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Otsuichi

LD-Nov/Dec 2011: Good Samaritan Duty

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Aff

Cap (writing this now)

Levinas

Generic Deont

 

Neg

Skep

All forms of Nietzsche

Permissibly

Ethical deadlock (cant have infinite obligations)

 

Baudrillard/Serres K

Victims K

K of "Individuals" (some people will run this as a PIC)

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This topic is so neg biased it's not even funny.

 

The only mitigating factor is judge bias, but it's definitely not going to outweigh the literature skew.

 

PM me if you want to discuss possible affirmative cases.

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Ayn Rand on neg = never lose

I've promised my team (or rather, I will, when we meet this week) that whoever mentions Rand gets kicked off the team.

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How would a cap aff work?

 

The AC Im writing explains how sense individuals have a moral obligation to reject the social system of capitalism, they have a moral obligation to assist people is need, as capitalism requires upkeep of social antagonism and individualism. The tags and framework are carefully written to avoid theory pitfalls. There shouldn't be much to worry about there though.

 

 

I would advice people to use a definition of moral obligation as a spike Ayn Rand NCs. Im saying that morality is a constraint against humans naturally objectivity nature, thus you can extend it saying you concede the entire NC, but still win because the Rand argument just says that people are naturally egoistic, not that we have an obligation to be egoistic. Be careful if its used as permissibly though.

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Egoism is actually a pretty strong theory, although Rand's version isn't because she basically just redefines what "moral" means. The View From Nowhere lays the groundwork for some pretty good arguments, as does ethical naturalism.

 

Between egoism and Nietzsche going affirmative is gonna be really difficult.

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The AC Im writing explains how sense individuals have a moral obligation to reject the social system of capitalism, they have a moral obligation to assist people is need, as capitalism requires upkeep of social antagonism and individualism.

 

So are you saying that the way individuals assist people in need is by rejecting capitalism?

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So are you saying that the way individuals assist people in need is by rejecting capitalism?

 

No, assisting those in need IS the rejection of the capitalist structure

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You're proving that individuals are obligated to reject the capitalist structure, not that individuals are obligated to assist people in need. Yes, the only way to assist people in need may be through the rejection of capitalism, but the reason we reject capitalism may be due to things other than a desire to help others. If you defend any of those reasons then your case isn't topical and it'll be easy to get you voted down.

 

Your advocacy is at best unnecessarily complicated by adding in arguments about capitalism, and at worst untopical and less strategic. Defending an argument that you don't have to defend is never a good idea.

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No, assisting those in need IS the rejection of the capitalist structure

 

If you run this argument, you will surely lose to anyone who knows a thing about debating capitalism.

 

The single most common argument against the perm in the cap debate is that doing good things within capitalism creates "capitalism with a human face"; that is, capitalism that is more palatable to your average person. Its a lot simpler to get a revolution against child labor in sweatshops than it is to get people to revolt over McDonalds or Walmart.

 

By making capitalism more appealing, you buy off opposition to capitalism ("its not THAAAAT bad") and prevent the necessary formation of class conscious among the proletariat - you also potentially create a false aristocratic conscious among those who help the others ("we are better, which is why we need to help those who are not as good"). This false conscious again prevents the unity of the lower class.

 

The ONLY thing we can do is challenge capitalism as a social structure; doing good things (ie, the aff) within the system of capitalist social relations simply guarantees that the action is interpolated by capitalism to make it stronger.

 

It would be simple to concede the "cap first" framework in your aff, then turn you around on your head. You'd be hard pressed to find an advocate for your aff; even reformists wouldn't agree with you because you don't change any of the coordinates that dictate capital, you just act nicely towards others. Expressing a positive obligation in no way challenges or even changes capitalism.

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]You're proving that individuals are obligated to reject the capitalist structur]e, not that individuals are obligated to assist people in need. Yes, the only way to assist people in need may be through the rejection of capitalism, but the reason we reject capitalism may be due to things other than a desire to help others. If you defend any of those reasons then your case isn't topical and it'll be easy to get you voted down.

 

Your advocacy is at best unnecessarily complicated by adding in arguments about capitalism, and at worst untopical and less strategic. Defending an argument that you don't have to defend is never a good idea.

 

 

Not my argument.

 

I argue in my case that capitalism stands because individuals ignore the suffering of the other. I argue that the capitalism stands only as long as we do not assist the other with their suffering. Im not fiating ANYTHING. Im not saying we should reject cap thus because it assists others, that would be dumb. Im saying assisting others IS by DEFINITION the rejection of cap. Im saying the reason we have a moral obligation to assist others because that is staight, 100%, what cap is not. Its not "adding" argument. Its just plain explaining why Individuals have a moral obligation to assist others. Because cap fails when people assist others. Its simple.

 

 

If you run this argument, you will surely lose to anyone who knows a thing about debating capitalism.

 

The single most common argument against the perm in the cap debate is that doing good things within capitalism creates "capitalism with a human face"; that is, capitalism that is more palatable to your average person. Its a lot simpler to get a revolution against child labor in sweatshops than it is to get people to revolt over McDonalds or Walmart.

 

By making capitalism more appealing, you buy off opposition to capitalism ("its not THAAAAT bad") and prevent the necessary formation of class conscious among the proletariat - you also potentially create a false aristocratic conscious among those who help the others ("we are better, which is why we need to help those who are not as good"). This false conscious again prevents the unity of the lower class.

 

The ONLY thing we can do is challenge capitalism as a social structure; doing good things (ie, the aff) within the system of capitalist social relations simply guarantees that the action is interpolated by capitalism to make it stronger.

 

It would be simple to concede the "cap first" framework in your aff, then turn you around on your head. You'd be hard pressed to find an advocate for your aff; even reformists wouldn't agree with you because you don't change any of the coordinates that dictate capital, you just act nicely towards others. Expressing a positive obligation in no way challenges or even changes capitalism.

 

I see where your coming from Christian, but my case explains how assisting those in need is does not reduce or challenge cap, it straight up destroys it. Im not sure how to explain it other than to just copy paste my case, but Ill try

 

Lets imagine a situation where where have a moral obhligation to preserve capitalism. If there was a person in need, then we would have an obligation not to assist them, because that harms my ability to be elite and control the workers like Im suppose to

 

So take it on a bigger scale, a corporation (which is made up of individuals) sees a group of people suffering on the street. Well, they clearly don't help them because they have a moral obligation to preserve capitalism, because there is no profit in helping people in need. In capitalism, we don't help those in need, we help those who have something to give to us.

 

I see your argument, and its correct. Im making sure to make it clear in my case the Affirming and cap are 100% mutually exclusive.

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I still don't understand your advocacy, unless you're defining capitalism as selfish behavior, in which case it still seems to be unnecessarily complicated. To the best of my understanding you're saying that individuals have a moral obligation to assist others because that's the opposite of capitalism and capitalism is bad. The problem is that if you contend that capitalism is bad for any reason besides its failure to assist others then your advocacy exceeds the scope of the resolution. If you don't exceed the scope of the resolution, you still need to explain why individuals are obligated to assist others and you've still unnecessarily complicated the debate. EDIT - Ignore this section, see below edit.

 

The only reason mentioning capitalism might be good is because it would make your evidence sound more contextualized, which is a minor benefit and doesn't outweigh the added risks of losing on topicality and complicating the debate by having to prove that capitalism is bad or having to explain your advocacy and its relation to the resolution or having to answer the masking argument that Snarf made.

 

Also, I think since "have" and "in need" are present tense phrases, your arguments about how hurting individuals in the short term is necessary to help them in the long term ultimately still negate the resolution. This argument also contradicts your example, which is independently wrong. Corporations can and do currently help people living on the street, because they're capitalist and they know that helping people in the short term will guarantee their profits (and with these profits the continued long term exploitation of the lower class, environmental destruction, etc). The fact that altruism is a market strategy damages the credibility of your case.

 

EDIT: Upon rereading your post, I think you're saying that individuals are obligated to help each other because that's the only way to destroy capitalism. When viewed in light of your claim that individuals shouldn't help each other in the short term it reads like this: Individuals are obligated to help each other by not helping each other in the short term which in the long term results in the destruction of capitalism which is morally good because capitalism is bad.

 

I guess that's arguably topical, but it's pretty confusing. You'll also need to either win a reason that capitalism is bad other than a utilitarian one, which seems difficult, or be prepared for the substance debate anyway. Because other teams would be using non utilitarian theories and those seem to support capitalism fairly easily (egoism does, Nietzsche does, Ayn Rand does) then you'd inevitably need to address the core of the debate with this affirmative, except you wouldn't have as many arguments in your AC to draw from. That hurts the strategic utility of this case.

Edited by Chaos

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I see where your coming from Christian, but my case explains how assisting those in need is does not reduce or challenge cap, it straight up destroys it.

 

Red Cross, Welfare, Food Stamps, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and me giving money to Homeless people prove that this doesn't happen. In fact, all it does is resuscitate people's economic downturns just enough for them to continue to participate in the capitalist system.

 

Snarf's whole "masking the horrors of capitalism" argument is exactly right no matter how you try to spin exactly what helping people does or how it destroys capitalism.

 

Capitalism goes on now in a relatively liberal society in which helping others is glorified and social programs are largely approved of, yet capitalism still exists to be challenged. Either a) you simply do not solve and can never solve or b ) you aid capitalism by giving it a standard to adapt to. For instance, it's been extremely popular for corporations to run charities or give donations or try to go green or give guarantees that their product didn't rely on slave labor or anything along those lines because it appeals to people more now as having a "humane" capitalism whenever it's truly a marketing technique to expand capitalist hold.

 

You saying that giving aid to people destroys capitalism, but that just isn't true unless we aren't living in a capitalist society now, which makes your entire case defunct.

 

Once someone points that out and then reads anything about needing to be militant against capitalism rather than passively working within it, you're boned.

Edited by Rawrcat
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Lets imagine a situation where where have a moral obhligation to preserve capitalism. If there was a person in need, then we would have an obligation not to assist them, because that harms my ability to be elite and control the workers like Im suppose to

 

This doesn't follow - in fact, the opposite is true.

 

If I REALLY want to maintain bourgeoisie control, I have to quiesce the workers into complacency so they function most effectively. This means helping them out here and there, just enough to keep them happy and producing labor. In other words, to help those in need provides the best way to maintain capitalism for two reasons; masking (above) and prevention of class conscious (above). The people 'in need' who you help will be grateful to you, the capitalist, for your benevolant action.

 

That means they'll be less likely to united with the other proles, and more likely to internalize the conditions of their oppression; think stockholm syndrome. I remember one card talked about how a mutilated factory worker "was grateful to have a job" in the first place, when it was precisely his exploitative job that mutilated him. You literally make the most ugly forms of capitalism both possible and logically necessary by facilitating the interior colonization and evisceration of the working class.

 

So take it on a bigger scale,

Global capitalism? :P

 

a corporation (which is made up of individuals) sees a group of people suffering on the street. Well, they clearly don't help them because they have a moral obligation to preserve capitalism, because there is no profit in helping people in need. In capitalism, we don't help those in need, we help those who have something to give to us.

 

This is a double turn -- helping them DOES help capitalists, in a more subtle way that is all the more violent for its concealment.

 

I see your argument, and its correct. Im making sure to make it clear in my case the Affirming and cap are 100% mutually exclusive.

 

You honestly might just post the case here, so that people can help you hammer it out (or toss it out, if need be).

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Deontology flows neg, look up Kant's shit about perfect and imperfect duties. An easy way to use deont on the neg would just be to say that what the affirmative is describing is an imperfect duty, and is thus not actually morally binding. Util would flow aff, as doing the greatest good for the greatest number (to simplify util to the point of near idiocy) would entail always trying to help people. Singer might have some shit on that, especially when he talks about helping poor people. Is good stuff, really.

 

Also, I skipped over all the cap stuff in the thread because I am super lazy. Can anybody give me the tl;dr version or do I actually have to put effort into understanding the conversation?

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Can anyone possibly provide some aff case ideas for more traditional circuits?

Crazy cases don't work very well where I'm from and I am having difficulty coming up with good, standard philosophers to quote/base my case upon.

Thanks!

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Can anyone possibly provide some aff case ideas for more traditional circuits?

Crazy cases don't work very well where I'm from and I am having difficulty coming up with good, standard philosophers to quote/base my case upon.

Thanks!

 

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&source=hp&q=singer+drowning+child&pbx=1&oq=singer+drowning+child&aq=f&aqi=g1g-m1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=1080l5349l0l5745l21l11l0l0l0l0l2292l4204l0.9.5-1.9-1l11l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=55ec5d59dd72fa0b&biw=1034&bih=751

 

Read these things.

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The drowning child is kind of a bad example IMO

 

1. It's a child, so there's some sort of diminished capacity that makes a positive obligation on the part of society more likely (or at least the warrants would be specific for why [only] those with diminished capacity need help)

2. The real responsibility here lies with the child's legal guardian, who allowed the child to be in the position it is in. They are the only one with the positive obligation (I can't be charged with negligence/ endangerment if the neighbor kid drowns in his own pool, but the legal guardian can)

3. None of these sufficiently prove that I have a positive obligation to help-- Clearly we all have a negative obligation with regards to kids and drowning (i.e. DON'T drown a child), but there's no actual need to act.

4. Singer's article itself references the natural gut-check reaction of a classroom of students, which isn't a sufficient warrant for wholesale changing our outlook on what our daily obligations to others are. It really amounts to an extended narrative.

5. Suppose for a second that I walk past this child who is drowning, and I ignore it and keep on walking-- Can I be held responsible in a criminal court? Unless this is the Seinfeld Finale, I don't believe so.

 

 

 

The real issue with affirming on this topic is finding some way that you can defend a warrant for individual members of society to have a POSITIVE obligation with respect to those in need. This will be difficult.

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Lets imagine a situation where where have a moral obhligation[sic] to preserve capitalism. If there was a person in need, then we would have an obligation not to assist them, because that harms my ability to be elite and control the workers like Im suppose to

 

 

I think this thread's been a bit hijacked by the Cap issue. But this is a good line of discussion to get back to the core of the topic.

 

I don't think this is solid logic-- you are assuming the contrapositive in light of the statement to set up an 'If and only if' relationship. This is dysfunctional-- assuming a statement is true has nothing to do with the status of the contrapositive. The equivalent is this: suppose the following statement is true "If you go to Disneyland, you will have fun" and then from that, conclusion: "If you do NOT go to Disneyland, you will NOT have fun". This does not follow, and is the same as the moral obligation to reject cap leading to an obligation to assist vs the moral obligation to preserve cap leading to an obligation to NOT assist.

 

 

But let's suppose both are legitimate statements that have proofs. There's an element of capitalistic theory that's being ignored. Functional capitalism isn't all black and white. Let's not forget that although capitalism is based on cutthroat competition, it has a base assumption that there exists a perfect level of competitive equity and therefore individual merits alone will allow one to climb to the top or not.

 

This encapsulates the role of government in a capitalistic society--to create the level playing field. (Ergo, we have public schools and all children have access to healthcare because education/health are prerequisites to societal competitive equity). In light of this, a capitalistic society would say that Yes indeed, we have ZERO obligation to help those in need. Yet this doesn't imply that we have an obligation to NOT help those in need. (but let's assume it anyways: it's a moot point regardless because in a truly cap society, if you don't have an obligation TO do something, you likely wont act at all regardless of whether you have an obligation NOT to or not)

 

But if there exists an entity that does have the positive obligation to help, it is the government--not individuals--and perhaps only if those in need have come to that need through no fault of their own. (birth location, natural disaster, etc)

 

 

So again, the question remains-- how do you prove that an individual has to take on additional positive obligations with respect to others?

 

Rejecting Cap could be one way, but can you beat someone who says that individuals have only negative obligations to others and leaves all positive obligations to the government? This sounds like a solid Neg that would go right through your Reject Cap framework to a Negative ballot.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Almost forgot about this-- has anyone looked into the viability of using D&G's A Thousand Plateaus to make an aff about rejecting the binary nature of obligation vs non-obligation thus freeing us to actually solve the problem of those in need?

Edited by TejaVepa

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On the drowning child: it begs the question, like basically every other thought experiment in the history of philosophy.

 

Why do people keep using those as arguments instead of examples?

 

@TejaVepa

That DnG argument seems like it negates, not affirms. I suppose you could K topicality...

 

I was thinking of something similar regarding whether "individuals" exist at all, or if people's identities are actually socially constituted. Under this interpretation, there are just flows, input and output, and what we call an individual is actually just a certain segment of these flows. I think it'd be a nice way to counter the Levinas affirmatives that we'll probably see, because it kind of ties in with his notions about how encounters with the other dramatically redefine the self and generate obligations. Basically any argument against it would contradict the AC.

 

There's Buddhist literature on interconnectedness, DnG literature on flows, and sociologist literature on culture as to why this argument is true. The Western assumption that "individuals" exist is actually really hard to defend. This argument's also got the element of surprise on its side. Unfortunately, I live in a traditional circuit and I know this argument won't fly here. You guys should feel free to research it and use it as long as you let me know how it performed in round, because I'm curious whether or not it'd be successful. I'd also like to see your cites if you do this, but that's more of a preference issue.

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EDIT: Almost forgot about this-- has anyone looked into the viability of using D&G's A Thousand Plateaus to make an aff about rejecting the binary nature of obligation vs non-obligation thus freeing us to actually solve the problem of those in need?

 

I agree with Chaos - DnG seems to go neg. But I'd be very interested to hear how you would use it on the aff.

 

I was thinking of something similar regarding whether "individuals" exist at all, or if people's identities are actually socially constituted. Under this interpretation, there are just flows, input and output, and what we call an individual is actually just a certain segment of these flows. I think it'd be a nice way to counter the Levinas affirmatives that we'll probably see, because it kind of ties in with his notions about how encounters with the other dramatically redefine the self and generate obligations. Basically any argument against it would contradict the AC.

 

There's Buddhist literature on interconnectedness, DnG literature on flows, and sociologist literature on culture as to why this argument is true. The Western assumption that "individuals" exist is actually really hard to defend. This argument's also got the element of surprise on its side. Unfortunately, I live in a traditional circuit and I know this argument won't fly here. You guys should feel free to research it and use it as long as you let me know how it performed in round, because I'm curious whether or not it'd be successful. I'd also like to see your cites if you do this, but that's more of a preference issue.

 

I like that idea. I like it a lot. Although not really as a response to Levinas - I think there are better ways to beat the Levinas Aff. It seems like your "anti-individual" idea would be a good NC in general. Do you know any specific authors to look into? I'd love a PM if you do!

 

As for Levinas - I think directly engaging it would work very well. Responding directly to the idea that we have moral obligations to the Other works well... as opposed to saying neither really exist. It simply seems like using it as a response to Levinas would be doing more than you would need to.

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Y'all are probably right about D+G going Neg. I don't do my best K analysis at 4:30 AM, but I'll try to dig up my copy of Thousand Plateaus and see what I can come up with now that i'm more awake.

 

 

I still cannot come up with a traditional Aff that I can live with for the life of me.

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