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 Rough draft of James C.'s new aff

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James C.

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Age : 25
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PostSubject: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:42 pm

I managed to fix my length problem, and improve my case all at once.

Hit me!

Good _____________ my name is James Compton and I have the privilege of being the affirmative speaker this ___________. I would like to thank the judge(s) and timer for being here today. As the affirmative speaker I stand firmly resolved that when in conflict, idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism. My value for this round will be morality.

Definitions

In order to give clarity to this debate round I will now define several key terms in my case and the resolution.

Value: respect: regard highly; think much of (wordnet.princeton)

Pragmatism: character or conduct that emphasizes practicality (dictionary.com)

(optional)
Conflict- An open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals); (wordnet.princeton)

Morality: (my value for this round) conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct (dictionary.com)

Idealism: Pursuit of one's ideals. (American Heritage dictionary)

Ideal: An ultimate object of endeavor; a goal.

Thesis Statement – Negating the resolution causes us to value the part over the whole, which is both foolish and immoral.

Contention One – The purpose of both idealism and pragmatism is to achieve ideals.

This statement is obviously true of idealism. What else would be the purpose of pursuing ideals be? However, this isn’t quite as clear with pragmatism. Let us look at it. If one is practical, what are you practical for? To achieve something. Anything we look to achieve is an ideal. As my definition says, ideals are goals. Anytime we are practical, we are obviously looking to achieve something. So, the purpose of both idealism and pragmatism is to achieve ideals.

Contention Two – Idealism is infinitely more effective at achieving ideals, because pragmatism is merely a small part of idealism.

Idealism is the pursuit of ideals, as I defined it. Even if we did not use my definition of idealism, idealism means trying to achieve our ideals. So anytime we go after a goal, we are being idealists. Anytime you make a goal for yourself, be it making a sandwich, or getting a PhD, you are being an idealist. Let me ask you. When you set a goal and pursue it, are you practical? What is the one thing that is inherent in pursuing a goal? Do not be distracted by my questions, because I am about to answer them both. Acting in a pragmatic and practical way is inherent in pursuing ideals. Whenever you pursue a goal you are practical. Let’s use the example of getting your PhD. In order to pursue and attain you PhD, you are obviously going to be practical and pragmatic to do it. If you truly value your ideal, you will be practical in order to achieve it. We don’t need to value pragmatism in order to be practical! All we need to do to be practical is to value idealism. If we do that, practical action will fall into place by itself. However, if we value pragmatism, all we have is practical action. If we negate the resolution, we are saying we value the practical action used in the pursuit of the ideal more than the whole pursuit and the ideal itself. Why would we value the part over the whole? Why would we value practical action over an ideal? That would be foolish and immoral! Negating the resolution will result in things such as the current financial crisis. Politicians valued the small part of the population who could not afford a mortgage over the good of the entire country. In the end, everyone suffered. If we negate the resolution, then we will value the part over the whole, and that never leads to beneficial consequences. Valuing the part over the whole leads to causing everyone to suffer, which is extremely immoral.

Contention Three – Morality is preeminent over all other values.

My tagline for this contention is rather bold. I am asserting that there is no value more valuable than morality. This is because all valuable things are based upon, or an aspect of, morality. Is something valuable if it is not moral? I challenge my opponent to bring forth a value that is not moral, and is still valuable. I will tell you why I am confident enough to say this. If something is not moral, it is wrong. Can we call something wrong valuable? No, we cannot. Nothing immoral is valuable. In addition to being less valuable than morality, my opponent’s value is better suited to affirm the resolution instead of negating it. The reason I say my opponent’s value is more suited to the affirmation of the resolution, is because it is a subset of morality. If we negate the resolution we are saying we should value the part over the whole. This can often lead to consequences that cause people to suffer, as we saw in my example earlier. Is consciously making decisions that could lead to something like this financial crisis moral? I should say not! if we negate the resolution we are being markedly less moral than if we affirm it.

Summation

As I end this debate I would like to sum up my case.

First, we saw how the purpose of both idealism and pragmatism is to achieve ideals

Second we saw that pragmatism will naturally follow if we value idealism, because practical action is natural if we truly value our ideals. This showed us that negating the resolution would mean valuing the part over the whole, which is what lead to the current financial crisis.

Lastly, we were shown how my value of morality is more valuable than any other value. We also saw that my opponent’s value is more suited to the affirmation of the resolution if it is truly valuable.

Thank you all for listening, and I respectfully urge for an affirmative ballot. I now stand ready for cross examination.


Last edited by James C. on Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : some typos)
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Adam Sprecher



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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:26 am

This is an awesome case, James. Again, really good job w/ the "pragmatism is part of idealism" argument. Also I like your value preeminence argument.
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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:20 am

Let me just start by saying that I would hate to debate this case. It is extremely strong and intimadating with a 3rd contention like that. However, I could certainly argue your 2nd contention by saying that I could value pragmatism more than idealism because since pragmatism is in the journey and is more effective to reaching the end of an ideal that prag. should therefore be valued above idealism. This is becuase idealism is nothing until acted upon and idealism doesn't reach the end ideal as well as prag.
Did that make any sense?
Kelsey
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Adam Sprecher



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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:55 am

Kelsey, I think I get what you're saying. But remember that James' definition of idealism is "pursuit of one's ideals." (which btw is an awesome definition, James) This would mean that idealism IS actually pursuing an ideal, and not just thought about the ideal. And that would mean that even if you pursue your ideals or goals pragmatically, it would still be idealism, because you're still pursuing your ideals (which is the definition of idealism). See what I'm getting at?

If James can successfully argue that pragmatism is actually just a part of idealism, then even if the pragmatic way is the best way, idealism is still more valuable because pragmatism is just a part of idealism, or a kind of idealism.

That's why I think this is a really strong case. James makes a good argument in his second contention saying that if one is pursuing a goal, it is only natural that one would do it practically. So as I said before, even if you're pursuing a goal in a pragmatic/practical manner, that is still idealism, because you are still pursuing an ideal. Basically, it all comes down to looking at the definition of idealism.
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Samuel Johnson

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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:32 pm

Excellent case. I was sitting here trying to come up with a counter to your third contention (value preeminence) and I think I have a decent argument.


Your definition of morality is based on "right conduct." The value of Truth is not interested in conduct, but rather knowledge. Knowledge in and of itself is neutral, knowledge can be used for good or bad purposes. Because of this, Truth is not in an of itself moral, since it is not interested in "right conduct." Morality, however, requires a basis for judging actions, a standard. This standard must be based on Truth, and as such Morality cannot exist without an independent set of Truths which individual actions can be based upon. As such, Truth can stand without morality, but morality cannot stand without Truth.
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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:58 pm

Hey James I have a question. Is your value Respect or Morality? In the beginning you had respect as your value and then later you mentioned morality as your value.

I think that you might want to talk about why Pragmatism is less useful in a particular circumstance rather than saying it is always best.

In your second contention you said that we can be practical through idealism as well as pragmatism. But you never really mentioned how idealism is also practical.

Since pragmatism is defined as, Pragmatism: character or conduct that emphasizes practicality (dictionary.com). Therefore it EMPHASIZES practicallity not always uses. If that is true shouldn't we value Pragmatism as well as Idealism.

Overall not so bad Smile

Swimmer Dude
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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:04 am

True Adam. But do you think that you could still argue that pragmatism is better than idealism by saying that it is better at the pursuit of ideals than idealism is? I am not really sure how you could argue that, but I guess that is what you'd have to do, right? Just out of curiousity, how would you argue his case? Cuz I am having a hard time, except perhaps with some pointed cross ex questions.
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Adam Sprecher



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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:44 am

Actually, I really would have a tough time arguing this case! I've always been a little biased towards the affirmative, and this kind of case is why! But if I had to argue against it I think i would have to contest that pragmatism is a part of idealism. I mean, once its settled that pragmatism IS actually part of idealism, the affirmative pretty much has won in my mind. I mean, if pragmatism is a kind of idealism, then even if you value pragmatism as the highest, its still idealism! So I guess it would pretty much come down to how well you convince the judge that pragmatism really isn't a part of idealism. How can that be done? I'm still trying to work that out.... Wink
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Adam Sprecher



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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:48 am

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention one thing: when you say that pragmatism is better at pursuing ideals than idealism, look at the definition of idealism that James gives. It's something like idealism is "the pursuit of ideals." So if pragmatism is even used for pursuing ideals like you said than it would be a kind of idealism, right?
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James C.

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PostSubject: Re: Rough draft of James C.'s new aff   Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:17 am

Thank you for doing such a good job of defending my case Adam!

Samuel, can truth really stand without morality? What good is truth if it used in an immoral way? What good is the pursuit of truth if you intend to use that truth in an immoral way. Outright lies are not very persuasive, but selective truth can be very, very persuasive. You need morality to govern your use of truths.

I just thought of another argument, but its not one i would use in a debate unless I can simplify it. Here it goes: Morality makes choices based on truth, the ultimate truth always dictates morality. Therefore, the ultimate truth is always moral. You could even say that the ultimate truth is morality. If God is true, then God is our morality. If the only truth is the human will to survive, then our survival is morality. Therefore, morality and truth are inseperable. You cannot have truth without morality, because truth always dictates a morality. Does that nake sense?

Preston, respect is part of my definition of value, not my value for this case. Morality is my value for this case.
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