February Debate Competition!

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February Debate Competition!

Postby Joey Stark » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:43 pm

WELCOME TO THE FEBRUARY DEBATE COMPETITION!

Yes, we're back and better than ever (maybe?).

This competition is open to alllllll of HOL and we're giving out beans as well as Activity points for all you Eagles.

Sign ups are open from today until the 8th so don't delay! After they're close, the schedule will be posted.

First Place winner will earn 25 beans (and the title of debate queen/king...until next month!)
Runner up will earn 10 beans
All participants will earn 5!

We look forward to your participation!

Joey & Gail
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Arianna Stonewater » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:12 pm

(is this where we sign up?)

I'm in!
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Joey Stark » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:10 pm

Ah yes! Sorry, posting here is how you sign up :)
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Aurelia West » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:14 am

I'll give this a go! It sounds like fun!
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Joey Stark » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:25 pm

Welcome to both our glorious Debate competitors this month. Please bow to each other!

Prize Beans
1st place: 50 beans
2nd place: 25 beans

Contestants

Arianna Stonewater
Aurelia West

How the Debate will work:

Since there's only two competitors, we'll be going with a popular layout for this number of people:

1st week: Both post a different side of the argument to the topic posed
2nd week: Both post again but this time AGAINST their opponents post - a rebuttal.
3rd week: The last post from each is in defense of your original argument and against the 2nd week's rebuttal

The topic this month is:

Veritaserum should be allowed to used by magical law enforcement - Discuss

Aurelia you will be arguing FOR
Arianna you will be arguing AGAINST

Please post your arguments by the 16th of February! GOOD LUCK

Gail & Joey
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Arianna Stonewater » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:34 am

remind me, where am i supposed to post my argument?
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Gail Allen » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:36 pm

Just in this thread Arianna :)
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Arianna Stonewater » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:42 pm

Veritaserum should not be allowed to be used by magical law enforcement for three reasons: expense, reliability, credibility.

Let's look at the first reason. While only three drops should be sufficient, some people believe more works better and waste it. Then the Potions Masters have to be paid again to buy more ingredients and brew more. This time consuming process not only costs money to buy the ingredients, but also to brew, and to store as Veritaserum takes a full month to brew, so it cannot be made on demand.

Secondly, Veritaserum is not always reliable. As with any potion, the effects vary on different witches and wizards. This is the same reason polygraph tests aren't allowed to be used in Muggle Courts. Some wizards, like those experienced with legilimency, can fight the effects. If someone is a skilled potion master, they can even prepare and take the antidote.

Finally, truth is relative. Someone who has taken/been given Veritaserum will tell the truth. The problem is, they will tell the truth as they know it. If you had given my five year old niece veritaserum this morning and asked her if she wanted to go to the park today, she would sadly tell you the park was closed today. Unbeknownst to her, the park is obviously open, my sister just didn't want to do the 30min walk to the park today. But the Veritaserum can't make her tell the truth if she doesn't know it, or if she truly believes something else. This is especially true for those who might be deemed "crazy," or whose grasp on reality is not quite the same as everyone else's.

In conclusion, Veritaserum is not an effective use of the ministries resources and it is just not reliable enough for use.

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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Aurelia West » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:34 pm

There are multiple reasons why Veritaserum would be an asset to magical law enforcement, especially when dealing with people who are decent liars or who are reluctant to admit to things they know, including concrete evidence garnering and public consensus. It would also be particularly useful on witnesses to such crimes, who oftentimes have less motivation to lie than the perpetrators themselves.

It is very difficult to indict a person without a good amount of concrete evidence. The phrase "Innocent until proven guilty" rings true quite clearly here, and particularly in cases where the penalty for the crime is high, the usage of Veritaserum might even offer a comfort that the person truly did commit the crime that they will be imprisoned for.

Veritaserum also offers a comfort to the public. In cases where the evidence is perhaps not as thorough as it could be, it often leaves the general public muttering about the happenings in the judicial system and suspicious about whether the true crime was the deed or the ruling. With the use of Veritaserum, it leaves less room for doubt if a perpetrator were to confess to his misdeeds and the public will be more likely to accept the verdict.

However, who ever said that Veritaserum need be used solely on the criminals themselves? Especially considering that criminals are the most likely to attempt to lie under the effects of Veritaserum, it may even be considered better to use it on witnesses to a crime in order to ensure that their witness accounts are more trustworthy. Under the effects of Veritaserum, they will tell their story truthfully as they remember it rather than perhaps trying to protect either the criminal or other people involved in the event.

To sum up, the use of Veritaserum offers comfort in the rulings of various cases and can help ensure that witness accounts are unbiased based upon the witness's connection to any of the people involved, therefore would be a good use of resources to instill into the court system.
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Re: February Debate Competition!

Postby Arianna Stonewater » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:12 pm

My lovely opponent has brought up several points; let me break them down.

There are multiple reasons why Veritaserum would be an asset to magical law enforcement, especially when dealing with people who are decent liars or who are reluctant to admit to things they know, including concrete evidence garnering and public consensus. It would also be particularly useful on witnesses to such crimes, who oftentimes have less motivation to lie than the perpetrators themselves.

However, who ever said that Veritaserum need be used solely on the criminals themselves? Especially considering that criminals are the most likely to attempt to lie under the effects of Veritaserum, it may even be considered better to use it on witnesses to a crime in order to ensure that their witness accounts are more trustworthy. Under the effects of Veritaserum, they will tell their story truthfully as they remember it rather than perhaps trying to protect either the criminal or other people involved in the event.


Veritaserum is not 100% effective. With enough practice (or antidote) a "decent liar" can easily lie or tell half-truths, undetected. If using Veritaserum becomes practice, more people will work to become immune to it, whether through Legilimency or often taking the antidote as a precaution. As far as witnesses, if they have less motivation to lie, its unlikely this would even be necessary. An important note is that perception is a funny thing. If they think they are telling the truth based on what they saw/remember, Veritaserum will not help. Unless they are subpoenaed, a witness is not required to take the stand. If they know they will have to take Veritaserum, they might even be less inclined to do so, in fear of what else they might reveal, unrelated to the case.

It is very difficult to indict a person without a good amount of concrete evidence. The phrase "Innocent until proven guilty" rings true quite clearly here, and particularly in cases where the penalty for the crime is high, the usage of Veritaserum might even offer a comfort that the person truly did commit the crime that they will be imprisoned for.

Veritaserum also offers a comfort to the public. In cases where the evidence is perhaps not as thorough as it could be, it often leaves the general public muttering about the happenings in the judicial system and suspicious about whether the true crime was the deed or the ruling. With the use of Veritaserum, it leaves less room for doubt if a perpetrator were to confess to his misdeeds and the public will be more likely to accept the verdict.
While a person is indeed "innocent until proven guilty," Veritaserum does not prove they are in fact guilty. As previously mentioned, it is unreliable. A person may have had their memory modified to believe they did (or didn't do) a terrible crime, and Veritaserum could not prove them one way or another.

To sum up, the use of Veritaserum offers comfort in the rulings of various cases and can help ensure that witness accounts are unbiased based upon the witness's connection to any of the people involved, therefore would be a good use of resources to instill into the court system.


While it is nice to have extra comfort, it just does not provide enough help to be useful. Witness accounts would only be as trustworthy as the witness' remembrance and often would make them even more uncomfortable as truths unrelated to the case might come out. Criminals could take extra precautions to lie undetected, and it still would not guarantee justice was served.
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