Debate and Discourse

«The End of a World
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Greetings, little one. Come to debate? And at so young an age, how wonderful! Shall we retire to the benches and settle on a topic?
Oh, my apologies for jumping to conclusions. My friends are not quite as fond of the Hall of Rhetoric as I am, so I have a habit of chatting up any potential conversation partners.
So if you are not here to debate, I presume you are here to learn about the mysterious and esoteric goings-on here? 'Twould be my pleasure to act as your tutor in these matters, if you will indulge me...
The Hall of Rhetoric is, as its name indicates, a place where citizens may freely gather to discuss and debate all manner of topics. This central forum is ideal for open discourse, but smaller rooms are available for those desiring more intimate conversation. Oh, and there is a wealth of reading material concerning rhetorical techniques and history penned by the greatest minds on offer as well, should you wish to refine your techniques through self study.
To my mind, however, rhetoric is a living, breathing thing that is best experienced in the moment of conception and execution. Perhaps a demonstration would best serve to further your education.
I saw a contemporary of mine engaged in a lively debate earlier, just outside the hall. Go and see if they are still there, and issue to them my personal invitation to a friendly battle of wits!
As our verbal fisticuffs proceed, perhaps there will be an opportunity for you to join the discourse as well. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
But that is precisely my point─that their obsession with this so-called mandate to approve only the most beneficial concepts for wider distribution (never mind the ridiculous subjectivity of their criteria) has led the Bureau of the Architect astray from its original purpose...
...Huh? Have you business with me, child? Regardless, I am in the middle of a heated discussion with my partner. Come back later.
No no no, my position has nothing to do with the intrinsic value of unique identity and whether or not it is retained! Rather, I posit that the reproductions of a given concept are inherently imperfect, and thus they are themselves unique, albeit in minor but significant degrees, and─most importantly─this variance is not to be condemned, but celebrated! Better that than to strive in vain for an impossible standard that, even if met, would leave us lesser for lack of diversity!
My, aren't you a stubborn little bugger. It's strangely endearing, I must admit. But we have all the time in the world─why are you so insistent that I speak with you this very instant?
Ah, you are acquainted with that chatterbox? I suppose I do owe them a debate or two, and now is as good an occasion as any. So be it...
So you're to be an observer? No no, that will not do. You must be an active participant─you must engage in the discourse. Only by doing will you learn and grow, little one!
I see you found my friend! Thank you, little one. Then without further ado, let us commence the promised debate!
As to the matter of what subject we shall debate today, I propose the recent calamity which has befallen our friends across the pond. What say you?
The singular point of contention is, of course, whether or not Amaurot should intervene on their behalf.
I believe we should. The scale of the disaster which threatens that distant metropolis is of a scale heretofore unseen, and so equally considerable resources must be committed to counteracting its effects.
I disagree. The scale concerns me less than the nature of the proposition itself. Who are we to unilaterally intervene in the affairs of those half a world away? Are we to be the saviors of one and all? Such arrogance may well lead to our own downfall.
Hm. While I understand your concerns from a philosophical standpoint, I fear you are too quick to dismiss practical considerations out of a desire to maintain an unassailable moral authority.
But let us you and I hold here for the present and offer the floor to our young student. You have heard our opening salvos in this debate concerning the fate of our neighbors across the sea. What is your opinion on the matter?
What will you say?
Answer 1
!To ignore the plight of those one might conceivably save is not wisdom─it is indolence.
!We cannot save everyone. Sometimes, it is all we can do to save ourselves.
Indeed, indeed. The same can be said regardless of one's opinion on the morality of intervention. There is a clear and undeniable benefit to Amaurot in using this situation as a testbed for our newest creations, that we might develop and refine our defenses against a potential threat to our own fair city.
How readily you cede the moral high ground! Was not our young friend's point that we have an ethical obligation to aid those in need? Yet not only do you instead elect to focus on the benefit to Amaurot alone, but you also deprive our distant neighbors of the agency to determine their own fate!
You misunderstand me. What benefits Amaurot benefits all creation, I firmly believe, for the knowledge and wisdom we stand to gain from intervention can then be shared with others, empowering everyone to more effectively surmount similar trials in the future...
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, the unvarnished truth and purest wisdom! One must first look to one's own welfare before that of others, and the same must be said of our distant neighbors. To save them would be to deprive them of the agency to determine their own fate!
If self-interest is to take precedence, then consider the lost benefit to Amaurot. There is clear and undeniable value in using this situation as a testbed for our newest creations, that we might develop and refine our defenses against a potential threat to our own fair city.
A plea to practicality, I see─and one which you doubtless believe I have given you ample cause to invoke. But you misrepresent my arguments as enlightened self-interest, when in truth it is a rather more nuanced position...
I must say, it has been far too long since I engaged in such a refreshing exchange of ideas! My colleague was equally delighted by the opportunity, you may be assured.
Some decry it as little more than an academic exercise─after all, we failed to reach a meaningful consensus─but I daresay they miss the forest for the trees. Are we not more enlightened by the experience? Have we not been exposed to a greater variety of viewpoints? Is there not value in this alone?
I truly believe we are blessed to be part of a society that exalts the free exchange of ideas, and that encourages active participation in the public discourse.
This may have been no more than your first foray into the exciting world of rhetoric, but I sense you have the soul of a debater in you. You may well have the potential to change Amaurot in ways no one ever thought possible. I shall be watching your trajectory with great interest, my young friend!