The Instigator
ArcTImes
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Cobo
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

DDO TT2: Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity.

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
ArcTImes
Voting Style: Judge Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/14/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,762 times Debate No: 56583
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (4)

 

ArcTImes

Pro

Introduction

This debate is part of Mikal's DDO Tier Tournaments Take 2.
Round 1 of Mid Tier users.

Resolution

Pro's contention is that
Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity.

Definitions

Drinking Water:
Water reserved or suitable for drinking. [1]

Ought:

Used to express duty or moral obligation [2]

Human Right:
(law) Any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere (including rights to life and liberty as well as freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law) [3].

Comodity:

Something of use, advantage, or value. [4]

Rules

• Round 1 is for establishing the debate, acceptance and pleasantries only.
• 8k characters max. per round
• 4 rounds
• 72 hrs
• Select Winner Voting
• Judges: Mikal, YYW, orangemayhem, bladerunner060, Blade-of-Truth
• 2 Week Voting Period (Please don't take that long judges!)


Sources

1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://dictionary.reference.com...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...
4. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Cobo

Con

I accept the resolution and rules. I would like to thank the pro for opening this debate.
I agree with the definintion for Drinking Water and Ought, but I would present two counter definition for Human Rights and Commodity. Both defintions stem from Black's Law Dictionary(8th Edition)

Commodity-An economic good, esp. a raw material or an agricultural product.[1]

Human Rights-The freedoms, immunities, and benefits that, according to modern values, all human beings should be able to claim as a matter of right in the society in which they live.[1]

[1] Garner, Bryan. Black's Law Dictionary. 8th ed. St. Paul: Thomson West, 2004. Print.
Debate Round No. 1
ArcTImes

Pro

Introduction:

I thank Con for accepting the debate. I hope this will be a good debate and wish him good luck in this debate and in the Tournament.

Arguments:

The resolution is "Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity".

P1: About "Access"

Human beings need water to survive. Because of physical processes like breathing, the body losses water all the time.

Deshydratation [1] occurs when your body doesn't have as much water as it should.
Causes may be diseases that cause vomiting or diarrhea, fever, urinating too much, or because you don't drink enough water.

The lack of access to water leads to deshydratation which with enough time is fatal. In other words, water is a primary necessity.

P2: About "drinking water"

The mentioned water needs to be "suitable for drinking". Contaminated water leads to a lot of diseases.

Here are some statistics from the World Health Organization: [2]

Diarrhoeal disease: 2 million annual deaths attributable to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Cholera: more than 50 countries still report cholera to the World Health Organization.
Cancer and tooth/skeletal damage: millions exposed to unsafe levels of naturally-occurring arsenic and fluoride.
Schistosomiasis: an estimated 260 million infected

"Drinking water" is necessary for a healthy life, and in a lot of cases, for life.

P3: About human rights

Con here gave a counter definition for human rights. I accept this definition and add that it might be way better for the debate.
"The freedoms, immunities, and benefits that, according to modern values, all human beings should be able to claim as a matter of right in the society in which they live."

Why access to drinking water should be considered a human right?
The article 3 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [3] is about the right to life, liberty and security of person. The right to access to drinking water is akin to the right to life.
For that reason, the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. The right to water is a need-based human right.

Now, the fact that the right is recognized by an organization doesn't mean it ought to be like that, but it's clear what is the argument about.
"Drinking water" and sanitation are essential for the realisation of all human rights.

P4: About "commodity"

Here, Con propose another counter definition. I accept the definition again.
Now, the resolution says "instead of a commodity".
Drinking water should not be a commodity because we can't ensure the right to water and the commodity at the same time.
Right now you can buy bottled water, but 43% of Africans in cities don't have access to water. [5]

For all those reasons I think access to drinking water should be considered a human right and not a commodity.

Thanks. Vote PRO.

Sources:

1. http://www.medterms.com...
2. http://www.who.int...
3. http://www.un.org...
4. http://www.un.org...
5. http://www.tni.org...

Cobo

Con

Intro

The premise for the Con argument on this resolution is simple. Water can be both a human right AND a commodity. The burden of proof is on the pro to show how water would carry more of a benefit by only being a human right. The con will also demostrate how water is can achieve both sides of the resolution via the con's way.

Arguments

Contention 1-Human Rights are provided for via goverment

The definition of Human Rights as accept by both the Pro and the Con states "The freedoms, immunities, and benefits that, according to modern values, all human beings should be able to claim as a matter of right in the society in which they live." In societies the only sole and final dictator of human rights is a form of government(United States Goverment or a higher form of a government(Unitied Nations). It is up to these government to provide the rights to the people. And example of the is in the Unitied States history, when the US freed slaves. It was decided that freedom was a human right and should extend to all people. So if water is recognise as a human right that means it is on the sole burden of the government to provide water to people via some source. The reason this point is important is simple. Having a neccesary life product in sole hands of a government can lead to a tyrannical government controlling life. That is why water is best served as a commodity due to the fact that companies can distrubute throughout the world and governments can only distrubute in their respective countries.

Contention 2-Human Rights are abstact

The reason up till now that Human Rights have been fairly easy to grant is simple. They are abstract and differ from society to society. When the con says abstract, what I really mean is that they are imaginary and and basically how society would like all others to be treated. The problem is that with water, you have to actually distribute it and that requires work. This also brings up problems with ownership of water. Is it justified to take away a private water supply for the sake of others?

Contention 3-Water being recognizes as a human right will lead to ownership disputes

This contention piggybacks of the final statments of the second contention. In india many problems arose due to a key river in India being shared between India and it's neighbor Bangladesh[1]. In this example it was decided to share the water supply but this is causing a rapid decline of the river itself.[2] While this dispute resolved itself peacfully let us imagine if there was a dispute between a private group and a public group. If the country were to directly oppose a group with sanctions of tariffs. This is already happening[3] and can be easily preventable.

Contention 4-Water can be treated(and is currently treated) as a commodity and a human right

Water privitization is the way to go when addressing water problems. There have been mutliple success stories about the privatization of water. In one case it was a public-private relationship over water that helped many get the resource they so deperately need.[4] The fact remains that water right now can be bought or sold, thus making it a commodity. Many organizations and governmental groups, such as the U.N., have already recognized that water is a human right. With this point both sides of the resolution are achieved and the con will go on to attack the pro's case.



Attack on the Pro's Case

The pro argument was less of an argument and more of some ramblings based off of the resolution. Two of the points are basic science and can easily be achieved with the con's case. The others really do not belong in the realm of the debate since both do not have any positive reason to keep them in the debate.

P1-The con actually agrees with this point, as this point does not really support the side of human rights that much. But this point can be turned around and applied to other fundamental human needs[5]. These needs were created by Manfred Max-Neef, and while some of the listed need's can't be provided via an external group as they are internal(affection, leisure etc.) The non-abstract needs can be sustained by providing a good, thus the government would have to provide a good and service to everyone, such as a house, food, water, protection etc. The problems with this are explained in my first contention

P2-Again the con agrees with this point since this is basic science that all humans need water, but these needs can easily be met from being a commodity and even a human right and a commodity.

P3-I really don't see the use in this point as it simple states that the pro stance, but does not state any warrants or reasons for the pro stance.

P4-This point is negated via my contention 4. Please cross-apply all arguments with this contention.

I await the pro's response

[1]-http://countrystudies.us...

[2]-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...

[3]-http://www.wilsoncenter.org...

[4]-http://www.ppiaf.org...

[5]-http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
ArcTImes

Pro

Introduction:

I will now present my rebuttals.
I have to remind everyone that Pro's position is that Drinking water should be a human right and not a commodity and Con's position is that Drinking water should be both a human right AND a commodity. In other words both positions only disagree on the commodity part.

Rebuttals:

Contention 1:

Here Con contradicts himself. He states that he is arguing that drinking water "can" both be a human right and a commodity, but in his first contention, he challenges drinking water being a human right and how it would be better as a commodity.

I will discuss both points:

Drinking water as a human right AND a commodity:

Drinking water can't be a human right and a commodity at the same time. By definition, drinking water as a human right should be able to be claimed as a matter of right. If drinking water is sold, people that can't afford it would be deprived of their human right.
Every other definition of human right used could lead to a fallacy of equivocation.

Drinking water as a commodity and not a human right:

This is the position that would make sense for the contention. From the contention, Con states that having drinking water as a human right is dangerous because tyrannical governments could take advantage of that, and that drinking water as a commodity doesn't have that problem or similar issues.
I disagree with Con's argument here. A tyrannical government being able to affect human rights is not a problem on what are these human rights. Life is a human right too, and if it's "beneficial" to these tyrannical government to control it, I guarantee you that it will find other ways to do it.
And drinking water being a commodity doesn't solve the problem because it doesn't guarantee it's acquisition (or easy acquisition) in a country with a tyrannical government, specially if they can control the companies that sell this water, or what enters or leave the country. But not only that but there is a new entity capable of controlling this important resource for life, the companies. [1]

Contention 2:

Here is another contention that challenges drinking water as a human right.
As the theory of Hohfeld states, here can be no right in one person without a corresponding duty in another. [2] This is important because a right is not less right because it "requires work".

Contention 3:

"Is it justified to take away a private water supply for the sake of others?"

Yes, it is. Because it is a human right and because it is necessary for the life of these others. Every economical disadvantages from those companies will be benefits for those that acquire the human right to water. And it's not only to survive, a better health leads to less money used on health care and medication.
Then Con states that there might be problems with ownership. These problems are only relevant if water is not a human right.
The reason is because human rights are more important than ownership, if these are attempting those rights, example slavery.
People owning other people is against human rights, so that ownership should not be respected.
So I ask Con to establish his position correctly in the next round so I can address it correctly.

One last thin for this contention, the third link is broken.

Contention 4:

Here we are back to the first position.
It is false that currently water is treated as a commodity and a human right.
UN recognition of the human right to water doesn't make every group respect that recognition. [1]
And as stated before, drinking water can't be a right and a commodity at the same time.
There are also cases where privatization didn't work like in Chile. [3]

Rebuttals on "attacks of Pro's case":

P1: Con agrees on the first point but is back to the second position. He mentions a problem that is explained in the first contention which was already addressed.

P2: Con agrees again and claims that this can be done with drinking water as a commodity, which is false considering the huge amount of people that doesn't have access to drinking water because they can't afford it.

P3 and P4 are addressed on the rebuttals of the contentions.

I await for the Con's response and the clarification of what seems to me like a contradiction.

Thanks. Vote Pro.

Sources:

1. Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized (Video).
2. http://www.ourcivilisation.com...
3. http://www.eclac.org...
Cobo

Con

I would like to start this round by discussing many issues out-side the realm of the actual debate.

Burden of Proof

The clear burden of proof is on the pro in this debate due to the structuring of the resolution; the pro has to prove access to drinking water out to be a human right instead of a commodity. The con does not have to actually prove anything. The con merely has to disprove how access to drinking water should not be a human right. Here are the options for either side to win.

Pro:

1. The pro has to prove that access to drinking water ought to be a human right and not a commodity

Con

1. The con shows how access to drinking water ought to not be a human right

2. The con shows how access to drinking water ought to be a commodity

3. The con shows how access to drinking water ought to be a human right and a commodity(This option is best known as a balanced-negative)

Outside arguments

Now the arguments against my first contention do not really apply to that set contention so I will address them in this section. The pro states that drinking water can’t be a human right and a commodity at a same time. The fact is that water is currently being sold in stores. [1] Another fact is that a governmental group (The United Nations) has recognized water as a human right. This right now should allow for a con victory. This would fall under the balanced negative victory scenario for the con. This point is further backed up from the fact that the pro themselves has validated the U.N. as a governmental organization in their first speech. This point is further backed up by the fact that multiple countries selected delegates voted for water being recognized as a human right and none voted against and some abstained though. [2] So a majority of the world countries recognizes drinking water as a right then it is a valid right, especially considering the actual argument behind my contention 1 was that governments are the ones to decide right and not private companies. So to sum up this point is essentially the current status quo is that water is a human right and a commodity. Now on to the con’s actual case.


Con's Arguments


Contention 1-Human Rights are provided for via government

The pro did not actually attack the actual contention that human rights are provided for via government. The key with this contention is that the pro can’t really attack this contention due to pro taking a state focuses approach and suggesting that the state distribute water. I did not fully understand the rest of the pro’s argument concerning this contention and I believe it was a tangent of sorts but I will still address it. I believe that the pro is actually supporting this point by saying that tyrannical governments will try to manipulate life. The pro ends his discussion on the point by saying that a tyrannical government can control private companies, which means they would not be a company. The pro is also failing to realize that the objective of private for-profit companies is to provide the most goods to the consumer for the maximum profit.

Contention 2-Human Rights are abstact

Simply put, the pro failed to attack this contention. The pro merely refers to the theory of hohfeld, yet this theory actually is against water being a human right. The source states “Right in one person presupposes a duty in another. The concept of a right without a duty is meaningless. Likewise he also distinguished between rights and privileges. A privilege is available on sufferance…On this analysis what are commonly called rights to employment, welfare, etc are not rights.”

Contention 3-Water being recognizes as a human right will lead to ownership disputes

At this point the pro becomes extremely illogical stating that we should take away one person’s belongings for the sake of others. Throughout this contention he gives many statements about that have no basis in them such as “human rights are more important than ownership.” The pro also states that the problems with ownership would only be within the commodity sense of the water debate, yet the con gave an example with two countries (not companies) arguing over water rights and disputing water claims. [4] Since the pro asked me to establish my exact position for this contention I will state this as my final position on this position. Water being recognized as solely a human right then that will lead to ownership disputes.

Contention 4-Water can be treated(and is currently treated) as a commodity and a human right

This contention has already been explained at length in the outside arguments sections, but I will still address this part. The pro brings up an interesting point with Nestle not recognizing the right to water. That point is moot, because nestle does not ultimately decide what is a right or not, they merely provide the item of need. This goes back to my contention 1 (which the pro never really addressed) which is that government or governmental organizations recognizes what are rights and such. Now on to the opponent’s case.


Pro's Arguments

P1 – The pro never addresses the underlying argument against this point, which is that the pro has to find an way to provide this human right via government that would not cause the government to collapse. The pro half-heartedly address the reference point in my first contention which was discussing tyrannical dictatorship. I would like to remind the judges that this arguments key tagline is "Water is a primary necessity." Which was agree upon.

P2 – Again, all this point says is that humans need drinking water. In the con’s first address the problem of people not having access to drinking water is not discusses in the second point. What is discusses is that human’s need drinking water, which is what the con actually agrees with. This is why I believe this point has no use in today’s debate. This point can also be grouped into P1 due to it saying the exact same thing, which is "Drinking water is necessary for a healthy life."

P3 – I don’t know why the pro said this argument was address earlier in the round, because I can’t find anywhere the pro explicitly discussed this point in excess. Why would this point be discussed if the majority of the arguments given for this point were quotes and not actually discussing the argument. In fact there is not clear argument except “"Drinking water" and sanitation are essential for the realisation of all human rights.” What are these human rights and why are drinking water and sanitation important for the rest of human rights? That is the key reason the argument should be dropped in this round is due to the fact that there is no basis on this argument and no explanation to it

P4 – This point is still directly cross-applied to my fourth contention and I still do not find anywhere is the pro’s second address where this is actually discussed in full.

Outro

I would like to point out as this point is that the pro has not actually presented any reason why water should solely be a human right. This is important because as explained earlier this is the only way the pro can win. I would also like to add that in this debate if neither side successfully proves anything then the vote must go to con because the pro has the burden of proof i.e. the pro has to actually prove something unlike the con. In this debate the pro has also not actually fleshed out and actual coherent argument and the bulk of the pro's case stated in the second round is purely qoutes or facts with no actual arguments behind them. I would also like to point out that by pure sematics the con has already won this debate due to the outside arguments points.


Sources

[1] - http://www.walmart.com...

[2] - http://www.un.org...

[3] - http://www.ourcivilisation.com...

[4] - http://countrystudies.us...

Debate Round No. 3
ArcTImes

Pro

Introduction:

I thank Con for his arguments and rebuttals. I will discuss the burden of proof first. Then I will show the rebuttal o the rebuttals and arguments of the last rounds, and then provide a summary of the arguments that were provided in all the previous rounds.

Burden of Proof:

I would accept the burden of proof only against the cases where drinking water is not considered a human right (only 1 and 2). The number 3 requires a shared BoP. My arguments for drinking water as a human right are not needed in the third case, and drinking water as a human right and a commodity at the same time possibility should be partly proved by Con. I say partly because I also have that burden.

Considering that Con stated in the second round that he is using the third case, the BoP should be shared and the discussion should be centered on the commodity status of drinking water and if it's possible for drinking water to be a human right and a commodity.

Rebuttals:

"Outside arguments"

"The fact is that water is currently being sold in stores. Another fact is that a governmental group (The United Nations) has recognized water as a human right. This right now should allow for a con victory. "

This is false. Here Con is using a fallacy of Equivocation.
The definition Con himself proposed in the first round is not the same definition "drinking water as human rights" has right now in the world. A lot of people can't "claim" water "as a matter of right in the society in which they live". They can't afford it or they just don't have access to it. [1]

Then why did I mention the recognition of drinking water as a human right in my argument?
I said "For that reason, the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation.", which is true and doesn't suffer said fallacy. That and the fact that the recognition of drinking water as a human right doesn't mean what we see in the world right now is a "happy coexistence" of human right and commodity. That's why I showed an example of a company that needs drinking water as a commodity but not as a human right.

"governments are the ones to decide right and not private companies. So to sum up this point is essentially the current status quo is that water is a human right and a commodity"

Sadly, right now drinking water is a commodity and not a human right. People don't have access to drinking water or can't afford it.

Contention 1-Human Rights are provided for via government

"The pro did not actually attack the actual contention that human rights are provided for via government."

This contention is in a contradiction. Con states that his position is that drinking water should and is a human right AND a commodity. And from the second round it's easy to see that this is an argument against drinking water as a human right.
I already addressed this in my third round. I asked Con to fix this contradiction but he embraced it in his third round.

Contention 2-Human Rights are abstract

His second contention suffers the same contradiction as the first contention. The fallacy of equivocation is confusing Con. He is defending drinking water as a human right in some arguments and rebuttals and trying to go against in others. It is like he is picking where is beneficial for his position to do one or the other.

About the theory of Hohfeld, which is not needed for my rebuttal because Con's arguments contradicts his positions, is not against drinking water being a human right. It is against Con's argument that human rights should not require the duty of someone else and this is false. Drinking water is a human right, even with the need of the duty of someone else because that's what it's needed for human rights to matter. Human rights are meaningless otherwise.

The author adds in the next line:
"Whether one agrees with this analysis or not, it is undeniable that at the commonsense level a right involves a duty in another person or institution." [2] which is clearly against Con's contention.

Contention 3-Water being recognizes as a human right will lead to ownership disputes

"Throughout this contention he gives many statements about that have no basis in them such as 'human rights are more important than ownership.'"

I gave an example of this. Slaves were considered property and a commodity. People were sold and bought. But their own right was way more important to all the money lost because of the lose of property. This was needed, to ensure a really important right, liberty.

The reason drinking water also should have this benefit is because it is akin to the right to life.

"The pro also states that the problems with ownership would only be within the commodity sense of the water debate, yet the con gave an example with two countries (not companies) arguing over water rights and disputing water claims."

No, I didn't. That was Con's source for one of his arguments.

"Water being recognized as solely a human right then that will lead to ownership disputes."

We can see the fallacy of equivocation clearly here. Con things that the definition for human right alone should be different from human right in "human right and commodity". This is false.

Contention 4-Water can be treated(and is currently treated) as a commodity and a human right

"nestle does not ultimately decide what is a right or not, they merely provide the item of need."

As I stated earlier, this is where the debate is centered. That's why I already addressed this in all my rebuttals and the reason Con is contradicting his position and some arguments with his other arguments.

The summary would be: Drinking water can't be a human right and a commodity at the same time because being a commodity can't ensure the definition proposed by the Con is respected.

The rest of arguments are related to the contradictions of Con.

Arguments:

Drinking water should be a human right.

Despite being recognized as a human right by the UN, right now there is a lot of people that can't claim this important resource.
The problems related to this are in the second round of Pro.
The health related problems caused by the lack of access of drinking water makes it a really important resource for life.
The human right of drinking water is akin to the human right of life. [3]

Drinking water should not be a commodity.

Even if it was possible for drinking water to be a human right and a commodity at the same time, being a commodity just makes impossible to ensure the right to everyone. This is against the definition of human rights used for this debate because every human being is entitled of this human right.

Now, it's true that the first argument needs to be true for the second to be considered. That's the reason of Con's arguments against the human right of water even when he was in favor of it. He didn't want to acknowledge this.
Drinking water should not be a commodity.

Conclusion:

Con was not able to show why drinking water should not be considered a human right only using arguments that favor drinking water as a human right. He tried to argue against the human right to water, without the problems of arguing for drinking water as a commodity only. This leads at the end, to a contradiction to his position.

Pro was able to relate health and the human right to life with drinking water to show it should be considered a human right because it is akin to the others.

Pro was able to show that drinking water should not be a commodity because it would make impossible to ensure this right to everyone, every human, which is exactly what human rights are about. Rights to every human.

I thank Con for this debate. Vote PRO.

Sources:

1. http://blueplanetnetwork.org...
2. http://www.ourcivilisation.com...
3. http://www.afrihealthnet.com...
Cobo

Con

I would like to thank the pro for this debate today. Since this round is the conclusion round the con will try to address all arguments discussed in the round and give a brief overview of what happened.


Intro

The exact position of the con is as follows. Water’s purpose of reaching out to the people and saving their lives would be better served as a commodity than a human right. This was discussed primarily through the outside argument clause and the con’s contention four. If water is recognized as a human right then it will also have to be a commodity as well in order to reach its maximum potential to help people, thus we reach the balanced negative. The reasons for this were given throughout the con’s case, primarily in the con’s first contention, with certain governments having the possibility to become tyrannical and companies seeking to maximize profits thus reaching out to others. Now on to highlight each part of the debate, and this conclude this debate.


Outside Arguments

The pro has misused the Fallacy of Equivocation as this is a fallacy when you have a phrase of words with two different meanings. The pro has applied this to the term “Human Rights.” Even though the definition presented was accepted by both parties thus no incurring the Fallacy of Equivocation.

Also the definition of Human Rights includes “freedoms, immunities, and benefits.” If you look back at the first presentation of the con’s first contention they mention and argument that was never addressed by the pro which was “In societies the only sole and final dictator of human rights is a form of government(United States Goverment or a higher form of a government(Unitied Nations).” Thus the world and their respective governments have decided that they abide by the same definition. The pro even talks about how the governments decide rights and not companies. So from this point forward water is recognized as a human right by governments via the United Nations.

In this debate we have also not discussed the definition of commodity. Commodity was defined as an economic good, esp. a raw material or an agricultural product. [1] Water already fits this definition easily and also fits the definition of human rights(Which were decided by governments). So thus the outside argument stands.

Contention 1-Human Rights are provided for via government

I would like to note at this point the pro never asked the con to fix this contention. The pro does still not address the key point of this contention, which is the problem of tyrannical governments. This is also a logistic based argument as the pro has never explained how they would accurately help more people by water solely being a human right. Another reason the pro did not attack this argument is because this argument directly counters many of the pro’s assumptions about publicly supplied water.

Contention 2-Human Rights are abstract

As discussed earlier throughout the con’s exact stance and the outside arguments point, the con has established that water is a human right due to the U.N. recognizing it as such. Addressing the hohfeld point it was presented in the con’s third round speech, that Holfeld was discussing the difference between a right and a privilege. He says “Right in one person presupposes a duty in another. The concept of a right without a duty is meaningless.”[2] This is a critic on the welfare state of western society in which people ask for things but do not earn them. This is further established when hohfeld says “But they seem unconcerned about the need to educate people about duties and the importance of a sense of responsibility.”[2] Going back to the main point the pro has missed the main point again, which was logistical in the point that since governments provide and decide human rights, water being a sole human right would put the stress fully on governments who might not be able to grant that right.

Contention 3-Water being recognized as a human right will lead to ownership disputes

The pro still misses the point of this contention and merely discusses some sidebars in this contention. The point of this contention is that if water is recognizes as a sole human right then that means only governments can provide water to the people. Thus it is in the government’s best interest to go to war in order to secure water rights. This was only touched on by the pro from the statement “We can see the fallacy of equivocation clearly here. Con things that the definition for human right alone should be different from human right in "human right and commodity". This is false.” This statement of equivocation was already addressed earlier.

Another weak rebuttal the pro gives is when the con’s quote discussing ownership in which the con discusses how pro did not address a given example and the pro’s response was simply, “No, I didn't. That was Con's source for one of his arguments.” The pro attempted to circumvent what the con was saying about countries arguing over water rights and merely dismissed it because it was my source.

The pro also decides to embrace the idea of liberty while not actually upholding it. In fact if water is only a human right this interferes with the basic concept of liberty. [3] Liberty is essentially the quality to be able to control your own life and not be dictated. In the pro’s established world it is okay to take away someone’s personal property thus infringing on their rights and creating a never-ending circle of infringing property and liberty.

Contention 4-Water can be treated (and is currently treated) as a commodity and a human right

According to the pro this is where the entire debate is centered at, because water being a commodity cannot respect the definition I presented. This was established earlier in the con’s speech this round that water can meet both definitions easily. So the argument against this contention falls.

Pro’s case

The pro has really abandoned all arguments they originally presented. This should warrant an immediate vote for con as the pro is simply presenting new arguments for their side in the final round which is against debate etiquette. Nonetheless the con will still discuss these arguments

Drinking water should be a human right

This is not an argument it is just merely rehashing the same taglines of his original case, without elaborating on them at all or giving any basis.

Drinking water should not be a commodity

This argument discusses water how water can’t be a commodity and human right at the same time due to commodity not ensuring the right to everyone, while the pro fails to give a rebuttal to the governments who cannot provide water to their people example from the third contention.

Conclusion

Going back in this debate you can see that at first the pro presented a very weak case and then abandoned this case and brought in new arguments in the final round. You can also see that the pro has cherry-picked lines from the con’s case to attack and even these have been adequately addressed by the con. The pro has also misused a fallacy and ignored a crucial part in the con’s case where human rights are decided by governmental group. Since the con has dropped their own case by default that means they have no arguments to sustain their burden of proof. Due to all of these reasons a con vote is in order. So the key voters in this round are as follows

  • Abandonment of case by the pro
  • Cherrypicking of lines, and not address multiple arguments
  • Since the pro has abandoned their original case they have no basis to uphold their burden of proof
  • The status qou is already met by the con
  • All positive benefits from the pro's original case are met in the con's case
  • If neither side persaudes the judges to vote for them then a con vote is in order due to the pro having the orginal BoP

Due to these reasons I urge the judges to vote con

[1]- Garner, Bryan. Black's Law Dictionary. 8th ed. St. Paul: Thomson West, 2004. Print.

[2]- http://www.ourcivilisation.com...

[3]- http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 0/16:

Bit of a miscalculation, sorry! Wound up with a bit extra that brings me to 0/16, for a total of 17. It's hard to estimate how many pages you'll need, since to make it all make sense structurally requires breaks to happen in ways that make sense, thus meaning not every one will be a full 2,000 characters!

Anyway: This was an interesting debate to read.

The resolution was that access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity. This meant that Pro was locked into a position wherein drinking water was a right, and not a commodity, using an "ought". BoP was presumptively on Pro, and Pro didn't note otherwise.

R1 was rules and acceptance.

In R2, Pro opened by saying that humans need water to survive, and justified that that was true (though I hardly think that Con was going to object to the notion that potable water was necessary for human survival).

Pro graciously accepted Con's definitions as suggested in his acceptance.

Pro then makes a constructive as to why access to drinking water should be a human right. Unfortunately, the only evidence Pro offered was the UN Declaration of Human Rights--and Pro even agree dthat "Now the fact that the right to water is recognized by an aorganization doesn't mean it ought to be like that".
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 1/16:

The only thing that Pro says in support of this is that ""Drinking water" and sanitation are essential for the realisation of all human rights". Sanitation isn't part of the resolution, and that's a flat assertion.

Pro closes by arguing that it shouldn't be a commodity "because we can't ensure the right to water and the commodity at the same time".

As of the end of R1, while Pro definitely supported the notion that water was necessary to live, he didn't really make a solid case for the resolution under consideration. Paring the points that were trivial (that water is necessary), Pro has said that water should be a human right and not a commodity because the UN recognizes it as a human right, because drinking water is essential for all other reights, and "because we can't ensure the right to water and the commodity at the same time"--and with bare assertion thus far. But there are, of course, more rounds left!

Con opens the round by saying that "Water can be both a human right AND a commodity.", noting that "The burden of proof is on the pro to show how water would carry more of a benefit by only being a human right". Con says that he "will also demonstrate how water is can achieve [sic] both sides of the resolution via the con's way". Though a strange way to phrase it, I believe Con is repeating with that that water can be a commodity and a right.

Con argues that human rights are provided by the government, using the example of freedom, which is enforced by the government and was granted when recognized as a right in the case of freeing slaves. Con argues that "Having a necessary life product in sole hands of a governmetn can lead to a tyrannical government controlling life. That is why water is best served as a commodity due to the fact that companies can distrubute [sic] throughotu the world and governments can only distrubute in their respective countries". In light of Con's "freedom" analogy, this argument seems to fail utterly and im
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 2/16:

Con's next point was that human rights are abstract. Con argued that they differ from socity to society. He argues that "what I really mean is that they are imaginary and and basically how society would like all others to be treated [sic]". Con argues that "the problem is that with water, you have to actually distribute it and that requires work" which "brings up problems with ownership of water. Is it justified to take away a private water supply for the sake of others?" Con asks. Since Pro hasn't really explicated his position, it seems a fair question.

Con says that recognizing water as a human right will still lead to ownership disputes even if it's not a commodity. He also notes that "water right now can be bought or sold, thus making it a commodity", yet recognizes that "governmental groups, such as the U.N., have already recognized that water is a human right", and argues that this supports his contention that water can be both.

Con closes his constructive, and moves on to specifically address Pro's P's. As he notes, P1 and P2 are uncontested truths that don't require a great deal of addressing--he concedes them. P3, Con notes, "simple states that the pro stance, but does not state any warrants or reasons for the pro stance". Which is a fair point. Con argues he has negated P4.

Pro opens the next round and notes that the main difference between the Pro and Con positions is that Con wants water to be recognized as a commodity in addition to being a human right.

Pro moves on to rebuttals. Pro claims that Con contradicts himself, saying that "he is arguing that drinking water "can" be both a human right and a commodity, but in his first contention, he challenges drinking water being a human right and how it would be better as a commodity".
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 3/16:

I do not think it was a contradiction--Con was trying to show failures in a "right-only" framework that could be addressed in a "commodity" framework. I don't think Con's point on this was particularly strong, but this rebuttal seems particularly weak.

Pro then claims that "drinking water can't be a human right and a commodity at the same time. By definition, drinking water as a human right should be able to be claimed as a matter of right. If drinking water is sold, people that can't affort it would be deprived of their human right. Every other definition of human right used could lead to a fallacy of equivocation". While it COULD lead to a fallacy, Pro, that it could is irrelevant. If it DEFINITELY leads to that fallacy, then support that, but using so-called "weasel words" like "could" here do not support your cause. Further, it's trivial to see how water could be seen as a human right in terms of necessity, but also be bought and sold as a commodity--as Con noted, that's how the system works *now*. Pro's position negates its commodity status at all--and not only in times of necessity, but in general. Pro has locked himself out of water being a commodity. Con's position allows him the "wiggle room" of having it be a right when necessary, and a commodity when not. Pro's flat assertion that if it's ever treated as a commodity, "people that can't afford it would be deprived of their human right" begs the question and ignores the nuance. Pro hasn't really supported drinking water as a human right in the first place, which is part of his burden even if Con has mostly granted it for the sake of the argument--he has to establish how he means it, since he's precluding it from being a commodity whatsoever. Is it depriving the poor of their "human right" to give them enough to live on, but make them pay for any extra that they want? By Pro's position, that seems to be the case, and he needs to support that notion.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 4/16:

Pro moves on to attack Con's specific point regarding the danger of allowing the government to assert control, in terms of risk of tyranny. All of his points here seem valid--Con's argument here wasn't all that strong. So while Con's argument on this point has been demolished, I'm troubled by how Pro responded.

Pro moves on to Contention 2, and says that "the theory of Hohfeld states, here can be no right in one person without a corresponding duty in another. This is important because a right is not less [a] right because it "requires work"." This seems an overly simplistic response, and Pro fails to support it. He can't just throw out a single jurists's name and idea and, with no support, claim it to be so. Con was clearly appealing to the difference between positive and negative rights, also known as claim rights and liberty rights--which is a distinction that Hohfeld pioneered, so to simply handwave it away seems a bit unfair of Pro. This three-sentence rebuttal seems insufficient.

Pro's response to Con's question in C3 is that it is justified to take away a private water supply for the sake of others. "Because it is a human right and because it is necessary for the life of these others." Pro says that "it's not only to survive", but implies that extra water leads to better health--here Pro weakens what had been a focus on the NECESSITY of water, by diluting it with vague "benefit". Pro claims that Con's ownership problems "are only relevant if water is not a human right". This is of course flatly absurd by Pro's own argument. He's already conceded the notion that we're not talking only in terms of necessity here, but also just general benefit. So when interests regarding that benefit clash, as they will most certainly do, that it's a "right" doesn't magically fix the clash. In Con's example, that water is seen as a right doesn't prevent either side from asserting themselves on the supply.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 5/16:

Pro claims that "human rights are more important than ownership, if these are attempting those rights, example slavery". I'm not sure what Pro's saying here, since it doesn't make sense. He says "People owning other people is against human rights, so that ownership should not be respected". The problem with the slavery analogy comes into play here, as with slavery, it's an "all or nothing" proposition--either you're a slave, or you aren't. And if you aren't, you can treat your freedom as a commodity (as in jobs). Water, in contrast, is different, it's an external item that would be shared, and HOW it would be, or how those competing interests of the sharing parties would be sorted out, is not something Pro has acutally addressed yet.

Pro then asks "Con to establish his position correctly in the next round so [he] can address it correctly".

Pro claims that "It is false that currently water is treated as a commodity and a human right." Simply asserting it to be false doesn't adequately rebut. Many states DO recognize water as a right, yet also permit it to be treated as a commodity. That it being treated as a right excludes it as being a commidity at all is a far from settled question, and Pro needs to SUPPORT this notion, which is the central issue of the case.

Pro moves on to Con's P's, saying that Con's claim that this can be done with drinking water also considered a commidity "is false considering the huge amount of people that doesn't have access to drinking water [sic] because they can't afford it."

Pro hasn't supported this last at all--nor has he shown how his "right-only" framework would solve the problem--in the areas where water "Can't be afforded" it's also "not easly available". How does Pro propose these areas GET drinking water? Does the right extend to bottling, packaging, and transportation? Pro doesn't explain.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 6/16:

Pro claims that "P3 and P4 are addressed on the rebuttals of the contentions". It's unclear what he means by this...is he saying he feels he's already addressed them while rebutting other points? That he previously addressed them specifically?

Pro ends by saying he awaits "the Con's response and the clarification of what seems to me like a contradiction", yet also asks "Vote Pro", which seems rather strongly premature.

Con opens the next round by pointing out Pro's burden of proof--noting that Pro MUST support the resolution, and that if Con can support any OTHER notion than that specific resolution (that it ought not be a right, that it ought to be a commodity, or that it can be both) that Con then wins. This seems a fair assessment, though his 1 and 2 would seem to actually be the same, viewed from two different angles.

Con argues that it's clear that water is sold, and yet also recognized as a human right, which should allow him victory under the "balanced negative" scenario. He argues that "a majority of the world countries recognizes drinking water as a right, then it is a valid right, especially considering the actual argument behind my contention 1 was that governments are the ones to decide right and not private companies. So to sum up this point is essentially the current status quo is that water is a human right and a commodity". I think Con has the stronger case regarding this, despite Pro's arguments against.

Con moves on to his arguments for counter-rebuttal. He defends his Contention 1, saying that Pro "can't really attack this contention due to pro taking a state focuses [sic] approach and suggesting that the state distribute water."
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 7/16:

Con says that he believes "pro is actually supporting this point by saying that tyrannical governmetnts will try to manipulate life". Again, I think this Contention 1 is extremely weak, and doesn't help Con's case.

Con argues that Pro has failed to attack his contention 2, noting that "The pro merely refers to the theory of hohfeld, yet this theory actually is against water being a human right. The source states "Right in one person presupposes a duty in another. The concept of a right without a duty is meaningless. Likewise he also distinguished between rights and privileges. A privilege is available on sufferance...On this analysis what are commonly called rights to employment, welfare, etc are not rights." Con fails to show how "this theory actually is against water being a human right". I'm not sure Con fully understands the source that Pro provided, however, Pro failed to support it through anything but assertion, so Hitchen's razor applies here.

For Contention 3, Con argues that "At this point the pro becomes extremely illogical stating that we should take away one person's belongings for the sake of others. Throughout this contention he gives many statements that have no basis in them such as "human rights are more important than ownership." The pro also states that the problems with ownership would only be within the commodity sense of the water debate, yet the con gave an example with two countries (not companies) arguing over water rights and disputing water claims. [4] Since the pro asked me to establish my exact position for this contention I will state this as my final position on this position. Water being recognized as solely a human right then that will lead to ownership disputes."

It's a strange tack to take, of course, as so will water being recognized as a commodity.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 8/16:

Con hasn't shown how commodity status would help the situation. Still, this seems to adequately address what I'd call Pro's handwaving of the issue. Con's bringing up that right status doesn't make disputes vanish--Pro has argued that it would, but hasn't shown how that would be the case, particularly since Con showed a case of government's clashing on water rights.

Con talks about Contention 4, that water can be and is currently treated as a commodity and a human right. Con argues that Nestle's refusal to recognize water rights is irrelevant, as Nestle doesn't have the authority to determine that.

Con moves on to Pro's arguments. Con states that "pro has to find an way [sic] to provide this human right via government that would not cause the government to collapse."

Con argues that P2 can be moved on from as conceded that water is necessary for a healthy life.

For P3, con argues that he "can't find anywhere the pro explicitly discussed this point in excess" (which seems to be another typo). Con points out that the only addressing Pro did was with the flat statement that ""Drinking water" and sanitation are essential for the realisation of all human rights." Con asks "What are these human rights and why are drinking water and sanitation important for the rest of human rights? That is the key reason the argument should be dropped in this round is due to the fact that there is no basis on this argument and no explanation to it" Once again it seems Hitchen's razor comes into play.

Con notes that he can't find where pro addressed the P4.

In his closing Con notes "the pro has not actually presented any reason why water should solely be a human right... I would also like to add that in this debate if neither side successfully proves anything then the vote must go to con because the pro has the burden of proof i.e. the pro has to actually prove something unlike the con." These seem to be true points.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 9/16:

He says: "In this debate the pro has also not actually fleshed out and actual coherent argument [sic] and the bulk of the pro's case stated in the second round is purely qoutes [sic] or facts with no actual arguments behind them."

Also seems a fair point.

Con finishes, saying he "would also like to point out that by pure sematics the con has already won this debate due to the outside arguments points." This isn't entirely true. That the status quo may be a certain way doens't directly address the "ought" question.

We finally get to our final round.

Pro opens with some complaints regarding the BoP. Pro claims that 3 requires a shared BoP--this is false, and in my opinion rather unfair of Pro. While the burden is on Con for any contentions he chooses to make, including #3, the burden is CLEARLY on Pro to make the case of the resolution, which precludes #3 as an option--so that means that Pro must show that #3 is invalid, not that Con must show it's valid. Burden of Proof is a contentious and oft-misunderstood concept, to be sure. But the burden is CLEARLY on Pro to establish the truth of the motion, and the truth of the motion clearly precludes the truth of Con's third option, so his claims that the BoP be shared fall flat. He tries to say that "drinking water as a human right and a commodity at the same time possibility should be partly proved by Con. I say partly because I also have that burden." Again, NO. Pro is burdened to prove that it's either impossible (the tack he took) or that it ought not be (the minimum required by the resolution). Con need only rebut what is presented in contradiciton--if Pro can't prove that it's impossible (or that it ought not be), then Pro has failed to uphold his burden.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
ArcTImesCobo
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 3 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
ArcTImesCobo
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: This was difficult to read. It seemed, as others have pointed out that Con contradicted himself a few times. This was seen by Con arguing that the UN has supported it being a human right, but that it should still be a commodity. Pro showed how the two different views cannot be maintained at the same time. All Pro needed to do was show that water ought to be valued as human right instead of as a commodity. He did so by showing that, as a commodity, there is no assurance or guarantee in place that every human would have access to what they rightfully deserve, as they would if it was a human right. I do agree with the criticism that Pro dancing around the BOP issue was unnecessary, but so was Con's conduct in some of his rebuttals. For me, Pro maintained his burden and convinced me that water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity. I wish both debaters the best of luck in their future pursuits here on DDO, cheers!
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
ArcTImesCobo
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: im with my fellow judge , the debate was kind of slow but the points that pro did bring up went mostly unrefuted. The point that won the debate for me was human rights by pro. It was countered by an abstract point by con which well flat in the end. Pro was able to set up how and why a necessity should be valued as a human right. I will go more in depth if prompted, but for obvious reasons I award this to pro.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
ArcTImesCobo
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Neither side did a good job here, because neither even came close to meeting their BOP. PRO, however, was less bad than CON, whose case was rife with contradiction.