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Choice and Philosophy Kushay's Matter Bank

[AK] Debate Principle 101 by Aulia Anggita Larasati

This note will explain the two most commonly used framework to analyze principle arguments; utilitarianism and deontology. Source: https://medium.com/@AuliaAnggita/navigating-the-shades-of-gray-6e28063d4731

The basic principle framework used in a debate are two:

1. Utilitarianism

It is the idea that what is moral is something that maximizes “utility”, the most popular definition being maximization of happiness/pleasure and minimization of pain/discomfort for as many people as possible. A variety of this principle is the “cost and benefit” analysis, in which the metric assessed is not happiness, but monetary loss or gains.

One of the moral justifications used for this principle is the birth lottery argument, which states that since we are lucky to be born with certain privilege, we are obligated to not only live life for ourselves.

The questions often used to criticize this principle are things like “is it really true that we owe society for things *we* have worked hard for?” Or “why the hell should my life be sacrificed for others?”

2. Libertarianism

It is the idea that respecting and not violating an individual self-ownership (can be defined as freedom of choice, individual identity, etc.) is not a means to an end, it *is* an end in itself. By this principle, an individual is not a tool for achieving welfare of society as a whole.

One of the moral justifications used for this principle is the choice argument, which states that since we don’t choose to be born, the best thing we can do to “retaliate” against the world is to live life according to our desires.

The questions often used to criticize this principle are things like “is it really true that an individual *never* affects other person in his actions?” And “is it really true that his choice is the best one? In a sense that it doesn’t involve lack of information, coercion, etc.”

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Since only a Sith deals in absolutes, most of the time the principle used in a debate is a combination of the two. For example, an argument saying that “an individual is free to do as he likes as long as he doesn’t harm other people”. Be creative, and ***make sure that you don’t use these concepts as jargon, always frame it to the context of the debated motion.***

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