Top Definition
A style of debate that is modeled after the debates that took place between Lincoln and Douglas.

A one v. one debate over a value laden topic.
Ex: Capital punishment is justified

The topics are intended to be argued as propositions of value and values are evaluated through value criterion. This means that, unlike other forms of debate which keep the value structure inherent in all argumentation hidden, LD debate requires you to make it explicit.

A value in LD is any abstract idea that you feel is important.

A value criterion is a way to know if you achieve that value.

Value - Economic Gain
Value Criterion - How much money is in my bank.

LD debate is well respected in academic circles because of its transparency in argumentation and its emphasis on philosophical and ethical frameworks. When done correctly it is a demonstration of the clash of values that give rise to human conflict. As such, many LD topics reflect common value conflicts like "Life vs. Quality of Life" "Freedom vs. Security" "Letter of the Law vs Spirit of the Law" etc.

The emphasis on discovering the "essences" or "real conflict" behind the arguments enhances critical thinking and aides students in learning to counter argumentation through logic and theory rather than through research and speed reading evidence.
If your not debating in LD Debate, you might as well just crumple up evidence and throw it at each other like in policy debate.
by shiziocorp February 11, 2010
LD Debate is sometimes also called values debate because it traditionally places a heavy emphasis on logic, ethical values, and philosophy. It is a type of American high school one-on-one debate practiced in National Forensic League competitions.

It's a type of debate that is most definitly greater then the inferior type of debate, policy debate.

In LD people have break time between debates to improve their arguments, and discuss things with teammates.

Also, LDers are just cooler, because they shorter speeches, and prep time, so people have to think faster on their feet.
OMG did you see those amazing LD Debaters? They're sooo much cooler then those policy *Lili*
by SomeoneSuper January 03, 2012
A form of debate inferior to policy, as proved by its lack of a definition on urban dictionary. Although it varies around the country, it generally emphasizes presentation more than policy does. However, at many tournaments, the speed is catching up to policy.

There are two types of LDers: policy LDers and traditional LDers. Policy LDers spew and read cards off computers, and lose when they have lay judges. Traditional LDers speak slowly, act politely, make eye-contact, and win only when they have lay judges.

It is named after the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The topic changes every two months and usually relates to whether an action or policy is just. An LDer talks about a value and a kriterion, and cites philosophers in their scattered cards.
Did you see that team? They weren't spewing and they kept looking up at the judge. They must have been LDers. We won, of course.

This was more of a policy-style LD debate tournament. None of the old school kids broke.

This was more of a traditional LD tournament. None of the spewers broke. Stupid lay judges who can't comprehend kritiks.
by alas poor yorick April 13, 2008
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