The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Current LD Topic: When in conflict personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,281 times Debate No: 20727
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)




We will debate Lincoln-Douglas style and this will be our format.

Round #1. Acceptance
AC: Round #2
NC/NR1: Round 2
Cross-Ex Questions: Round 3
AR1: Round 4
NR2: Round 4
AR2/Affirmative Closing Statements: Round 5
Negative Closing Statements.

Forfeits = Automatic Loss.



The topic in question is: When in conflict personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security.

For this to be proved true or false, we must accept the basic premises of the terms. I have taken the instigator at face value, and will use basic definition of the terms that were used.

These are the primary points of the statement as given:

1.We are only discussing conflicts, not preference where both can be partially achieved;
2.Personal freedom, to me is defined as not restraining or dictating the choices and actions of the individual; and
3.Economic security, to me is defined as the ability of a society to trade, produce, and provide for the consumption of the members of that society at the most basic level.

The fact remains that he chose the terms and I must use them in evaluation of the merit of the positions.

When one starts from the assumption that there is a conflict, or incompatible options, then the argument can be stated with a precise evaluation of the outcomes:

1.The society has no economic stability, but personal freedom is unabridged; or
2.Personal freedom is abridged, and the economy is stable.

Were the instigator to have stated economic vitality, economic growth, economic status quo, or some other term I doubt we would have disagreement. He has not. A society that has no economic security cannot provide food, safety, or in essence, life for its members. The sacrifice of an individual's freedom to prevent the wholesale death of the society is logically required, for that individual would also be dead and prevent him from exercising his freedom as well. So we are comparing a total loss to a partial loss and the obviousness of the correct decision need not be further discussed.

Here is an example of the debate in action:
A man owns a plant that can be made into a cure to prevent the entire society from turning into quadriplegics, himself included, but he doesn't want the plant harmed. Should we take the plant from the man and make the cure? The answer is obvious; yes we deny his personal freedom of property to save the economic security of the society.

If the author of this challenge wishes to rephrase the debate or alter his terms, then I may have no disagreement.

Many of you may claim that I am being a "semantics Nazi," abusing language to create a straw man. The truth is that he has placed this argument up for debate, and it was he that chose to do so and what language to use.
In order to address the concerns of "straw man" semantics trickery, I ask the instigator to provide one example where economic security cannot be achieved without a corresponding denial of personal freedom and where such denial would not be preferable.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for his valuable information. However, I did not say they didn't need each other or could survive without each other. I meant than if they wre in conflict, which one should be valued higher? Also definitions will be given in the Constructive. Thank you. "When in conflict" is what I will be talking about today.

Nelson Mandela once said “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” It
is because I agree with Nelson Mandela that I stand Resolved: When in conflict,
personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security. To show what I
mean, I have offered these definitions.


freedom-freedom of the person in going and coming, having equality before the
courts, security of private property, freedom of personal opinion and its
expression, and freedom of felt conscience subject to the rights of others and
of the public.

security-the condition of having a stable source of financial income that
allows for the on-going maintenance of one's standard of living currently and
in the near future.


John F. Kennedy once said “Liberty
without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.”
My value in this debate
round is that of liberty. I will give the definition of liberty for the purpose
of this round. My definition of liberty isthe
right to do whatever the person wants that does not hurt or infringe on
another’s rights. Liberty is important and is vital for everyday life. How many
times do we use liberty every day and how much do we thank for our liberty? Therefore in this debate round, liberty will
be my value.


An educated public is an essential ingredient of a free society.
Ambitious governments have far greater difficulty making schemes that throw out
liberty and prosperity if they faced an informed and knowing population. That’s
why my criterion for this debate round is education. Education is vital to
achieve true liberty. I will define education for the purpose of this round. The
definition of education is the imparting, acquiring and the learning of knowledge
for the benefit of society through teaching and learning, especially through

Contention One: Personal Freedom
Upholds Liberty.

Take a look at the example of the USA
in 1763. The British thought that they should have received more money because
they had protected the colonies from the French so the English king had a
series of direct taxes followed by other laws without any politics. The people
in the USA thought it was unfair because they didn’t send a representative to
figure out the taxes as usual so the people didn’t know which taxes were

The laws became very unpopular because
the people believed the new taxes and laws infringed on their rights as
Englishmen. Soon groups of colonies created the Committees of Correspondence which became shallow governments in
defiance to the British.

In the
course of two years, they rejected the British Parliament and replaced it with
the Provincial Congresses. In response to protesting in Boston over the British Parliament’s attempts
to regain authority, the British sent combat troops, destroyed local governments,
and made direct ruling by appointed rulers from the British. The colonies got
angry and secretly gathered up their own military and started fighting in 1775.
They fought for personal freedom which resulted in liberty. As a result, they
won the war and had what we call liberty today.

The people sacrificed their lives to
get liberty for their country and to allow America to be the freest country of
all. Therefore my conclusion is that personal freedom upholds liberty and
though the wait for liberty may be long, it is worth it.

Contention 2: Education
Promotes Liberty.

Education is
very important because it promotes liberty. Take a look at Muammar Gaddafi’s
Libya. The dictator killed many educated critics because of their knowledge
about personal freedom. The majority of the people whom he killed were educated
people who wanted liberty.

Talk about personal freedom
spread throughout Libya and there became a revolution with lots of support from
countries who stand for liberty. The rebels won and now even though the new
country is better than before, it still has a long way to go but at least they
have more freedom than before. Therefore education promotes liberty.

Contention 3: Economic
Security Harms Liberty.

I will give you the example of China
today. China is the 2nd
largest economy in the world and is the world’s fastest-growing major economy
with consistent growth rates around 10% in the past 30 years. It is also the
largest exporter and the 2nd largest importer on the planet Earth.

industries are booming and are competing fiercely with the USA. China is now
one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and its rapid-growth is
long-lived and shows no signs of slowing down. Its booming industries have
liberated millions of people from poverty and has spread across its vast
population. Also, they have unlocked huge segments of demand.

*China was
the largest consumer of energy accounting for 20.3% of the world’s total. China
consumed 48% of the world’s coal and consumed 54% of the world’s cement. There
are now 45 million cars compared to 15 million cars in 2000. They are also the
fastest growing market in Apple’s iPhone with a 250% increase in the 2nd
quarter compared to the USA’s 155% increase. A new 6 million people go on the
Internet for the 1st time every month in China because of the good
economy.* China is economically secure and its economy is growing bigger and

However, China is still a Communist country, and is still
far less from her Asian neighbors’ liberty. As big as it is, she still has very
limited freedom and therefore many people would rather stay in a free country
than in an economically secure country because of such limited liberty. Even
two other Communist countries which are both much smaller than China have
an industrialized, near-autarkic,
highly centralized command economy and an almost entirely government but China
doesn’t. Therefore economic security harms liberty.

Therefore my three points are personal freedom upholds liberty;
education upholds liberty; and economic security harms liberty. Thank you! I am
now ready for cross-examination in the 3rd Round.



LokiLoks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately, I feared this. I extend all arguments. I wish someone serious would take my debates...


I apologize for my not submitting my previous round. I did not realize how quickly time would pass and didn't get around to it. Moving on,

My opponent writes, "I did not say they didn't need each other or could survive without each other."

Please see
Conflict: "to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash:"

If they are disagreements, contradictory, variance, in opposition or clash, they are mutually exclusive.

So yes, when you wrote, "When in conflict personal freedom ought to be valued above economic security" you very much indicated that they could survive without each other.

Then you wrote, "Also definitions will be given in the Constructive" after stating:
"I meant than if they wre(sp) in conflict, which one should be valued higher?"
Again, you have repeated the same and a correction of the terminology, "conflict" to "preference" was not made.

Your quote from Mandela indicates no preference for economic security or personal freedom given that if one has no economic security, one's personal freedom however vast, is incapable of making money.

Your definition of personal freedom included the following: travel, justice, private property, opinion, expression, and felt (sp) conscience subject to the rights of others and of the public. (emphasis mine)

You have already indicated a preference for economic stability with the bolded text. You are giving deference to all the other rights that are possessed by the "others and of the public." Some of those rights, although not explicitly stated, must include their own freedom of travel, private property, and so on. In an environment where there is no economic security, one cannot have a claim of private property and one cannot obtain methods of travel.

Your definition of economic security was: "a stable source of financial income that allows for the on-going maintenance of one's standard of living currently and in the near future."

If one does not have income (something that requires economic security), how can one maintain private property; how can one feed themselves such that they can have any of the other rights previously mentioned?

You quote John F. Kennedy, one of the greatest oppressors of liberty in order to bolster your claim to support liberty? You write that liberty is, "the right to do whatever the person wants that does not hurt or infringe on another's rights."

On February 2, 1961, Kennedy requested that Congress infringe on other people's rights using the threat of force and kidnapping to: steal money from people to pay for those that didn't work for it, steal money to give to children whose parents didn't earn it, steal money from people to give to his friends in construction, steal money from future generations so that people could retire earlier, prevent employers and employees from coming to a voluntarily acceptable wage, and steal money to give to people who had made bad investments in grain farming.

I wouldn't quote a source that was such a great denier of liberty as Kennedy to claim it as your value.

You write, "The people in the USA thought it was unfair because they didn't send a representative to figure out the taxes as usual so the people didn't know which taxes were raised."

This is a very poorly written and inaccurate statement. First, it was the people in the colonies that thought poorly of the taxation without representation. Second, in a group of diverse human opinions, not everyone will agree upon everything, so even with "representation" there would be some that would not be represented. Thirdly, it wasn't about not knowing what taxes were raised, everyone that was effected by the taxes knew which taxes were raised, it's the reason that they were upset.

You contend that personal freedom upholds liberty. I concur with that, yet again you cite a struggle by rich white oppressors who overthrew rich white oppressors in order to establish dominance over their own region, not a struggle for liberty. The founders of the USA did end up providing more liberty than ever seen before, but it was a far cry short of true liberty.

Using Gaddafi's attacks on the educated as evidence of education's promotion of liberty is a non-sequitur. I will simply accept that someone that is educated may have more skills by which to detect and repel their own oppression, leading to more liberty.

You state, "An educated public is an essential ingredient of a free society."

This is false. The society of the aboriginal Australians were not particularly well educated, but they were quite free. This is primarily because they had few oppressors.

"Education is vital to achieve true liberty."

This is subject to the "true Scotsman informal logical fallacy." If I mention any argument to point out that education is not necessary, as in the case of the Aborigines, you can say, but that's not TRUE liberty.

You claim that "Economic Security Harms Liberty" then proceed to cite an oppressive regime's economic growth, not their economic secuirty. Not only that, you then show that the economic growth has resulted in the "[liberation of] millions of people from poverty." Poverty harms liberty. Without means to eat or own a vehicle, one cannot have the liberty of travel you mentioned.

You dismiss that and more with a simple, "however [it's] still a communist country," and a some comparison with other countries in the region which do better and somehow claim that economic security harms liberty. China's economic security and growth has created more liberty for their citizens. The only reason that the other nations have happier populations within their borders is because they have MORE economic security and more liberty. Again, you are making a non-sequitur. Economic security did not cause the oppression of the Chinese, an abusive government did.

Again, I apologize for not posting in the alloted time on the previous section, but I suppose my initial post was in all likelihood more verbose and an argument than it was supposed to be. I guess I'll have to make sure I learn how these debates are formatted, and most certainly I'll have to ensure that I am responding faster as the rounds come up.

Thank you for the challenge.
Debate Round No. 3


First of all, I disagree with my opponent that this is about preference. If they are on opposite sides competing to be valued higher, which one should we value the highest? Preference is which do I prefer? But this resolution is about what people should value higher not about what I in singular form prefer.

2nd of all, I ask my opponent to stop arguing about this Resoluion because this is the same Resolution that many people in high school are arguing in tournaments right now and is not a topic I created but a topic that has been discussed and the current LD topic. Also please follow the format with an actual case with definitions, contentions, and all. This is a LD debate so please follow the format!!!! Also the first quote just means that Nelson Mandela believes that money doesn't create success, instead freedom does. Also Mandela has been working his entire life for civil rights, won the Noble Peace Prize for fighting for freedom, and was locked in prison for over 25 years to do what is right. ;
3rd of all, definitions are what the Affirmative provides. I don't need to say specifically what rights they are unless there is cross-examination which you also did not follow. I already said that in a excellent society, both personal freedom and economic security are needed.
4th of all, what you're saying about John F. Kennedy is personal bias. John F. Kennedy was a huge fighter for liberty and civil rights. He valued bothe personal freedom and economic security but personal freedom just a bit higher. Also your source doesn't state what you state at all but instead states about the "term New Frontier" and talks about what he did. I don't see any stealing or taking away but I do agree that he helped lots of people but not through stealing at all.
5th of all, please follow the format. You suddenly jump to something in Contention #1. Please note this is a Lincoln-Douglas Debate. When you say it's accurate you give 3 points. The first point is that it was the people in the USA not in the colonies. The colonies was what I meant. The USA. My grammar problem. Thanks for correcting it. 2nd point was ven with representation not everyone would be represented. Representation is notably called politics in the Wikipedia article about this. 3rdly you say it wasn't about that they didn't know which taxes were raised, it was the taxes that were the problem. Again, this is partially true, the taxes were part of the problem but they didn't know the exact amount because there were no politics. My source is the Wikipedia Article: English Revolution Movement (Not The Actual War Article But The Other One.
6th of all, you say that rich white oppressors overthrew rich oppressors. I would like to say that they desired to be free instead of dominance over their region. They were not fighting for land but instead they wanted to be another country because they were too confined by the British government. My 5th point source.
7th of all, my opponent goes to my 2nd contention. I don't get what my opponent has argued all except that my contention doesn't make sense without any actual argument.
8th of all, my opponent goes back all the way to my criterion. My opponent's criticism is invalid without any source to back it up. He also states that I am using I am not at all. If you have an example with sources then I can perfectly state where there is liberty and economic security.
Last of all, look at my definition of economic security. The country being economically secure has hurt their liberty. They have had gained personal freedom instead of liberty. I would say amounts of liberty but not actually liberty.
Vote For Pro.
S & G: Tie.
Arguments: My Opponent did not follow the given out format and did not make a case which is needed in LD debate while I have successfully followed the given format and refuted all his points. Vote Pro.
Conduct: Not Following Format, Forfeit. Vote Pro.
Sources:I had more sources. Vote Pro.
I thank my opponent for this debate.


My opponent writes, "...this resolution is about what people should value higher not about what I in singular form prefer." Preference does not have to be individual. Please read Universally Preferable Behavior at

Then my opponent writes, "I ask my opponent to stop arguing about this Resoluion because this is the same Resolution that many people in high school are arguing in tournaments right now and is not a topic I created but a topic that has been discussed and the current LD topic." Just to be clear, this means: "stop arguing about this resolution because other people are arguing the same fallacious argument elsewhere."

He asks me to "follow the format with an actual case with definitions, contents and all." I apologize, I am new to this debate thing, and I acknowledge that I have failed to follow the format. I would point out, however, that he has failed to write with correct grammar and spelling or accurate definitions, making his position difficult at best to respond to without him claiming a win by technicality or some sort of 'that's not what I mean' excuse.

He uses Nelson Mandela as an example of someone who was an advocate for freedom. According to here are some of Mandela's acts that were directly contrary to advocating freedom over financial security:
    • "free" health care for children under six and pregnant/breastfeeding women;
    • the Reconstruction and Development Programme;
    • increases in welfare spending;
    • racial parity for state grants;
    • increases in state education;
    • expanding state reproductive health services;
    • child support state grants;
    • state paid for telephone lines;
    • upgrading of state clinics;
    • expanding the state electricity grid;
    • state financed building of 750,000 houses;
    • extension of state water provision;
    • "free" state provided meals for school children;
    • National Drug Policy for state provided medicine;
    • The Welfare Laws Amendment Act (social security reform & funding) and;
    • The Amendments to the Aged Persons Act (retirement home oversight).
Who pays for that "free" health care, reconstruction, welfare spending, grants, public education, skill development programs, telephone lines, electricity grids, houses, water transport, meals, medicine, social security payments, oversight? Taxpayers pay for it. Taxes, by definition, aren't voluntary contributions which equals a loss of personal freedom.

Mandela required COMPULSORY schooling for childreen 6-14 years of age, a complete opposite to personal freedom.

Mandela created the The Labour Relations Act of 1995 which interfered with the personal freedom of the laborers and the employers. Please see for the act.

Mandela created the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 and the Employment Equity Act of 1998 and the Mine Health and Safety Act of 1996 which prevented the employer and employees from expressing their own personal freedom to choose what conditions they want for their own workplace. Please see:
I could go on and on with examples of Mandela's obvious lack of support for personal freedom. By the way, Mandela (with an E) won the Nobel not Noble peace prize.

My opponent's own source betray his premise! How can one possibly vote for Pro when it is so poorly argued?

My opponent says, "what you're saying about JFK is personal bias." There was no bias, it was a statement of facts. Kennedy's programs were funded by taxation and those that refused to pay those taxes were taken away with the implied or actual threat of being shot and jailed AKA kidnapped. I can see how he might believe it is personal bias because he apparently doesn't understand that taxation IS theft under threat of kidnapping when he says, "I don't see any stealing or taking away."

He then cites for a source where Kennedy "helped lots of people [without stealing]" and after reviewing the site I found zero evidence of the sort. Every single act that I see that Kennedy accomplished listed on that site was funded through the coercive force of taxation, an institution diametrically opposed to personal freedom.

Just to be absolutely clear on this point. Taxation is a violation of personal freedom. It prevents each individual from spending their money on what they want to. Taxation also funds programs which are almost always government monopolies, which denies any potential entrepreneur or non profit organizer from creating any competing industry.

In his 6th point, my opponent says "I would like to say that they desired to be free instead of dominance over their region." How is "like to say" in any way a counter argument to my point?

My opponent says "I don't get what my opponent has argued [at] all except that my contention doesn't make sense without any actual argument." Someone cannot argue with something that is incoherent. Here is an example of my opponent's incoherent writing from his most recent post, "He also states that I am using I am not at all." How does one argue with that?

My opponent suggests that my "criticism is invalid without any source to back it up." Valid points of debate include logic and evidence. Sources have no value unless they provide logic or evidence, and they are certainly not required to make criticism valid. I provided evidence and logic, quite sufficient for accurate criticism.

In summary:

Economic stability as my opponent defined it, "the condition of having a stable source of financial income that allows for the on-going maintenance of one's standard of living currently and in the near future" is a prerequisite for personal freedom. A person that doesn't have a stable source of financial income or cannot maintain one's standard of living for the present or near future has limited personal freedom. Consider how curtailed your own personal freedom would be if you were uncertain about your future much less the NEAR future. Would you borrow money? Would you travel? Would you change jobs or start up a new business? Would you speak your mind to your supervisor or a wealthy relative? Obviously your decisions and personal freedom are restricted when you do not have economic stability.


In regards to conduct, I hope you will choose 'Tie.' I was respectful as was my adversary if you don't consider his response, "I wish someone serious would take my debates" as a personal attack on my seriousness which was arguably acceptable given that I didn't follow the format. A vote for 'Pro' is certainly acceptable as is 'Tie.'

In regards to spelling and grammar, it is obvious that his grammar and spelling were lacking. Any vote not given to the Con position would be a denial of evidence.

In regards to which argument was more convincing, my opponent's own arguments undermined his position not to mention my own efforts which clearly show that his position fails. I would request that you vote for the 'Con' position on this point.

In regards to which side used more reliable sources, my opponent's own sources undermined his position unlike mine. I used each of his own sources to refute his position as well as provided my own. If a source is counter to the position offered then it cannot be considered to be a "reliable" source because it cannot be "relied" upon to support the position. I urge you to vote 'Con' on this point.

Regardless of your position prior to the debate, I humbly request that you vote 'Con' considering that I showed how economic stability is a requirement for personal freedom.

Thank you again to Viper-King for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Vp always debate like this please...
Posted by LokiLoks 6 years ago
BTW Viper, if you'd like, I can provide some arguments for the 'pro' position that I believe may be a valued addition to your position. Let me know if you're interested, just in case you're going to be discussing this with others at school.

Posted by LokiLoks 6 years ago
16kadams: How could you possibly vote TIED for spelling and grammar. There were a plethora of spelling and grammar errors made by the Pro position and none by the Con position.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
wtrf he is from ABQ!
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
i will provide definitons in the first round but it really is stablility
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
define economic security
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
ya value and if you want a criterion i thought this was the topic
Posted by deion43 6 years ago
sorry its {deadly force}...
Posted by deion43 6 years ago
this is not the current ld topic just to clarify the topic is... resolved:it is morally permissible for victims to use deadly as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence. also are you going to run the case through value and criterion?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for FF. Pro had better sources. Args tied.