The Instigator
TheCategorical
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Nails
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points

Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought be required to pass standardize

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,116 times Debate No: 9824
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (7)

 

TheCategorical

Con

Lets keep this a concise debate. I will be the Negative and my opponent will be the Affirmative. Since the resolution is specifically stating the U.S., unless there is sufficient evidence to say that the resolution is placed elsewhere we must adhere to it. However, since this is LD debate the examples and empirics may be brought from other places Ex. "Student in Denmark is scarred forever b/c of standardized tests" if the premise or claim state "Failing lowers a student's self esteem"

There will be 4 rounds but that is b/c ,I am wasting my posting with this one. BTW...Leave RFD's.
Nails

Pro

I wish my opponent good luck. I have thoroughly enjoyed debating this topic, but it seems I am the only one. Most other people that I have talked to have complained about it being a terrible topic, but I have yet to see why.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to post an argument this round as I am not quite sure what the resolution is. The good news is that this gives me and my opponent an equal amount of rounds to debate.

I would assume we are debating the LD Sept/Oct topic.

For clarification, the September/ October Lincoln Douglas Debate topic's exact wording is
Resolved: Public High school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
http://www.nflonline.org...

However,
1. My opponent left ought the world 'not' which would reverse the role of PRO and CON on this topic. I am not sure if this was his intention or not.
2. My opponent never posted the complete resolution, it has been cut off at the word 'standardize'.

I'll refrain from making any arguments this round and give my opponent the opportunity to go first. I should hope he clarifies exactly what the resolution that we are debating is in his next speech.
Debate Round No. 1
TheCategorical

Con

Resolved: Public high school students in the United States ought to be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.
I negate this resolution
Justice: To give to each what is due
Morality: A code, sublime and inconceivable, stating what is right and wrong.
Negative Burden: The burden of clash, is basically the requirement of the Negative to prove the affirmative's logic flawed and incorrect. This can be done by pointing out the fallacies in this resolution. As such, I will not try to prove that the resolution is untrue, rather it is impossible. This type of argument is called a Kritik.
Kritik: I think that my opponent and I will both agree that LD is a morals debate.
What is morality? What is justice? It seems more and more that the beings that try to adhere to it often fail in their attempts. These men who try to follow moral codes often are disproven by further generations. Take for example; Hammurabi's code the earliest, best documented set of laws. A famous quote from this code states "An eye for an eye." This is an example of equivalent repercussion. However, centuries later, the thinker Mohandas Gandhi and advocate of peace stated "An eye for an eye and the world goes blind." Codes of morality have been scripted throughout all of man's existence, all have been defeated. It seems that moral ideals are unattainable. By definition morality is black or white, true or untrue, right and wrong. These are totalitarian opposites however, in the real world there are sufficient inconsistencies in totals. Take for example a case where 40 people are about to be killed by a bomb. This bomb, however is stoppable, the catch is that it kills 39 of those 40 people. Though the course of action may be the best one, can we truly name this morality or justice? Would we be happy with 39 deaths? Is it moral to kill 39 and save 1? This is often considered utilitarianism: or the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. And it is clear how morality is not the best outcome it is the fully correct outcome. This proves that morality is black or white, true or untrue.
Justice is indefinable:
Man has always tried to define justice. One of the most generally accepted definitions is the Platonic definition, of giving each his due. Though in this sense morality is definable the real question is "WHAT IS DUE?" How do we weigh whether an act is moral or not? For example, a man saves a person from dying of old age but this sends the victim's life spiraling downward. It eventually leads the person to live a miserable life all because of being saved on that fateful day. Health problem after health problem ensues and, though this was neither party's fault, the victim dies a worse death. Some may argue that the outcome defines the act. This is called consequentialist theory; simply put the ends validate the means. This however has many downsides; men throughout history have used this as an excuse for atrocious means, just to reach a better end. Take the example with the bomb and 39 people. The end is not just it is best. Another example would be Deontological theory. The means justify the ends. In this scenario, there are also downsides, for example: A killer walks up to you and tells you he's going to kill someone. He later explains that he's looking for his victim but can't find him. He asks you where the victim is. According to deontology the means has to be good, but the means is the question. If you tell the truth and don't follow deontology the person is safe but you are not "moral". In all truth both these arguments have downsides; you may be asking why I am giving both sides. It is to show that morality is relative. It varies from person to person, culture to culture. The last indication I will give is that of the Nazi philosophy. The Nazi's thought that the Jewish religion and community had led to the downfall of Germany in WWI. They though that justice was to punish the Jews for their injustices. However, in the rest of the world we recognized this as it truly is, atrocious. It is wrong fully and utterly. Case in point, since no person can define morality it is assumable that morality, as sublime and close as it may appear, is unreachable.
Morality has no application to the real world
Since I have proven that morality is a perfect concept it is now only reasonable that I pull my opponent out of any skeptical voids. This resolution is set in a real world. The US is real; by all means it is the reality we are living in. The affirmative burden of proof cannot be completed because the resolution is conflicting with itself. Since ought implies a moral standpoint and morality is impossible to achieve then the resolution is impossible.
Nails

Pro

Quite the interesting argument indeed.

For the sake of staying on topic, I'll simply agree to what my opponent says and move on to the actual topic that we're debating here, namely, standardized exams.

Yes, morality and justice are subjective and unreliable standards.

Let's see how my opponent links that to the resolution:

================

1. " I think that my opponent and I will both agree that LD is a morals debate."

Wait, morals don't exist, right? Why would LD be a morals debate, then? Lincoln-Douglas debate provides education, entertainment, and competition for 1000s of high schoolers across the nation (I, myself, am one of them.) Should we accept both of my opponent's arguments that:
I. Morality doesn't exist.
II. LD is a morals debate.
Then we would conclude that LD is a pointless waste of time. Now let's look at the alternative. We can't change argument I; my opponent clearly laid out why morality is too subjective. It makes sense, then, not to accept argument II, since that is the only way to lead to an educational, entertaining, and competitive debate. I see no reason why we should accept argument II as it only leads to a dreadful bore of a debate.

================

2. "ought implies a moral standpoint"

A. Apply the same argument as above. We define words in order to make the debate clear and concise, not to further our argument and make debate unwinnable. My opponent's definition does just that. Why define ought (in a debate) in a way that wouldn't allow us to debate? It just doesn't make sense! It's as bad as me doing this:

HIGH school students means:
school students who are on drugs because high is slang for drugs

United States:
was a short-lived half-hour comedy-drama or dramedy that NBC added to its Tuesday primetime schedule in March 1980

Ought:
A word used to represent the number 0

Pass:
travel past; "The sports car passed all the trucks"

Graduate means:
calibrate: make fine adjustments or divide into marked intervals for optimal measuring; "calibrate an instrument"; "graduate a cylinder"

Therefore, we should debate whether or not public school students on drugs that were in the short-lived comedy drama, United States, zero not be required to travel past standardized exit exams in order to mark intervals for measurement.

Strictly speaking, the definitions are all correct, so we could debate that. Why has nobody ever done that in the 30+ rounds I've had on this topic? Because it's absurd and undebatable! The same applies to his defining ought as something moral when morality doesn't exist. Technically it might be a definition, but it would lead to such an absurdly pointless debate that there is no reason why we should ever do so.

---

B. The word is most commonly used without implying any moral obligation at all. Thus, this is the more correct definition:

Ought: used to express obligation , advisability , natural expectation , or logical consequence

This is every definition on Merriam-Webster Dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com...), the most commonly used dictionary on the English language.

This is every way people naturally use the word ought. For example, if I said "I ought to brush my teeth," it wouldn't make sense for anyone to respond, "No, you shouldn't! Ought implies a moral obligation, and there's no such thing as morality!" That's essentially what my opponent is doing to this resolution.

================
An LD case for Exit Exams
================

I define Ought in accordance with Merriam Webster Dictionary, as defined above. This is preferable because:

1. My opponent cites no source for his idea that 'ought' has something to do with morality.
2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the most commonly used dictionary, and thus the most reliable source.
3. Defining it in the way my opponent wants to or any way else makes no sense (see above arguments.)
4. The resolution is asking a question of policy, not morality. Would exit exams be a desirable policy or not?

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Framework
-------------

Obviously we are not tied to acting morally or justly or anything else of that nature, as my opponent proves above. It makes more sense that we keep the standard as objective and measurable as possible, thus I propose:

The value is education.
Education is the primary purpose of public high schools, and therefore should be of primary concern in determining the preferable policy for high schools.

The criterion is ensuring minimum competency.
According to the Center for Education Reform, we have a clear problem. We spend the most of any country on education per capita, yet we still rank in the bottom 30% of developed nations. It also points out the reason why: 25% of our high school graduates are deficient in concepts learned in elementary school. This is because about 1/2 of our states don't have exit exams, and of the ones that do, only 2 aren't considered medium or high competency exams.

----------

Observation: We need not ensure minimum competency perfectly in our students, simply as best as we possibly can, thus my burden is to prove that these exams better ensure minimum competency than any alternatives.

Contention One: Standardized exams create the most fair and objective standard for graduation.

All teachers, principals, schools, and school boards want to ensure that their students have minimum competency. The problem is, they all define it their own ways. Each teacher makes his or her own test, or each school will. If it were a form of government, it would be anarchy, everybody setting their own laws.

Instead, we ought to advocate democracy in the form of a single exit exam, either state or nation wide. As with the SAT, the standards are set by teachers, professors, and professional test makers working jointly. This ensures the most fair and objective standard the democratic way, by collective vote.

Contention Two: Standardized exams prevent push-outs.

There is the problem in our school system of funding. Teachers love it, but can never get enough of it. Hardly a day goes by without me hearing one of my teachers complain about being underfunded. Unfortunately for us, there's an easy way for teachers to get that much needed funding (as well as keep their jobs), and that's grade inflation. Teachers don't like failing kids, because it reflects poorly on them. Many of my teachers give us open book quizzes, bonus point opportunities, and tons of participation grades just to keep our GPAs up. This is a HUGE problem. The students who need the extra help and attention aren't getting it. The ones who need to fail, because they need the remedial help or extra year of attention, aren't failing. Instead, they are pushed out of high school and on their way without proper education, simply because their teachers wanted to look good.

Standardized exams solve this problem. It's impossible to push the student out without him first passing the exam, so inflating grades won't do diddly-squat for the teachers. With an outside standard in place (and one that doesn't stand to gain from students passing) we no longer see the problem of these high-school pushouts. Instead, they receive the help they need and stay in school until they reach minimum competency.

------------

Summary

My opponent wrote this abstract kritik of justice and morality. It was a nice read, but didn't really prove anything for him. There is nothing in my case relating to justice or morality. Exams provide pragmatic, measurable benefits (namely competency) that aren't subject to this attack.

He has no specific case refuting the use of test scores. You thus extend all of my arguments, since they are the only ones in the round, and vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 2
TheCategorical

Con

1. What is debate? One side poses an argument and the other provides refutation. My opponent saying that LD is pointless is by all means extending my own argument. His logic does not affirm, it does exactly the opposite.

"Then we would conclude that LD is a pointless waste of time. Now let's look at the alternative. We can't change argument I; my opponent clearly laid out why morality is too subjective. It makes sense, then, not to accept argument II, since that is the only way to lead to an educational, entertaining, and competitive debate."- LD is a morals debate. I am trying to prove that this debate is pointless. IN ORIGIN LD WAS A DEBATE OVER SLAVERY. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglass were debating slavery... if that is not a moral topic, then by all means tell me what is.
(Slavery is partially political, but they were debating the moral aspect of having humans as indentured, lesser servants where they are not)
2. WOW...Though I understand where this argument is coming from it is simply misplaced. Going on the assumption that LD is a morals debate, then the topics would have to have moral aspects as well.
b. Again, in context the word ought has moral implications. (same argument as above)

I do have to concede my opponent's argument "He has no specific case refuting the use of test scores. You thus extend all of my arguments, since they are the only ones in the round, and vote PRO." The one objection is that I don't have to prove test scores are bad... I must prove that test scores aren't not good. In other words I have to prove my opponent wrong. As I will do...
V.Education- VC. Minimum competency Yes, these are completely valid arguments, we do have to certify minimum competency... but, "There is nothing in my case relating to justice or morality" if neither of these are moral or immoral then what are they. Morality to some extent governs peoples lives. If my opponent is not doing something that is moral, then he is doing some thing immoral. But if he is then he has some relationship with morality, so that is not true. The claim is that everything has to do with morality. He cannot escape it's reach. The problem is that in morality there are no gray areas...it is black or white. And as my opponent has not contradicted and has stated many times is not willing to do so, morality does not exist in the real world. Case in point, since morality does not exist , and my opponent is trying to say that something is good (moral) or bad (immoral), to win his argument he has to remove all moral or immoral benefit from his case. Even assumptions of morality. For example: his value of education. As my opponent claims education has nothing to do with morality, it does not exist, since to some extent everything involves morality. NOTE: I am not saying that education is moral, it just affects morality... it is the gray in black or white.
Now that it has been established that morality does not exist yet affects my opponent's case. I will move on to show how his arguments fall. 1. Morality (pure good) does not exist 2 Morality (right and wrong- terminology for moral and immoral) exists 3. The gray areas are real life because life is not total 4. My opponent's case is not moral (pure right) 5. Since his case provides no arguments on how my logic about morals are totalitarian his case is not moral or immoral 6. Since LD, from begging was a morals debate and my opponent has not proven his case moral he loses.
7. Since my opponent has just ignored my arguments- they extend 8. since I have refuted his arguments THROUGH EXISTING LOGIC IN THE DEBATE - they don't extend.
Nails

Pro

Can you say strawman? My opponent just makes one (really poor) link between his K of morality and the resolution, then extends it 1000 times throughout the case as if it supposedly takes out everything. I'll just take that out.

=====
The Link
=====

A. He makes the argument that Lincoln Douglas debate can only be moral because Lincoln and Douglas talked about slavery, which to him is a moral issue. He couldn't make a more irrelevant attack!

1. Ted Turner Debate (commonly known as Public Forum), by this logic, would be about television and broadcasting, as Ted Turner is a media mogul. It certainly isn't.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. The Lincoln Douglas debaters were not about the morality of slavery. The debates were part of Lincoln and Douglas's campaign for the Illinois Senate seat that was up for grabs, making them entirely political. Slavery was a major issue, but it was not the center of the debates. They were to decide the most qualified (political) candidate in a (political) election.

3. Slavery was a major political and economic issue of the time. Slavery played a large part in the South's economy.

4. My opponent's argument is completely nonsensical. He claims multiple times "morality does not exist." He clearly proves it. How, then, could the debate over slavery be a moral debate? If morality doesn't exist, it stands to reason that these debates weren't on a moral issue.

5. This is the biggest: My opponent has absolutely NO reason why this was a moral issue at all, except his claim "if that is not a moral topic, then by all means tell me what is" which is just an appeal to the authority of the judge.

---

B. He completely ignores my point on the educational and competitive aspects of debate. I will repeat:

My opponent makes 2 arguments:
I. Morality doesn't exist.
II. LD is a morals debate.
Accepting both of these claims would lead to Lincoln Douglas being a completely pointless waste of time (that's bad.)
Therefore, we have to reject one of the 2 claims in order to preserve the education and competition in LD debate. We can't reject argument I, my opponent clearly outlines that. So far as that is true, we have to reject argument II to give debate any value at all.

My opponent says the opposite. We have two options:
1. Get rid of the idea of "LD is a morals debate" and keep the education, competition and entertainment of debating.
2. Continue to assert that "LD is a morals debate" for some unknown reason and destroy any value of debating.
I have no idea why he continually concludes that we should go with option 2, as it has only negative implications.

He simply asserts, to prove his point, that LD is probably about morals because it was started by slavery debates. That has nothing to do with my arguments at all! I am saying that we shouldn't concentrate on the moral aspect because it leads to uninformative discussions like this one instead of topics that matter, such as the resolution. He gives no reason why we shouldn't accept the decision that is better for debate as an activity, thus you choose option 1 and reject this argument of "LD = morals".

---

C. My opponent is completely nonresponsive to point 2A. He doesn't even address the issue.

My argument is: LD is not a morals debate.
His argument is: That's wrong because LD is a morals debate.

Now read the justifications for his logic: He has none!
Just re-extend the argument that he completely fails to address that defining the resolution in a nonsensical way is bad. Scroll back up and read 2A if you want, he doesn't actually address it at all.

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D. The entirety of his attack on point 2B is an unwarranted blanket assertion based on his flawed opinion.

My claim: None of the definitions of 'ought' have anything to do with morality, according to America's #1 dictionary.
His claim: but "the word ought has moral implications"

Just reject this crazy assertion based on the fact that he has no warrant. Read this link: http://www.merriam-webster.com...
No definition of ought implies morality at all, so his claim is completely fallacious.

---

E. My opponent doesn't define ought; accept my definition. It turns his link.

I provided a definition of ought, along with 4 reasons why it is preferable. My opponent didn't just provided an unjustified definition; he forgot to provide one at all! To clarify:

"Ought: used to express obligation , advisability , natural expectation , or logical consequence ...

...This is preferable because:

1. My opponent cites no source for his idea that 'ought' has something to do with morality.
2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the most commonly used dictionary, and thus the most reliable source.
3. Defining it in the way my opponent wants to or any way else makes no sense (see above arguments.)
4. The resolution is asking a question of policy, not morality. Would exit exams be a desirable policy or not?"

This is the only definition in the round. It clearly refutes any such claims on my opponent's case that ought somehow forces us to debate a moral obligation. It, in fact, turns his link by proving that ought forces us not to debate a moral obligation because that isn't even an accepted definition of ought.

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Conclusion
=======

You, the judge, have 5 clear reasons why his assertion that "Morality does not exist" has nothing to do with the resolution "Public high school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams in order to graduate."

His case is completely off topic and has no reason to negate the resolution. Any one of the 5 reasons is sufficient to prove this.

====
Impact
====

1. My opponent has generated no offensive arguments in this debate. He repeatedly attacks the concept of morality. I have shown multiple times why morality has nothing to do with this resolution. I have a standard that is completely independent of morality. He isn't providing a clash here at all.

2. I have a clear link back to the standard of 'ensuring minimum competency.' This is the only offense in the round. There are advantages to these exit exams (ensuring minimum competency) and no disadvantages at all (my opponent provides none.) These exams are no cost, all benefit, so you affirm.
Debate Round No. 3
TheCategorical

Con

TheCategorical forfeited this round.
Nails

Pro

It's quite a shame that my opponent forfeited. It is quite understandable, though.

My arguments were tough, sharp, and made of sound logic, just as the nails in my profile pic are.
My opponent's arguments did look nice, but they were delicate and flimsy as is his profile picture, a flower.

As such, you can extend all of my arguments which clearly show that I win the round.
1. His entire case was completely off-topic. I gave 5 reasons why there was no link at all to the resolution in question.
2. I am the only one who generated any offense. I outlined benefits to these tests. He gave no harms. It's pure profit!

There tests are clearly no cost, all benefit, so do just like my opponent did: Give up on the CON side and vote PRO!
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
I'm losing a debate that my opponent forfeited. There are some really terrible judges out there.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Explain how you voted for yourself in conduct or argumentation when you forfeited the last round.
Or sources when you had none?
Posted by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
Sorry ran out of time...actually forgot...but doesn't that sound nicer
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
It's a shame you forfeited. I was looking forward to that last rebuttal.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
What are you talking about?
I haven't conceded anything that might possibly lose me the round.
Posted by TheCategorical 7 years ago
TheCategorical
WOW....This is the most screwed up debate EVER! Why did my opponent concede his 1AR to me? Why didn't he just leave a posting?
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Most. played. out. resolution. on. this. site. ever.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Dingo7 6 years ago
Dingo7
TheCategoricalNailsTied
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Vote Placed by TheCategorical 6 years ago
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Charlie_Danger
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