Photo by Ezra Christi
The Veritas Society Dumb Ox Debate held Sunday determined that lying is always impermissible, with twice as many people affirming this motion as opposing.
The motion for the debate was “This House Believes That Lying Is Always Impermissible.” Presenters on the affirming side were Michael Sirilla, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Tori Swanner, senior theology major.
On the opposing side, the presenters were John Selle, an alumnus, and Faith Sirilla, freshman and daughter of Michael Sirilla.
The debate began with each presenter making their opening speeches, with the audience being able to ask a question after every speech. Then during the open floor, audience members were able to deliver their own short speeches defending either the affirming or opposing side, after which other audience members could also ask about their speech and thought process.
During the lightning round, in which anyone can give a speech of two minutes or less, Matt Fradd gave a speech defending the affirming side.
“At the end of the day I would rather be wrong with Aquinas than right with this group,” Fradd said, referring to the opposing side.
The debate concluded with a house vote, with 75 people affirming the motion, including presenters previously debating for the opposing side. 33 people voted opposing the motion and two audience members abstained from the vote.
The debate was hosted by the Veritas Society as part of its initiative to promote intellectual discussion among the Franciscan student body.
“It gives you a sense of agency to form your own opinion and grapple with the subject on a deeper level,” said Sophie Rutkowski, a freshman who attended the event.