Mike Weitz ParadigmLast changed 8/31 10:26A CDT
Mike “Shooter” Weitz
A guy walks into the Buddha’s bar. Plopping on the stool, his dejected look was plain for all to see. “How can I help with what’s ailing you?” the Buddha asked, sliding the man a drink.
The man said, “I did everything I was supposed to, and nothing happened. I spend hours meditating under a tree every day, and I still haven’t reached enlightenment. I do my mantras, mandalas and sutras without forgetting a word. What am I doing wrong? I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I walk perfectly along the path.”
Giggling at the seriousness of the upset man, the Buddha exclaimed, “Well, there’s your problem right there! If your path is the trampled dirt of others’ footsteps, you’ve already lost your way.”
“But without that path, how will I know where I’m going?” the man asked earnestly.
“Exactly,” the Buddha smiled.
Not satisfied with the response, the man demanded, “If I don’t know where I am going, how will I know when I get there?”
“Exactly,” the Buddha quipped.
The man’s temper got the better of him, “That tells me nothing. Why don’t you just tell me what I need to know?”
“Exactly,” the Buddha chimed with glee.
“The Silent Flute”
I wish neither to posses,
Nor to be possessed.
I no longer covet paradise,
More important, I no longer fear hell.
The medicine for my suffering,
I had within me from the very beginning,
But I did not take it.
My ailment came from within myself,
But I did not observe it
Until this moment.
Now I see that I will never find the light
Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel,
“Once More I Hold You In My Arms”
Once more I hold you in my arms;
And once more I lost myself in
A paradise of my own.
Right now you and I are in
A golden boat drifting freely on a sunny sea
Far, far away from the human world.
I am happy as the waves dancing around us.
Too much analysis kills spontaneity,
As too much light dazzles my eyes.
Too much truct astonishes me.
Despite all obstacles,
Love still exists between us.
It is useless to try and stir the dirt
Out of the muddy water,
As it will become murkier.
But leave it alone,
And if it should be cleared
It will become clear by itself.
“Sharing a Mountain Hut with a Cloud”
A lonely hut on the mountain-peak towering above a thousand others;
One half is occupied by an old monk and the other by a cloud:
Last night it was stormy and the cloud was blown away;
After all a cloud could not equal the old man's quiet way.
“Being as Is”
Food and clothes sustain
Body and life;
I advise you to learn
Being as is.
When it's time,
I move my hermitage and go,
And there's nothing
To be left behind.
Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great,
The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
Look for Buddha outside your own mind,
and Buddha becomes the devil.
The wind traverses the vast sky,
clouds emerge from the mountains;
Feelings of enlightenment and things of the world
are of no concern at all.
Where beauty is, then there is ugliness;
where right is, also there is wrong.
Knowledge and ignorance are interdependent;
delusion and enlightenment condition each other.
Since olden times it has been so.
How could it be otherwise now?
Wanting to get rid of one and grab the other
is merely realizing a scene of stupidity.
Even if you speak of the wonder of it all,
how do you deal with each thing changing?
“In science we have finally come back to the pre-Socratic philosopher Hercalitus, who said that everything is flow, flux, process. We in the West think of nothingness as a void, an emptiness, a nonexistence. In Eastern philosophy and modern physical science, nothingness—no-thingness—is a form of process, ever moving. In science we try to find the ultimate matter, but the more we split up matter, the more we find other matter. We find movement, and movement equals energy: movement, impact, energy, but no things.”
To be honest, I am not sure what it means to have a ‘philosophy of judging.’ I can tell you what I do: I evaluate arguments in relation to other arguments. I like good argument more than I like bad arguments. I like good cards more than I like bad cards. But, other than that, I’m not sure what I am supposed to tell you. Am I, through some unknown process of self-evaluation, to disclose how I decide which arguments that I’m yet to hear, and how they will win out versus other arguments? Should I provide you a list of the arguments I like and dislike, the things I have pre-determined to be true, as avenues of persuasion to receive my ballot? Such a list doesn’t exist. However, i can tell you some things:
If it is about my personal philosophy, then I’m not sure how telling you that I am a Buddhist and like to study Eastern Philosophy explains my approach to judging debate rounds, except to say that i evaluate arguments as i understand them at their moment of utterance, i evaluate them by the interdependent relationship to other arguments in the round, and i do my best to remain present and attentive during the course of the round. I think that truth tends to be a little grey (and technically ungraspable by language and set, intellectual patterns of thinking). I very much believe in paradoxes, which means that sometimes even 'incompatable' truth claims can both be true and untrue. This can be frustrating for debaters sometimes, because it puts a higher argumentative standard on you to make sure that you not only make arguments, but make sure that your arguments answer your oppenents arguments. Finally, it's not a requirement, but i do tend to prefer the nice and humble debater, even while debating with a passion. I will also do my best to judge with humility; we are all human and all make mistakes. I definately will.
I like arguments to be clear. I don't like to have to do a bunch of extra work to read your cards after the round because I should be able to hear them when you read them if you're clear. I only like to call for cards if their meaning is contested, and arguments are made against them. This is usually a sign of a good debate, but i don't want to have to call for cards because i don't know what they say because you weren't clear the first time.
An argument is a claim and a warrant. Missing one makes an incomplete argument, especially in the warrant department. And just because you made a claim and a warrant, does not necessarily make them persuasive, which is why the more warrants the better, usually. Always answer the "why" question. Why is what you say true?
The same standard applies to evidence, if your evidence does not contain warrants, then it is a bunch of warrantless assertions, and, hence, a waste of your time. You don't have to read seven-page-long cards, but the more warrants the better. Highlight your cards down to one sentence at your own risk and peril.
You would be surprised how often teams will win portion of an argument, and lose because of their failure to properly 'impact' it in the debate round. This is a critical part of the debate that should not be skimped on just because it happens in the latter speeches. Again, answer the "why" question.
Finally, while I'm not quite ready to go "full Dallas," I do attempt to generally communicate my thoughts, feelings, how I'm receiving stuff, and might even pipe in a "that don't make sense." My point is that I'm a source for information that you should use.
As always, have fun!