“This House believes that democracy is the best form of government” was the topic of the Veritas Society’s second “Dumb Ox Debate” of the semester, held on Sunday, Oct. 21.
The debate was held in a parliamentary style, allowing for organized discussion, and the Gentile Gallery was packed with students eager to hear each side’s perspective.
Alex Plato, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, along with Heather Kamataris, a sophomore majoring in pre-veterinary biology with a minor in chemistry, argued in support of the house’s opinion. On the opposing side of the debate was Theo Harwood, who holds a doctorate in classics, and Alessandro D’Anselmi, a sophomore math and philosophy major.
Kamataris opened by stating, “Democracy is not perfect … but is the best in practice and theory.”
Harwood followed, beginning his argument against democracy by saying that a government of the people is filled with “people not qualified to make decisions.” He also alluded to the fact that Christ established a governing authority over the Church, which Harwood described as being a monarchy.
Kamataris’ debate partner Plato affirmed her argument, saying that democracy “works for the most places and most people.” Rounding out the opening arguments was D’Anselmi, who based his argument on the principle that “the purpose of government is to pursue good.” D’Anselmi later stated that the best ideal of this form of government is a monarchy.
When the floor was opened up to audience members, many students stepped forward to give their perspectives. One student argued that no particular government fits every culture.
Sophomore Athanasius Sirilla also gave his viewpoint, saying that the purpose of government should be “coming together to attain self-sufficiency and virtue.” Many other students offered their remarks, allowing for diverse discussion on the topic.
At the end of the evening, the majority voted in favor of democracy.
This is the second Dumb Ox Debate that the Veritas Society has held this semester. The previous debate on the topic of the legalization of marijuana also drew much interest and a large crowd. The Veritas Society plans to host one more debate this semester, and all students are invited to attend.