @tantjams. I happen to think it's bad for debate to use bad/ wrong information. It's just a discussion about why the information is wrong.
@lina thank you for the reassurance. You're right that I'm uncomfortable, but on reflection I believe that's on me. I'm new to Qallout and my previous experience with debate has always discouraged post-round discussion due to attempts to sway the judge with extra argumentation, and out of respect for that habit I've refrained from stating my opinion. But it seems like that's not how you do it around here, which is very freeing and I'm more than willing to adjust my expectations to a more open dialogue about the issues.With that being said, William, if you want to take up a debate to further defend your religion and psychosis arguments in relation to meditation, I highly recommend that you do further research on how meditation is actually practiced, both in schools and individually. You'll find that it's really just taking quiet time to breathe and train the mind. Look up Andy Puddicombe for a brief introduction to how thousands of people practice it non-religiously in the modern world.
@cynthiajeub fair observation on post-debate discussions, but please note our judges are clearly instructed to only consider the video footage for the official assessment of the debate ...
@qallout good to know, thank you!
@cynthiajeub @tantjams We have a tie between community votes and our first judge! We'll bring a second judge soon to make the final decision!