Speech and Debate


Speak Out NC
 
HomePortalFAQRegisterMemberlistLog in

Share | 
 

 James C. VS Samuel

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Samuel Johnson

avatar

Number of posts : 42
Registration date : 2008-09-19

PostSubject: James C. VS Samuel   Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:39 pm

Here is my AFF case. It runs at about 5:59 (Razz) so I might trim it some soon. But here it is in the present form:




Intro:
Les Brown once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land in the stars.”
Preview:
Hello, my name is Samuel Johnson and I will be the affirmative speaker for this round. My value is Human rights, and to uphold this value I stand resolved that when in conflict Idealism ought to be valued above Pragmatism. I will demonstrate how my value of Human rights dictates that we affirm the resolution.
Definitions:
To clarify this resolution, I would like to supply the following key definitions. First, Idealism is defined as, “The pursuit of or belief in noble ideals, principles, and values” by the Wordsymth dictionary. The Encarta World dictionary defines Pragmatism as, “A straightforward practical way of thinking about things or dealing with problems, concerned with results rather than with theories and principles.” My value of Human Rights is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “rights regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons.” These include Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Conflict is defined as, “competitive or opposing action of incompatibles”. Finally, Compromise is defined as, “a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted” by the Encarta dictionary.

Criterion:
I offer two criterions by which to judge this round. First, whether my value of Human Rights is preeminent, or whether my opponent’s value is preeminent. And second, which theory, Idealism or Pragmatism, is shown to better uphold the preeminent value when Idealism and Pragmatism are in conflict. My burden is to prove that Idealism better upholds the preeminent value than does Pragmatism when Idealism and Pragmatism conflict.

Contention One:
My first contention is that Idealism better upholds my value of Human Rights than does pragmatism. Idealism is “The pursuit of, or belief in noble ideals, principles and values.” Pragmatism is a “practical way of thinking about things…concerned with results rather than with theories and principles; which of these approaches will better uphold the value of Human Rights? Pragmatism is interested in results, not overarching theories; Idealism is focused on the pursuit of noble ideals. Clearly Idealism will uphold my value of Human Rights better than Pragmatism will. Additionally, I wish to make it clear that I am not saying we should not value Pragmatism at all, but rather that when they conflict, we should value Idealism above Pragmatism. Idealism and Pragmatism are able to work together without conflicting; we are only debating their relative merits when they conflict in their approach toward an ideal.

Contention Two:
This brings us to my second contention. Pragmatism is focused upon compromising to achieve a desired result, and we cannot afford to compromise on our ideals and inalienable rights. While compromise is undeniably useful in certain circumstances, and while compromise can lead to acceptable results in specific cases, when we are disagreeing over our ideals and values we must not compromise. My value of Human Rights is an inalienable right that is fundamental to all persons, and must be totally and completely upheld for any just society to exist. As Charles Sumner said, “It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned” and that “repose can only be found in everlasting principles.” “Inalienable rights cannot be compromised without being lost” and yet, compromise to achieve a desired result, “what works” is exactly what pragmatism is based upon. Since Idealism recognizes that we cannot compromise on the protection of our most fundamental rights, and Pragmatism does not, we must value Idealism above Pragmatism when they conflict. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security deserves neither and will lose both."

Contention Three:
My third contention is that without Idealism to guide Pragmatism, Pragmatism is useless. Compare two forms of government, the Roman form and the Constitutional form of the United States. The Roman government was pragmatic; it had no set limits on officials and no written code of law until after 500 A.D. The Roman form relied on competent men always being in control and assumed that leaders would use their power for the good of the state and not for personal game. The entire system was based on compromising as needed at the time, and tradition. While this made it easy for the Roman government to respond in emergencies and react fluidly to changing circumstances, it offered no protection to citizens against governmental oppression against minorities, or power grabs by ambitious generals or politicians. There were no written checks on an official’s power. Compare this to the American system, which was based on the pursuit of the ideals of Human Rights. We have a written Constitution, and all our officials are governed and limited by it. In the Declaration of Independence our forefathers recognized that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.” At times this system can lead to difficulty in changing quickly and in altering entrenched evils such as slavery. However, it offers protection to all and carefully watches the actions of governmental officials. While this approach of Idealism may not always be convenient and practical at the time, it serves to uphold people’s rights far more effectively than the Pragmatic Roman system.
As Alfred North Whitehead, a British philosopher said, “no period of history has ever been great or ever can be that does not act on some sort of high, Idealistic motives, and Idealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it.” Without Idealism to act as a guiding hand above Pragmatism, Pragmatism easily strays and causes damage instead of good. Consider the example of Guantanamo. We are violating other’s Human Rights in attempt to protect our own Human Rights. By pragmatically detaining suspected terrorists for years without due process we are losing sight of our ideals. This policy has seriously damaged the United States’ reputation around the world and limited our ability to challenge other countries regarding their own Human Rights abuses. Without Idealism to control pragmatic choices, Human Rights are thrown aside in effort to find “what works.” As Tryon Edwards recognized, “compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another—too often ending in the loss of both.”

Summary:
In summary I would like to reiterate my main points. First, my value is Human rights, and I believe we should affirm the resolution which states “When in conflict Idealism ought to be valued above Pragmatism.” In my first contention I argue that Idealism supports Human rights. My second contention is that Pragmatism compromises in all circumstances, and that we cannot afford to compromise our ideals; finally, my third contention proves that without Idealism, Pragmatism is useless.

Conclusion:
I urge the judges to uphold the resolution based on the reasons I presented here. Thank you and I now stand ready for cross examination.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
James C.

avatar

Number of posts : 39
Age : 25
Registration date : 2008-09-18

PostSubject: Re: James C. VS Samuel   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:51 am

Time for some CX. Lets try and keep it short.

1. You say pragmatism is "concerned with results". Therefore, if "overarching theories" produced results, pragmatism would use them, correct?

2. You say that pragmatism and idealism conflict, which, according to your definition, means they are incompatible. However, you go on to say we can use both of them. If they are truly incompatible, can they be used together?

3. Is it ever justified to compromise human rights?

4. Are you in agreement with the quote from Ben Franklin in your second contention?

5. Are you aware that the Roman government you criticized in your third contention lasted for around 2000 years in some form?

6. You mention a "reputation" that the U.S. has hurt by using Guantanamo Bay. With whom are we ruing our reputation?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Samuel Johnson

avatar

Number of posts : 42
Registration date : 2008-09-19

PostSubject: Re: James C. VS Samuel   Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:03 pm

James C. wrote:
Time for some CX. Lets try and keep it short.

1. You say pragmatism is "concerned with results". Therefore, if "overarching theories" produced results, pragmatism would use them, correct?

2. You say that pragmatism and idealism conflict, which, according to your definition, means they are incompatible. However, you go on to say we can use both of them. If they are truly incompatible, can they be used together?

3. Is it ever justified to compromise human rights?

4. Are you in agreement with the quote from Ben Franklin in your second contention?

5. Are you aware that the Roman government you criticized in your third contention lasted for around 2000 years in some form?

6. You mention a "reputation" that the U.S. has hurt by using Guantanamo Bay. With whom are we ruing our reputation?


1. Yes, it would. However, if it thought something else would work better, it would toss these theories aside. We can't afford to allow such overarching theories and principles as Human Rights to ever be tossed aside.

2. We can use both of them when they aren't conflicting. What that definition means is that when they conflict, their approaches to the problem are incompatible, and as such we can't value them equally when they conflict. However, we can value them together when they aren't conflicting. That definition only means that when they are in conflict, their approaches are incompatible and we must choose one or the other.

3. As I argued throughout my entire case, we must not compromise on Human Rights. Human Rights must be upheld through our actions as fully as possible. We must not compromise on our pursuit of Human Rights.

4. You mean the quote, "Any society that would give up a little Liberty to gain a little security deserves neither and will lose both." I most certainly agree with this quote, this quote exemplifies how compromising on the protection of our fundamental rights is something that we cannot afford to do.

5. This is wholly inaccurate. The Roman Republic which I was referencing lasted less than 500 years. The Roman Empire which followed also lasted less than 500 years. I was referring to the Roman Republic, not the Byzantine Empire.

6. Our reputation throughout the world. We must have the support of other countries, and we certainly cannot afford to lose the moral high ground. If other nations see that we are not respecting the very rights we claim to uphold, than that damages our ability to fight the terrorists.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
James C.

avatar

Number of posts : 39
Age : 25
Registration date : 2008-09-18

PostSubject: Re: James C. VS Samuel   Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:27 am

I'll ask one set of follow ups and then be done with this part.

1. Do you believe it is possible to simultaneously uphold the human rights of every person in the world. Even the majority of people?

2. Why are human rights valuable?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Samuel Johnson

avatar

Number of posts : 42
Registration date : 2008-09-19

PostSubject: Re: James C. VS Samuel   Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:28 pm

James C. wrote:
I'll ask one set of follow ups and then be done with this part.

1. Do you believe it is possible to simultaneously uphold the human rights of every person in the world. Even the majority of people?

2. Why are human rights valuable?

1. It may not be possible to uphold every person's Human Rights, but it is our responsibility to try. And Idealism does this better because it does not compromise.

2. Human Rights are the foundation for any just society. They must exist for any order of Morality to exist. Human Rights are the most fundamental value.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
James C.

avatar

Number of posts : 39
Age : 25
Registration date : 2008-09-18

PostSubject: Re: James C. VS Samuel   Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:42 pm

Good afternoon, my name is James Compton and I have the privilege of being the negative speaker for this debate round. My value for this round is Human Rights. My thesis statement for this round will be: Human rights are only moral when applied in a wise and judicious manner.

Contention One – Idealism better upholds human rights for those who do not deserve to retain them. Pragmatism preserves the rights of the innocent

In this contention I will be both building up my case and refuting my opponent’s assertion that idealism best uphold human rights. While idealism might be the most effective way of upholding human rights in general, it is most definitely not the most moral way of upholding them. Human rights may seem like something that cannot be corrupted, that is always moral, but this is not so. Take, for example, our justice system. By imprisoning criminals, we suspend their liberty, their pursuit of happiness, and, sometimes, their lives. These are, according to my opponent, fundamental human rights. In order to preserve our society, and the human rights of the innocent, we must suspend the rights of those who have committed crimes. We, as humans have placed limits on what a man can do and still retain his fundamental rights. A man who held his ideals of human rights highest at all times would never condone a system of punishment that violates human rights. If our society had held the ideal of human rights above the value of a working justice system, we would have no means of punishing criminals. Indeed idealism provides human rights effectively; it just provides them to those who do not deserve them. Pragmatism, however, would take rights away from those who do not deserve them.
Not only does idealism grant rights to those who do not deserve them, but it takes them away from those who do! By freeing criminals, idealism is releasing a threat to the safety of innocent people. In doing so, it is taking away their happiness, and potentially their lives. By attempting to preserve human rights for everyone, idealism grants rights to the wrong people, and take them away from the innocent.

Contention Two – It is impossible to uphold the human rights of all people. Pragmatism can most effectively uphold the rights of the innocent.

This was seen earlier in my first contention, but I would like to elaborate on it here. It is logically and literally impossible for society to uphold the human rights of all people. This is because when society upholds the human rights of the everyday citizen, it must imprison the members of society who would seek to harm them. But when society seeks to uphold the human rights of the destructive members of society, it compromises the rights of the innocent populace. For an idealist, this is unacceptable. But, one course must be taken. Therefore the course of action will be taken that least compromises the idealist’s ideals. In other words, guilty men will be released. This most nearly upholds an idealist’s ideals because it does not directly compromise anyone’s rights. Instead it potentially, and eventually, compromises human rights. This clears the idealist’s conscience because he has not directly harmed anyone. Instead, he has unleashed the potential for the greatest amount of harm. A pragmatist would take a completely different course of action. He would observe the harm criminals had caused, temporarily suspend his ideal of universal human rights, and imprison the criminals for the greater good, and to uphold the human rights of the innocent.

Contention Three – Without pragmatism to mediate idealism, human rights are impossible.

Before I begin my arguments, I would like to point out that my opponent offered no downsides to the Roman form of government. He mentioned plenty of potential problems, but no actual ones.
Now, having dismissed the argument that made up the majority of my opponent’s third contention, I will move on to the latter part of it, which I feel to be woefully incorrect. Here my opponent gives the example of Guantanamo Bay. He says that we are suspending the human rights of others in order to protect our own. Here he is correct. Suspending the human rights of some to protect many is the foundation of our justice system. But, he says, they are not terrorists, they are suspected terrorists. And here is what I say to that. I applaud those who formed Guantanamo Bay. The men who are in that prison fully deserve to be there. If you have done something that causes the leaders in my government to believe that your life goal might be to mass murder innocent Americans, then I hope they suspend your rights. Human rights cannot, cannot be extended to those who plan to use them to murder innocent people. It would take a foolish, even an evil, person to free someone who would use his freedom to harm innocents. Idealism would have us let these men run free! Idealism would have us let men who plan attacks like 9-11 wander back to their compatriots. Any moral person will not let that happen. We must take the pragmatic course of action and suspend the rights of suspected terrorists in order that we can protect the human rights of those that these men would execute, torture, and mass murder. Idealism attempts to achieve the futile goal of universal human rights. The results can be disastrous. Pragmatism makes sure that it protects the rights of those who deserve them, and it keeps those who do not from gaining them.


I would now like to briefly refute the elements of my opponent’s case that did not correspond directly to what I said above.

First, his main point against Guantanamo bay is the effect is has upon the “reputation” of the United States. I ask you: does this matter? If what we do as a country to protect our citizens causes others to think badly of us, then so be it. An upright and moral person would not let his “rep” dictate his actions. What the United States deems necessary to protect the human rights of its citizens should be done, whether or not the international community approves.


Secondly, my opponent condemned the justice system when he said he “most certainly agreed” with a quote that says “any society that would give up a little Liberty to gain a little security deserves neither and will lose both.” By putting in place laws, our society restricts our liberty in order to provide security. But, my opponent’s philosophy, this practice ought to be abandoned! It is impossible to provide security without restricting liberty. Building a wall around a fortified city restricts freedom of travel in and out, but it provides security. The quote used by my opponent condemns the use of any legal system or form of protection
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: James C. VS Samuel   

Back to top Go down
 
James C. VS Samuel
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» James Webb Space Telescope Progress
» St. James Infirmary
» has anyone used Dr James CHau?
» Our grandfather - William James Long
» Dr James Ritchie - Sydney

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Speech and Debate :: year 2007-early2008 :: Archives 2008/2009-
Jump to: