Everyone loves to argue (wanna argue that?), but what kind of argument’s are there? Certainly many, though in many academic cases, they seem to fall under one or more of the three kinds that I will discuss. Ceremonial, Forensic, and Deliberative. While in many cases these can all blend into each other in certain editorials, video’s and other forms of media, I have found three separate forms of media that can represent these types of arguments individually. This can all depend on the situation, the audience, and what exactly the argument is trying to fulfill or prove.
For example, a Binghamton student’s speech titled: ‘Average is the New Exceptional’ can clearly be defined as a ceremonial argument. A ceremonial argument is that in which well known or widely accepted position is debated over. This is widely seen during public occasions such as speeches, sermons, and– well look at that, graduation speeches. In this speech, Anthony Corvino charms you with his jokes and references, sure, but the root of what he’s speaking of is how the average person is really quite exceptional. He argues that America is the country where exceptional is the expectation– to be rich and famous and to live the American dream… But when we think about it, most of us will most likely end up average. But that’s what he’s getting at, that being average isn’t something to be ashamed of, but to be celebrated! He is telling his fellow graduates to be thankful of the people around them, who made them into who they are, because those people are average as well… And it’s a wonderful thing. It was obvious his speech was a success, nestling into the hearts of those who may have not gotten into a fantastic honors society, giving pride to the soccer moms and those who fought for their opportunities and earned their respect.
Deliberative arguments concern the future, often seen in bills, acts and other legislative movements. One of my favorites: the Marriage Equality Act passed in my home state of New York on June 24th of 2009. This law gave a much needed change for the people of New York, righting the wrongs of marriage equality and giving same sex couples the right to legally wed. It was a long and tedious argument as well, the senators constantly pushing back further and further on their decisions until the last minute– and the consensus ended with a nail biting 33 to 29– a meager but all too important four votes that allowed the eligibility of married couples to essentially double in America. It is obvious that this argument and it’s purpose was achieved– the bill was signed and passed more than 5 years ago, and same-sex marriage is still alive and well in the state of New York– and quickly spreading to others as well, making this country perhaps just a bit more equal than it was before.
Finally there are Forensic arguments; those on what happened in the past. This is often shown in the field of business, court hearings and right in our own little classroom(s). For this I chose Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which is centered on race. Their entire history and even today, people of the African American race have dealt with so many obstacles– racism, slavery, poor education, and an outstanding bias against them. Even in a statistic stated in the article– it was shown that an African American with a college degree has the same chance of being hired as a white high school drop out, which is both disgusting and ridiculous! Affirmative Action wants to eliminate that completely– to level the playing field for whites, blacks, and every color in between. No longer can we have the black population being that of the poorest in our country, the race with the highest unemployment rates due to blatant racism in the work field… In Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, they fight for what all us decent human beings want: equality.
Corvino, A. (2009, December 14). Average is the New Exceptional. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULRosL7AOpk
Somashekhar, S. New York Senate votes to legalize same-sex marriage in win for gay rights advocates. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-york-senate-votes-to-legalize-same-sex-marriage-in-win-for-gay-rights-advocates/2011/06/15/AG3XDqjH_story.html?hpid=z1
Wright, W. (2014, August 15). Affermative Action: Time to flip the narrative. Retrieved from http://thegrio.com/2014/08/15/affirmative-action-time-to-flip-the-narrative/