A view from the next generation
Speech & Debate on the Question of Self Interest
On May 17-19 I attended a debate for the National Speech & Debate Association’s California state championships. The resolution we were given was; “Humans are Primarily Driven by Self-Interest.” This sparked my interest and I really think that this is an important topic for people to examine. Self-interest is really about what we want. Even though I had to debate both sides of the debate, I agree with the affirmative side.
Studies from very prestigious and peer reviewed articles have shown that when our brains are shown two options, we will usually choose the option that provides more self-benefit, thus proving that our primary motive Is our self-interest.
An example of this is seen in the plane crash in Moscow, Russia on May 6th. Upon examination of all the pictures people have presented of the plane crash, you will notice that many of the passengers left with their luggage. Despite people burning up behind the passengers in the front, they followed their primary motive (self-interest) and grabbed their luggage.
During the debate we had question segments: A designated 3 minutes for the affirmative/negative to ask questions of clarity to their opponent. During the question segment when I was on the affirmative, I would ask the negative if they wanted to win the debate, of course they said yes, which further proved my point that humans are primarily driven by self-interest.
Even though there were people all around the state because it was state championships, I was paired with Parks Junior High’s Chan Chung. Chan won first place, I won second, and one of my other teammates, Gabriella Mercado, placed as a finalist in impromptu.
I also competed in an event called Expository; where each student presents the judge with a topic of their choice that they would like to inform people about. Mine was on self-driving cars. My speech didn’t appeal to the judges and I ended up not placing. When I win, it is a lot of fun. Though when I lose, it is great to see others win.
Overall, speech and debate is a fun and exciting way to improve speaking habits and there are organizations for college students and adults too.
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