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The Socratic Club - 12th June



Our focus this term has been to introduce more philosophical ideas and questions into our debating. This week we therefore began by tackling a question on 'selfishness' before moving to the topical discussion of what would constitute the moment/or a moment for a suitable peace treaty in the war in Ukraine and should it reflect total victory or should as per President Macron's suggestion, it involve the giving up of land/territory?


Junior Socratic Club


Motions & Votes:

(A) 'This House thinks we should never be selfish'

Vote 1

Y: 50%; N: 50%

Vote 2

Y: 50%; N: 50%


This was a fascinating debate - with feelings of charity and the desire to help others juxtaposed against the basic instincts of mankind to look after oneself and survival. It was great to see the group challenged by such a topic and to grapple with it with impressive points from the outset. In the end the voting remained the same - with the group evenly split. Strong voices called for moments in which selfishness seemed to them almost unavoidable and obvious, and in turn for the wider good of those around - from health to welfare and finance, but nevertheless the voting remained the same at the second telling.


(B) 'Should Ukraine only agree to a complete victory with no loss of territory?'

Vote 1

Y: 50%; N: 50%

Vote 2

Y: 60%; N: 40%


On the back of comments from the French President of late, we discussed whether Ukraine should already be pursuing a peace treaty with the loss of territory or it should be following a different path that would see Ukraine continue to fight until Russian troops have been removed from all Ukrainian land (even if this seems unlikely in the case of Crimea). Again the group was evenly divided at the first vote, but this turned to a small majority in favour of complete victory at the second telling. Examples from World War II were used both for and against - from Finland against the motion, to Appeasement in favour. The Treaty of Versailles was also mentioned with those concerned at punishing Russia to a level that would inevitably lead to further conflict.


Senior Socratic Club


Motions & Votes:

(A) 'This House thinks we should never be selfish'

Vote 1

Y: 0%; N: 100%

Y: 0%; N: 100%


(B) 'Should Ukraine only agree to a complete victory with no loss of territory?'

Vote 1

Y: 25%; N: 75%

Vote 2

Y: 0%; N: 100%


We followed the same topics for the Senior group as with the Junior.

The Philosophical side raised additional questions of religiosity, morality and spirituality. Why did we feel this way? Why is society accustomed to the merits of unselfishness? Have we been modelled in this fashion?


The motion was rejected unanimously throughout.


In the second debate the motion was also rejected with what was seen as a practical side outweighing the widespread morality or feeling that is was unfair that Ukraine was in this position, but that a Finland Winter War of 1939/40 Peace Treaty made more sense at this stage in terms of the wider world economy, getting Ukrainian children back to school and trying to avoid the conflict spreading.


This was a very well argued debate and we will continue to focus on evidence based argumentation and the importance of active listening in our coming sessions.


Well done all!

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