Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Debater's Manifesto 2012-2013 section 2

Section 2 - advantages and disadvantages

* Disadvantages are caused by the affirmative team’s plan.  Disadvantages caused by the status quo are often called harms and are a reason to vote against the negative team, not for them.
* Disadvantages are irrelevant without a link to the case.  If a team cannot prove through logic or evidence that the plan effects the disadvantage, then the argument is void.
* War with evil governments is not inherently bad, just as peace with them is not inherently good. Impacts of war are incomplete without further analysis.
* Spending money is not intrinsically bad or wasteful; likewise, cutting spending is not inherently advantageous.  Thus, disadvantages of spending money and advantages of saving it are illegitimate without external context.
* Undermining democracy is not a disadvantage.  In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one.”  Teams defending democracy must prove that a “majority rules” system of government is ideal for securing natural rights, as all the historical evidence suggests the contrary.
* Putting soldiers in danger is a truism, not a disadvantage.  The soldier’s duty is to hazard his own life for the sake of saving others’.  If a soldier flees from that duty, he loses his honor, which is a blow even worse than death; in other words, sheltering soldiers as the negative team advocates and hiding them away from a perceived threat is more disadvantageous than sending them into battle.  As the ancients said, come back with your shield, or on it.  If a soldier is never prescribed that duty of protecting his country in the first place, then he cannot truly be called a soldier, as guarding one’s homeland from foreign invaders and other threats is the very essence of being a soldier. Hence, endangering soldiers is not a disadvantage but simply an indispensable element of warfare.
* On the flip side, “protecting” troops by running away from an unstable combat zone is hardly an advantage for an affirmative case and only illuminates cowardice in the United States.
* For the negative team, lacking internal links or “uniqueness” points disqualifies the advantage.
* For the affirmative team, dropping the internal links or uniqueness of a disadvantage is akin to dropping the whole thing, unless…
* … the affirmative team argues that the negative impacts of starvation, war, losing soft power, shooting people, STDs, etc. are actually good things, in which case the plan’s disadvantage becomes another advantage and reason to vote affirmative.
* Subpoint B) of above point: this doesn’t happen nearly enough.
* “Plan hasn’t been approved” is an inherency point, not a disadvantage.  Saying there’s some reason why politicians haven’t passed the plan yet isn’t declaring the reason itself.
* Neither advantages nor disadvantages need to be quantified as long as they logically express an improvement over or decline from the status quo.  For example, strengthening the free market by promoting self-reliance and removing crony capitalism is still an advantage even though the affirmative team can’t precisely answer “how much free market” or “how much competition” they create.
* Immaterial impacts are real.
* Quelling terrorism, saving lives, and upholding natural rights are still advantages even if the plan doesn’t exterminate all terrorists, mortals still die, and rights are still suppressed.  Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
* Future harms are real.  To the best of our knowledge, Iran has not yet acquired nuclear weapons and North Korea has not taken the final step in launching them, but the lack of present chaos and widespread destruction doesn’t preclude the United States taking preemptive measures to stop a not-so-nice game of global thermonuclear war.

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