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 Kelsey VS Skellie

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PostSubject: Kelsey VS Skellie   Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:16 am

ok Skellie . . . I am gonna post my affirmative again here . . . then we will go from there!


Samuel Ullman, an American poet and humanitarian, once said “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”


Good afternoon. My name is Kelsey Rodeniser and I will be the affirmative speaker for the following debate round. I would like to thank the judge, timer, and my opponent for being here today. My value for this round will be truth, and for the purpose of upholding my value I stand resolved When in conflict, idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism because idealism upholds truth. In this case I will demonstrate that my value of truth dictates that we affirm the resolution.


In order to provide clarity and mutual understanding in today’s debate round, I will define some of the key terms that are found within the resolution and that I will be using extensively throughout the following round. Idealism is defined as living by high ideals: aspiring to or living in accordance with high standards or principles by Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition]. Pragmatism: is defined as the doctrine that the content of a concept consists only in its practical applicability by Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition. Conflict is defined by Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd edition as opposition between ideas or interests


And finally, My value for this round is defined by The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition as “That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence”. This definition is why truth should be valued above other values. Without truth, life is meaningless. Truth is the basis of idealism which means idealism is the most real thing and the closest we can get to untainted truth.


In today’s debate round, I, the affirmative speaker, have the privilege of proving the truth of the resolution, which states, “When in conflict, idealism ought to be valued above pragmatism.” I must uphold the resolution through my contentions for the purpose of achieving my value of truth. If I fulfill my burdens, I should be granted the win.

CONTENTION #1: Pragmatism is inconsistent.
Pragmatism changes with your changing situation or conflict. Practical applicability, or that which can be applied through action, is different in changing situations or even the same situation. Take, for instance, a president running for election. He runs his first term with the slogan, “Will keep us out of war.” However, let us say that the people’s opinion changes and to get re-elected he must change his tag to support the war. He is re-elected, but he has been inconsistent to get there.

Contention 2: Idealism is based on your definition of truth which is unchanging.
Everyone believes in something, it is what they base their morality on, this is what has ultimate meaning for them. It is unchanging, truth is truth. Your ideals, or your standard is based on this firm foundation of truth, and they do not change either. Therefore, idealism is never-changing. Take President Woodrow Wilson, whose ideal was a League of Nations, and who did anything possible to achieve that ideal, to get it, he changed his practical application, but not his ideal. So even though it was a struggle to achieve his ideal, it was consistent.

Contention 3: Idealism is the foundation for the course of action to take.
Our ideals, which are based on truth, are the foundation for our practical actions. We would not think to do something if it was not something we believe in. We use practical actions to reach our ideals. For instance, to uphold truth, we might reach for the ideal of honesty and therefore choose not to lie about stealing a cookie. This is practical action that comes from upholding our ideals, consequently making our ideal the higher thing.


I, the affirmative have the privilege of affirming the resolution. Throughout my contentions, I have argued three main points: 1) pragmatism is inconsistent (president change to be elected) 2) idealism is unchanging (League of Nations) 3) idealism is the foundation for which course of action to take. (stealing cookie)


I would like to close with a quote from ~Israel Zangwill, who once proclaimed, Every dogma has its day, but ideals are eternal.


Thank you. I have fulfilled my burden and upheld the resolution. I now respectfully urge the judge to cast an affirmative ballot. Thank you and I now stand ready for cross-examination and further points of clarification.
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