Sophists Win Debate 2!

In our second debate of the week, the Sophists of the Seat rallied to win against the Ashen Advocates. They meet again tomorrow for a final practice round before the big debate on Sunday!

Sophists of the Seat vs Ashen Advocates – Civilisation is an abuse of the natural world.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Ok teams, your prep time is up! Please take your positions. We’ll begin with our affirmative team, Sophists of the Seat.”

Truax nods her head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Truax, you may begin your opening statement whenever you’re ready.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Greetings, honoured judge, guests, and other attendees. It is a pleasure to address you once again. Today we address the topic of “Civilisation, existing as an abuse of the natural world.””

Truax frowns and says in a soft-spoken voice, “Creation was created with a purpose, and Nature is the manifestation of that purpose. Existing as part of an equilibrium, one little change in the natural world can lead to mass extinction.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Intrusion upon Nature throws off that balance by taking more than it contributes. This is the very essence of civilization’s abuse.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Civilizations include those communities that sentient beings create for themselves, which sets them apart from the plant and animal kingdoms of our realm. Creatures of nature have no consciousness and therefore cannot intentionally harm the natural world.”

Truax frowns and says in a soft-spoken voice, “Whereas civilisation is dependent upon the natural world for its growth and development.”

Truax mimics grabbing unseen objects in front of her petite form.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Taking, taking, taking always and never giving back more in its place, civilisation is always hungry for more progress and rarely generous with its returns. And as a result, this persistent abuse is setting our world up for impending disaster.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “Gaia, the Wildwood Queen is the Goddess of Nature. She is a manifestation of the natural world and She and Lady Artemis are its protectors. The Pair wield the tenacious power of the natural world. The falsities of civilisation’s iron and stone are revealed in Their presence.”

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, “We hope too that it is today in yours.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you, Truax.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Sothantos, the floor is now yours for an opening statement, if you are ready.”

Sothantos says, “Social organization is a part of the natural world, found in forms as diverse as a termite colony or a wolf pack. What is called ‘civilization’ is merely a specific form of social organization practiced by sapients.”

Sothantos says, “While specific civilizations in specific situations can act abusively towards the world around them, civilization in its essence is no more intrinsically abusive than any other social order.”

Sothantos says, “Civilization is a natural product of Creation: when Ayar created the world, He did not only create Gaia but also Phaestus.”

Sothantos says, “You would not claim that ants, beavers, monkeys, and crows are not part of the natural world. Ants live in a strictly stratified society, farm aphids, and even go to war with other colonies. Beavers construct dams, directly changing the landscape around them as they create lakes through blocking the rivers. Monkeys, crows, and I am sure countless other species of animals are capable of rudimentary trade.”

Sothantos says, “What, then, is sentient civilization but a higher form of these naturally occurring structures? We should not think of civilization as some entity separate from the natural world, but rather as part of it. It may be true that civilization changes the world around it, but this is a quality inherent to all life that interacts with other life, as true for the ant or the wolf as it is the human or xoran.”

Sothantos says, “This is not abuse. It is simply the natural evolution of ecosystems. We do not say that the beaver abuses the natural world when he builds his dam.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And time!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you Sothantos.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “Now for our secondary statements. Lii, the floor is yours!”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “Civilisation, communities of iron and stone, are abusive when they take more away from the world around us. Regarding the Dwarves whom Lord Phaestus Created, there is a clan that coexists with Nature. The reality is simply this.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “Civilisations destroy nature and their surrounding environements to mold the world to what they want. There is no gain as plants are destroyed. There is little given back in the form of waste and other services.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “Looking at the natural world itself and the groups within it, wolves, though not sentient, do not act as we do.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “They cull the weak of the herd and the sickly. They leave behind markings. The ensure that the plants remain and thrive that herds and other groups of animals would utterly destroy in their hunger remain.”

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “Nature IS a system of balance. Also, when have you ever seen animals mine ore, build roads, and destroy homes in order to push themselves ahead? Some of these buildings in our civlisation aren’t even used.”

Lii steps back with her hands folded outwards.

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, “There is only so much destruction civilisation can do before it destroys not only the world around it, but also ultimately destroys itself as the food supplies and materials that nature provides are consumed wholy.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And time!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you very much, Lii.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Farrah of the Ashen Advocates, the floor is now yours.”

Farrah says, “As my compatriot stated before me, Creation was made by Ayar with myriad aspects. Although Lady Gaia was created to represent Nature, Lord Phaestus, for example, could be said to represent Industry.”

Farrah says, “This is, in fact, crucial to Creation’s purpose. Indeed, Lords Proteus and Phaestus went through great lengths to create Their masterpiece – sentient life. And surely, the existence and advancement of such life is crucial to Creation’s ultimate purpose.”

Farrah says, “Yet, civilisation was defined by your first speaker as “those communities sentient beings create for themselves,” as distinguished from “creatures of nature” with “no consciousness.””

Farrah says, “To deride civilisation is to deride the masterpiece of the Creator and advocate for the reduction of Creation to a stale, thoughtless world. A tragedy, if there ever could be one.”

Farrah says, “One of your speakers further implied that consciousness was important because those without consciousness may not “intentionally” destroy the world around them. Yet civilisation can hardly be said to “intentionally” do such, either. Civilisation strives to advance, not to harm.”

Farrah says, “But civilisation need not inherently lead to the extinction of the natural, and certainly not the useful aspects of Nature.”

Farrah says, “Indeed, civilisation cannot take from the natural world, because civilisation is an extension of the natural world.”

Farrah says, “Your argument is premised on a dream of how Nature acts. Animals will slaughter far more lesser creatures than they can eat.”

Farrah says, “They know nothing of balance. They destroy, as much as any.”

Farrah says, “However, they are often limited by capabilities, not desire or lack of impulse.”

Farrah says, “Ecosystems right themselves through starvation and death. Cities create new ecosystems in the same way.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “And that’s time! Thank you Farrah.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “We shall now begin with the rebuttals. Jirashin, you may begin when ready.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Lii is correct in describing the results of a scenario in which civilization abuses its surroundings: the civilization itself will fall. This is exactly the same, in fact, as the process that keeps wolves from overrunning their prey populations, or prey from outpacing their plant-based food sources.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “When a system is unsustainable, it dies back to sustainable levels.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “This is true for deer. This is true for wolves. This is true for sapient beings and their cities. There is no difference of essence here.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “In truth, it is only a matter of scale. The results are certainly grander to observe, like the difference in scale between a great temple and a beaver dam.”

Jiraishin frowns and says with a harsh Western accent, “But merely because it looks impressive does not make it fundamentally different.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Civilization acts in analogous ways to smaller-scale organizations in nature because it -is- part of nature.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “It is its own ecosystem. It survives or perishes according to its ability. The destruction it wreaks, when it does so, is hapless: the creation outside its borders, equally so.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Both exist, in balance.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “And that is Nature.”

Jiraishin nods his head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And time!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you, Jiraishin.”

Mathonwy steps forward, nodding in acknowledgement to the audience, Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum, and the opposition.

Mathonwy asks Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum, “Am I clear to begin?”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “And now to our final rebuttal. Mathonwy, when you’re ready.”

Mathonwy nods his head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Mathonwy says, “Thank you all for attending, and for hearing us argue our cases.”

Mathonwy says, “We’ve heard a lot of arguments for and against, and again, I have faith that the best argument will see its way through.”

Mathonwy says, “And indeed, what better argument can be made than that of what the Gods Themselves would advocate? The Logos Himself has stated that animals lack sentience and consciousness. I am confident that, above all, He knows His Creation better than most.”

Mathonwy says, “Civilization we’ve defined as the communities of the sentient and conscious, and abuse as taking advantage of a relationship or taking more than one contributes. Animals cannot knowingly harm the natural world, for they are unaware of the state in which they find themselves. We, on the other hand, we are capable of greatness, but often that greatness manifests itself in pointless, gratuitous destruction.”

Mathonwy says, “Destruction for our own benefits, instead of part of a natural cycle of change. Animals cannot act out of nature because, instinctively, as a part of their very essence, they -are- of Nature. Mortality has chosen to separate itself, to hitch its wagon to a different beast entirely.”

Mathonwy says, “This is no idle statement or cunning idea I would invent. These are the words of your Logos writ large.”

Mathonwy says, “And indeed, civilization as made manifest in the great cities of the world rely upon the natural world to grow. We cut down trees and haul stone from one place to another. We mine for coal and ore, burning and taking what we see fit with little regard for the esteem of those creatures with whom we share the world. We impose our will upon that which has lasted longer than us, and our opposition dares to claim that such things are acceptable.”

Mathonwy says flatly, “I have never seen a beaver or a wolf or an ant with a miner’s pick or bearded axe. Yet the feats they are capable of are extraordinary in their own right.”

Mathonwy says, “As Jiraishin says, when a system is unsustainable, it dies back to sustainable levels. This, like most of their arguments, have the trappings of truth while ignoring the essence of it, which is: mortality are the only beings capable of completely eradicating all life. We’ve seen many try, in fact: Death’s Heart saga, various wars. Extermination efforts. This does not happen in the natural world. There is a sizeable difference.”

Mathonwy says, “I will say something, now, that may come across as harsh: we are not anything especially special. Sentience is not a masterpiece. It is simply a different shade of the same colours of Creation, and to afford it a place of privilege is, truly, to deride the magnificent tapestry of which we are all a part.”

Mathonwy says wryly, “They would pull the unfairly-shorn wool over your eyes.”

Mathonwy says, “For indeed, these creatures do not exist to serve as fuel for our insatiable urges. They have their own purposes.”

Mathonwy says, “Ironically, one deviation from that initial purpose, one tweak, can plunge all of us to untimely deaths. We have our place in the natural world, yes, but Civilization is a danger to and abuse of that world, and our opponents would normalise such abuse. Our opponents, in the name of creature comforts, would see everything the Logos has given us dashed upon the rocks of devastation.”

Mathonwy says, “Crows may trade and ants may war with each other, but the world has never been in peril because of an ant invasion. To conflate the goings-on of animals in the natural world to the scope and measure of devastation mortality is capable of inflicting is, itself, an abusive proposition.”

Mathonwy says, “We have greatness, yes. We are born of it. And we must be careful to maintain that great balance, because in our greatness, we are prone to taking more than we contribute. That is the very nature of abuse, symptomatic of the rise of our modern city-states. Hashan and Cyrene, destroying natural habitats and countless animals. Mhaldor, pervading and ending natural life with its own. Shallam, even now, its ruins polluting the oceans. And Targossas, flooding the plains.”

Mathonwy says, “What have these cities given back?”

Mathonwy asks, “When have they cared, even for one moment, about the world about them, or anything other than their own purposes?”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “And time!”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “Thank you, Mathonwy.”

Mathonwy nods his head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “And with that, our second debate round is over. Well done teams, well done! Please give our participants a round of applause.”

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, “Well spoken.”

Mathonwy says, “Well-argued, Advocates.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “I will now begin tallying the final scores. While I’m grading, I would kindly ask the Ashen Advocates and Sophists of the Seat to think if they’d like to return for a third bout next month.”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, “What a debate. The scores were close in my book. Too close! But there can only be one winning team…”

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, “Sophists of the Seat, you have taken this round!”

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