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Synergy

Do critical debaters understand "value to life" claims?

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tl;dr

 

Syn,

 

The way I typically pick up on value to life claims is probability. When we read securitization (nietzschean, environment, lacan, DnG, whatever) there is always a question of the possibility of the affirmatives harms being true. To magnify this, we read "empirically denied" claims by reminding people about other affs that never came true or passed their brinks or whatever. This asks the question: is it better to have the alternative, an emancipation from security which would immediately reverse the "truncated life" Der Derian or Deleuze talks about, or is it better to continue a security paradigm in the hopes of saving a few thousands (maybe a few tens of thousands at best and you know it)?

 

Of course I am not naive. I'm sure you really believe that global nuclear war is possible, so we always have more policy-esque evidence ready to refute these claims. Hell, even Zizek recognizes that nuclear war is a. impossible and b. not going to escalate past a single deterrence or desperate strike. So what does that leave us for your magnitude? Not extinction, that's for sure.

 

(Terrorism impacts are similar: terrorist attacks have happened all over the world since your favorite terrorism impact was written, and yes we're all still alive. Thousands of people died, yes, but it's not like we could have prevented all of those attacks anyway. Your magnitude is getting smaller.)

 

So where does value/quality (I prefer the term quality) of life come into this equation? Security representations instigate national fear. You probably don't remember this because you were 11-12 years old, but right after 9-11 there was a rash of panic and a plague of people who refused to leave their house, refused to engage in life. Millions of people in the U.S. alone had abandoned their everyday lives in favor of watching fox news with duct tape and bottled water. Tens of millions more lived in a state of constant or semi-constant fear.

 

Fear is bad, my friend. Fear is not warm it is not loving it doesn't make life enjoyable...it's FEAR.

 

I hope this is a little closer to your liking. I very much agree with you that death outweighs value to life is a silly paradigm absent some incredible evidence that says death is never an impact. However, that doesn't mean it isn't a potential impact that can win rounds without ruthlessly abandoning authors intent.

 

Laughable. Your explanation is the OU nietzsche tag OMG LOL.

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Laughable. Your explanation is the OU nietzsche tag OMG LOL.

 

Why dont you try to be constructive Jon. ;)

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No disrespect, but I think it's kind of funny that you guys (or gals) stayed up all night last night trying to delineate what is really an unanswerable question. Are there really judges out there that pick one side or the other and then try to remain consistent throughout their judging careers?

 

I will tell you this - there was a time about 5 years ago that I kind of tried to do that with the 'reasonability' debate on topicality. I had got it into my head that I was going to try to remain consistent to the notion that I thought 'a reasonable interpretation was good enough.'

 

It really didn't work. Trying to remain consistent really only lead to me giving to much weight to the reasonability position, and I know that it backfired in at least one round.

 

If you ask me, you really have to take each round as it comes when a 'kritik v. life' argument comes into play, and think about how good the debaters are, their arguments, and what makes sense at the time.

 

I suppose this corresponds to Synergy's original position about people that are too 'kritik-biased.'

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Well yes, and no Haphaestus. We aren't necessarily concerning ourselves with the judge yet. We aren't trying to convince judges out there that this is how they should judge rounds, rather my point is that this is definitely an argument to be made in round, and at the very least I find it quite persuasive.

 

Murray, even in a world were the bomb doesn't get past the first instance of deterrence and there's only one nuke launched on a major country we are still talking massive numbers of death tolls. If it hits a populated location in Russia we're talking upwards of 5 million, America it's close to 10 million, with China at the very least of 40 million people dead. Now you are really trying to tell me that our fear of the bomb means that we should work more towards eradicating this fear than caring about those minimum 5 million lives? I think that's asinine. To say that the "quality of life" straight up outweighs real deaths. Whether or not the rest of the impacts are probable is an entirely different argument; I am addressing right now just the belief that "value to life outweighs life" and I'm still missing the warrant for why it does. I mean seriously have you gone up to a black person and been "you'd be better off dead because you're subject to racism" or can you truly hold that belief? It's bullshit and we all know it.

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Scott Phillips had some pretty good insights concerning this:

Ontology

This is the root of most "no value to life claims" like "give me liberty or give me death" or "turn off Ally Mcbeal before I kill myself". The basic idea here is that there are certain things that make life worth living and the affirmative somehow infringes on one of them. For example, kritiks of capitalism often say that the market reduces or commodifies us all into a unit of currency, and that this commodification reduces human beings to inhuman objects, making life not worth living. Most of these arguments are pretty weak. Usually there isn't really one thing that makes life worth living, any number of things like video games, roller coasters, ice cream, and the movie Heat all give life meaning. Odds are low the affirmative takes away all these things. The more sophisticated version of no value to life usually involves the word "ontology". An ontology can be thought of as a way of thinking about how we exist in the world. So a capitalist ontology says that we are all rational utility maximizes attempting to improve our economic well being. An ontology argument combines the no value to life claim with a solvency argument: not only is your ontology bad, but it also is false (you mean my whole fallacy is wrong?) that people act in the manner you describe, and since they don't, your solvency claims based on that model are false. Booya.

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Thanks for that post. 'Ontology' has to do with existence. I gather that this distinction between 'Ontic' ethical decisions and 'Ontological' ones have to do with 'quality of life.' A kritik of capitalism suggests that a capitalist economy diminishes the quality or meaning of life.

 

If the United States is using 'Ontic' reasoning to invade Iraq, that means that the US is only looking after it's own interests with little to no regard for the economic needs, or the ontology (the meaning of life) of the people in the region.

 

I guess I only disagree with the spirit of that post in that I like Ally McBeal - she is a hottie ;)

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I think I might put out at camp my file with value to life defense, author indicts, impact turns, and a critique (or counter-critique) of the claim (one arg there is that passing god-like judgement on what makes other's lives worth living was a concept originally develloped by nazi doctors to justify eugenics.)

What camp do you help at? Furthermore i thought i heard you were still in HS...

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Guest svfrey

no

like, he means he'll put out his file as a camp file

he'll be a senior in high school next year, but idk what camp he's going to.

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Camp isn't the topic of this thread.

 

Scott Phillips had some pretty good insights concerning this:

Ontology is the study of being. Heidegger asked, What is a Thing? Similarly, ontological questions ask What is the Environment? Who decides, humans? Just a group resources for human consumption? Ontology is kind of like writing Mariam-Websters for Philosophy, with debates over what counts as the identity of an object. It doesn't really make sense to say ontology comes first, since cards like Dillon 2k say that ontology is always and already fundamental in all action, not (as debaters spin it) that we should ignore every impact card not from Michael Dillon & friends. Thus, if there really was a problem with the ontology of the aff, you could just point out "hey you assume 'terrorist' mean X and have Y motivations but it's really Z which takes out your impact". You don't really need to point out "hey we disagree on the identity/definition of things, that comes first"

 

Edit: My point is that I think that Sir Scotty P. conflates ontology with the "life not worth living" question.

Edited by Synergy

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obviously, one interpretation of an author is the only way to read him.

 

You should check out zizeks 'the parallax view' and his first few pages on a 'major text through a minor author'. Different interpretations of work are alright, it is what brings new insight and thought into the economy.

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there is no impact to this. so what? it's out of context. big deal.

 

I really have not read the rest of the thread aside from syn's first post, so if I'm repeating something, sorry.

 

 

This arg is infact offensive considering the following set up

a. No i/link -- your authors out of context, don't actually support death of all for value of some

b. value to life subjective - state thinks my life has no value, dillon thinks it does, syn's example

c. Having life key to value

 

even if it is not directly offensive..

 

I just skimmed the rest of the thread, aside from showing off your knowledge of philosophy there really has not been a decent answer to G$'s argument. The whole concept of emancipation from security in terms of a debate alternative is kinda laughable as well, but thats a different story

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Syn, the thing I still think you don't get is that its not an issue of choosing between path one which guarantees human extinction and path two which will with out doubt completely eliminates for all people some thing which I identify as being essential to the meaning of life. The valuation of impacts is not that simple. Most critiques will indict the exclusive focus on potential catastrophes because that focus makes life less. I really don't think this is that complicated. I can say that in 5 years of debate I have never seen a debate won on "x would be a fate worse than death" when the other team wins every one in the world would die.

 

BTW, nothing you say here is revolutionary. Lots of people read turns against no value to life claims of the style "saying lives have no value justifies violence against those people." Although the more gut check "life always has value" is more common.

 

Also, I think Zimmerman does have warrants, it says that ontological erasure (the loss of non-metaphysical ways of revealing say) would be "worse" than nuclear war because although life, in particular human life, might survive a nuclear war the loss of being would be forever. The warrant chain (as people in comm studies call it) might not be as deep as would be nice, and the argument might have flaws but its really not dissimilar from the death comes first cards that say that you can't recover from death. Note, the Zimmerman arg is allot more solid when you win nuk war is not equal to extinction.

 

Anyway I am going to Mexico for a week so won't be able to make a longer post.

Edited by PhilIanDumer?
dumb typo

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I really have not read the rest of the thread aside from syn's first post, so if I'm repeating something, sorry.

 

 

This arg is infact offensive considering the following set up

a. No i/link -- your authors out of context, don't actually support death of all for value of some

b. value to life subjective - state thinks my life has no value, dillon thinks it does, syn's example

c. Having life key to value

 

even if it is not directly offensive..

 

I just skimmed the rest of the thread, aside from showing off your knowledge of philosophy there really has not been a decent answer to G$'s argument. The whole concept of emancipation from security in terms of a debate alternative is kinda laughable as well, but thats a different story

This thread has just turned into a 'vol' does/n't outweigh extinction discussion.

 

Saying 'debate rounds don't function as emancipation from security' is silly, but again, so is 'voting for the neg to give a value to life means we all die'. Debate rounds rarely do anything. Sometimes they do. Truth: Roleplaying doesn't solve nuke war. Truth: Roleplaying doesn't devalue life. Truth: Synergy lost to a critique in January that had a VOL claim and just now realized how stupid he is to have lost to it.

 

Plllleeasseee. The REAL impact to not having a value to life is economic rational that results in human extermination. When you have no value you can be killed. When you are killed, you die. When you die, someone has to replace you and they die and so on and so on.

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Also, I think Zimmerman does have warrants, it says that ontological erasure (the loss of non-metaphysical ways of revealing say) would be "worse" than nuclear what because although life, in particular human life, might survive a nuclear war the loss of being would be forever.

That's a tautology. What's the warrant why a loss of being is worse than nuclear war? You say "although life might survive nuclear war" however the other team never said it will, so it's an unwarranted tautology too.

Edited by Synergy

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This thread has just turned into a 'vol' does/n't outweigh extinction discussion.

 

Saying 'debate rounds don't function as emancipation from security' is silly, but again, so is 'voting for the neg to give a value to life means we all die'. Debate rounds rarely do anything. Sometimes they do. Truth: Roleplaying doesn't solve nuke war. Truth: Roleplaying doesn't devalue life. Truth: Synergy lost to a critique in January that had a VOL claim and just now realized how stupid he is to have lost to it.

 

That is not what I said about the alt, I was more referring to Murray's post about Der Derian than framework. Roleplaying.. is.. debate..? I don't really understand how thats relevant.

 

How is the fact Synergy lost to a K relevant at all either?

 

Plllleeasseee. The REAL impact to not having a value to life is economic rational that results in human extermination. When you have no value you can be killed. When you are killed, you die. When you die, someone has to replace you and they die and so on and so on.

 

This happens a ton. It is also easily remedied. And that remedy is incompatible with the plan. Oh wait..

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When you have no value you can be killed.

problem: you're using the value to life card to say it doesn't matter that a nuclear war happens since those people don't have value to their lives.

 

that's the claim the authors like Dillon CRITISIZE the state for having, but dillon DISAGREES with the logic of the state

obviously, one interpretation of an author is the only way to read him.

there are wrong interpretations. Thayer isn't a heg bad author.

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Ontology is the study of being. Heidegger asked, What is a Thing? Similarly, ontological questions ask What is the Environment? Who decides, humans? Just a group resources for human consumption? Ontology is kind of like writing Mariam-Websters for Philosophy, with debates over what counts as the identity of an object. It doesn't really make sense to say ontology comes first, since cards like Dillon 2k say that ontology is always and already fundamental in all action, not (as debaters spin it) that we should ignore every impact card not from Michael Dillon & friends. Thus, if there really was a problem with the ontology of the aff, you could just point out "hey you assume 'terrorist' mean X and have Y motivations but it's really Z which takes out your impact". You don't really need to point out "hey we disagree on the identity/definition of things, that comes first"

Except the argument is that determining and understanding ontology should come first because it conditions our reaction and actions toward a thing. Just a small clarification. Good thread btw, I just wish it hadn't degraded into a flame war.

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problem: you're using the value to life card to say it doesn't matter that a nuclear war happens since those people don't have value to their lives.

 

that's the claim the authors like Dillon CRITISIZE the state for having, but dillon DISAGREES with the logic of the state

there are wrong interpretations. Thayer isn't a heg bad author.

 

Listen - your argument is boiling down to a 'there will always be a value to life'. Which might or might now be true. However, it does not take away from the persuasiveness of an argument that would indicate that not having a value ergo the 'standing reserve' that agamben, Higger and many others make is what ALLOWS for that extinction to happen. The security state destroys itself by displacing value. The terminal impact to vol claims IS extinction. vol claims just offer the internal link as to why WAR happens.

 

I am not saying run Thayer as heg bad - although, that is what zizek somewhat is arguing. What i am saying is that there are different interpretations of the `ger that must be appreciated. Scott Philips isn't all of a sudden debate-god-king.

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Listen - your argument is boiling down to a 'there will always be a value to life'. Which might or might now be true. However, it does not take away from the persuasiveness of an argument that would indicate that not having a value ergo the 'standing reserve' that agamben, Higger and many others make is what ALLOWS for that extinction to happen. The security state destroys itself by displacing value. The terminal impact to vol claims IS extinction. vol claims just offer the internal link as to why WAR happens.

 

I am not saying run Thayer as heg bad - although, that is what zizek somewhat is arguing. What i am saying is that there are different interpretations of the `ger that must be appreciated. Scott Philips isn't all of a sudden debate-god-king.

 

1) I dont believe that the terminal impact to value to life claims is always extinction, nor do I understand why that is always true. In fact from a strategic perspective I often see the deplyed as a reason not to wiegh extinction claims.

 

2) Show some respect for Scott Philips- he is more "debate-god-king" then any of us.

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1. Really - what is the true impact to no value to life if it aint extinction and/or grand slaughter? 'Vote against the affirmative because what they justify just aint nice'.

 

2. my beef aint against scott. He's an okay judge and coach. My beef is against anyone that would use someone as a 'this is the pepsi-challenge' interpretation of an author. There are vaxrious reasons why one interpretation of an author as being correct is the wrong way to view philosophy.

 

Bataille

Delueze

Zizek

Foucault

 

they all rely on a nietzsche to a great degree. Yet they all disagree with each other... a lot.

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here's a piece of literature that makes the 'no value to life' claim...

http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2002-July/042201.html

corrected version in post-script: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2002-July/042206.html

 

chekhov's artist not only says that "spiritual activity... is the only thing which makes life worth living", but claims that absent this, we should "let the earth sink to perdition!".

 

_

 

to me, there's legitimate interpretations of many authors that could be read to say death is preferable to a soulless existence - thinking here specifically of heidegger, horkheimer and adorno, and many political revolutionaries (e.g., patrick henry: "give me liberty or give me death!", i.e., death is preferable to life without liberty).

 

{synergy's above post may rely on the assumption that debaters' arguments should depend exclusively on what cited authors intend: 'the card has to say X'. if so, i don't share this view.}

 

_

 

as a preliminary approach to the 'no value to life'-argument, let me first try to find a singular instance we might agree on, then see how broadly we might apply it...

 

imagine a person "reduced to a shit and piss factory" (to use comedian david cross's phrase, in a bit starting at 8:28 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HrcwQSUajI).

 

we'll stipulate that this person isn't conscious, and can't communicate. they can't talk to their loved ones, or remember anything from the life they once lived. they may or may not be in extreme pain.

 

absolutists would say that every human life has value, even if it's vegetative. they'd say, 'keep this person alive no matter what, even if there's no chance they'll one day wake up one day'.

 

i'm guessing, however, the more popular, more considered view is that life alone isn't the most important value. the capacity to experience life matters. in the above case, the wishes of the patient may trump societal goal of preserving life, and most would acknowledge 'dying with dignity' is important.

 

so the broader question: if there are instances where we can say death is preferable for an individual, are there instances where we can say this for larger groups, like nations, civilizations, or even species?

 

put biblically, when god allegedly brought the flood, was there any possible world in which we might say he did the right thing?

Edited by Lazzarone

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