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What are the best arguments to make as to why theoretical arguments should be voting issues (other than conditionality based arguments)?

 

Thanks.

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What are the best arguments to make as to why theoretical arguments should be voting issues (other than conditionality based arguments)?

 

Thanks.

 

When you say "theoretical arguments," what do you mean? Are you asking for reasons why the judge should "reject the team, not just the argument?"

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I'm talking about theory, like "Ks are cheating" or "floating PIKs are evil".

 

I'm talking about "reject the team, not the argument", yes.

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[Proven] in-round abuse is a very important point to drive, and its existence in the round, actual abuse taking place or not, is essential to make theory a viable option.

 

Structural imbalance also works as support

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I suppose that I should clarify that the argument I'm designing this specific voter issue for is neg fiat bad.

 

I figure that the risk it will be dropped is worth the 10 seconds it takes to read. I think the other team will treat it like a joke and undercover it. I also think that the argument is better than arguing condo bad, because fewer people have it blocked out and because condo is probably good. Also I can cite old school theory articles from the 70s in the 1AR, which is fun.

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First off I think that neg fiat bad is probably going to be easy to answer. However I have won rounds on the argument that their argument directly trades off with a better form of education meaning rejecting the argument doesn't solve because we can never get that time back- only rejecting the team will stop them in the future from running it.

Also rejecting the argument is like forcing a a thief to just return what he stole, that does nothing to deter them from doing it in the future as it is a no risk act- you need to deter them and throw the thief in jail to stop him and others from robbin people in the first place.

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A few things:

 

1 - If you're spending 10 seconds reading a theory arg, I'm not likely to get much of it on my flow which makes it unlikely I would reject either the arg OR the team. That's really saying something because I'm a lot more amenable to theory args than a lot of judges. I think you should think about, and write out, theory args in complete sentences and paragraphs. Highlight it down later, but if you're thinking about it up front and actually including your best stuff in your front-line, then you're probably irrevocably in front in the theory debate because the other team's pre-written block isn't gonna come close to answering what you've said. Also, this saves you from having to reinvent the wheel every round when you go to expand on those points later.

 

2 - Neg fiat bad is probably usually a dumb arg. I think it springs from a lack of understanding of what fiat is. Anytime someone says "we should do something" they've "fiatted" it. That is, they've imagined what the world looks like with their plan. I don't know under what interpretation of debate it's a good idea to take away competitive policy options or the negative's ability to imagine things other than your plan and the status quo.

 

3 - It's usually best to occupy the theory middle-ground. Don't be too outlandish with what you're claiming. Maybe, instead of neg fiat bad, it's easier to claim that international fiat is bad or that no logical policy-maker in the real world could ever actually choose between your actor and the neg's actor or something like that. It's best to target the worst part of what they're doing and say that's bad rather than all going for "all counterplans are bad". Think about this just like you'd think about how it's easier to defend a "condo good" counter interp where you get one condo CP and one condo K alt that still agree with each other (no performative contradiction) rather than defending all of "multiple worlds good." In the same way, it's often a great idea to go with "reject the arg" rather than rejecting the team. Most people don't think about what that means. If the judge rejects the CP, then all you have to do is outweigh the net-benefit (which is probably easy - that's why they were running a CP with the NB rather than just the NB as a dis-ad). A lot of judges don't want a round (especially an important one) to come down to theory. Those same judges might be more willing to accept rejection of the CP and vote on the impact calculus of case vs. net-benefit rather than straight dropping a team b/c of your "CPs Bad" theory arg...

 

I hope that helps. Feel free to email me if you'd like clarification on any of that. I'm writing while trying to finalize my team's Harvard entry so if it seems scattered, it's because I multi-task poorly!

 

Joshua Weingarten

josh(at)capitol-debate(dot)com

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Stop beating around the bush, neg fiat bad is stupid. I have only slightly more chance of voting on that argument than a reverse voting issue. I think if its international or multi-actor fiat, that's different. You just said condo is probably good but how do you have condo if you don't have fiat? also, any decent team should beat this, even if its dropped they can just cross-apply from other theory args why their cp education if good. Its very telling when you say you are scared that people have condo blocked out. If this is what helps you scrap a 2-4 record then fine, but if you actually want to do well in debate and not annoy people, find a different argument and I'll get back to you

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I suppose that I should clarify that the argument I'm designing this specific voter issue for is neg fiat bad.

 

I figure that the risk it will be dropped is worth the 10 seconds it takes to read.

 

That's crap, you wont get much room for extrapolation in the 1AR if you have a 10 second theory block. A since when did anyone go into a round planning to go for theory? I always thought it was a last resort kind of thing...

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I suppose that I should clarify that the argument I'm designing this specific voter issue for is neg fiat bad.

 

I figure that the risk it will be dropped is worth the 10 seconds it takes to read. I think the other team will treat it like a joke and undercover it. I also think that the argument is better than arguing condo bad, because fewer people have it blocked out and because condo is probably good. Also I can cite old school theory articles from the 70s in the 1AR, which is fun.

 

The fact that you're citing old school theory arguments can completely open an entire argument for the neg about how they're making debate progressive and that it's good because it opens debate to more things, meaning more education, and also with more arguments involved, it's more likely that there's more arguments to refute each other, meaning more fairness. And neg fiat bad is a silly argument that people should be able to answer without taking prep for it and just going down their flow on your silly theory.

 

Don't waste time with silly theory args, and when I say silly theory, I mean shit that you count on being dropped for it to actually be a thing. Instead find better ways to actually attack the substance of the cp. For example, I use the joint chiefs to publish a national military strategy for my aff, then, when the other team reads an actor cp or any cp that just says usfg, I have evidence that turns their solvency because the NMS is key to actual implementation of military withdrawal. The card is like 30 seconds, but it puts actual substance in the round that the judge is going to listen to because it's not some theory bullshit.

 

And don't read theory like you have some word of god backing you up. There's a reason there's only a few types of mainstream theory arguments, it's because they can legitimately be voting issues. Condo can truly be abusive, so can multiactor fiat, or consult cp's (not so much); these can actually be arguments that aren't just silly.

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The reasons why neg fiat is bad are better than the reasons why condo is bad. They are both bad arguments, but because I wanted a guaranteed theory argument I will choose the least bad of the two. I understand it's bullshit, but so is everything else in debate. People should calm down.

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The reasons why neg fiat is bad are better than the reasons why condo is bad. They are both bad arguments, but because I wanted a guaranteed theory argument I will choose the least bad of the two. I understand it's bullshit, but so is everything else in debate. People should calm down.

 

"Condo bad" is not really a bad argument, unless you consider all theoretical issues "bad arguments." There are legitimate reasons that conditionality could be considered (and often is) abusive, while there are only certain aspects of negative fiat that could be abusive (consult, delay, etc). The reasons why conditionality is bad are definitely better than the reasons why neg fiat is bad.

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Here's the theory arg:

 

A. Predictability – there's no resolutional mandate for neg fiat – it's arbitrary to accept it.

B. Limits – there are an infinite number of actions that aren't within the resolution and we can't research all of them.

 

I really don't see why the time it takes to read it doesn't justify reading it.

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Here's the theory arg:...

I really don't see why the time it takes to read it doesn't justify reading it.

 

Uh, there's not a judge in the world who's gonna vote on that as written unless it's cold dropped. And even then a lot of judges still wouldn't b/c it doesn't even have a voting issue attached to it.

 

This is exactly why you hear a lot of judges say "I don't like theory debates" but then they'll sit in a judge's lounge and chat with me about "how debate ought to be" and "what we should be teaching our students" as though those conversations aren't the exact definitions of debate theory. That's also how you should approach theory. Every theory argument should revolve around an interpretation of what debate should be. Then explore all the aspects of why that version of debate is good or bad and all the reasons you can think of are your theory args! Any theory arg that doesn't look like that can probably be answered in very few seconds, won't get voted for often (or ever, probably) and even really limits the kind of speaker points you'll get. I probably wouldn't go above a 27.5 for a debater making answers like that.

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[Proven] in-round abuse is a very important point to drive, and its existence in the round, actual abuse taking place or not, is essential to make theory a viable option.

 

Structural imbalance also works as support

 

"In Round" abuse is a silly standard. It's wicked arbitrary (What counts as abuse) and encourages the negative to read stupid DAs the aff clearly doesn't link to so they can use the 2ACs "no link" as an abuse claim.

 

Structural imbalances don't exist. The negative has infinite prep time, wins more, and speaks second and second to last which sets the framing of the debate with the choice of counterplan and determines the focus of the rebuttals. See what I did there?

 

I suppose that I should clarify that the argument I'm designing this specific voter issue for is neg fiat bad.

Good luck with that. You should put it at the bottom of your 2AC framework block - it's way more likely to be dropped and you can morph it in the 1AR to say "no utopian fiat"

 

 

Either way, conditionality is a way better debate to get into because the logic for why it's a voting issue makes more sense. You literally cannot reject the "argument" of conditionality - unless you stick the neg with both the K and the CP (which link to each other, thus vote aff on presumption).

 

 

 

 

That said, here's why theory is a voting issue (in order or quality):

 

1. Rejecting the argument is a post hoc remedy that doesn't resolve the 2AC or 1AR strategy skew. We cannot redo the 2AC.

 

2. Rejecting the argument is a worse form of conditionality that encourages teams to read cheating arguments because there is no punishment. Rejecting the team is key to deterrence.

 

3. Theory has to be a voting issue because we have to go all-in on theory just to get to ground Zero; their form of cheating skewed the debate too far negative and makes competitive argumentation impossible.

 

 

I don't think there are any other reasonable arguments theory should be a voting issue that isn't solved by "reject the arg".

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I am an interventionist judge and feel that all other judges are secretly interventionist.

Fixed.

 

That's basically the only reason you've given for why I shouldn't read this argument. Ironically, your justification is way more old school than the theory argument.

 

Thanks to everyone else for the advice.

 

I have many old school judges on my circuit, and most tab judges have been deeply saturated with the opinions of these old school judges, so it's unlikely this argument would be rejected out of hand.

 

I thought that I would have an advantage with neg fiat bad because it's difficult to weigh the reasons why it is important, which are:

 

1. Sometimes the squo sucks.

2. We should learn about other ways to solve problems.

 

I feel like limits and predictability will be easier standards to win than strategy skew or time skew which is what the brunt of theory arguments against condo are.

 

I feel like it's fairly easy to win that limits are a bigger internal link into fairness than the viability of the status quo, and that limits outweigh the marginal decline in fairness caused by eliminating CPs.

 

The education impact can probably be turned via fairness, and I'll contend that knowledge about alternate solvency mechanisms is inevitable due to the articles we always end up finding which are tangentially related to the advantages. These articles often describe alternate mechanisms.

 

Also the research the negative did on the CP is inevitable and so is a sunk cost - education on alt mechanisms is inevitable.

 

Also I doubt that many teams will be able to give a unique warrant as to why the education gained from CPs is uniquely important.

 

Basically what my decision is going to come down to is: Do the (possible) benefits on the standards debate outweigh the added credibility and help on the voters that condo theory offers?

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