09/17/2009 – Athens Vs. Jerusalem

Last week, the Philodemic Society reclaimed its rightful home in the Philodemic Room to debate “Resolved: Athens has had more of an impact on the Western world than Jerusalem.”  The Society was joined by many spunky new debaters who adapted quickly to the Philodemic’s vigorous chair-knocking and “Huzzahs!”  Mr. Desnick started off the night fabulously with a well-thought-out defense of Athens.  He framed the debate as a chance to prove which city had shaped the Western world more, citing a “spirit of occidentalism.”  As an illustration of the cultural relevance of Athens, Mr. Desnick resolutely affirmed the modernity of Herodatus and the timelessness of Homeric literature.   Vice President Hale countered flawlessly, parrying with eloquent words on the holiness of Jerusalem.  Through the poetry of the psalms and his own delightful language, Mr. Hale showed the Society that Jerusalem is the Western world’s link upward to the heavens.

The floor debate that followed was diverse and inspiring; the Society heard many impassioned speeches on the democracy of Athens, the spirituality of Jerusalem, the literature from the Greeks and the trade routes through Jerusalem that criss-crossed the world.  Throughout the night, several non-members gave superb speeches, and we hope to see them back in the Philodemic Room again!  Mr. Desnick and Mr. Hale finished up the evening brilliantly, inspiring all with the equally powerful tales of Athenian democracy and the legacy of other worlds in Jerusalem.  In the end, Jerusalem won out – this resolution was negated, 15-26-2.

Please join us next week for “Resolved: The Honduran coup was a triumph for justice.”


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