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Value Debate. Mr. Lyke Speech & Debate. THE PLACE OF VALUE IN ACTION. APPLICATION. A proposition of value is a claim that someone or something ( the matter under consideration ) is good or bad, noble or evil, desirable undesirable, etc.(the problemati c) For instance, you might claim that.

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Value debate

Value Debate

Mr. Lyke

Speech & Debate

The place of value in action


  • A proposition of value is a claim that someone or something (the matter under consideration) is good or bad, noble or evil, desirable undesirable, etc.(the problematic) For instance, you might claim that

  • Laws requiring all restaurants to ban smoking are just/unjust.

  • Bill Clinton was a superlative/horrible president.

  • Sports programs are desirable/undesirable components of public high schools.

  • The Supreme Court decision authorizing the use of vouchers in private education was desirable/undesirable.

  • Affirmative action is a desirable/undesirable social policy.

  • Eliminating the Columbus Day holiday was sensible/ridiculous.

PROCEDURE just/unjust.

  • Proving a "value proposition" entails two main tasks:

  • Criteria justification.

  • Apply the criteria to matter under consideration.

Criteria justification
Criteria justification just/unjust..

  • The truth of any value claim depends on the truth of a more general claim

  • i.e. "Laws requiring all restaurants to ban smoking are just/unjust"

    • dependent in the idea of justice

    • The definition of “justice” and an understanding of a "just law" in general is necessary to properly label anything as "just or unjust."

Criteria justification1
Criteria justification just/unjust..

  • Criteria justification cannot be a matter of taste

  • We gain a burden of proof for that claim and are obliged to give the audience good reasons for accepting it

Criteria justification2
Criteria justification just/unjust..

  • i.e. one might argue that the genius of the American system is its inherent distrust of government

  • Justice wants to minimize government presence……

  • we would reject any efforts to protect people from their own imprudence…

  • "just laws" in America are necessarily laws which respect that philosophy of government

Apply the criteria to matter under consideration
Apply the criteria to matter under consideration just/unjust..

  • Shows how the matter under consideration fits the criteria justification given

Apply the criteria to matter under consideration1
Apply the criteria to matter under consideration just/unjust..

  • Laws requiring all restaurants to ban smoking

    • no one is required to patronize any restaurant

    • Free market economy - the restaurant owner makes whatever decision will maximize the business goals

    • The current law arrogates to the government the right to make some of those decisions and thus maximizes government presence

PHILOSOPHY just/unjust.

  • The


  • OF


Schools of ethics
Schools of ethics just/unjust.

  • Deontology – Measures the rightness or wrongness of an action

  • Teleology – Measures the result of an action, not the action itself

Utilitarianism just/unjust.

  • Teleological: goal seeking

  • Appeals to "generalized benevolence“

  • Maxim: Act so as to maximize utility (happiness) for all human beings (all sentient creatures)

Criticisms: just/unjust.

  • Contradictory in being Normative

  • Excessively conservative

  • Vague

    • “utility”

    • “maximize”

  • Nonoperable

    • can’t gain preferences

    • can’t promote social behavior

  • justifies immorality

Egoism ayn rand
Egoism – Ayn Rand just/unjust.

  • Teleological

  • To act in the way that best serves ‘you,’ the individual

  • Criticisms

    • Allows for immoral action

    • Does not serve the common good

    • Does not promote social behavior

Categorical imperative immanuel kant
Categorical imperative – Immanuel Kant just/unjust.

  • Act only on those principles that you would want tobecome a universal law.

  • Treat person (whether in yourself or others) always as an end and never as a means only.

  • Treat all persons as members of the kingdom of ends.

  • Criticisms – bad results and actions can be justified as necessary through justice

The golden mean aristotle
The Golden Mean - Aristotle just/unjust.

  • Deontological

  • Based on natural law

  • Identify the extremes of action and determine the ‘middle ground.’

Cultural ethics situational ethics
Cultural Ethics / Situational Ethics just/unjust.

  • Relativism is BAD

  • Very, very very bad!!!

  • Moral Relativism – stating that there is no such thing as right or wrong and that actions + or – are based on the individual

Theory --ladenness just/unjust.

I. All knowledge is theory--laden (embedded in other, more general knowledge) so that, in order to sensibly believe (x), it must be the case that we must also believe (y) in which case (y) is the theory of (x).

II. In the sense implied in I, "theory" could be defined as "the set of presuppositions informing a particular discourse, and could be illustrated by the following model:

world just/unjust.


Philosophyof science















Political systems

Political systems just/unjust.

The veil of ignorance
The Veil of Ignorance just/unjust.

  • Behind the veil of ignorance, a person does not know

  • class position or social status,

  • natural talents, abilities, intelligence or strength, and

  • what his/her plan for a good life is.

State of nature
State of Nature just/unjust.

  • Hypothetical state before society

  • All people essentially equal.

  • “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”

  • Everyone has unlimited right to do whatever he wishes

State of nature1
State of Nature just/unjust.

  • Society (family)

  • All are bound to

    • preserve peace,

    • preserve mankind,

    • refrain from hurting the other

  • Violation puts the violator in state of war with others who have the right to punish him.

Law of nature
Law of nature just/unjust.

  • Rests ultimately on God’s will.

  • Discovered by reason (not innate) but “writ in the hearts of all mankind”

  • Binding on all

  • Presupposes brotherhood of man and human benevolence

The original position
The Original Position just/unjust.

  • People imagine themselves without any government and rationally discuss what sort of government could be supported by a social contract and achieve justice.

Social contract
Social Contract just/unjust.

  • People give up sovereignty to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law

  • Many theories and writings on the Social contract

    • Hobbes (1651)

    • Locke (1689)

    • Rousseau (1762)

    • Rawls (1971)

Social contract just/unjust.

  • Addresses inconveniences in state of nature (partiality—tendency to violate other’s rights)

  • Between equally free persons (tyrant is at war with the others)

  • Aims to protect lives, freedom, and property of all (law of nature)

  • Social contract cont. just/unjust.

  • In political society people assign legislative and executive powers of the law of nature to the public

  • Power transference always subordinate to the “proper and true ends of the commonwealth.”

  • People retain sovereignty—government is their agent and executor.

  • People may appeal to heaven (revolt) against tyrant.

  • Revolt dissolves government—it does not return to state of nature.

The maximin rule
The Maximin Rule just/unjust.

  • Under a condition of profound ignorance of consequences, the rational person will want to pick the option offering the least bad alternative.

  • In constructing a society, a rational person would pick the society that has its least fortunate individuals in the least unfortunate situation.

Two basic principles of justice rule of law
Two Basic Principles of Justice (Rule of Law) just/unjust.

  • Each person should get an equal guarantee to as many different liberties as can be guaranteed to everyone else at the same time.

  • Inequalities in society are acceptable only if they are arranged so that the

    • inequalities actually help out the least fortunate persons in society or;

    • the inequalities are connected to positions or offices or jobs in society that everyone has an equal opportunity to attain.

Hobbes just/unjust.

There is no “good” except prudence. (nominalist)

We seek our own advantage (are rational)

We fear death

Fear of death leads us to seek peace

We accept the “laws of nature” which are only theorems which any rational man would accept.

“Men perform their covenants made.” – keep promises

Locke just/unjust.

  • No innate ideas. (including principles)

  • Ideas arise from

    • Experience

    • reflection

  • Ideas could be eternal but must be discovered by reason

Rousseau just/unjust.

  • Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will; and in a body we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.

The liberties rawls supports
The liberties Rawls supports: just/unjust.

  • Liberty of conscience and freedom of thought

  • Freedom of the person along with the right to hold (personal) property

  • Freedom from arbitrary arrest and seizure

  • Freedom of speech and assembly

  • Political liberty (the right to vote and to be eligible for public office)

Democracy just/unjust.

  • Shared responsibility for the running and operation of the state

  • True democracy does not exist

Socialism just/unjust.

  • Social and economic system in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

  • Social inequality results

Communism just/unjust.

  • Social and economic system where the means of production and the ultimate control over the individual’s role in society is determined by the state

  • Class struggles and disparity run rampant

  • Free will is subjugated to the state

Monarchy dictatorship
Monarchy / Dictatorship just/unjust.

  • The state is run by a single person

  • Based upon the will of the monarch / Dictator

Commonwealth just/unjust.

  • Each individual transfers all rights to the sovereign

  • Brings about “Leviathan” “that mortal God to which we owe under the immortal God, our peace and defense.

  • Peace is maintained by the fear of death

  • Perpetual, undivided and absolute


Values just/unjust.

Maslow s heirarchy of needs
Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs just/unjust.

Self Actualization

Values just/unjust.

  • Aesthetic- The appreciation of beauty for beauty's sake. It is intrinsically valuable.

Values just/unjust.

  • Autonomy- The right to govern oneself or nation without unwanted outside interference.

Values just/unjust.

  • Civil Liberties- The freedoms spelled out in a bill of rights which guarantee the protection of persons, opinions, ideas, and property from arbitrary government interference.

Values just/unjust.

  • Civil Rights- Positive acts of government to protect individual persons from the arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government or individuals.

Values just/unjust.

  • Civilization: A society that has reached a high measure of development

Values just/unjust.

  • Democracy- The form of government that may be direct or representative.

    • Representative Democracy- A democratic system of government in which individuals elect leaders to represent their interests.

    • Direct Democracy- A form of government in which decisions are made directly by the people, not by representatives.

  • The democratic creed maintains four key elements:

  • Values7
    Values just/unjust.

    • Individualism, which allows individuals to achieve the highest potential of government.

    • Liberty, which allows individuals the greatest amount of freedom consistent with order.

    • Equality, which declares all people as being equal and have equal rights and opportunities.

    • Fraternity, which contends that individuals will not misuse their freedom but will cooperate in creating a wholesome sovereignty.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Dignity- The condition or feeling of self; the nobleness of a person; the condition of self-worth.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Distributive Justice- The attempt to establish a connection between the properties or characteristics of persons and morally correct distribution of benefits and burdens in society. The function of distributive justice is to justify principles of justice and serves as a rationale for social inequalities

    Values just/unjust.

    • Due Process- The right enumerated in the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Equality- The condition of being treated the same as others in society; the state of achieving balance.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Formal Justice- The rule of law and the honoring of legitimate expectations. It is the written expression of agreements or laws based upon the original position and the exercise of those pacts.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Freedom: Traditional American value, can be interpreted to mean almost anything

    Values just/unjust.

    • Government- Rule, control, administration of public affiars; system of polity in a state; the political and administrative hierarchy of an organized state.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Happiness- a state or condition of contentment and satisfaction. Usually brought about by the exposure to pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Independence- acting free of interference; the ability of an individual or state to function without another individual or state. Some believe this to be the paramount position of the individual and the state.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Individual Rights- The rights entitled to an individual within society. In the U.S. individual rights are guaranteed to Americans through enumeration in the Bill of Rights.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Individualism- The concept which places primary emphasis on the worth, freedom, and well-being of the individual person and not on the group, call, society, or nation.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Justice- What is deserved.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Justice as Fairness- Doctrine proposed by John Rawls. Achieved only when individuals are guided by rules created in the original position because it is only in this position of absolute neutrality that no individual has some advantage over the other individuals in the formation of a society.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Justice as Regularity- The regular and impartial fair administration of law.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Justice for Institutions- A hierarchy which establishes a conduct of behavior to be exhibited by institutions in its dealing with members of society.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Knowledge- The acquisition of information.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Liberty- The right of a person to be free from abusive constraints of his or her political state;; the free development of individuality on a personal and/or communal level.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Life- The condition of being. Many claim that life is an instrumental value because it is a necessity which is required before anything else can be attained or enjoyed.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Majority Rule- A principle of democracy that holds the greater number of individuals in a society should determine the leaders and policies of that society.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Morality- The principles and standards set by society and people for evaluating the rightness and wrongness of acts.

    Values just/unjust.

    • National Security- The protection of a nation's boundaries from invasion; the protection and well being of a nation's citizenry (can also be applied to global)

    Values just/unjust.

    • Natural Rights- Those rights endowed to persons by their creator. Such rights are thought to be unalienable by the government (e.g. life, liberty, property). The government is thought to be created by individuals to protect these natural rights.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Popular Sovereignty- A significant natural rights concept which holds that authority rests with the people. Individuals maintain the right to create, alter, and abolish governmental form when they feel it is in their best interest.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Potential: value based not on what something is doing but by what it could do, once modified

    Values just/unjust.

    • Privacy- A right not explicitly stated in the Constitution nor Bill of Rights, but has been claimed as penumbra under the fifth and tenth amendments. It is a person's right to keep his activities to himself without being subjected to public scrutiny.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Quality of Life- The conditions which contribute to making life more than a struggle for survival; elevating life beyond a needs-only existence.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Retributive Justice- Often referred to as criminal justice. One of the two main theories regarding justice. It is concerned with redressing grievances and handing out punishments to those who have broken the laws of society

    Values just/unjust.

    • Sanctity of Life- The belief that human life is sacred in and of itself. Under no condition should a life be taken.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Social Contract: (there are 3 main ones of these and tons of others) Essentially, the agreement between a citizen and his government

    Values just/unjust.

    • Social Progress- The value which holds that any practice or belief which promotes progress is good.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Sovereignty- The power of a state to exercise power within its own borders without any interference from outside sources, i.e. foreign governments.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Technology- Advancements in research and development.

    Values just/unjust.

    • The constitution- The fundamental laws which establish a government. It provides the description of the authority and limitations of government.

    Values just/unjust.

    • Utility- is an product oriented philosophical theory which argues that an act or rule is acceptable based on the benefits an act or rule gains for the majority of those involved in a situation.

    The moral worth of an action lies not in the purpose to be attained by it, but in the maxim according with which it is decided upon.

    The end

    The end attained by it, but in the maxim according with which it is decided upon.