Debate Guide: Respond to rhetoric

From NewgonWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The use of persuasive effect in language is an important part of debate. When possible, the use of superficial rhetoric, especially that which builds upon misdefinitions should be identified and dismissed.

"Sexual relationships" as an example

An opponent may deliberately or unknowingly profit from rhetorical effect by always describing adult-minor sexual interactions as "sexual relationships". Whilst this is not necessarily fallacious or condemnatory, indeed being part of a variety of terms that may be employed on a case-by-case basis by the proponent, it conjures up misleading images that should be addressed.

The nature of emancipated sexual interactions between adults and minors is unknown and likely to be somewhat different to that of the typical adult relationship. As your opponent is mentally superimposing adult relationship models upon the potential relationship in question, you should not accept the implicit challenge of explaining how pubescent or prepubescent minors can operate within the present adult relationship model, with all of its complications. This western "adult" relationship model is constructed to satisfy the needs and rights of modern, western "adults", and not "children" or minors. Our current preconceptions, expectations and teachings regarding children and minors are highly incompatible with this relationship model.

Considering the largely hypothetical nature of a normalized adult-minor (or indeed adult-emancipated young person) relationship in western society, it is probably better to ask how such a relationship would come about. Present constructions are short-sighted and unnecessary impositions in this regard. Perhaps accounts and research have more to say about this than either speculation and imposition.

Another implication of this use of rhetoric is that a relationship containing sexual intimacy, is necessarily and primarily a "sexual" relationship. This neglects other factors that may come into play, including romanticized concepts of nurturing, mentorship and love that opponents wish to keep separate from "pedophilia". Whilst "Romeo and Juliet", or the more modernistic Fuck Buddy arrangements are good examples of full - on sexual relationships, what if an adult-minor couple involved in a non-erotic friendship wish to make sexuality a minor part of their lifestyle? Who is to deny them and who is to be so ignorant that they classify the relationship as "sexual"?