When you're asked to argue in favor of a position, your opponent may counter with the absolutist position:

Let's say the topic is whether or not ANY and ALL subjects should be allowable in high school competitions.

Your opponent may seize on the logical assertion that “ANY and ALL” literally means “ANY and ALL.” They will assert that if they can cite just one instance of an issue that could not ethically be considered a valid topic, the judges will have no choice but to call them the winners.

Arguing in favor of or against any absolute presents a logical quagmire. WIth infinite choices to consider, your opponent will certainly find a topic that's sufficiently tasteless and immoral to convince anyone that it should never be allowed in a high school contest—or any contest at all.

Though the debate organizers should know better than to create a topic like this, if you're on a debate team, you'll likely encounter this situation sooner or later.

The solution?

Reframe the debate.

“Though the question technically refers to ‘any and all' topics, let's avoid the logical impossibility of zero arguing against infinity. We can all come up with tasteless and inappropriate topics that should never be allowed anywhere—nevermind in a classroom. It makes more sense to assume that a certain spectrum of “reasonableness” applies. Otherwise we'll all engage in a fight against logic instead of a substantive of the issues.”

If your opponent has seized on the absolutist argument, you may very well undo a great deal of their .

And if they're not willing to let go of that position in favor of pursuing “reasonableness,” how do you think that will impact the judges?

Whether you're debating in an academic contest or on the political stage, beware of absolutist questions and arguments. There's no way to win unless you reframe the question and make it “reasonable.”