The Instigator
Zaradi
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
alexrose
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of a commodity.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,256 times Debate No: 21143
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Zaradi

Pro

Hello.

I would like to extend this opportunity to debate to anybody who would like to debate with me. First round will be for presentation of cases, 2/3/4 round are for rebuttals and clash. New arguments are okay in these rounds. Fifth rounds are for final clarification, why you're winning. No new arguments in the fifth round.

All types of arguments are okay with me, although I would prefer it to be a LD-style debate. Value-criterion, linking arguments in. I won't hate this if you don't, but it's how I like to debate. If this isn't how you debate, still come debate here! I thank whoever accepts my invitation to debate in advance.

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Case
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Merriam-Webster defines rights as the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled to. Therefore, the sufficient affirmative burden is to show that access to drinking water is something that we are entitled to. If I can do that, then the ballot becomes an easy vote for the affirmative.

Moreover, because of the word "access" in the resolution, the affirmative does not need to provide a plan on how to actually distribute water to everyone, but only to show that we are entitled to it as per human rights.

Furthermore, the word ‘ought' in the resolution implies that to sufficiently answer the resolution, an ethical framework must be applied, so the negative can't just stand up and refute the ethical framework proposed by the aff without supplying an alternative theory.

I value justice defined as fairness. The only true way to achieve justice is to view things from an unbiased point of view, ignorant to all pre-conceived stereotypes and biases. From this, I propose an ethical framework consisting of the Veil of Ignorance, a theory originally proposed by ethicist John Rawls that explains how one makes a just principle. Behind the veil of ignorance, we are stripped of our pre-conceived biases and stereotypes, which allows us to plan for the betterment of us all, even if we would be the least advantaged.

But how do we know that what we plan is truly under the veil of ignorance? Rawls proposes Two Principles of Justice to weigh whether or not our actions would truly be acceptable under the Veil of Ignorance. The first principle states that each person in a society is to have as much basic liberty as possible, as long as everyone is granted the same liberties. For example: giving people the right to water is okay as long as everyone has the same amount of said right. The second principle states that while social and economic inequalities can be just, they must be available to everyone equally and that these inequalities must be to the advantage of everyone. All this basically says is that the social and economic ramifications of the actions, even if they are on the lower end, must be to the advantage of those it would apply to. Everyone must be benefited.

That being said, these principles must be fulfilled in order. The second cannot be achieved before the first. We can't just throw away all of our rights to things like life for a few extra dollars an hour. The first principle must be achieved before the second. This will spike out all con economic impacts trying to link back into the Veil of Ignorance because while they may or may not fulfil the second principle, they fail to address the first principle, since sacrificing our right to water would, in the long run, sacrifice our right to life, thus failing to meet the first principle.

Also, since Merriam-Webster defines a commodity as something useful or valued, negative economic impacts against the affirmative case are, at best, non-unique since humans also inherently value life. Thus, the standard is following the Principles of Justice under the veil of ignorance. I contend that under the veil of ignorance, access to water deemed as a human right is a just action.

1) Access to clean water fulfills the first Principle of Justice by protecting the civil liberty of life.

Sa) Polluted water. When a person ingests contaminated water, they risk the chance of catching certain diseases that could potentially kill them. A study conducted by UNICEF in 2009 concluded that 24,000 kids die in developing countries each day because of drinking contaminated water and contracting a disease that killed them. This statistic works itself out to be one child dies every three and a half seconds. So by affirming, I'm going to be saving massive amounts of lives in the short and long term, which fulfills the first principle of justice under the veil of ignorance.

Sb) Dehydration. When a person goes without water for an extended period of time, they run the risk of endangering their lives or causing irreversible bodily harm to themselves because of the lack of water. A general rule of thumb of how long the average person can survive without water can be summarized by the Rule of Three, which says that a person can survive three minutes without air, three hours without adequate shelter in a harsh environment, three days without water, and three weeks without food. So, under this widely accepted rule of thumb, the average person can only go without water for three days without suffering some serious bodily harm or death. Having access to clean drinking water prevents these deaths from occurring, which fulfills the first principle of justice under the veil of ignorance.

2) Access to clean water fulfills the second Principle of Justice by allowing people to earn more money and benefit the economy.

When we have access to clean water, we prevent most of the potentially fatal diseases that come from drinking polluted water. When we live longer, this gives us more time to work and earn money, which is an economic advantage. Moreover, it's intuitive logic that not all water out there is clean. In order to clean the water to provide to everyone, we would have to build more water treatment facilities and improve already standing ones. This would put money into the construction industry, which also improves our economy, which is an economic good.

Underview: a) The world agrees that access to drinking water should be a human right. The Scientific American Magazine reported on a United Nations meeting in 2010 where they declared that access to clean and safe drinking water was a human right. 122 nations voted in favor of this resolution, and there were zero no votes. Because of this, if at any point in the debate things get muddled, err on the side of the affirmative debater because I'm showing you currently in the status quo how we view access to water.

So for the above reasons, I urge a vote for the pro debater.
alexrose

Con

Access to drinking water should not be valued as a human right, but should be an accommodation. Most of the world does have clean drinking water and the ones that do not get plenty of help from the nations that do. For example, there is a project called The Water Project, in which people can donate their money to help other countries that do not have clean water. People in this world are trying to provide clean water for everyone everywhere. The people that decided to do this did this voluntarily because they felt that people need clean water.
Even though there people who are using their time and money to make these wells for less fortunate people; it does cost a lot to do this. Many countries in the world are in a lot of debt and do not have the money to make clean water wells for every society in the world. Some people have to learn to travel to get to the clean water that they need. There are areas in the world that do have fresh water for everyone whether they are rich, poor, or middle class.
Many people in the world didn't have much of an idea of the impact of throwing waste into the water in the past. They just figured that they were making their products better. Now many people are realizing that what people did in the past is affecting us in the world today. This isn't just about the water; this is about everything in the world. The past affects the future. In today's world, there are many people who are trying to help make the world become a better place for our future. There are many projects going on, like the one I mentioned earlier and also the go green project. People today can't go back in time and stop people for what they did to make the water unsafe for many people. Making the water clean is happening now, but it's a slow process and it will take time.
In many cases, people do have access to drinking water for free. In the United States, for example, there are water fountains almost all over the country. Also in restaurants people can order plain tap water for no cost. But that is because the people there are able to purify their water, because they have the money.
As the Philosopher James Rachels said, Different societies have different moral codes. So to you, having drinking water should be a human right, but the other society could be viewed as an accommodation. Rachels also states that it is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples. Stating that, I believe that if one person believes that water is a human right, then they should try and search for an area where water is free and can be available to anyone. But for societies who believe that water is an accommodation, should keep it as such, and we should not judge them on their beliefs.
Many people in the world decide, because they can, to buy water bottles. No one is forcing them to, but some people feel that the bottled water is cleaner, even though it is not always the case. People have their own rights to do this. Others shouldn't judge them for spending money to buy water. Just because some societies are not as rich as others, it doesn't mean that the poorer people should be upset with people who work to afford it.
My last point is, there are many people in this world, so many that we are overpopulated. So water being just an accommodation is good for the world. I understand that death is wrong if it is too soon, but if a family knows that they will not be able to care for a child because of lack of resources, they should move or not have a child. So water as an accommodation could help make the population number go to a steady rate.
Debate Round No. 1
Zaradi

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I'll refute her case to begin.

"The people that decided to do this did this voluntarily because they felt that people need clean water."

How does this help your case at all? Because to me this looks like a stance the pro side would be taking. We need water as is our right because since humans have the inherent right to life, we need the necessary supplies to sustain that right. Which, of course, includes water.

"Even though there people who are using their time and money to make these wells for less fortunate people; it does cost a lot to do this."

Why? Where is your proof of this? I know that I could dig a hole deep enough to hit water, given maybe two hours and a shovel. Paying minimum wage for basic physical labor, that's only 14.50 plus the cost of the shovel. So twenty, twenty five bucks to dig a well? Doesn't sound that expensive.

"This isn't just about the water; this is about everything in the world. The past affects the future."

I really fail to see your point here. If we were to not give everyone water, as per their human right, wouldn't we be condemning those that didn't get any water to die? Is that a good future that we want? I honestly doubt it.

"In many cases, people do have access to drinking water for free."

Oh boy. Nothing is free. Water fountains are paid for by the tax money citizens pay to their respective cities. Tap water comes from utility bills paid to water companies. I am arguing that it should be free, so that everyone can have access to water for free, as per their human rights. So how does this help you?

"Different societeies have different moral codes. So to you, having drinking water should be a human right, but the other society could be viewed as an accommodation."

Whoa whoa whoa. Rights and morals are two entirely seperate concepts. Rights are something we all inherently possess. That's not subjective. That doesn't ever change. Everyone, regardless of whatever society they live in, has the right to life. In order to fulfil that right, they need to have the right to the resources to sustain it. This would include water.

"Others shouldn't judge them for spending money to buy water. Just because some societies are not as rich as others, it doesn't meant that the poorer people should be upset with people who work to afford it."

What about the people who work and can't afford it? Do they just get to wither up and die from dehydration? So now only the rich and the powerful can have access to water, and everyone else gets sent to hell? That's one heck of a world you're advertising there.

"there are many people in this world, so many that we are overpopulated."

Absolutely no proof. I can concede that our population is growing, sure. That's just basic truth. But we're not overpopulated. You have absolutely no proof as to say why we are overpopulated. It's just pure speculation on your part. But even if we are overpopulated, which I still don't believe, why does this even matter? This has absolutely no impact to it.

"I understand that death is wrong if it is too soon, but if a family knows that they will not be able to care for a child because of lack of resources, they should move or hot have a child."

Great. That's one great policy you got there. If you can't afford water, don't have any kids! Just die and let the world's population shrink to record lows. That's not going to stabilize our population, that's only going to throw it through another loop entirely.

And since my opponent didn't attack any of my arguments made in my last speech, you can extend those as well. I'm showing you that if water is considered a human right, we save lives. If we don't, we condemn hundreds upon thousands of people to die for nothing. I think the vote is fairly simple from here.

Vote pro.

alexrose

Con

I am sorry, this is a very tough debate to argue about. When I first accepted it, I thought I had some good points in my head. This was my first debate, but I appologize, you win. I honestly do not know how to reply to this.
Debate Round No. 2
Zaradi

Pro

Well that's no fun.
I guess that's a forfeit?
alexrose

Con

alexrose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Debate Round No. 4
Zaradi

Pro

It wasn't aimed at you.
More to the voters. Since we've got to fill these text boxes up with something.
alexrose

Con

alexrose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Really? I recently at school just had this case absolutely demolished at the contention level. I need better evidence (for a reason I will not say).
Posted by Tiger183 5 years ago
Tiger183
That was a very well written case. I am doing the same one for school but I couldn't think of very strong contentions for the affirmative side. Great job!
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Thank ye.
Posted by ThePhilosophersDeduction 5 years ago
ThePhilosophersDeduction
Nice LD case.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
Yeah this one
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
ZaradialexroseTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF