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#1 idahopotatoe



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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:23 PM

Hi y'all

So, in regards to counterfactuals, how do judges generally perceive them?  

Also, how does one go about debating them on aff and neg (ie: off-case, oncase)?  and are there any links to any debate videos where counterfactuals were run?

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#2 Phantom707


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Posted 21 July 2013 - 07:56 PM

Here are some previous discussions on the subject. They're actually fairly interesting, and a video is mentioned in there.





The comment by robllawrence in the second thread, http://www.cross-x.c...l/#entry843026, is really interesting regarding the negative ground. Honestly, most negs wouldn't realize this, but it's something to keep in mind. Also, any reason why the status quo is good is reason to reject the aff's advocacy. For instance, it could be said that the aff's advocacy is anti-capitalistic, and capitalism in the status quo is good. You could turn most aff kritik answers against a counterfactual aff given the right K link turns, since the status quo is proven to be filled with the system most kritiks criticize.


A neg counterfactual proposition seems fairly simple. It's like saying "This is what the USFG SHOULD HAVE DONE way back in XXXX. That would've meant that the aff's harms would never have appeared because they're predicated on these past mistakes." To relate it back to "standard" policy debate, you could include more stuff about how the plan is just another example of this kind of mistaken action and should also be rejected.


An aff counterfactual could actually be argued to be way more predictable and educational than a standard plan. The aff could say the reason why other aff plans claim to solve six different crazy extinction scenarios is because the future is inherently unpredictable. Contrast that to a counterfactual, where the harms are empirically proven (you don't have to status quo will lead to extinction, but it's arguable). Instead, as potential policymakers, we should examine the historical aspects of how we got to these situations in the first place (needing transportation infrastructure/economic engagement). Without a thorough understanding of the past, history is doomed to repeat itself. In fact, as the wiki listing mentioned in one of the above threads mentions, all debate is inherently counterfactual. To examine our future course of action, it is necessary to examine what could have happened.

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