Perse pupils philosophical about debating competition
23 Apr 2021
Rebecca Li, Kuan Kuan Lin and Sourish Sharma (all Year 10) reflect on representing The Perse in the online John Stuart Mill Cup philosophical debating competition, where they were joined by Year 11 pupils Benyamin Atabani, Angela Han, Benedict Meissner and Malachy Wallace.
Although the competition was not debating in the traditional format and style, but more a quick-thinking discussion about the morals and ethics of posed case studies, we still had an excellent time with many thought-provoking discussions ranging from the morals of rehabilitation and retribution within the justice system, to the ethics of ‘best before’ dates.
The first match we took part in was against Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. We presented a case about the right to public nudity and freedom of expression, while Clitheroe questioned whether the justice system should focus more on rehabilitation or retribution and the consequences of both. Despite an extremely close match, Clitheroe pulled ahead with three points and won the match.
Our next match was against Wellington School, who first discussed whether former criminals who had served their time should be able to remain anonymous from the media, and the freedom of the press. We followed on by considering the morality of ‘best before’ dates and the problems caused by consumers having too much information. Even though both teams presented excellent cases, Wellington won by nine points.
Although we didn’t advance to the semi-finals, the team had an inspiring morning of both philosophy and public speaking, and in the spirit of the competition would like to congratulate the winners. We will also definitely participate in the John Stuart Mill Cup again next year!