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Up for debate: KFC or JFK

By Emma Colton

Debaters make their cases for prominence between the Colonel’s chicken and a former president of the United States of America. (Janika Berridge / Photo Assistant)

It’s debate season. With that in mind, the College’s Philosophical Society and Debate Society held their own take on debates on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Social Science Atrium.

The War of Words debate was mediated by philosophy professor John Sisko, who introduced the concepts of the debate and watched as everything from fried chicken to freedom was animatedly discussed.

“You can’t eat JFK, but you can eat fried chicken,” said Sean Modri, junior philosophy and psychology double major, and one of the representatives from the Philosophical Society.

Modri was prompted to say this to back up the assertion that the fast-food business Kentucky Fried Chicken is a more influential concept than former President John F. Kennedy.

Modri’s belief on KFC vs. JFK stems from his ideas on familiarity. According to Modri, the American public is more familiar with the easily accessible fast-food chain, than it is with President Kennedy.

However, this position was challenged by Zach Myshkoff, sophomore history major, and a representative from the Debate Society.

Myshkoff debated that JFK is superior to KFC through metaphors. He explained his stance by using JFK as a metaphor for government, and KFC as a metaphor for corporation.

“The whole goal of a corporation is to make a profit, to benefit itself.  Whereas government is there to benefit the whole society,”  Myshkoff said.

Myshkoff went on to explain his stance by saying that Kennedy was one of the most inspirational presidents, thus he benefited all of society. However, according to Myshkoff, when a person goes to dinner at KFC, the food might be tasty, but society is not benefited.Instead, KFC is there to take advantage of the customer, and to make a profit.

Jack Graham, freshman philosophy major, and the second representative from the Philosophical Society, defended his view that safety is a more influential concept than freedom, during a different segment of the lively debate.

“Safety is the preservation of our well-being,”  Graham said.

Graham expressed his opinions by explaining that safety is comfort with fewer chances of opportunity, while freedom is fear with more chances of opportunity.  Graham added extra support to his argument on safety, while also expressing his philosophical passions, by quoting Virgil and Aristotle.

Mike Herold, junior journalism major and Signal staff writer, was the second representative from the Debate Society and disputed Graham’s stance on safety vs. freedom.

“We have sacrificed our safety time and time again, in order to fight for freedom. This is why freedom will always win out over safety,” Herold said.

Herold’s position on freedom was supported by quotes from the founding fathers. He explained his stance by saying that the desire for freedom is an inherent passion born to everyone. According to Herold, a person’s sense of self is entwined with freedom, so freedom will be protected at all costs.

The debate was concluded when Professor Sisko announced the Philosophical Society’s representative, Modri, as the War of Words winner, and awarded him with a Barnes & Noble gift card.


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