Lincoln-Douglas Debate

  • This popular style of debating features one person on each side.

  • Topics of value are debated with the emphasis on developing logical argumentation rather than an accumulation of information.

  • You will learn values analysis, argumentation skills, sound and ethical uses of persuasion, and clear audience centered communication.

  • You will have the opportunity to debate several topics during the school year.

  • LD Topics – See the list of potential topics for the 2011-2012 season here!

  • March/April 2012 LD Topic: Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.

  • January/February 2012 LD Topic: Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence. 


Some great information to get you started in this

value-based debate forum.

Outline of a Lincoln Douglas Debate

Lincoln Douglas Affirmative Case Outline

Lincoln Douglas Negative Case Outline

Common LD Values

LD Common Criteria

Evidence in Lincoln Douglas Debate

LD Cross Examination

Lincoln Douglas Rebuttals

LD The Forensics Magic Bullet

New Perspectives on Values & Criteria

Using Criterion Effectively

Introduction to LD Debate

Resolutionally Based Criterion

Philosopher Views

Philosopher Values

Selected Philosophy Topics in LD

Weighing and Impacting in LD

Using Legal Resources in Value Debate

Values as End States in LD

Voting Issues in Lincoln Douglas

Thank you to http://librarykvpattom.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/quotation-of-the-week-2/
for the above image.


  1. Hey there Miller, Well I believe the debate topic is… the one about that killing one innocent person is okey dokey to save five inocent people, well so you know I looked up the definition of moral, which said something aboot (yes I am Canadian), moral principles which is- “the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group;”, so I honestly think this is a stupid topic, because this completely talks about your own personal beliefs,as an individual, so if it was up to me I would compete in PF

  2. This comment is about the batman one and I believe Batman could very well be a superhero because I looked up the definition and it said-“Any kind of fantasy fiction crime-fighting character, often with supernatural powers or equipment”. Often is a key word, not the word always, but the word often.

  3. I have delved into some in depth research on the curent topic…
    If yo’d like me to clarify/expand or expound on it let me know.
    I have broken up the ideas by AFF or NEG arguments.

    NEG: Killing, threatening to kill, or torturing POWs to get information (even information that can save dozens of lives) is forbidden by the same commonly-accepted international law that allows massacring drafties.

    NEG: Kant’s Categorical Imperative is an obvious framework for a Neg. Killing one innocent person to save others is treating him as merely a means. It can’t become a universal law because it then would deny dignity and natural rights on a massive scale.

    AFF: Aristotle came up with, among many other things, a notion of social justice that goes like this. “That which is just for society is what provides greater benefit to society as a whole.

    NEG: The problem of agency.
    a. Is the agent of action a person, a government, a society, an ideal moral agent, or some other entity?
    b. Is the morality of the action different if the agent is different? For example, does a hospital’s ethics board, which sometimes has to make similar decisions, bear a different level of moral culpability than an individual faced with the same choice? What about a democratically elected government?
    c. Is the “problem of application” different if the agent is different?

    AFF & NEG:
    Context can be crucial in determining whether a moral choice is permissible. Consider Carla, who wishes to play a board game.

    1. Choosing to play Monopoly instead of Risk is (probably) morally insignificant; either choice is morally permissible.
    2. Choosing to play Monopoly instead of finishing her chores and homework could be morally prohibited.
    3. Choosing to play Monopoly in a marathon to raise money for cancer research could be morally encouraged.
    4. Choosing to play Monopoly according to the rules could be morally required.

    And finally some definitional aid.
    DEF: MORAL PERMISSIBILITY (the most important def in the round)

    In Ethics in the First Person, Deni Elliott defines permissibility thusly:

    “A moral system differentiates among behaviors that are morally prohibited, those that are morally permitted, those that are morally required, and those that are morally encouraged…. Permitted [means] behavior that is within the bounds of the moral system. It is morally permitted to act in any way that does not cause others unjustified harms.”

    Have fun :]

  4. In regards to Tyler’s aff and neg debate flowish: You rock! This rocks.

    However, a couple of things come to mind when reading your ever so thought out arguments.

    1. In your number 1 neg argument, this example is a bit faulty. We do not know that the information (if we even kill the POWS) will be useful… let alone save lives. I believe the LD topic states that killing the people would definitely ensure other lives of people. The POW example does not guarantee that lives will be saved; the information could be faulty, never even attained, or non existent. I don’t think it applies to the topic- the topic states that by killing one, others will be saved.

    Your second Neg Argument also poses a question. As a society, we are not looking for this to be considered a “universal law.” We are simply trying to determine whether or not, in certain situations, is it MORALLY okay to kill one to save many. I am wondering whether by universal law you mean an ACTUAL law, or something that is just known… something that society follows… a norm? We also have to consider the fact that we WOULD be using someone as a means, but the overall outcome would be substantially worth it in the long run; UTILITARIANISM BABYYY!


    More to come I am sure, as I am only writing aff as of now. Read and enjoy!

  5. Hey miller, 🙂 i was just wondering if i could argue maybe on both sides, as in saying (for the aff of course) that there should and shouldnt. like say its nor good or bad. take the middle stand? Possible case?

    • I don’t think I fully understand your question April. Can you rephrase?

  6. The question above was meant for the new topic.

  7. what about states ought not poses nuclear weapons…im having a little trouble with my criterion…

  8. […] to follow the Case outline for  (PF Outline)  (LD  Outline) – even if the sources do not – and always remember to cut and paste WHERE you got the […]

  9. I LOVE LD

  10. […] Lincoln Douglas […]

  11. I would prefer to work alone, which would be LD, but i want to debate facts not values, which would be PF, however i also want to have Policy on my resema if possible. Which one should i do?

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