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I think this is a really great topic for more traditional style and more policy oriented LD rounds. 

 

On the more traditional side of things. I think the res asks many questions. What is a just society? Who has jurisdiction of said society? What does ought mean? Does ought mean that the res takes place in a vacuum? What does procurement mean in terms of use of the organs? And what qualifies as deceased?

I think that the res opens  doors for a contractarian debate, that is, does the social contract permit the government to pursue this kind of action? If the government isn't granted this kind of action, who is the actor and what grounds are they granted to make this presumption. There is also the classic Moral obligation v should debate that can come out of the word ought. I think that taking these organs also could have scientific use as well as transplant use. This topic from a traditional stance, also allows for the util v deon debate to take place. I think an interesting position would also be determining at what point does one lose their rights to their body? Does death mean that rights are no longer valid?

 

As for the more policy side of things, I think the options are nearly endless. I think the aff has several plan options they could pursue. Using the organs from dead inmates would be an interesting one, doing the res universally except in instances of religious conflicts (here you could take your pick on which one you would want to use), only in the cases of death by "natural causes," and in cases where the deceased has no family to claim the body There are plenty more, but those are the ones that come to mind right off the bat.

The neg has even more options. 

CPs:

Consult options

Incentives for families of the deceased

CP to legalize the selling of organs

DAs

Investigation interference

Disease transmission

Religious violations 

Economy DA

Health insurance DA

Scientific research DA

Hospital space

 

I'm not entirely sure what unique topic ground there is for the K. However, I am not well versed in the K lit.

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Do you guys think a theory of justice is the best case to approach the topicality debate of a "just society"?

 

edit - Any suggestion of approaching varying definitions of "deceased"?

Edited by Arsenal
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MFW Pierre Schlag has written articles on libertarian paternalism. 

:eek2:

And if you guys aren't doing searches on libertarian paternalism, you're going to be in trouble once the first tournaments roll around. Get started on that. Mush.

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"a just society would already have sufficient organs due to voluntary donations, therefore my opponent has no offense"

How would that not win every round ever?

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"a just society would already have sufficient organs due to voluntary donations, therefore my opponent has no offense"

 

How would that not win every round ever?

 

A prioris bad?

 

re: above

I disagree that there will be a great deal of policy ground on this topic. For one thing, "a just society" seems to indicate that any country/society-specific (or even real-world) advocacy either would be non-inherent or non-topical. And the neg counterplans just don't seem competitive.

 

But the bigger problem is probably that presumption falls short of actually obtaining the organs, so if the aff's offense is "res increases organs which is good" an advantage cp (take the organs anyway) would be terminal defense. Also, I'm not sure the aff should get to fiat obtaining the organs (which a lot of people probably are going to do anyway).

 

re: OP

I'm loving T: presume consent, advantage cps, and a da like disease or maybe some ptx (though cutting that will be annoying) and a bunch of theory on neg, and a contractualist framework that contextualizes both normative terms (just and ought serve different purposes which is VERY strange) but is more consequentialist-friendly (really just reading a bunch of offense and a generic framework that doesn't succumb to the advantage cp above).

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Does that still count as an a priori? I don't have much experience with circuit theory, but it's technically a defensive argument so it doesn't automatically prove the resolution false. I know that auto-lose arguments are frowned upon, but if you're not allowed to consider words within the resolution as conditions that the other team is bound within, how do you maintain any kind of topicality at all? /onlyhalfdevil'sadvocate

(The argument is OP and unfair so it won't actually be unstoppable, of course. I was just playing with hyperbole earlier. But I really do think it's valid enough that it will be very winning with certain judges, and with most judges be a usable time suck - though perhaps an unethically powerful one.  :S: Normally, the resolutions which include the phrase "just society" aren't quite this abuseable. I'm not sure why this one is.)

Edited by Chaos
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^how you described that would be a NIB

 

but the argument is stupid

 

FW contextualizes what 'ought' and 'just society' means

 

etc etc

 

prolly no debate in your interp of the res

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I don't see why that argument is a NIB. It doesn't talk about what the affirmative needs to do to win at all.

I agree FW would contextualize the meaning of "just society" and "ought". What meanings of those words, specifically, do you think would avoid the above argument?

I agree the argument is evil and OP.

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Actually, this argument isn't nearly as good as it seems at first glance. A. It's only really responsive to arguments about organ shortage and B. it requires you win that 1) there is an individual moral obligation to donate organs and 2) that that implies a just society would be one where individuals voluntarily donate said organs, which seems to bite the fallacy of composition.  It also neglects the fact that not all organs can be donated while the donor is still living (ex. heart).  

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A. It's only really responsive to arguments about organ shortage

 

What other affirmative cases do you see as possible? I think that decent nonconsequentialist reasons to presume consent are going to be tricky to find, though not impossible. I agree they're out there, but I'm kind of curious and unaware as to what they'll look like.

 

 B. it requires you win that 1) there is an individual moral obligation to donate organs and 2) that that implies a just society would be one where individuals voluntarily donate said organs, which seems to bite the fallacy of composition.

 

Saying that a just society would contain individual agents choosing donation doesn't necessitate saying that there is an individual obligation. I think you're the one who has bitten the fallacy of composition.

 

 It also neglects the fact that not all organs can be donated while the donor is still living (ex. heart).

 

You misunderstand the idea - the voluntary signing of a contract that says your dead organs will be donated is different than the presumed consent to such a contract.

 

(I hope I don't come across as defensive here because that's not my motive. I'm just enjoying exploring the idea.)

Edited by Chaos
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Actually, this argument isn't nearly as good as it seems at first glance. A. It's only really responsive to arguments about organ shortage and B. it requires you win that 1) there is an individual moral obligation to donate organs and 2) that that implies a just society would be one where individuals voluntarily donate said organs, which seems to bite the fallacy of composition.  It also neglects the fact that not all organs can be donated while the donor is still living (ex. heart).  

Phrasing it as "a society that would already have enough organs due to voluntary donation" bites into the second part of your response. But it's possible Chaos meant more generally that "a just society" would be one in which there was no organ shortage (period, not because of a specific solvency mechanism)--which, of course, still is only a material concern for affs that claim offense off of solving organ shortages, although it seems to be an improved version of Chaos' original claim.

 

What other affirmative cases do you see as possible? I think that decent nonconsequentialist reasons to presume consent are going to be tricky to find, though not impossible. I agree they're out there, but I'm kind of curious and unaware as to what they'll look like.

Reasons why presuming consent is good? If you want to be consequentialist about your deonts there's this but honestly a Ripstein aff would just need you to prove that not having organs = a violation of your outer freedom (or that people are somehow entitled to receive organ donation) and then you could either impact to permissibility with defense on why presumption is okay or you could generate a positive obligation if you prove presuming consent is somehow the right way to solve the issue (haven't done enough topic-specific Kant stuff yet though)

 

edit: It seems like you could spin a Gift K-ish link but idk how worthwhile that effort will be

Edited by IxionsWheel

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Saying that a just society would contain individual agents choosing donation doesn't necessitate saying that there is an individual obligation. I think you're the one who has bitten the fallacy of composition.

 

I don't see why individuals choosing organ donation would necessarily follow from the justness of the society absent some argument for obligation. In other words, absent some reason that ties the concept of a just society to voluntary organ donation on the part of the populace, the claim that they would choose to donate doesn't seem to follow.

 

 

You misunderstand the idea - the voluntary signing of a contract that says your dead organs will be donated is different than the presumed consent to such a contract.

 

My bad here.  I assumed, for some reason, that your argument was that people would choose to donate organs while alive and not that they would consent to organ donation after death.  Misreading on my part.

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I don't see why individuals choosing organ donation would necessarily follow from the justness of the society absent some argument for obligation. In other words, absent some reason that ties the concept of a just society to voluntary organ donation on the part of the populace, the claim that they would choose to donate doesn't seem to follow.

It might follow from the justness of a society that there are enough organs, in general. Why is the specific mechanism of voluntary organ donation even relevant?

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It might follow from the justness of a society that there are enough organs, in general. Why is the specific mechanism of voluntary organ donation even relevant?

 

This approach essentially amounts to a political philosophy that just says "there are no problems anymore.  They've all gone away with no explanation."  It also seems to assume that the justness of a society can be distinct from the mechanisms/procedures that establish that, which is a debatable (Rawls and others don't see that as being the case).  

 

It also has an odd conclusion that justice refers to inanimate objects rather than people, if we don't include an account of the mechanism at least. Assume you have a just society with a sufficient amount of organs.  Now, out of nowhere, half of the organs needed for transplantation disappear.  For a month, the society proceeds just as it did before. Is the society less just during that month than it was beforehand? It seems like the answer should be no, since the actions of individuals and the laws are the same.

 

 It also seems like you can't attribute the justness of unjustness to anyone, which is problematic as well.  For example, if a just society were hit by a hurricane, we wouldn't say the society became less just because the hurricane lead to deaths.  If the aftermath of the hurricane is a state of relative injustice, it seems to be either a result of the actions of individuals in the society, a pre-existing injustice in the law that is just now exposed, or a combination of the two.  

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This approach essentially amounts to a political philosophy that just says "there are no problems anymore.  They've all gone away with no explanation."  It also seems to assume that the justness of a society can be distinct from the mechanisms/procedures that establish that, which is a debatable (Rawls and others don't see that as being the case).  

 

The first objection is definitely true, and additionally my earlier suggestion would probably be overstepping theoretically as well.

 

True, if a Rawlsian framework didn't justify any mechanism that indicates a rightful condition would be one in which there were enough organs. And it'd probably be overstepping theoretically as well. Which isn't to say that it's a bad argument from a strategic perspective--I'm sure the time tradeoff is in your favor.

 

It also seems like you can't attribute the justness of unjustness to anyone, which is problematic as well.  For example, if a just society were hit by a hurricane, we wouldn't say the society became less just because the hurricane lead to deaths.  If the aftermath of the hurricane is a state of relative injustice, it seems to be either a result of the actions of individuals in the society, a pre-existing injustice in the law that is just now exposed, or a combination of the two.

Solved by the framework debate (if justice is consequentialist...) and, additionally, this objection only matters if this concept of justice-having-something-to-do-with-a-state-of-affairs delimits all the possible meanings of the word--merely saying that "a" just society would (probably) have x state of affairs as the case (due to whatever mechanism) seems inclusive, not exclusive, however.

 

 

It also has an odd conclusion that justice refers to inanimate objects rather than people, if we don't include an account of the mechanism at least. Assume you have a just society with a sufficient amount of organs.  Now, out of nowhere, half of the organs needed for transplantation disappear.  For a month, the society proceeds just as it did before. Is the society less just during that month than it was beforehand? It seems like the answer should be no, since the actions of individuals and the laws are the same.

 

Only if you consider "inanimate objects" to be "a certain state of affairs"--like the state of having roads available, or the state of not having oppressive power structures (I believe your term was "America, but without the structural racism!"). Perhaps justice as contained inextricably within a bipolar relationship between agents would exclude my interpretation, but that seems wrong. For one thing, it restricts relations of right to whatever constitutes an agent, and its exclusionary force comes from not interpreting (or ontologically assigning in some manner) nonhuman actors as agential (OOO anyone?). But more powerfully, that bipolar relationship begs the question of a framework.

 

This objection is also solved by the framework debate--there's undoubtedly some ethical theory out there where justice is the state of e.g. maximizing everyone's life.

 

tl;dr: It works best against util. Obviously Kant is truth and Kant is life so no argument works against Kant.

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Bottom's up.
 

It also seems like you can't attribute the justness of unjustness to anyone, which is problematic as well.  For example, if a just society were hit by a hurricane, we wouldn't say the society became less just because the hurricane lead to deaths.  If the aftermath of the hurricane is a state of relative injustice, it seems to be either a result of the actions of individuals in the society, a pre-existing injustice in the law that is just now exposed, or a combination of the two.  


I think that in instances where this is a valid criticism of the argument, it would also be a valid criticism of the affirmative's case. The affirmative can't argue that there's a societal but not individual obligation to presume consent and yet simultaneously argue that societal obligations would fail to hold individuals accountable. Either the affirmative is dependent on the societal only obligation argument and can't criticize it without contradicting their case, or the affirmative is dependent on rejecting your quoted argument.

 

It also has an odd conclusion that justice refers to inanimate objects rather than people, if we don't include an account of the mechanism at least. Assume you have a just society with a sufficient amount of organs.  Now, out of nowhere, half of the organs needed for transplantation disappear.  For a month, the society proceeds just as it did before. Is the society less just during that month than it was beforehand? It seems like the answer should be no, since the actions of individuals and the laws are the same.


I don't see why the negative's argument would require the answer to this question be yes.

I'm also inclined to disagree with your answer. I would say that if half the organs disappeared, a just society would alter its plans and try to find extra organs. Similarly, if all humans were cyborgs and our organs were only vestigial, I would think a just society wouldn't bother doing anything with anyone's organs. In any moral system that doesn't treat organs as objects important to justice, I don't think there is any justification for the resolution's morality (unless you argue morality and justice are orthogonal, perhaps?). Same criticism as last time, essentially.

Another amusingly abusive idea: PIC or PIK out of the word "consent", but endorse the same exact policies and/or actions the affirmative does. Net benefit is keeping a brightline around our notions of consent, that is moral because a blurred view of consent is the ethical perspective of the rapist, not saying no should never be called a yes.

As far as nonobvious affirmative cases go, someone could argue that the preferences of the dead should be respected and that most dead people did prefer/would (hypothetically, or maybe not) prefer their organs be donated, even though many never checked the box. Or perhaps you could restrict it to a relevant subset of dead people, to avoid complications with defending the notion of hypothetical preferences. No idea if there's any strategic advantage to this case compared to the straightforward and obvious version. Maybe someone could invent some crazy reason that the preferences of dead people matter but no other preferences do? Perhaps since there are more dead people than living the preferences of the dead matter more for utilitarians? Or maybe the case will take us behind a (perhaps modified) Veil of Ignorance with all people who have ever existed? This case's name: Speaker for the Dead.

Edited by Chaos
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a Ripstein aff would just need you to prove that not having organs = a violation of your outer freedom (or that people are somehow entitled to receive organ donation) and then you could either impact to permissibility with defense on why presumption is okay or you could generate a positive obligation if you prove presuming consent is somehow the right way to solve the issue (haven't done enough topic-specific Kant stuff yet though)

edit: It seems like you could spin a Gift K-ish link but idk how worthwhile that effort will be

 

I don't think an affirmative case could strategically "impact to permissibility," even coupled with presumption arguments. Proving that presumed consent is merely permissible would not prove presumption; it would prove the resolution false.

 

Also, Ripstein absolutely would not consider lack of organs to be "a violation of outer freedom." He treats bodily autonomy as an innate right, not a property right.  Dependency on others for the means to exercise one's own bodily autonomy would be a violation of what Ripstein refers to as rightful honor. Force and Freedom makes the distinction between ownership over one's body and ownership over property clear in a number of places.

 

As a side note, it's not obvious how Ripstein would treat the right to one's own body after death. Ripstein thinks the right to one's own body flows from the fact that using one's body is a necessary component of action. Insofar as the deceased no longer exercise intentional actions, it's possible their body would no longer stand in the same relation to their person after death.

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I don't think an affirmative case could strategically "impact to permissibility," even coupled with presumption arguments. Proving that presumed consent is merely permissible would not prove presumption; it would prove the resolution false.

 

Also, Ripstein absolutely would not consider lack of organs to be "a violation of outer freedom." He treats bodily autonomy as an innate right, not a property right.  Dependency on others for the means to exercise one's own bodily autonomy would be a violation of what Ripstein refers to as rightful honor. Force and Freedom makes the distinction between ownership over one's body and ownership over property clear in a number of places.

 

As a side note, it's not obvious how Ripstein would treat the right to one's own body after death. Ripstein thinks the right to one's own body flows from the fact that using one's body is a necessary component of action. Insofar as the deceased no longer exercise intentional actions, it's possible their body would no longer stand in the same relation to their person after death.

 

Apologies, I was loose with terms. By "violation of outer freedom" I meant to refer to offense under a standard of e.g. "maintaining a system of equal freedom." I don't think we're in too much

 

re: strateg(er)y: Permissibility affs are hella cool. Pretty sure "a just society" means insofar as it's generally permitted, the infinitude of potential just societies would include one in which external circumstances compel an obligation, if even for reasons that satisfy an imperfect duty the AC doesn't speak to (this seems like a problematic argument but I haven't considered it in its entirety, so if I'm making a huge mistake here, let me know). Just win theory, also insert random permissibility affirms args: "absent permissibility flowing aff the neg has a 3-1 structural skew with prohibition, permissibility, and skep. Even if permissibility is qualitatively easier to prove, a) structural skews outweigh substantive ones because [substantive abuse is unverifiable while structural skews aren't], B) skep is also qualitatively easier than proving a prohibition so giving me permissibility ground is the only way to solve"

 

^hella inefficient but I think you get the point.

 

re: Ripstein: Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems very problematic to equate Ripstein's use of "person and reputation" with specific organs that exist in one's body. This is also responsive to the side note. Your last sentence says a body can stand in "relation to [one's] person"--which seems to undercut equivocating between the two terms. If the body is the instantiation of one's person, then it's impossible to speak of a body existing in relation to a person which does not exist (any longer). In which case, the "violation of outer freedom" I'm speaking about is in the same vein as the state's obligation to support those who are unable to support themselves (which private right can't encompass because "nobody has a right to means that are not already his or her own, and, as Kant coldly remarks, "need or wish" is irrelevant." [F&F p25]).

 

The only way I see a possible "relation" between person and body after death is if the body is merely the person's physical exemplification--which is problematic because that approach strays close to discarding the inner/outer freedom split. Also ew it sounds old-school mind-body dualism.

 

I agree that insofar as the body is the physical instantiation of agency, or the only possible means through which an agent can act, then the violation would be of rightful honor--but it'd still be offense under the Ripstein framework. Again, apologies for the irresponsible philosophizing.

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We're in agreement on the point that it's still "offense" under a Ripstein framework.

 

Ripstein does, however, equate one's person with one's body. I think this passage (F&F p. 41) is the most clear. Note that in the second half of the paragraph he also denies any relevance of dualism, which would respond to your later claim.

 

This formulation of your right to your person as your right to your body neither presupposes nor conflicts with any more general metaphysical claims about the relation between your person and your body. At the level of theoretical metaphysics, your person might be kept track of in other ways– the narrative of your actions, the fluctuations of your bank account, or your own conscious thoughts. As far as your claim against others, and the claims of others against you, however, the starting point must be your person as your body. You are the one to whom various things happened, the one who engaged in various transactions, and every time you did something or something happened to you, your body did it, or it happened to your body. If somebody wrongs you, he typically interferes with one or more aspects of your person; all are wrongs against your person by being wrongs against its aspects. Your person is not just a set of means that are at your disposal, but if another person interferes with your body, he thereby interferes with your ability to set and pursue your own purposes by interfering with the means that you have with which to set them, namely your bodily powers or abilities. Some philosophers have thought that you can keep track of your conscious thoughts without keeping track of your body. Any such possibility is irrelevant to the ways in which you may treat others, or others may treat you, consistent with your respective purposiveness. Your thoughts make no difference to the capacity of others to set and pursue their own purposes unless you act on them. You exercise your purposiveness by choosing, rather than merely wishing. 

 

 

 

As for the "stand in relation" line, an identity relation is still a relation.

 

I think the issue the permissibility strat runs into isn't with "a just society" but with "ought." In any case, the "at least one just society has trait X"-style argument relies on a reading of "a" as an existential quantifier, which is neither a necessary (or in this case accurate, IMO) definition of the article.

Edited by LDr
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