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Using evidence to win debates - 在辩论中用证据合理取胜

John Harper

· Debates

When to use evidence

什么时候使用证据

If you say the sky is green, and your opponent says the sky is blue, even if you backup your claim with what seems like sound reasoning, it might still not be believed by the judge. Citing a qualified author at the right moment, or referencing a study when rebutting a point by your opponents can often make the difference between winning and losing a debate.

如果你说天空是绿色的,而你的对手说天空是蓝色的,即使你的论点中听起来有点道理裁判可能也不会相信你说的话。在合适的时间引用一个有说服力的人或在反驳对手观点时引用权威的研究有时候能够决定一场辩论的胜负。

This doesn’t mean that you have to use a piece of evidence in every argument you make. But as long as what you say is a piece of common knowledge, or your point is backed up by sound logic, evidence is not always necessary. For example if I claim that “Russia and America often disagree about international issues,” that is something that anyone who reads a newspaper would know, so I don’t need evidence. And based on that I use analysis to make predictions about how Russia and America would behave in the security council.

但这并不意味着你必须在自己的每个论述里都要使用证据。如果你说的内容是常识或你的观点有缜密的逻辑支持,那么证据不一定总是必须的。如果我的论点是“俄罗斯和美国在国际事务上通常无法达成一致”,那么大多数人如果阅读新闻就一定会知道这是真的,所以我不需要使用证据。基于此,我会使用分析来预测俄罗斯和美国在安理会中的表现。

But often facts on their own or or someone’s personal opinion is not enough to win a debate and could be interpreted in a variety of different ways. For example if I argue that, based on my analysis above, the UN Security Council can never get anything done because Russia and China would not agree. Then my opponent could argue that actually they agree on a lot of things. So being able to tell the judge about a piece of evidence from a qualified source could help persuade them. For example, evidence of a time when Russia and America disagreed and it has caused problems. Or a report from an expert on the UN on how the security council works in practice.

但是关于个人的情况或某人个人的观点是不足以赢得一场辩论的,因为同一事实和观点可能有不同的理解方式。如果我说基于我上述的分析,联合国安理会永远都不能完成任何事情,因为中国和俄罗斯会投反对票。那么我的对手会说,实际上两国在很多事件上与其他国家保持了一致一件。所以如果你能提供给裁判有效的信息来源能够帮你更好地说服裁判。举例来说,提供俄罗斯和中国对某项决议投反对票并导致一定后果的证据,或者引用联合国问题研究专家对于安理会如何运转的报道。

What is good evidence

什么样的证据是好证据

The evidence you use should be: Fairly recent; from a qualified or relevant source; and sound in its reasoning.

你使用的证据应该是:近期的、来源可靠或相关、听起来比较合理的。

Date: If the research you are citing is ten or twenty years old, many things will have changed so it won’t be very accurate. This varies a little depending on the topic. An article written last year about the Syrian civil war will probably be very out of date, but one on American infrastructure investment is probably still valuable.

日期:如果你引用的研究已经是10或20年前的,很多事情其实已经在此期间发生了变化,引用的证据可能已经不准确了。话题不同可能情况也有变化。一篇去年关于叙利亚内战的文章可能已经不符合当下的实情,但是如果关于美国基础设施投资的一年前的文章可能还具有比较大的参考价值。

Credible sources: Avoid websites like wikipedia or Baidu Baike as these encyclopedias can be edited by just about anyone, whether they are qualified or not. So although they are often accurate it is not guaranteed. Good sources are often newspapers or magazines, academic publications or information from organisations that do research into relevant issues.

可靠的信息:避免使用维基百科或百度百科等此类网站,因为这些百科类网站人人都可以编辑。虽然大多数时候网站上的信息是准确的,但是这不能百分之百的得到保障。好的信息资源通常是报纸、杂志、学术文章或研究机构发表的信息等。

Relevant sources: Stephen Hawking is a great physicist, but his opinions on history, politics or economics aren’t necessarily going to be better than an average person’s. The same is true for publications. Many have specialist areas of expertise, but won’t be as good in other areas.

相关信息:史蒂芬·霍金是一个优秀的物理学家,但是他在历史、政治或经济学上的观点可能不会比普通人更有参考价值。同样的道理也适用于出版物,很多出版物在某一领域非常地专场,但是在其他领域就表现平平。

Reasoning: Just because a source is generally good doesn’t mean it is right about everything. Even smart people and credible publications make mistakes. The Cato institute believes “the UN is bad because it limits individual nations economic sovereignty,” is better than “The Cato institute believes the UN is bad because it's secretly plotting world domination.” It is always more convincing to explain the reasons behind a source’s conclusion than to simply quote it.

合理性:一个信息来源可能总体水平很高但是并不以为着它的所有信息都是正确的。即使是聪明人和权威的出版物也会犯错误。卡托研究所认为“联合国不好是因为它限制了各国作为独立国家的经济主权”比“卡托研究所认为联合国不好是因为联合国正在秘密谋划统治全球”要好。通常对信息来源的结论加以解释比直接引用这一信息要更有说服性。

Using evidence to win debates

在辩论中用证据合理取胜

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