With the advent of the Internet, social media, and instant-messaging, many of today’s teens are unprepared to go out into the world due to insufficient communication and thinking skills. Lincoln Douglas Debate solves this dilemma by teaching students to communicate effectively and think critically in order to glorify God.
What is Lincoln-Douglas Debate (LD)?
Roy Disney, brother of Walt Disney, once said: “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” This statement, which was the basis behind Disney’s decision to buy PIXAR, represents the fundamental idea behind LD debate.
Lincoln-Douglas (LD) Debate is all about VALUES! In every LD round, you have an ultimate concept that you value, and you consider that value to be higher and more important than any and all other possible values. Then, according to logic and syllogism, you conclude that whichever side of the debate LEADS you to that most important value must therefore be the side that should win! LD is very philosophical in nature. It asks why we do what we do, or why we should choose one particular option above another option. And thus, it contemplates how society should be structured.
As an extremely simplistic example, say you’re looking to buy a car, and you really really want a car that’s very safe. Basically, then, you want to base your car-buying decision off of safety. Because what you care about the most is being safe, you want to buy the safest car you can find. You eventually decide to buy a Honda because they have more airbags and are thus safer than Toyota’s. You just did an LD Values debate in your head! You said that your highest value is safety. Then you concluded that, since Honda’s are most safe, and the value of safety is most important, you should therefore buy a Honda.
Why LD matters:
Competing in LD Debate at homeschool debate tournaments forces teens to think critically, communicate clearly, argue effectively, defend their positions, and wrestle with relevant issues that impact the world we live in. When these teens enter the world as adults, they will not only be better able to communicate with those around them and think logically; they will also be better equipped to share and defend the Gospel.
What this course teaches:
Through 31 short video lectures, this course teaches you the skills needed to compete in LD debate for competition in Christian homeschool high school leagues, with special focus on competition in the NCFCA league. In fact, the NCFCA-specific resolution for the current year will be used as a sample. At professional 4-day-long tournaments, you will debate about relevant, complex, real-world topics such as nationalism vs. globalism, the right to privacy vs. national security, freedom vs. regulations in economics, rehabilitation vs punishment in criminal justice systems, freedom of the press vs. national security, etc. You will learn the fundamentals of case construction, cross-examination, and rebuttal/refutation strategies from a national-level LD debater and debate case writer (Tobias Park) with 4 years of debating experience.
Tobias competed in Lincoln Douglas Debate with NCFCA for 4 years in high school. His debate accomplishments include:
- Taking first place in LD at the New London, CT qualifier tournament in 2016,
- Qualifying to the NCFCA National Championship in LD three consecutive times,
- Taking 3rd place in LD at the Region 10 Regional Championship in 2018,
- Winning first place LD Speaker award at multiple qualifying tournaments,
- Writing as a contributing author to Monument Publishing’s annual debate source-book, the Red Book, for the 2017-2018 season, and
- Acting as the debate coach for a small club in New York for the 2017-2018 season.
Tobias is currently a student in college.
After competing this course, the student will:
- Understand the basic ideas underpinning LD debate
- Understand the format and structure of an LD debate round
- Be able to write a complete debate case defending one side of a debate resolution
- Know several common logical fallacies that are often made by debate opponents
- Be able to employ different rebuttal strategies to attack an opponent’s position in a debate round
- Be able to effectively ask/answer cross-examination questions in a debate round
- Have the knowledge necessary to successfully compete in LD debate at professional high school tournaments (such as the NCFCA, a homeschool high school debate league)
To view a sample video lecture from this course, click this link: https://youtu.be/LrDg6xbcrUw