Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Lincoln- Douglas Debate. The topics we use for LD debate are value judgments. Value judgments can be expressed as: X is better than Y."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to Lincoln- Douglas Debate
The topics we use for LD debate are value judgments. Value judgments can be expressed as: X is better than Y. X is good (or bad). X ought (or ought not) happen.
Value judgments are made using deeply-held beliefs about the world, people, and the way that things should be. Sometimes we are aware of those beliefs, and other times, they require reflection and self-analysis. Another term for those beliefs or systems of beliefs is values.
In the real world, the things that people value can have positive and negative consequences. Examples: A company may value profit above its employees’ well-being. People may value others’ physical appearance more than their intelligence or kindness. A society may hold the types of labor associated with men above the types of labor it associates with women.
But, in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, we argue for what ought to be valued…for what is ideal.
Examples of value judgments and the values that inform them: Examples of value judgments and the values that inform them: Drinking water is better than drinking pop. (Value: Health, Frugality, Taste)
Examples (cont.) The United States has a good political system. (Value: Democracy, Freedom, Prosperity) You ought not cheat on your schoolwork. (Value: Justice, Knowledge, Morality)
Value judgments can either be affirmed (you argue that it is valid) or negated (you argue that the opposite is valid). The value judgments the NFL picks for debate resolutions are designed to create a clash between values. Value judgments can either be affirmed (you argue that it is valid) or negated (you argue that the opposite is valid). The value judgments the NFL picks for debate resolutions are designed to create a clash between values.
Take the first value judgment as an example: Drinking water is better than drinking pop. Affirmative Values: Health Frugality Taste Negative (supports the inverse: Drinking pop is better than drinking water) Values: Taste Satisfaction
It is the presence of conflicting values that makes debate possible: Health versus Satisfaction Frugality versus Taste
The most common values in LD debate are: Morality: the idea that there are right and wrong actions Justice: the idea that everyone is entitled to basic rights Societal Welfare: well-being, good health, wealth, and safety
The Value Criterion Since values are abstract and vague, LD debaters use the value criterion. The criterion determines whether the debater’s arguments actually uphold the value. They serve as a standard. This example demonstrates the principle, although you wouldn’t see it in a real LD case: Value = Acing a test Value criterion = Scoring 95% or higher
The Value Criterion Returning to our hypothetical resolution: Drinking water is better than drinking pop. We determined that frugality could be an affirmative value for this topic. The next step is to determine a criterion for frugality. In this context, spending less on beverages functions well as a criterion. It sets an achievable standard for the value of frugality.
The Value Criterion On the negative side of the resolution Drinking water is better than drinking pop, we determined that taste is a potential value. To create a criterion or standard for taste, we could use the presence of sugar. This gives us a way to determine whether something tastes good.
The Value Criterion The following are common LD debate values and criteria pairings: Value: Morality Criteria: minimizing suffering, protecting innocent people, the golden rule (or the categorical imperative)
The Value Criterion The following are common LD debate values and criteria pairings: Value: Justice Criteria: fair trials, due process, equality under the law, proportionate punishment Value: Societal Welfare Criteria: ensuring safety, promoting good health, maximizing economic opportunity
Contentions In LD debate, the contentions must connection to the value criterion. In our hypothetical resolution Drinking water is better than drinking pop, our affirmative value was frugality and the value criterion was spending less on beverages. Therefore, each contention must support the argument that it costs less to drink water than to drink pop.
Contentions Our negative value for the resolution Drinking water is better than drinking pop was taste, and the criterion was the presence of sugar. Therefore, each contention must argue that pop contains sugar while water does not. There may be additional reasons to contend that drinking pop is better than drinking water, but they do not have any impact in this particular case.