Saturday, April 13, 2013
I remember when my friend Anna got up and argued for slavery, or rather for the northern states allowing the southern states to continue with it. She made a very good and convincing argument, too, as much as one can be made on the subject, mostly based on property rights and the rights of states. A guy named Reza argued for stopping the slavery, using the arguments that are more familiar to us, and was also quite convincing. Then they switched positions, and were quite as good arguing for the opposite side.
This whole thing was very new to me (I had been out of USSR for several months), and I was not any good in arguing for the things I don't believe in (I think I could do a much better job now but am still not as good as Anna and Reza were back then), and I got a C for the class and didn't enjoy it much, but I did learn quite a lot.
We've done a lot of uncontroversial topics like that. I think the only reason we didn't do Holocaust was that this was a US history class, and we only did the debates where both parties were American.
It appears that similar assignments are national news nowadays.