Debating Group

Dear Debaters,

For those who didn’t attend our meeting of the 30th March, you missed a treat.

There were nine of us (including your humble host) and the subject was legislation that would put the “Great” back into Great Britain. There were some very interesting ideas on how this could be achieved, such as allowing everyone to carry a gun (as they do in Switzerland). Presumably, every old lady would like to utter those immortal words “make my day, punk!” to a would-be mugger whilst holding a .44 Magnum (in both hands).

This might be a good idea as another contributor wanted to do away with the armed forces as they are not really needed (provided we do not p**s anyone off abroad and keep ourselves to ourselves). Nothing was said as to what happens to all those trained killers roaming the streets though.

A way of dealing with uncouth youths was another participant’s subject and the answer was to put them into National Service/Boot Camp. If they did not discover self discipline then at least they would be fighting fit uncouth youths.

We had some “nice” ideas as well like laughter clubs where we would all induce endorphins by laughing out loud, no doubt whilst carrying out a charitable deed for a neighbour on a new Bank Holiday just for that purpose, proposed by another visionary.

There were some who thought that no religion should be taught in schools and another that expressed the view that all teachers should have a proper job in the real world before they can become teachers rather than straight from university (the same could apply to politicians).

And last but not least the concept that public services should be carried out by public employees, directly provided by the local authority (rather than by private enterprise) and the novel idea that this would be cheaper.

The above was all about GB, but most of us spend the majority of our time here in Spain (as one member pointed out). So how many of you would like to discuss Spanish politics and affairs for a future meeting?

As for the next meeting on the 4th May, the subject will be “Freedom of Speech, is it now Dead?”.   Someone once declared “All men are rapists!” It was attributed to a feminist, but it wasn’t Andrea Dworkins (she denies it). Nor was it Catherine Mackinnon. It would appear that it was a quote from a fictional character in a novel by Marilyn French entitled “The Women’s Room”. Nevertheless, were all men outraged?, maybe; could they do anything about it, no.
However if someone had said “all Muslims are potential suicide bombers” there would (quite rightly) be an outrage (no matter how true it could turn out be), why?

Is it enough to disagree with someone, or does one have to show that they are offended by a statement? What one person would consider fair comment, another might take offence at, why?

I started the Debating group with a famous quote from Voltaire “I do not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it!” and the question “Can you argue a point without losing your temper?”.  Let us put this to the test at the next meeting (if you are brave enough).

Yours argumentatively,

Roger

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