Perse students philosophical about major ethics debating competition

Perse students were in a philosophical mood after taking part in the Ethics Cup debating competition.

A team of nine Lower Sixth philosophy and religious studies students represented the school in the regional round of the illustrious competition at King’s College London.

In the group stage, they lost narrowly to reigning national champions Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School before winning their second match against Beths Grammar School.

However, the team were unable to make it through to the knockout round despite a fine display of debating on topics ranging from male circumcision to anti-natalism – a philosophical position that opposes giving birth.

Philosophy, ethics and religion teacher Henry Craig helped the students get ready for the Ethics Cup and felt they had gained much from taking part.

He said: “For the last couple of months they have been preparing different case studies on a range of topics from democracy by lot – the idea of selecting political officials randomly from society rather than by election – to banning plastic straws.

“It was tough to come up against Simon Langton in the first match, not only as they won it last year, but their team were all Upper Sixth. They said afterwards we were the best team they had faced and were really complimentary.

“The team took a lot away from it and they’re all really keen to come back again next year and have another go.

“It was beneficial to them in terms of their debating skills, but it was also brilliant because the whole ethos was that you were helping the other team come to a better standpoint rather than it being about what is right and wrong.

“It was a collaborative environment and it fitted the idea of open dialogue and responding to peoples’ views by really listening to other people and their positions which may not be their own.”


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