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 Samara's Affirmative Case

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Number of posts : 6
Registration date : 2008-09-18

PostSubject: Samara's Affirmative Case   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:47 am

Good afternoon/morning ladies and gentleman. I would like to thank the judge and timer for being here today. Without you, this debate round would not be possible. I would like to start off with a quote from Pearl S. Buck: “Life without idealism is empty indeed. We just hope to starve to death.”

I am going to continue by introducing the resolution to you. Resolved: When in conflict, idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism.

For clarification purposes, I will define a few of the terms found in the resolution. All of the definitions are from Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.
Conflict-Physical or mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands
Idealism-The practice of taking right and wrong and living under their influence
Valued- Relative worth, utility, or importance
Pragmatism- The practical approach to problems and affairs.

So, basically, idealism is the big idea, or the morals that lead you to do what you do. Pragmatism is what works right then.

My value is morals.
The definition of morals is: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.

Contention 1: Morals and Idealism are inseparable.
Without morals our society would be in complete disarray. When you look at our world, there is very little that could function well without morals. The justice system is based on morals, what is right and wrong. Without morals our government would be completely untrustworthy and corrupt. We are seeing the effects of having a world and a government with questionable morals; imagine that multiplied, life without morals would hardly be worth living. No one would be able to trust anyone else. We get morals from the Bible. God laid out for us the law, or the 10 Commandments. The ultimate sense of right and wrong comes from God. You cannot change morals, they are the same for everyone, and they are absolute. The definition of idealism is “The practice of taking right and wrong and living under their influence.” So, idealism is taking morals and living under their influence. Morals are what keep our world in order. Idealism gives you things to fight for. In the Revolutionary war, the colonists knew that what the British were doing was wrong. This is why, in the Declaration of Independence, they spelled out the wrongs that had been done to them by Britain. Without Idealism they would not have known what was right or wrong in what was happening to them.

Contention 2: In a conflict, pragmatism without idealism is immoral.
This is basically saying that without idealism, pragmatism becomes immoral and will lead you to do wrong things. I would like to share a quote for you from Margaret Chase Smith, “Greatness is not manifested in unlimited pragmatism which places such a high premium in the ends justifying the means by any method.” Now you may be saying, “Pragmatism gets things done right? It does things that work!” Yes, it does. However, without idealism and morals, the pragmatic approach and what works, is hardly ever the best approach. An example of this is found in South America’s fight for independence. The Spanish soldiers and the South American soldiers were in a conflict. South America wanted to be free from the oppressive rule of the Spanish. The Spanish soldiers began to kill, not only the South American soldiers, but also the innocent women and children. When you are in a fight, frequently, your opponent can be underhanded and will stoop to levels that are immoral. Without morals and idealism, we would respond the way that Simon Bolivar did. Simon Bolivar was the leader of the South Americans. When he saw what was happening he declared the “War to the Death.” This War to the Death was a law that basically said, that South Americans could and should murder and commit any atrocities to all Spanish born people. All Spanish people. Which meant, women and children, even the elderly. All you had to do was be Spanish, and your life was in mortal danger. This leads me to my third and final contention.

Contention 3: In a conflict pragmatism without idealism is ineffective:
The pragmatic approach without idealism is not only immoral, but also it is ineffective. Continuing with the South American example, we can see the ineffectiveness of Bolivar’s decision. Many Spanish people died. But all this did was infuriate the Spanish even further leading them to fight harder and kill more South Americans. They also fight longer. The South Americans did, eventually, win the war. However, as Encyclopedia Britannica put it so well “By passing the Wart to the death, Bolivar prolonged the war and caused unneeded and excessive bloodshed.” The pragmatic approach, what worked, did not work because there were no morals and no ideals behind Bolivar’s decision. Another example would be in the Congress of Vienna. Clemens Von Metternich was the Austrian representative. The congress met after the fall of Napoleon to divide the land that he had taken. By double-dealing and lying, Metternich hoped to get more land than the others. Instead, he ended up with half of what he had been told to get, and lost some of what they had. He tried to be pragmatic, but without ideals, he failed.

Quickly I am going to review my taglines and examples.
Contention 1: Morals and Idealism are inseparable.
Contention 2: In a conflict, pragmatism without ideals is immoral.
Contention 3: In a conflict, pragmatism without idealism is ineffective.
My examples were the Revolutionary war, the War to the Death, and the Congress of Vienna.
Thank you so much for your time.
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James C.

James C.

Number of posts : 39
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Registration date : 2008-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Samara's Affirmative Case   Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:59 pm

The question method isn't going to do much here, your case does not lend itself to questions (a good thing).

The biggest problem I can see in your case is that it does not provide for a negative case that says we should value both idealism and pragmatism. Both your second and third contentions assume that negating the resolution completely does away with idealism. Just a heads up!
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PostSubject: Re: Samara's Affirmative Case   Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:39 am

Not like you need to add anything in, but if you wanted another example for your first contention...

Think about what is going on in the middle east right now. It is in complete dissaray right now with all the terrorists.

Also where did you get that definition of Idealism it would be great to use in my affirmitive. Very Happy

Isn't Pragmatism a branch off of Idealism or are you saying that they are two seperate things? It seems like you might want to clarify that.

God Bless
Swimmer Dude
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mrs. gray
mrs. gray

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Registration date : 2007-11-29

PostSubject: A picky suggestion...   Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:13 am

Samara, I have a somewhat picky suggestion with regard to your value: I would suggest you have your value be Morality instead of Morals. The reason I suggest this is because you could use a definition that defines Morality as a system that encompasses other values... This would help you develop a case against many of your opponents values thereby subsuming them.

When we talk about Morals we talk about them as a noun...something we have or don't have.
When we talk about Morality, we use it as more of an abstract ideal. This makes Morality more conducive to the affirmative argument.

Let me know if you don't catch my drift on this!
Mrs. Gray

My biggest attack on your case at this point would be targeted with questions such as:

Would you agree that the Puritans had a different sense of morality compared to what we have today?

Would you agree that many different religions and/or social groups disagree on what is moral?

Would you agree that a great deal of conflict exists today between members of our society on what is moral and what is immoral?

If this conflict asks us to more highly value idealism and you propose a value of Morality, how do we resolve the conflict if your value is one of the things we are arguing about?

Do you get where I'm going on this?

Feel free to respond.....
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