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The Contender
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In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, It is not necessary to have a case with a value and value-criterion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,904 times Debate No: 22066
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (40)
Votes (3)




This has become an annoying factor to most LD debates I do on here. I run a case that functions on something other than a value/criterion pair, and I will always hit this argument:

"LD is, over all, a value debate. Since my opponent doesn't have a value, he cannot win."

I find this claim to be of absolute lunacy, and I challenge those who hold this belief to debate me on this. First round is acceptance only. I will accept the burden of proof for this debate. All definitions will come in the next round from me.

1. Do not run semantical arguments. We all know exactly what the resolution entails.
2. If at any point a person forfeits a round, it should count as an automatic loss and all points go to the other debater.


I pressume first round is acceptance.

I accept your challenge. As someone who has competed all over nat/Texas circuit i look forward to a fun debate:)

(Also a little side note- if my character count excedes I'll post a google docs link)
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for acceting this debate.

As I stated before, I will define some of the words in the resolution:

Lincoln-Douglas Debate: A form of one-on-one debate.
Necessary: Impossible to function without
Not necessary: Capable of functioning without
Value/Value Criterion - A metric a case can utilize that provides a way for a judge to weigh how the case interacts with the resolution and contention-level offense.

So all I must do is prove that a case in Lincoln-Douglas debate can function outside of having a value/criterion. My opponent must prove that a case cannot interract with the resolution without having a value/criterion (I will abbreviate from this point on as V/C).

At this point, I will concede that there are certain benefits that having a V/C in a case brings that other forms of weighing do not provide. It is an easier metric of weighing to teach to newer debaters, and it is one of the most common forms of cases ran (called by debaters as a 'stock case'). But just because there are benefits, this does not mean a case cannot function without one. That would be flat out ridiculous.

Burden systems are also a good way of weighing how a case interacts with a resolution. If your contention level offense fulfills your burdens (i.e. proves your burden to be true), then you have sufficiently fulfilled the resolution.

Also, cases can function and fulfill the resolution through linking into the other person's case and disproving their claim. Disadvantages, kritiks, plans, counterplans, and word picks are all examples of this.

There are also forms of cases that function pre-fiat to the resolution, or before the resolution, that analyze the debate itself and why one person ought to win or lose over the other person. Theory and topicality are both examples of this.

All of these are clear capable cases to run that do not function with a V/C. Thus, a V/C is not necessary to form a coherent case in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

My opponent may try to stand up and say that because Lincoln-Douglas debate is a values debate, we must have a value. But this doesn't mean we must always use a V/C. There are other ways of saying what we ought and ought not do or what is ethically and morally better than something else without having to always rely on using a V/C.

Thus, I must stand in affirmation of the resolution. I await my opponent's response.


Thanks for accepting again. As a roadmap, I'm going NC/AC (rebuttal).

Contention I: Lincoln-Douglas debate is a Value/Value Criterion centric debate and as such requires a V and VC.

Since LD's creation and throughout the course of its popularity on the national and local circuits a constant of LD debate has been the value and the standard through which the value is evaluated (known as the criterion). These major parts of LD debate are the only equivalent to ‘stock issues' we, as LDers, have and are the main and sometimes only substantive difference between LD and other types of debate. Barring time constraints, with consideration of the growth of more and more philosophical arguments in CX and PF, it is made abundantly clear that debate is turning into a sort of pseudo-melting pot wherein progressivity is causing uniformity. When everyone has DAs, theory, FWs, and philosophical contentions, the thing that is needed to differentiate the community is inherent substance (for LD the Value-Value criterion case structure). In essence, as my coach would say, "it aint LD if it don't got V/VC".

Contention II: The Value and Value Criterion give the judge (or judges) a scope through which the round can be viewed.

Contentions by themselves are a statement of fact with an impact. However these contentions do absolutely nothing without a standard to judge them by. So in order for contentions to mean anything under the resolution we need a Value and Value criterion as a means of giving the round a scope.

Contention III: The value and Value criterion ensure topicality.

A key part of Lincoln-Douglas debate rounds is the link structure of the argument and V/VC cases ensure that these links are maintained. (IE the Value in a case links to the resolution, the Value Criterion links to the Value, and the contentions link to the Value Criterion.) Seeing as how links are essential to being able to affirm or negate a resolution and a V and VC are essential to links, debate requires a Value and Value Criterion to truly affirm/negate.

Contention IV: The Value and Value Criterion provide better educational value.

My opponent touched on this. Values and Criterions are easier to learn, they're easier to follow, and they're easier to find warrants for.
Contention V: Theory.

A: interpretation

LD is a V/VC debate and at its essence requires these two things above all else. Without a V/VC the debate in question is but a shell of true LD debate, it may have the same parameters as real LD debate or be on the same time scale, but it is not LD debate if it doesn't have a Value and Criterion. A generally accepted idea is that LD is a Value debate which necessitates a VC to maintain links and equality and also as a result of precedent. LD debate has stood as a V/VC debate since its insemination and at its core is a V/VC debate. Which brings us again to the core idea that "it aint LD if it don't got V/VC".

B: Abuse

Creating standards through means other than V/VC makes for a burden of proof that is abusive and unfair to any debater. As previously discussed Values are essential to links and to also maintaining fairness, we can see this by the fact that Values are prescribed by the resolution (IE "morally permissible"=morality, "Just"=Justice, etc.) and criterions are the only way to link to the value. Failure to abide by this creates abuse, the value limits the scope of the debate and so it is essential and then a criterion is needed to negate or affirm, therefore abstract standard creation is not only non topical it also creates an unfair burden of proof by taking standards outside of the scope intended by the resolution.
To sum this up, LD at its base (from creation, practice, and precedent) is a V/VC debate and even if you don't buy that then look at the fact that LD debate is a Value debate (at my opponents own admission and as prescribed by the resolution) and the Value constitutes a Criterion to maintain topicality and fairness which means affirming and negating (the two options in LD) require a V/VC, now to address my opponent's case.

Start with definitions; I generally agree with them, if we need clarification on semantics later on I'll post in the comments or later rounds.

As for burdens, I agree with my opponent except his statement that I have to prove a case cannot interact with the resolution without a V/VC, I simply have to show a case cannot affirm or negate without a V/VC/

Next, look at my opponent's concession of the benefits under the V/VC structure, so if it's a tossup for any judge carry across my contentions of benefits and vote con because in a tie the neg has better benefits.

For my opponent's proposal of the use of the burden system cross apply my contentions on abuse and topicality and so you can drop that as a counter proposal.

Looking at my opponent's proposal of linking into another case partially apply my idea of topicality and also look towards the fact that LD does not work under a relativity paradigm it works under an absolute truth testing paradigm (IE Pro affirms Con negates, not Pro affirms Con negates pro).

As for my opponent's advocacy of other unmentioned items (Ks etc.) these are not suitable alternatives, look at LD rules "the counter must deal with the problem area defined by the affirmative, and not the form of government, economic system, need for further study, Etc. (UNLESS SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED AS A KEY ISSUE IN THE RESOLUTION)." So these are not viable options and can be dropped also.

What this means is that my opponent hasn't provided any legitimate options so drop his third to last paragraph and in a last response to his statement that LD is a Value debate cross apply my summary at the end of my NC and also carry across my contentions pertaining therein and again drop his alternatives. So, I say it again, LD at its base (from creation, practice, and precedent) is a V/VC debate and even if you don't buy that then look at the fact that LD debate is a Value debate (at my opponents own admission and as prescribed by the resolution) and the Value constitutes a Criterion to maintain topicality and fairness which means affirming and negating (the two options in LD) require a V/VC especially considering my opponent's lack of provision for another reasonable option.
Debate Round No. 2


Again, I'd like to point out that my opponent must show that an LD case CANNOT FUNCTION without a V/C. So all I need to do is respond to his points and point out other types of cases that can do what his contentions say V/Cs do, and I've disproven his case. So let's go through them all.


I can express why we ought to value something without having to implicitly say "I value x". Any case can do this.
Besides, the opinion of your random coach doesn't really count in this. My coach is totally fine with other types of cases, so it seems we're at a bit of an impasse.


Burden systems do this just as well, if not better, than a V/C does.
Also, simply giving weighing analysis in round is sufficient, so any case, again, can do this.


Links can be made and justified in any type of case to the resolution. Thus, any case can fulfill this contention.

C4 (ahaha, C4. Boom lol):

Sorry for the explosive joke (all the pun in the world intended).

Just because something gives a benefit, that doesn't make it the only thing that works. Totalitarian governments have SOME benefits, but it doesn't make all other forms of governments suddenly not a government at all. Any type of case can provide educational value.


Wait, my opponent just tried to use a case THAT DOESN'T HAVE A V/C. He's doing all my work for me! Since he just tried to run theory on me (a really crappy theory shell, no standards or anything), this is going to put him in a double bind because either a) there are cases that work for LD debate without V/Cs, and thus the resolution can be affirmed or b) cases don't need V/Cs, and his entire position is taken out, thus making the resolution affirmed.

Game over slip by my opponent.

My opponent misconstrues my concession that LD is a value debate as meaning that LD is a V/C debate, but this is just not true. Neither of our positions have a V/C, yet we are debating what we ought to value in LD debate. Because of this, we can clearly debate what we ought to value in a resolution without a V/C.

Next, he tries to challenge the burdens of the resolution but:
1. He already conceded to them. If he wanted to challenge the burdens he could've either a) posted a complaint in the comments section (there are none) or b) posted a complaint in his first round acceptance. Since he did neither of these things, he conceded to accept the burdens upon him.
2. As per the definition of necessary (that he conceded he agreed with) he must prove that an LD case cannot function without a V/C.

So the burdens can be easily extended.

Next, he argues that benefits make V/C better, however benefits of a certain weighing method is not what is being debated. He must prove that a case in LD MUST HAVE A V/C in order to function. Thusly, benefits of a certain structure have no ground in the resolution. Furthermore, all types of cases have their benefits and downfalls that come with them, so it's inherently a non-unique argument.

Next, he tries to cross-apply his theory argument (the one that didn't have a V/C), but this only makes him link harder into the double bind, which is a lose-lose scenario for my opponent and a win-win scenario for me. Plus, he gives no warrant as for why burden systems are abusive or non-topical, thus making them still able to function in an LD case. Easy extension here.

Next, he says that linking into another person's case suddenly doesn't work in LD, but he doesn't give a warrant why, he simply asserts that it doesn't. Furthermore, according to Encarta World Dictionary, to negate is defined as to deny the truth of. Thus, the inherent resolutional burden on a negating debater is to only disprove the affirmative, so his point falls here.

Next, he says that according to LD rules, other alternatives aren't permissible, but the link he gives is only specific to counterplans, so even if you give weight to his argument here, this only takes out one alternative. There are still kritiks, disads, theory, topicality, word picks, and plans, all of which function without a V/C.

So at this point, the debate breaks down pretty easily:

1. He's not proving the resolutional burden that it's impossible for a case to function without a V/C in LD debate. All I thusly have to do is point to one instance where an LD debate round had a case that didn't have a V/C and it played a part in deciding who won, and the resolution is affirmed.

Colleyville Heritage Tournament on the Jan/Feb topic. Semifinals Dulles AK (Amyn Kasam) vs. Keller TF (Travis Fife). The round came down to a theory shell (NIBS Bad, I believe). Thusly, the resolution is affirmed.
2. None of his contentions explain why cases cannot function without a V/C. All he has is a false pressumption and warrantless arguments.
3. I'm clearly showing you examples of cases that are used in LD debate that function without a V/C.

So for all of the reasons above, I urge a pro vote.


Sorry if some parts are spotty, I did this in debate practice.

I'll be going all rebuttal/clarification/crystallization the whole way through.

Jumping right in with C1, my contention one discusses the fact that LD debate necessitates a value and criterion, looking at my opponent's statement saying that we can value something without saying I value x goes towards value overall, seeing as how we're discussing valuing things (and my opponent has conceded LD must value things) we can both provide LD has a value, this leads to the new burden of proof as a clarification, seeing as how we both agree cases need values I simply need to provide that cases need criterions (note: for further clarification, I am not altering my burden simply showing how it has been partially fulfilled and as such we must look at what burden I have left).Furthermore my statement with regards to my coach seems to have been picked up as an issue, naturally I am not using my coach as my warrant (the warrant will be brought up in the latter part of my rebuttal) I am using my coach to inject some humor into the round.

On C2 cross apply my C5 B and also C5 A and C1, my opponent claims burden systems work in LD, look at the fact LD needs a V (something we've established) and a Criterion, so drop it there and drop it based on the fact that burden systems in LD are abusive (C5 B cross app).

Next on C3, keep on crossing C1 and C5, we're not just linking (which I've established in C3) we're linking into LD debate, so drop his argument that anything links because we're looking at specific LD linking.

On C4, vote up my opponent for his joke (Kidding!) but in all seriousness, my opponent misconstrues my point intention; I'm clarifying and proposing as a judging paradigm (a proposal that went unaddressed) that if you reach a complete impasse, vote up the NC because of benefits, so consider arguments, then if that yields no clear winner look at benefits.

Finally, on the C5, (which is not theory in the usually accepted LD sense but rather simply theory on LD, IE interp) look at the fact that my opponent doesn't even once address directly either of my points, so carry them on the flow, also his statement that I do his work by not maintaining a V/VC is false, the drop on this is the fact that this is not an LD style debate, I'll bring it up again, we're talking about direct LD link, so the fact that this isn't an LD case means this does nothing for him, we can see this is not an LD case for many reasons, we have nothing we value, we have none of the general philosophical constructs of LD, for goodness sake we don't even have the same round structure, so this again doesn't help my opponent at all, this isn't LD so there is no link.

However, this failure does bring with it the true game over slip. My opponent didn't address my B, which means drop majority of his offense which comes from his proposal of a burden system is dropped, AND (here's where the really real game over is) he doesn't contend my A, that means LD inherently has to have a V/VC, carry that on your flow and as such look at the fact that my whole burden is fulfilled, everything is done, neg wins, you can end the debate now, however for the sake of argumentation I will address my opponent's following points.

My opponent says I misconstrue his concession that LD is a value debate, I do not, he misconstrues round representation of value, we both agree we need value and that's the bottom of it(also you can drop his arg relating back to C5 because of the aforementioned reasons). So now that leads us into this rounds new burden (I have to prove we need a criterion) which leads me into my crystallization.

My burden in the scope of this round is to prove we need a C, seeing as how my opponent has taken an inclination towards evidence in his case, let me warrant my claim to the need for criterion.
These major LD arbiters of rules guide us to the fact we need to have criteria, this means even if you don't look at the fact that my dropped C5 fulfills my burden, you can look at this (in addition to my opponent's concession that we require value) to double meet my burdens and thus vote con.

Our next issue we have goes to the burden of proof statement I made, naturally I would never try to change the burden of proof I was merely saying that it seemed the burden in acceptance was different than the burden in the AC, this goes to semantics and I think my opponent and I Understand on burden so you can carry this as a non voter.

My opponent then tries to rebut my theory cross application with not only his failed C5rebuttal but also a new attempt at offense on my C5 B, you can drop this because he just says I provide no warrant which is false I talk about resolutional prescription and how because LD is V/VC (look back at my double fulfillment of my burdens) anything other than that is abuse. So drop his ‘I have no evidence' argument.

This ‘I have no evidence' is a recurring theme with his next argument, he says I don't give any reason why we need an absolute truth testing paradigm, this, again, is false, I give the fact that affirming affirms and negating negates, look at my opponent's own citation! To negate is to deny the truth of, exactly! The truth of the resolution! So that means linking as a means of advocacy does not work (not to be confused with linking as a means of offense)

My opponent finally says that my evidence doesn't block out all his alternatives, I say I does, re-cross apply all my sources (,,, then look at his absence of sources and vote up neg.

So at this point this is how the debate really breaks down.

1. I am proving the full resolutional burden and the resolutional burden with consideration of speeches and my opponent's example (which is from a debater who goes to his own school I might add) is not proof of LD rules, its proof of judges' misinterpretation thereof.

2. My contentions either go to paradigms or my twice the fulfilled burden and have lots-o-warrant.

3. I have more evidence and more claim on rebutting my opponent's alternates.

So the debate breaks down like such, First drop his alternatives (so neg wins) if you don't buy that, look at my fulfilled burden from our established in round constructs (so neg wins) and if you don't buy that, look at my warrants and my dropped C5 A and see I fulfill burden ON FACE, without even looking at any alternatives he proposed (so neg wins) this means actually it's not a lose-lose for me, it's a lose-lose-lose for my opponent and as such I negate.
Debate Round No. 3


Screw it.
I'll concede due to the fact that I have too much going on right now.
Feel free to vote con.


all my points and contestations carry, vote con
Debate Round No. 4
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Devil's advocate. I see what you're getting at xD
And haha, I didn't think it was THAT funny xD
Posted by Flounder 4 years ago
You can advocate something without necessarily believing it and I did giigle a little when i saw the C4 thingxD
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
xD It was kind of late when I was writing that rebuttal and I was slightly tired and when I typed out C4 I had to giggle a little :3
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
ha, I like the C4 joke, didn't see it coming.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Flounder, you really can't be serious about this, can you?
If you're legitly a national circuit debater, you can't possibly hold this belief.
Posted by Yep 4 years ago
Anyone here ever hit Kant's Categorical Imperative in an LD round where the person running it didn't know who kant was?
Posted by Yep 4 years ago
With a 34 commented Post im pretty sure they will see some of the things i put and not accept o.O but then again... I seriously hope someone takes this debate...
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
That's too easy of a resolution because it's impossible to disprove.
Nah, I'm looking for someone who really believes it to be absolutely necessary for an LD case, not just beneficial. If you don't wanna take it, that's fine.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
Any chance of changing the resolution to "V/C are beneficial to LD"? I just feel like there are too mant semantics loop hole arguments that can be made from this resolution.
Posted by Buddamoose 4 years ago
Lol i think the disad you speak of was the one used on me. Gawd that thing was like a freakin puzzle. More so because I had no clue what I was lookin at, but Zaradi was nice enough to show me the ropes(explain) and for that i am grateful.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Yep 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con b/c of Concession, however i'd like to point out there is no need for a v/vc. Finals rounds of TFA State (Texas) This year was Stock AFF self defense vs K on neg, it ended up being 3-0 for the k, despite constant theory bombardment by aff. Many top TOC tournaments, State tournaments, and even some nationals finaliss, run past stock to k's, counterplans, and much more. The fact of the matter is, LD at a higher level does not require a V/VC, it's a basic misconception by those who don't know.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded, but was behind in the debate anyway. V/VC is the basic baloney to be sliced in an LD debate. Con successfully argued that the format requires it.
Vote Placed by Buddamoose 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF