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Affirmative Debate Case Arguing, Resolved: As A General Principle, Individuals Have An Obligation To Value The Common Good Above Their Own Interests.

1087 words - 4 pages

"A just society is founded on the recognition that all members of that society have equal worth and dignity. The interests of any one person cannot count more than the interests of any one else. Valuing the "common good" over an individuals own interests is based on the recognition that individuals concern that their own interests be looked after must be extended to the interests of others." It is because I agree with this quote by Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University, that I must stand in firm affirmation of today's resolution:Resolved: As a general principle, individuals have an obligation to value the common good above their own interests.ObservationAll members of any society are required to act in accordance withthe laws of the land. The law is assumed to be made to protect the common good. Since the law is the only societal obligation that we are required to uphold, in order for the negative to justify not following it, and thus violating the common good, they must advocate one of two positions:1.) The laws are inherently wrong or bad, and as such the people are required to revolt/ignore the law.2.) The individual exists outside of societyMy value will be that of Justice. The term "individuals" in the resolution is taken to imply a collective context (society) because it is plural, and common good, defined through the veil of ingnorance provides that the individuals have an obligation to value the common good (or justice through the veil of ignorance) above their own self interest because they do not know their place in society.My criterion will be that of Aristotle's Virtue Theory. Aristotle asserts that an action is morally good if it is virtuous. He sets two criteria to determine if an action is virtuous. First, we can discover if an action is good, if a virtuous person would do it. Alternatively, since there are consistencies between being virtuous and vicious, we know that an action is good if it tends to lead to human flourishing.Contention I: Justice is Only Adequately Achieved by the AffirmativeSub Point A.) Plato's JusticePlato introduces the idea of Virtues. One of the Virtues is justice. This is a desirable state for all individuals. This state involves acting in moderation which will diminish the harms of self-interest, and greed (the ultimate end of self-interest).Sub Point B.) Just Society/GovernmentEvery state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view of some good. Just governments are those which have a regard for the common interest.Sub Point C.) What Aristotle Considers JustJustice is reciprocity and mutuality through relationship. The truest or best form of justice is the reciprocal display of friendship. Reciprocity is the friendship of people who are good, and alike in virtue; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves. Now those who wish well to their friends for their sake are most truly friends; for they do this by reason of...

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