Released: Filed Under: Stoa Lincoln-Douglas
The day before NITOC, my brother got married.
In the early hours of the day, a couple who happen to be friends of mine were having a cheerful dispute over whether they should take a valuable item-filled cooler with them or leave it at the location. After the banter for a few minutes, they turned to me and remarked on the fact that I was in speech and debate. They asked me what to do in such a scenario. I was delighted. I took the next few minutes to explain what a value was. The conversation led to the discussion of two desirable and comparable values: cooler safety and cooler convenience.
Just before that day, it had dawned on me that I hadn’t been running values correctly for a long time. I realized that a value is applied to measure two GOOD things. On countless occasions, I had seen numerous people (myself not excluded) run a resolution as if it’s a pick-and-choose opportunity. In other words, my side is always good. Their side is always bad.
But that’s not how resolutions work.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a willing volunteer who will proudly proclaim, “Hey, convenience is always good and great! Safety is awful, and it kills millions of people. We should never vote for safety.” No one should do that.
So why do we?
Truth-seeking and privacy are two different, but very good things. You can’t say “DESTROY PRIVACY” and think the judge will vote for you. LD is all about finding truth. In truth, both subjects of the resolution are valuable and meaningful. To make sure you don’t fall into this trap, have a great awakening and realize that a value is not really one-sided. Compare these two statements:
- Truth-seeking gets justice. Privacy NEVER gets justice.
- Truth-seeking is better at getting justice than privacy.
I’m prone to agree with the second one. That’s what this case is about.
You take the value of justice and run a simple but powerful thesis: in the long run, stopping criminals is more important than a temporary privacy violation. In other words, you’re not saying that privacy never is just. Instead, when they conflict, truth-seeking is more just. That makes sense.
To drive home that point, you use an impact calculus. With truth-seeking on one end of the scale, you protect victims, solve crimes, arrest and serve justice to criminals, neutralize terrorists, and preserve the lives of people everywhere. With privacy, critical evidence can be destroyed. Criminals can get away. Crimes may never be discovered. The process of finding factuality is much more difficult. Yes, it’s way better to serve justice than to vote neg.
As far as applications go, I’m writing this before any other articles have been turned in. We haven’t yet done a ton of analysis, so I expect the application pool to grow throughout the year and you may decide to change them up. However, these should be fine to start you off and get you thinking.
Remember to stay organized and persuasive (or in idiom terms, have everything signed, sealed, and delivered. Hey, that’s the title of this case). Make your thesis a priority. Most of all, have fun!
And God bless you.
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As a native Coloradan senior with almost six years of experience, Thomas has been in the top 8 competitor positions well over 50 times, winning numerous awards in both speech and debate. Out of more than 1800 competitors nationwide, he has consistently presided in the top 2% of speechranks listings. When he’s not working on speech and debate, you can find him studying Christian theology, composing music, drinking smooth coffee, or belting out lines from theater productions.