Time - 14:00
Week - Third
Day - Wednesday
Group Organiser(s) - John Milbourn
Venue - Members' Homes
Vacancies - 7

The purpose of this Group is to stimulate members to think about interesting issues and to have fun debating the arguments with others in a safe environment.

The group is run along the lines of a traditional debating society. Every few months we choose motions for future meetings. One person is nominated to propose each motion and one to oppose it. (If numbers permit, seconders might also be nominated). This allows time for them to research the subject of the motion. A third person is also nominated to preside as 'Speaker' to control the debate. After opening arguments that are subject to strict time limits, the debate is opened to speakers from the 'floor' and at the conclusion of the debate a vote is taken.

The Group intends to offer a stimulating and challenging experience where members may even find themselves marshalling arguments for motions with which they disagree!


On 20th March 2019 we debated the motion Violent video games should be censored.

The Proposer argued that research showed that playing such games increased aggression levels, not just from exposure to violence but also through frustration at not winning. Governments and the industry has responded by rating various games with a view to precluding minors from buying extreme games, but this does not work in practice as minors find a way round the restrictions. What is needed is "in-game" controls, although these seem to make the game not as good to play. Anything that keeps minors calm must be good and since gamers are more competent than game-keepers the public must insist on proper censorship and controls. The Responder argued that there is no evidence that it is the extreme violence part of the game which raises aggression: other factors are as stated involved. Evidence is that only those predisposed to violence are likely to play the extreme versions. Censorship is only an explanation of contents, with some ineffective controls over buying and some poor in-game controls. However, given the lack of direct evidence of harm and the other possibility that playing violent games may actually relieve the violent predispositions of the players and thereby do some good, the concept of freedom to choose is more important than trying to impose yet more censorship. After all, violent play exists generally amongst children worldwide, but they are able to distinguish the play from the real. The debate then covered a wide range of factors including the psychological impact of habituating people to violence. The motion was carried.

Our future programme is:

Wednesday May 15th at 2pm

Brexit will be good for the UK

Wednesday June 19th at 2pm

Using more referendums would benefit UK democracy

Wednesday July 17th at 2pm

Voting should be compulsory


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