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Page 212 text:
Page 214 text:
All men, soon or late, arc compelled to defend or deny the truth of alleged phenomena, and the ease and accurateness with which conditions arc met, often determine a man's position or reputation. If there is the least hesitancy it is conjectured to be a lack of definite knowledge, or that the truth is not on that side. Christ was accosted by A CERTAIN LAWYER who was accustomed to the disputes of the court, yet his keenness of perception, his breadth of vision, his wealth of illustration, his well-timed questions, soon led the lawyer to see the truth. Then, as well as now, there is only one true end of argumentation—TRUTH!
So long as the “Devil can cite scripture for his purpose,” so long will there be need of discussions to show the falsity of his conclusions, so long will there be need of pure unadulterated truth to offset the perniciousness of his satanic majesty.
The great problems of the day demand careful, consistent, and sequacious thinking if truth is to be the desideratum. Trickiness has no place in forensics, for it offers no truthful solution to momentous problems.
To think consistently, requires much effort; to be so exact as to defy successful contradiction, demands keenness of thought and vividness of expression; to be so thorough as to anticipate the weak points of one’s opponents, requires concentration; while to be investigative, requires interminable industry; and these—effort, thought, expression, concentration and industry—arc the noticeable attributes of efficacious debaters.
Thirty-five years ago, a farm which had been bought for six dollars an acre, was permitted to go back to the original owner after one payment had been made; “for”, said the buyer, “it will never make it.” The land in question, exactly thirty-five years later, sold for one hundred fifty dollars an acre, and the same man remarked, “Well, see what I would be worth now, if I had held on to that piece of land.” Here is an instance of snap judgment so often used by young debaters. Young people, who are prone to hasty conclusions, soon learn in “give and take” debates, to place emphasis on the value of ideas, to adjust them to fit the issue, and to amass them properly where they will have a telling effect. The analysis of the question develops broad views of peculiar situations, lends interest in the relations of different aspects, and promotes investigation. Here again, the debater finds that sound judgment must be used; for he must in this analysis carefully eliminate all irrelevant and extraneous material.
The questions of the hour demand solution; and there is, in nearly all cases, a great deal of truth on both sides. The real problem, then, is to find the probabilities of a solution; weigh the evidence in regard to its advancement of human interests, and find justification from biography and history for the support of the basic principles which underlie the foundation of the conclusion.
Merc gossip finds no place in a debater’s store house, and he soon learns to say only those things for which lie has proof. This naturally leads him into research and while he is searching for evidence he stores facts, which others not
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