Thursday, June 28, 2012

Debate Camp 2012 Update

The utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics lectures have all been delivered.  We didn't get into the really deep philosophy that would explain why the Blogger spell checker wants to change deontology to demonology.  We'd need at least another whole week to develop that idea fully.

The young'uns have brainstormed about big ideas including the following:
Resolved: The constitutions of democratic governments ought to include procedures for secession.
Resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.
Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.
Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.
The values, criteria, and contentions in the affirmative cases over "Resolved: Oppressive government is more desirable than no government" have been coach checked; negative cases will be ready tomorrow, and the official arguing will begin on Saturday during the camp tournament.

Meanwhile, I'm impressed with a lot of students who are developing virtuous habits like thinking deeply about important issues, going above and beyond the call of duty to spend a week of their summer to think about both obscure and important issues, and who will make the world a better place. 

These students exhibit have shown themselves willing to follow a golden mean, have the best intentions, and work to achieve the best consequences every day they have been at camp. I hope no one tells them that they have exhibited the best qualities and acts that each of the three normative theories call for, so they probably didn't need to listen to the lectures.


D.E. Bishop said...

Sounds like a great bunch of kids. I'm guessing you had something to do with that. Good luck to you and the team!

caheidelberger said...

What fun! Remind the kids that morality is not a value, but the set of values by which we choose to live and form policy. Their job is to help me choose the right values.