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 Samuel's affirmative case revised

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Samuel Johnson

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PostSubject: Samuel's affirmative case revised   Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:23 am

EDIT:

I have reworked my affirmative case a lot and it is done now. I look forward to any comments/suggestions!



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 will be 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.” It also defines Conflict, as, “A disagreement or clash between ideas, principles, or people.” Finally, Human Rights is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “rights regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons.”

Contention One:
My first contention is that Idealism upholds the value of Human rights whereas Pragmatism does not. When a young child first tries to walk, does he or she fall? Did they fall again? Would you tell them simply to give up on walking and crawl from then on simply because they fell? Why should they not give up? The child fell the first time, and again and again. According to the pragmatic principle of “what ever works should be done,” the child should just give up. After all, if it doesn’t work now, why will it work later? We can see that with this pragmatic mindset, we cannot achieve change, we will stick with whatever works at the current time. We must not maintain this narrow mindset of doing what works simply because it is practical at the time; we must follow our ideals even if they are difficult. We cannot shy from working to change something corrupt just because it is easier to look aside and ignore crimes committed. This brings us to my second contention.

Contention Two:
Pragmatism is focused upon what works, but the convenient way is not always the best way, if we allow pragmatism to rule our actions than they will invariably violate Human rights. As the Nazi party rose to power in the 1930’s, Jews were slowly deprived of their rights. By 1939 Jews had lost the right to a trial, but no one challenged this attack on their rights. In 1939 a Jew killed a Nazi officer when he learned his parents had been deported to a concentration camp, this led to Krystallnacht, or crystal night, as it is called because of all the broken glass from the stores and houses which littered the streets. On this night the Nazi party authorized attacks on Jews as a “protest.” Thousands of Jews died, and yet even after this shocking incident no one protested the actions of the Nazi party. People were interested in what was practical to them, which was simply staying quiet, rather than upholding any ideals. This example shows that pragmatism inevitably leads to the violation of Human rights.

Contention Three:
This brings us to my third point. When Pragmatism is valued above Idealism, Human Rights are ignored. After WWII the United States adopted a pragmatic view interested only in stopping the growing danger of the USSR. The United States attempted to stop Communism in any way possible, one tragic example of this is the overthrow of the Democratic government in Iran because of fears Iran would become a Communist country. The United States’ pragmatic approach, which worked at the time, led to Iran being taken over by a radical Islamic government which now poses a threat to the United States’ interests. Clearly taking a pragmatic approach towards this foreign policy decision without regard to the rights of the people who had elected the Iranian government worked in the short term, since Iran did not become communist, but it has had devastating long term implications.

Contention Four:
Without Idealism Pragmatism is useless. Alfred North Whitehead, a British logician and 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 behind pragmatism, pragmatism easily strays and causes damage instead of good. Take an example from WWII, during America’s war with the Axis powers the government decided that to prevent acts of sabotage all Japanese Americans would be put into camps. Often these families lost their property and livelihoods while they were locked up, despite being innocent of any wrong doing. This pragmatic approach, which focused on maintaining the security of the United States above the rights of its citizens’ violated the Idealistic foundations which this country is founded upon. Without Idealism to control pragmatic choices, Human rights are thrown aside in an effort to find “what works.”

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. In my second contention I assert that the convenient way is not always the best way. In my third contention I state that if Pragmatism is valued above Idealism, Human rights are ignored. In my final contention I declare 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.


Last edited by Samuel Johnson on Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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mrs. gray
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PostSubject: brief comment   Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:29 pm

Samuel, I like your simple examples and think you've done a good job with the affirmative support. Have you timed your delivery?

I also have one minor suggestion;

Quote :
To provide clarity regarding the meaning of the resolution, I will supply definitions for some of the key terms.


How about:

To clarify this resolution, I would like to supply the following key definitions.

Quote :
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. In my second contention I assert that the convenient way is not always the best way. In my third contention I state that if Pragmatism is valued above Idealism, Human rights are ignored. In my final contention I declare that without Idealism Pragmatism is useless.

Absolutely love this summary!
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Samuel Johnson

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PostSubject: Re: Samuel's affirmative case revised   Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:57 am

Thank you for the feedback! I am still trying to work on my Cross Ex questions against my negative and then come up with answers to those questions. If you see anything else that I might be able to improve, I would really appreciate the advice.
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PostSubject: Reply   Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:07 pm

You have an excellent case and I especially liked your "Crystal Night" example the only thing that I could see was your opening quote; maybe I didn't read read it well enough but it doesn't seem to fit well with the rest of your case. Other than that I didn't see anything wrong at all. Very Happy
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Samuel Johnson

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PostSubject: Re: Samuel's affirmative case revised   Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:26 am

Thanks for the reply,

The reason I am using that quote is because I'm trying to get across the point that if we follow Idealism, even if we don't end up exactly where we meant to, we won't go wrong. In other words, since we don't compromise our ideals along the way, we won't slowly slide down into a spiral of using Pragmatic means to survive even if they aren't moral.

I'm still working on a revised version of this case. I'll put it up once it is done.
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James C.

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PostSubject: Re: Samuel's affirmative case revised   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:17 pm

Quote :
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 will be 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.” It also defines Conflict, as, “A disagreement or clash between ideas, principles, or people.” Finally, Human Rights is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “rights regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons.”

Contention One:
My first contention is that Idealism upholds the value of Human rights whereas Pragmatism does not. When a young child first tries to walk, does he or she fall? Did they fall again? Would you tell them simply to give up on walking and crawl from then on simply because they fell? Why should they not give up? The child fell the first time, and again and again. According to the pragmatic principle of “what ever works should be done,” the child should just give up. After all, if it doesn’t work now, why will it work later? We can see that with this pragmatic mindset, we cannot achieve change, we will stick with whatever works at the current time. If we value both idealism and pragmatism, we could take a pragmatic approach of teaching the baby to walk, instead of just watching. We must not maintain this narrow mindset of doing what works simply because it is practical at the time; we must follow our ideals even if they are difficult. We cannot shy from working to change something corrupt just because it is easier to look aside and ignore crimes committed. This brings us to my second contention.

Contention Two:
Pragmatism is focused upon what works, but the convenient way is not always the best way, if we allow pragmatism to rule our actions than they will invariably violate Human rights. As the Nazi party rose to power in the 1930’s, Jews were slowly deprived of their rights. By 1939 Jews had lost the right to a trial, but no one challenged this attack on their rights. In 1939 a Jew killed a Nazi officer when he learned his parents had been deported to a concentration camp, this led to Krystallnacht, or crystal night, as it is called because of all the broken glass from the stores and houses which littered the streets. On this night the Nazi party authorized attacks on Jews as a “protest.” Thousands of Jews died, and yet even after this shocking incident no one protested the actions of the Nazi party. People were interested in what was practical to them, which was simply staying quiet, rather than upholding any ideals. This example shows that pragmatism inevitably leads to the violation of Human rights. Would you have protested? I don't know about you, but after the government openly slaughtered thousands, I wouldn't protest. It would have been pragmatic to form a resistance. Instead these people were more concerned with their ideal of remaining alive. Even if it meant watching things like this happen

Contention Three:
This brings us to my third point. When Pragmatism is valued above Idealism, Human Rights are ignored. After WWII the United States adopted a pragmatic view interested only in stopping the growing danger of the USSR. The United States attempted to stop Communism in any way possible, one tragic example of this is the overthrow of the Democratic government in Iran because of fears Iran would become a Communist country. The United States’ pragmatic approach, which worked at the time, led to Iran being taken over by a radical Islamic government which now poses a threat to the United States’ interests. Clearly taking a pragmatic approach towards this foreign policy decision without regard to the rights of the people who had elected the Iranian government worked in the short term, since Iran did not become communist, but it has had devastating long term implications. If the United States had equally (or near equally if you want to be nit-picky about the whole equal thing) valued pragmatism and idealism, we would have had a better solution. If we had been idealistic, Lord knows what we would have done. Probably the same thing, actually.

Contention Four:
Without Idealism Pragmatism is useless. Alfred North Whitehead, a British logician and 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 behind pragmatism, pragmatism easily strays and causes damage instead of good. Take an example from WWII, during America’s war with the Axis powers the government decided that to prevent acts of sabotage all Japanese Americans would be put into camps. Often these families lost their property and livelihoods while they were locked up, despite being innocent of any wrong doing. This pragmatic approach, which focused on maintaining the security of the United States above the rights of its citizens’ violated the Idealistic foundations which this country is founded upon. Without Idealism to control pragmatic choices, Human rights are thrown aside in an effort to find “what works.” As the negative, I would like to propose that we value both idealism and pragmatism. (enough said)
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. In my second contention I assert that the convenient way is not always the best way. In my third contention I state that if Pragmatism is valued above Idealism, Human rights are ignored. In my final contention I declare 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.


Your main problem with this case is the whole "value them equally" argument. If you have good briefs against that argument you're golden. Overall a good case with that one exception.
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Carl

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PostSubject: Re: Samuel's affirmative case revised   Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:23 pm

Samuel Johnson wrote:


Thousands of Jews died, and yet even after this shocking incident no one protested the actions of the Nazi party. People were interested in what was practical to them, which was simply staying quiet, rather than upholding any ideals. This example shows that pragmatism inevitably leads to the violation of Human rights.


Actually, there was a very large resistence movement working against the Nazis.

It would be safer to say little was done or likewise cause I could refute that one.
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