Ryan Mulye ParadigmLast changed 11/17 2:47P CDT
Value (V) & Value Criterion (VC) Debate:
The decision-maker & breaker is based on whichever side BEST upholds their Value / Value criterion. Essentially, the winning debater will be able to showcase that in his/her world his/her value is superior and is better upheld. It is always beneficial to attack the logic of the other side's Value / Value Criterion to demonstrate this. For example, say the affirmative has a value of Justice and a value criterion of Equality. A successful attack on the logic here would be to show how Equality and Justice are in conflict such as if we set hiring quotas, affirmative action, etc. (everything will be equal but it is not always fair). Of course, bringing this up in the context of the resolution will bolster the argument (for example, if we are not debating affirmative action). Logic and reasoning hold a lot of weight and can substitute for traditional evidence (statistics, studies, quotes, etc.)
Value criterions are there as such: a weighing mechanism. This is often lost / falls on deaf ears amongst debaters. A weighing mechanism is just that -- a method to determine what is the best determinant for a specific value. Let use this crude example illustrate that. Say we are debating what makes a great UFC fighter. In an LD context, our Values are "Successful MMA Fighter." Well, what determines their success?Is it heart? Is it experience? Is it youth? Speed? Strength? Striking? Wrestling? Resilience? Whichever criterion you think best allows for a successful UFC fighter should be the "VC" in this example.
Burdens and Case Logic:
Obviously, the Affirmative has the burden of proof, the negative the burden of initiating clash. I would prefer that AT LEAST SOMETHING is said for each of the contentions and sub-points, even if you are running out of time. It can be something minor.
That being said, just because someone misses a contention doesn't mean that it can make or break a debate. The debater must demonstrate WHY that particular contention matters. Of course, the other extreme is not appropriate either (i.e., a particular side fails to attack anything or misses major parts of the case but has a strong case of their own).
In addition, I like when the contentions relate in someway to the value and value criterion. It clarifies the logic in the case and in general makes it easier for the side to argue their Value/VC.
The Negative's case can be flawed yet still win if the attacks on the affirmative are strong enough. Conversely, the negative can have a much better case than the Affirmative but if it never initiates clash, then I will defer to the affirmative (this hasn't been a problem).
Evidence is great, but evidence is not an argument. Debaters need to explain how/why that piece of evidence matters and relates to the resolution. In addition, debaters need to explain the source and why this person's opinion matters in the context of the resolution. Just throwing cards at me, will not sway my decision.
Speaking can be a little quick but if you speak too fast and I miss contentions/sub-points it will negatively affect you.
Cross-ex needs to be used strategically. It only matters if you refer back to it in a subsequent speech.
Clear, specific and unique arguments for each contention and sub-point is superior. Repeating the same argument over and over again is not a strong strategy for success.
Voting issues are best at the end and it helps when the debater provides a clear reason why I should vote for a particular side.