Criterion

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A criterion is a standard used to decide whether a case meets a value. Criteria may appear in both Team Policy and Lincoln Douglas debate, but are more frequently a major issue in Lincoln Douglas.

Lincoln Douglas

There appear to be three main ways that value criteria are run in Lincoln Douglas debate:

  1. Bridge criterion: The debater argues that the criterion is the best way to achieve or get to the value (like a bridge). An example of this style of criterion is arguing that the Social Contract is the best way to achieve Human Rights or Prosperity.
  2. Lens criterion: The debater argues that the criterion is a concept that puts the value in a different light. For example, if the value is Security, one can choose a lens criterion like “the Internet” or “Privacy” that paints the value in a different picture
  3. Limiting criterion: The debater argues that the criterion limits the value and makes it good. For example, if the value is Security, a limiting value criterion of Human Rights would mean that Security is good because Human Rights are protected, and Human Rights limit Security.

Team Policy

Most Team Policy cases do not explicitly list a value and a criterion. Unless stated otherwise, Affirmative cases are generally debated as if they have a value along the lines of "being a good idea" and a criterion of "solving the case's harms". In a comparative advantage case, the criterion is closer to "being better than the status quo".

Clash over values and criteria is rare in Team Policy, and most debaters have only a very general idea of what values and criteria are.

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