Developing countries ought to prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction
When in conflict, developing countries ought to prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction.
PLEASE NOTE THE "WHEN IN CONFLICT" PART WHICH I COULD NOT FIT ONTO TOPIC.
As this is Lincoln-Douglas debate, no formal evidence is needed. Therefore, I will not accept arguments where my opponent tries to force the burden of proof upon me. Since this is not policy debate, I also relieve myself of the burden of constructing a policy.
I anticipate a good round, and wish my opponent the best of luck.
My value for today"s round will be morality, defined as a code of conduct that, if followed, ensures righteousness, and exists universally. I am justified in defending a value of morality, as ought is used in the resolution, which Encarta defines as "be morally right" meaning "ought" is the evaluative term in the resolution meaning in the round debaters are to determine which policy, environmentalism or resource extraction, is moral. Therefore, morality is an applicable value to today"s debate, and is the paramount value as well, as both sides, aff and neg, are attempting to achieve morality by debating a resolution including the word "ought".
My value criterion for today"s round will be upholding the greatest good for the greatest number, also known as consequentialism. If we were to sacrifice consequentialism, we would not be achieving morality, as the greatest good would not be upheld, which means that the right action is not taking place.
Contention 1: If a country is in conflict, it needs to get out of conflict as quickly as possible in order to create the most good. The natural resources of that country are often what fuels the conflict that started in the first place. If resource extraction were to take priority over environmental protection, each warring side would get what they need, and therefore have no need to fight. If there is no need to fight, there will be peace, which upholds the greatest good for the greatest number.
Contention 2: Environmental protection does not create the greatest good for the greatest number. All men benefit the most from resource extraction, as it creates a civil environment, which is the hallmark of our very sentience. If we were to prioritize environmental protection instead of resource extraction, we would take away those measures that ensure our civility. Civility creates the greatest good for the greatest number, as all men benefit from civilization.
Contention 3: If we are to prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction, we would be placing the good of animals and plants over the good of humans. Since consequentialism leads to morality and morality is a distinctly human value, we would not be achieving morality by placing the good of animals and plants over the good of humans.
I have offered three key reasons upon why we should negate today's resolution. I await my opponent's response, and request that he/she respect the parameters I have placed on this debate.
For this debate I argue in affirmation of -
Resolved: When in conflict, developing countries ought to prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction.
I will start with a couple definitions, both from Cambridge Dictionary1.
Ought: “used to say that it is necessary or desirable to perform the action expressed in the verb”
Prioritize: “to arrange in order of importance so that you can deal with the most important things before the others”
I will also clarify the resolution. My opponent takes it in the context of when a developing country is at war, which option they ought to prioritize (protection or extraction). However, the key conflict in this resolution isn’t warring countries, but rather the conflict between environmental protection and resource extraction. This is strengthened by the fact that under my opponent’s interpretation the heart of the issue still lies in which ought to be above the other, protection or extraction. Therefore, the phrase “when in conflict” should be seen to refer to protection vs extraction.
First I will build my own case, then I will attack my opponent’s.
My value in today’s debate is safety. Safety is defined as, “Relative freedom from danger, risk, or threat of harm, injury, or loss to personnel and/or property, whether caused deliberately or by accident”2. This is furthered below in the value clash.
My criterion is minimizing the risk of harm. Looking back at the definition of safety, it is clear that there exists an inverse relationship between the risk of harm and the safety of an individual. By lessening the chance of harm we are increasing safety and upholding today’s value.
C1: Negating the Resolution would Promote Violence
a) resource extraction increases violence
Resource extraction ultimately ends up being linked to violence; the reason they are linked is because armed violence is often connected to the foundation of resource extraction, as explained by the following quotation from the article Natural Resource Extraction, Armed Violence, and Environmental Degradation
“The authors conclude that the natural resource base on which industrial societies stand is constructed in large part through the use and threatened use of armed violence.”3
Therefore, fueling extraction fuels violence which threatens the safety of the individuals in the country resources are extracted from.
b) environmental protection lowers the likelihood of violence by decreasing environmental stress
The idea of the “greenwar hypothesis” also points to the role that environmental stress plays in creating violence. Summarized by Stewart Frances as, “Environmental stress tends to make people prone to violence as they seek alternatives to desperate situations”4 (pg. 9). Prioritization of environmental protection decreases this stress because it keeps environmental resources from being degraded to the point that they are too limited. The reasoning behind this brings us to our second point.
C2: Negating the Resolution Harms Environmental Sustainability
The most important aspect of this point is that environmental protection serves to balance out resource extraction. Resource extraction depletes the environment, not only by how it uses up resources, but the pollution and other long-lasting effects it leaves behind5. Due to its harmful nature, prioritization ought to go to environmental protection, in order to ensure that on balance the environment is still sustainable. If place the emphasis in the other direction of this relationship, that encourages depletion of the environment, which is quite simply necessary for the protection of not only our own lives, but also those of countless other species. Clearly, we ought to prioritize protection over extraction to maintain a healthy environment.
The two values offered in today’s debate are safety (Aff) and morality (Neg). I win the value clash for the following two reasons.
1 – Safety better allows us to weigh the moral worth of actions. A value ought to help determine if an action is moral. Valuing morality as the Neg does maintains that an action is moral if it is moral, which is essentially circular reasoning. Moreover, there are many conflicting theories for determining morality, by not specifying which he upholds, my opponent’s value is too broad and inhibits interpretation of moral worth. Yet, my value of safety shows that an action is moral if it promotes safety, which better allows us to assess an action’s worth.
2 – Safety is a pre-requisite to other values. This is represented in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Often represented as a pyramid, this theory sets out to explain human’s needs; the most fundamental needs are shown on the bottom, and must be met first before one can “travel up” to the next level. The first needs are those that are physically required for us to live (i.e. food); however, after having been met the next level is safety6. That means before we can move up to satisfy any other needs we must first ensure safety.
First I would like to clarify my opponent’s stance, “upholding the greatest good for the greatest number”. My opponent states this is consequentialism; however, consequentialism is any “ends justify means” morality, and while an aspect of this, what my opponent is actually using is utilitarianism, which is “good of the many outweighs the good of the few”7. Having clarified that, what needs to be seen is that my side is better fulfilling this burden because, as my case shows, negating leads to increased violence and harms sustainability.
Ending Conflict in Countries
As offered in my interpretation of the resolution, the focus isn’t on a country’s conflict, but rather that which exists between resource extraction and environmental protection. Also my opponent upholds that extraction is what fuels violence (the key point of my first point, subpoint a), yet then states that prioritizing extraction would mean, “each warring side would get what they need, and therefore have no need to fight”. The key here is in understanding that it is the process of extraction that fuels conflict, and increasing extraction will not have my opponent’s desired effect of decreasing conflict, but will increase it.
My opponent’s stance here is that environmental protection doesn’t benefit mankind, but extraction does. However, for this we simply need to look to my second point which outlines how environmental protection is used to balance out resource extraction in order to ensure that we don’t completely deplete our environment. We need to make sure that prioritization goes to protection in order to preserve our environment and ensure we have a place to live.
The Good of Animals
Here con states that by prioritizing environmental protection, “we would be placing the good of animals and plants over the good of humans”. The main flaw in this analysis is that it assumes these two “goods” are mutually exclusive. However, as I uphold through my case, maintaining the protection of the environment also ensures that the safety of mankind is protected, thus showing that we are not “placing one good above the other”, but rather further securing the “good of humans” through protection of the environment.
My opponent stated in the opening round that as this is an LD debate evidence is not required. While it is true that evidence isn’t required, that doesn’t mean that I am in any way in the wrong for using evidence to substantiate my arguments. Rather, my use of evidence better grounds my case in how these concepts apply to the real world.
1 - http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
I agree with my opponent"s definition of prioritize, but reserve the right to clarify later.
I would like to clarify the word ought, which Encarta1 defines as "to be morally right" meaning "ought" is the evaluative term in the resolution, therefore meaning in the round debaters are to determine which policy, environmentalism or resource extraction, is moral. Therefore, morality is an applicable value to today"s debate, and is the paramount value as well, as both sides, aff and neg, are attempting to achieve morality by debating a resolution including the word "ought".
I will start with the value clash.
My opponent says that my value of morality is a circular argument, as deciding which actions are moral to achieve morality is, as my opponent states, circular reasoning. However, my opponent fails to acknowledge my value structure and how it pertains to "circular reasoning". I am upholding a value of morality, previously defined, as it is the value indicated by the word "ought". I then state that consequentialism upholds morality, which means that consequentialism is moral. Contrary to my opponent"s statement, I say an action is moral if it is consequential, not if it is moral. Therefore the circular reasoning argument cannot apply.
My opponent attempts to place safety above morality, as my opponent states that it achieves the moral actions. However, if a value is supposed to determine what is moral, as my opponent states, then safety in fact achieves morality. My opponent also states that safety achieves other values, and quotes Abraham Maslow. If safety were to be placed above morality, it could not achieve morality, and therefore, as my opponent states, could not win the value clash.
My opponent also states that there are many conflicting ways to achieve morality, and that I have not specified which, therefore I cannot uphold my value as it is too broad. However, my opponent fails to recognize my criterion in reference to morality, as my value structure states. I have given a way to achieve morality, therefore, my opponent"s statement arguing that it is too broad is invalid.
Addressing my opponent"s attack of my value criterion:
My opponent seeks to defame my criterion by calling it a different name, utilitarianism. She then attempts to give a different definition than the one I previously stated. My opponent has taken liberties that she does not have the right to, such as modifying my constructive to fit her needs.
Disregarding that, she states that negating leads better to consequentialism, which therefore achieves morality. As refuting that argument is better suited to be addressed in the contentions, I will discuss this later.
My opponent attempts to interpret the resolution in a way that is harmful to the round. I do understand that the one she seeks to argue is the official NFL resolution, however, as is my right as the instigator, I have chosen the resolution, and as my opponent has chosen to be the contender, she has accepted the resolution given and must debate with that for the whole round. My opponent does not hold the right to "clarify", and therefore change the resolution. The resolution stated by the Instigator says that when developing countries are in conflict, they ought to prioritize environment protection over resource extraction.
My opponent attacks my first contention by stating that "extraction is what fuels violence (the key point of my first point, subpoint a), yet then states that prioritizing extraction would mean, "each warring side would get what they need, and therefore have no need to fight". "
What my opponent fails to acknowledge is that when a country is in conflict, the warring sides will not respect environmental protection, and extract resources in a way more damaging to the environment. Resource extraction, as my opponent states, is not what has fueled the conflict, but is what will satisfy the conflict. She has twisted my constructive to say that resource extraction starts conflict, however, I stated natural resources start conflict. With that point made, my opponent cannot uphold the rest of her argument against that contention, therefore, it still stands.
My opponent then makes a statement about resource extraction, and cites her second contention. I interpret this as an argument against my second contention, even though it is not clearly listed. In order for me to refute this, I must refute her first contention, therefore, a defense about this will come later when her first contention has been refuted.
My opponent addresses a statement in my third contention, which I will take as an argument against it, as I see no other. My opponent states that upholding the good of men is not prioritizing the good of plants and animals above men. However, as stated in my second contention, resource extraction is for the good of man, and if we are to prioritize environmental protection, we would be placing the good of animals and plants over the good of men. My opponent states that the two are not mutually exclusive, however, as stated, they are, therefore, her argument is invalid, and my third contention still stands.
As the final statement for my defense, my opponent refutes my statement about evidence. However, I merely stated that I will not accept the burden of evidence. I was not saying all evidence is invalid, as my opponent seems to think I said. I am fine with my opponent facilitating evidence in the round, however, it should not be a key voting issue, as evidence is not necessary in an LD round, even if it is allowed to be facilitated.
Going on to address my opponent"s case:
My opponent uses a value of safety, and states more in the value clash. I have already addressed the value clash and how I have won it, so no further argumentation is needed.
My opponent attempts to uphold her value by using the criterion "minimizing the risk of harm". I agree that could reach safety, however, my opponent"s value structure is not achieving an affirmative case, as for my next reason:
In the developing countries of today, humans are not safe. Resource extraction would give them the resources they need to increase their standard of living, however, environmental protection keeps them at their standard of living as they do not obtain any resources to come out of poverty. Furthermore, my opponent states in her case that environmental protection upholds sustainability, so we may, as she states, extract resources later. The results behind those words, even if she does not mean them, are that we keep the poor in poverty until we so see fit to drop our sustainability and extract resources. Procrastination is taking place here, as sustainability in this regard is simply saving the environment so we may extract resources later. I will restate this as an attack on her second contention later.
My opponent"s first contention is negating would promote violence. She then states in A. that resource extraction fuels violence. However, as stated in my first contention, natural resources fuel violence, and that extracting those resources takes away the cause of the violence, therefore stilling it. She fails to acknowledge that "natural resources" and "resource extraction" are two different things in her first contention. Natural resources fuel violence, not resource extraction, therefore, her first subpoint is invalid, as it relies upon an assumption refuted by the previous statement.
Her second subpoint is "environmental protection lowers violence by decreasing environmental stress". However, by protecting the environment, we are locking away resources that men of greed will attempt to extract by violence, thereby promoting violence. Therefore, her second subpoint is invalid.
My opponent"s second contention is negating harms sustainability, but I have already addressed how this is false in my argument about how her value structure cannot affirm the resolution. Going over this again, environmental protection locks up resources saying that it is justified doing so by sustainability. However, if, as my opponent states, we are saving the environment to extract from it later, why not extract from it now, and ease the suffering of the poor? If we are to lift the standard of living in developing countries, we must extract now, and avoid prolonged and unneeded suffering.
It is for these reasons that I continue to negate today"s resolution and urge a neg ballot. I thank you for your time.
1 - Encarta Dictionary
I want to apologize as my last post was misconstrued and was seen as more hostile than I intended. Also, as my last sign posting was seen as too vague, I shall attempt to be even more direct.
To offer a brief road map, I will first address the framework clashes, then I will clarify and rebuild my own case, and then I shall move on to address my opponent’s.
There are three main arguments being addressed under the value clash.
1 – Circular reasoning of morality. My opponent justifies that he is not using circular reasoning with two claims. First, he turns to the definition of “ought” and states that this indicates that we should use morality; however, this actually further perpetuates the circular reasoning argument as the resolution clearly indicates morality, and he is upholding this inherent morality through morality. Second, he states, “I say an action is moral if it is consequential”. This argument is flawed – first of all, “consequential” simply means causes other things to happen8 and he clearly doesn't mean that an action is moral if it has any consequence. Next, this is an incorrect reference to his criterion and given that we are evaluating the value clash here, we ought not to consider the criterion for determining the worth of the value; while related, the value ought to make rational sense on its own.
2 – Broadness. To refute my attack that his value was too abstract, my opponent again turned to his criterion. As above, the criterion doesn’t belong in the value clash as this evaluates the values alone.
3 – Maslow’s Hierarchy. My opponent states, “If safety were to be placed above morality, it could not achieve morality, and therefore, as my opponent states, could not achieve morality.” He misunderstood my point. I stated before that safety is used to determine morality – we say that in the context of this resolution, the moral actions are those that ensure safety. The point of this was to enhance why we ought to value safety, given that morality was already attacked as a value. Basically, with morality out of the equation, we ought to value safety as a way to determine moral worth because it is a basic human need and carries an importance of its own as a pre-requisite to other needs.
1 – Definitions
“My opponent has taken liberties that she does not have the right to, such as modifying my constructive to fit her needs.” This attack is incredibly unwarranted because previously I was not modifying Con’s case, I was clarifying his terminology. In his constructive my opponent stated, “My value criterion for today"s round will be upholding the greatest good for the greatest number, also known as consequentialism.” However, we need to turn to the following7:
Consequentialism: “whether an act is morally right depends only on the consequences of that act or of something related to that act”
Utilitarianism: “the claim that an act is morally right if and only if that act maximizes the good”
By definition, my opponent’s criterion is textbook utilitarianism, so thus throughout his case when he refers to something as moral because of consequentialism, that is incorrect.
My opponent then states, “… she states that negating leads better to consequentialism, which therefore achieves morality. As refuting that argument is better suited to be addressed in the contentions, I will discuss this later.” While he never directly readdresses this, see this point as going to who better proves that they “maximize the good” in the consequences of their case. Also, see that given how our points clash, this is also directly related to who best upholds "minimizing the risk of harm".
My opponent says I attempted to interpret the resolution another way and that, “My opponent does not hold the right to “clarify”, and therefore change the resolution.” True, I cannot force the resolution to be something it’s not; however, my point was to show that what we’re truly evaluating is if resource extraction ought to be placed over environmental protection, because whether or not the countries are warring, this doesn’t alter what we’re truly evaluating. This can be seen in that neither of our points uniquely rely on warring countries, as we both reference violence. All I was attempting to do was to make sure the debate stayed centered on the true conflict of today’s resolution – that which exists between extraction and protection, regardless of whether the countries are at war or not.
Having addressed framework I shall now rebuild my two contentions.
1. a) resource extraction fuels violence
My opponent states that it’s not extraction that fuels violence but simply the existence of natural resources, claiming my point is invalid simply because it relies upon a false assumption. However, this is not true given that I sourced my information, to further elaborate it shows,
“ … that armed violence represents one of several overlapping mechanisms that provide powerful actors with the means to (a) prevail over others in conflicts over natural resource use, extraction, and transport and (b) ensure that natural resources critical to industrial production and state power continue to be extracted and sold in sufficient quantities to promote capital accumulation and state power in the core”3
Therefore, I am proving that extraction causes violence, as opposed to it ending violence as my opponent supposes.
b) lowering environmental stress decreases violence
Here my opponent completely dismisses the premise of this argument, and attacks this by stating that we are locking up natural resources. Con equates prioritizing protection to excluding extraction (this was also seen when he attacked my criterion). It's not "procrastination" in giving the poor resources as Con claims; but rather, with an emphasis on environmental protection ultimately we are ensuring that the bad of the polluting effects are outweighed by an emphasis on the good of ensuring we have a place to live (thus even upholding my opponent’s criterion). Also, he failed to address the violence point, as he also perpetrated his wrong assumption from his attack on my first point, (that it is not extraction that fuels violence) so this stands.
Again my opponent claims, “environmental protection locks up resources saying that it is justified doing so by sustainability … why not extract it now, and ease the suffering of the poor?” Here Con completely drops my argument about how we need the emphasis to be on environmental protection because this saves the environment. When prioritization goes to getting as many resources as quickly as possible and protecting the environment is lesser, we have harmful global and local effects. This is why we need to prioritize the other, so that we are controlling the resulting effects to the environment by on balance, promoting the positive. Ultimately if we care about ensuring the quality of life for people as my opponent claims to ("ease the suffering of the poor"), we ought to make sure we are protecting the place we live in, which my opponent never addresses. Furthermore, you ought to see that quicker extraction won’t help the poor as it will fuel violence in these areas, as I’ve shown. Therefore, this point also stands.
Moving on to address my opponent’s three points.
My opponent claims that resource extraction will end the violence; however, this would only occur if all of the resources from an area were extracted and the desire to control that area no longer existed. Encouraging this kind of action leads to environmental depletion which has long-lasting negative effects. While my opponent tries to say that it is natural resources not resource extraction that fuels conflict, this does not stand. Thus this point falls.
2. Extraction Benefits Mankind
My opponent only linked defense of this to attacks on my second contention, and having defended that point above, this point also falls. To restate, my opponent seems to assume that prioritization of protection means elimination of extraction, and this does not hold. Rather, by valuing protection, we ensure that the people who want resources and could get some potential benefits from their extraction are saved from extraction's harms.
3. Good of Animals
My opponent’s only defense for this is that he stated that the good of animals and the good of mankind are mutually exclusive, so they are. He offers no justification for this claim, and completely disregards the attack that humans also benefit from having a healthy environment to live in. Given that there is a clear link between the goods of these two entities, this point is unsupported and falls.
Given that all of my opponents points fall, all of mine stand, that I consequentially win the criterion clash (as above it was stated to based on who best upheld having positive ends, and thus ensured safety) and that I win the value clash I must urge a Pro ballot in today’s debate.
Circular reasoning: This argument is flawed. My opponent states that "the resolution clearly indicates morality, and he is upholding this inherent morality through morality". The use of the word ought in the resolution is expressing that the following action is morally right. If by upholding morality I show that resource extraction is morally right, then I have successfully negated the resolution. My opponent also says that if "an action is moral if it is consequential", an action is moral if it has consequence. My opponent is also not acknowledging here that in the terms of consequential in today"s debate, it is whichever brings about the greatest good for the greatest number. It is not "if it has consequence", therefore my opponent cannot claim that the argument I stated was invalid.
About broadness, which I dealt with my criterion: If my opponent recognizes there are many ways to achieve morality, then we must use the one provided, being consequentialism, as the value criterion is meant to achieve the value premise. If my opponent is to bring broadness into this, and then argues that we must not have the criterion which itself provides an answer to my opponent"s argument, which my opponent does not accept saying that it is the criterion and therefore not part of the value clash, then my opponent is not recognizing that the criterion is a key part of the value clash being that it is how the value is upheld and interpreted.
Maslow"s Hierarchy: If my opponent states "we must value safety as a way to determine moral worth", and goes on to state that morality does not fit in with this, my opponent is contradicting her argument that safety does not support morality, as if safety determines moral worth and therefore a code of conduct, my opponent is facilitating morality in order to justify safety.
My opponent states she wasn"t modifying my case, but clarifying terminology. What she is really doing is giving me a new criterion of utilitarianism, which is clearly not allowed.
My opponent states back in the value clash that an action is moral if it has consequence, but then offers up a new definition of consequentialism, which, applied to morality, says that an action is moral if the consequences follow the definition of morality, being a code of conduct.
With the definitions my opponent has offered, utilitarianism is a type of consequentialism, maximizing utility. The reason I used consequentialism instead of utilitarianism: utilitarianism has come to be given a bad name in LD debate because people are averse to any form of sacrifice. I still retain a criterion of consequentialism, I however recognize that utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory, and thereby is still consequentialism.
My opponent also seeks to rebut my criterion by saying that it thereby goes to whoever maximizes the good. She states that minimizing the risk of harm, her criterion, is maximizing good, but minimizing harm is not necessarily creating good, it is emptying up the space that good will arrive at and then merely waits there for the good to arrive by itself, if you may allow me to personify our value clash. Therefore minimizing the risk of harm does not create good and is therefore not moral.
Analyzing the resolution: My opponent analyzes the resolution by stating that the conflict is between environmental protection and resource extraction. However, if the resolution provided in my constructive is not enough to put forth my point, I state that the conflict is in developing countries, not between environmental protection and resource extraction so necessarily, as my opponent tries to make out that it is.
Regarding my opponent"s defense on her Contention 1 (a):
If my opponent interprets her evidence to be taken as an absolute, which is the only option if her contention states that resource extraction fuels violence, then I need only offer one counterexample to refute this absolute and thus nullify her contention sub-point.
She states that extraction fuels violence, however, the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum states
"Minerals and hydrocarbon development can be a pillar of future economic growth in Afghanistan by:
creating both direct and indirect employment and income;
developing transport and other infrastructure which will help open up areas for broader economic development; and
generating considerable domestic revenue as well as trade and balance of payments benefits"
These are the opposite of violence, being that they promote a stable nation. Therefore, resource extraction does not fuel violence in one example, which means the absolute my opponent stated is invalid.
My opponent"s defense of C1(b):
My opponent states that I have dismissed the premise of her argument. However, I am addressing her premise by stating that if we lock up resources by lowering environmental stress, we are in fact increasing violence by having less resources available, and therefore causing conflict over the existing resources. Humans fight for resources, and if there are a limited amount of resources they will fight even harder for it. Therefore, violence is increased. My opponent claims that procrastination is not the essence of this argument while defending the point by saying that the poor will have a good environment. She did not address the locking up of resources.
My opponent"s defense of her C2:
I talked about this just now, that having a nice environment to live in doesn"t matter, as sustainability locks up resources. Saying that I dropped the emphasis isn"t correct, as I made a point that contradicted the emphasis. My opponent claims that easing the suffering of the poor will be facilitated by making a safe environment for them to live in, which is actually just upholding the present situation. My opponent has never directly addressed this point, instead defending by expounding the benefits of having a safe environment.
Defending my C1:
My opponent states violence would end "if all of the resources from an area were extracted and the desire to control that area no longer existed.". She then states that this would cause long-lasting negative effects, which ending violence apparently does not justify. If we are to focus on sustainability, as my opponent very much wants, then we must make sure we have something to sustain. Violence, by its very nature, takes away peace, which ensures a future. The consequences of my opponent"s statement are a world where we fight over resources, while living in a healthy environment. That is not what we want, so my opponent"s argument is invalid. My opponent also states that resource extraction causes violence. However,
"World Bank research on the root causes of conflict and civil war finds that a developing country's economic dependence on natural resources or other primary commodities is strongly associated with the risk level for violent conflict." 2. If natural resources are associated with violence, then my opponent"s statement is invalid.
Defending my C2:
My opponent states that as she has refuted my attacks on her second contention which I linked my prior defense of this too, she therefore has refuted my defense. Restating a rebuttal against her refutation of my defense, protection being prioritized would lead to less resources being extracted, which I have stated over and over again. As we need resources from extraction in order to raise the standard of living instead of having it remain the same, less resources extracted means less relief for the poor. My opponent states that valuing protection means that we get protection as well as enough resources from extraction. However, that is not true, as protection indeed reduces resources extracted, which, as stated above, is bad and does less to improve the standard of living.
Defense of my C3:
My opponent states that the good of animals and humans are not mutually exclusive, however, they indeed are, as according to a sourcewatch.org report3, "fuel oil is a byproduct of oil production that is used by many cargo ships because it is cheap, but also full of contaminants... making it dangerous for animals and hard to clean up.". As oil benefits humans and harms animals, the good of animals is mutually exclusive with the good of humans. Saying that they are not mutually exclusive is a direct contradiction of my prior evidence. My opponent also failed to provide an example of that clear link, therefore, my evidence stands and shows that her attack falls.
A few main reasons why the Con deserves the ballot.
1. Resource extraction and the standard of living: In the various times this issue has come up in today"s debate, my opponent has failed to negate the fact that resource extraction does indeed provide for a better standard of living. She instead says that protection is better for poor citizens as it ensures a good environment for them to live in. However, in the times this has come up, she did not address the fact that less resources allow for a lower standard of living to come about, which is not just.
2. The value clash: My opponent said in various times including her closing statement, that she upholds consequentialism as protection upholds the most good. She then says that consequentialism leads to safety, which is saying that the most good leads to safety. A more logical way to address this is that safety leads to the most good, as evident in happenings such as a firefighter rescuing handicapped people from a burning building. If safety is provided for, and the most good occurs, then safety supports consequentialism, and therefore morality.
It is for these reasons that I stand to negate today"s resolution, and urge a Con ballot.
Final summary speech here we go.
Before for I start addressing specific arguments I would like to clarify – there are points where, in his own summary, Neg provided new attacks and evidence against my case, while this harms both sides being able to adequately refute (i.e. my opponent cannot address the logic behind any refutations I bring up); therefore, I shall attempt to make my responses along the same line of argumentation that I have upheld throughout the debate thus far in order to best ensure fairness.
1. Circular Reasoning
- I have not been saying that we shouldn’t consider morality in the scope of today’s debate, as that is at the very nature of what LD debate is. However, a value should help frame the debate by giving us a clear goal to achieve – if the resolution already indicates moral necessity, as my opponent states it does through his definition of ought, than valuing morality doesn’t frame the debate in any new way. Essentially, my opponent negates by saying that the moral reason why shouldn’t uphold the resolution (which is what the resolution asks him to prove) is because doing so would be immoral. This is the point of the circular reasoning argument. In comparison, I say that it is moral to affirm because by doing so we are upholding safety.
- To return to the clarification I made on my opponent’s statement, “an action is moral if it’s consequential”. First I explained how this statement means an action is moral if it has consequences, as that is the definition of consequential. The point was that “consequential” is not an adjective that means “adhering to philosophy of consequentialism”, though my opponent attempted to use it as such. However, I then went on to attack his attempt to turn this back to the framework of his case by returning to his criterion to assess the value clash, more on this below.
My opponent claims it’s okay to evaluate the criterion here. I do agree that a case should be constructed so that the criterion expands on your value; however, the value should be able to stand on its own, and morality by itself is too broad as a value.
3. Maslow’s Hierarchy
The reason I referenced this wasn’t to show safety is a pre-requisite to morality, as my opponent attacks frames it. Along the reasoning of the broadness attack, there are many ways to achieve morality, but the reason why safety is good in-and-of-itself as a value is because it is a pre-requisite to other values that could be seen to also achieve morality.
Again my opponent falsely accuses me of modifying his case, “What she is really doing is giving me a new criterion of utilitarianism, which is clearly not allowed.” But as I stated previously, I am not changing his case. My opponent stated his criterion was “upholding the greatest good for the greatest number”. Modifying his case would be forcing him to uphold consequentialism as this is not what he is striving to achieve. Rather I am clarifying how what my opponent’s criterion is by definition is utilitarianism. My opponent said he didn’t want to use utilitarianism because it has a negative perception in the LD world. However, let’s draw a quick analogy to see why this if flawed. Say someone said, “I uphold that it is okay to negate someone’s right to life, therefore I support rights violations.” What they’re upholding by definition is murder, which is a form of rights violations – however, referring to this act merely as the general term “rights violations” to escape the stigmatization against murder is flawed because if you want to advocate for an idea, you must accept all the burdens that come with it. In the same way, utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, like murder is a form of rights violations; however, if my opponent wants to focus specifically on if the good is maximized, he must accept that this is utilitarianism.
Regarding who actually achieves this criterion, my opponent states that minimizing the risk of harm only makes space for good to appear, but doesn’t achieve it. While a strong rebuttal, what needs to be clarified is how, as I illustrate, negating maximizes the risk of harm and leads to clear results of increased violence and unsustainability in the Neg world, which drastically reduces the good.
Warring countries is a non-unique point in this debate as we both analyze violence, whoever wins this clash doesn’t necessarily gain any ground. However, my initial reason for clarification was to ensure we stayed centered on the key conflict of this resolution, which we have. The point is, regardless of it a country is actively in war, there is a natural conflict between extraction and protection, and our purpose is to evaluate which ought to be prioritized. As we have been doing so, we have shown that whether developing countries are “in conflict” or not isn’t pertinent to this debate.
Moving on to rebuild my own case.
1. a) extraction fuels violence.
My opponent uses new evidence to claim that since natural resources can have an economic benefit, resource extraction promotes stability – he is mixing up two terms that he initially attempted to clarify. Yes, having natural resources like minerals can produce some benefits, however, this doesn’t change the fact that the process of getting them, extraction, is founded on violence, and thus encourages it. My opponent still has not actually refuted how the process of extraction fuels violence, which my evidence still supports.
b) environmental stress.
First, my opponent refutes this by returning to the locking up argument. As I addressed in my rebuttal, affirming this resolution doesn’t mean completely halting extraction so we are not locking up resources. However, as extraction does cause depletion of the environment, it limits the availability of other vital resources that causes environmental stress as further promotes violence. My opponent has not addressed this idea, because he simply returns to his claim that we are “unnecessarily locking up resources”.
Neg states, “… having a nice environment to live in doesn’t matter”. He is attempting to justify damaging vital resources to extract helpful ones. For example, my evidence talks about how resource extraction causes pollution. Pollution damages having “clean air” which has many negative effects if it continues, which can be allowed simply to obtain money that isn’t even guaranteed to go to those in need. Sustainability of the planet clearly wins this clash.
Moving on to con’s case.
First, Neg again uses new evidence to address how resources are the cause of violence. Second, this evidence doesn’t prove that the cause of violence is the presence of resources as opposed to extraction. To explain how this new line of thinking is flawed, look to an analogy of gun control – A gun can’t do anything harmful on its own; however, when shot it can possibly kill someone. It’s not the gun that causes death, but as it makes shooting possible it increases the risk of death. In the same way, the existence of resources doesn’t cause violence, but increases the risk of it because it promotes extraction which is founded on violence.
2. benefits mankind.
Here my opponent continues arguing against limiting extraction; however, as I’ve said and my opponent hasn’t attacked, this links to having a less-inhabitable world which isn’t justified under either framework.
3. good of animals.
Again Neg used new evidence in his summary. Yet, this evidence only shows that in one instance something can benefit humans economically and is dangerous for animals. This doesn’t prove that the overall good of both are mutually exclusively. Logically, humans need to the earth to be inhabitable to have a place to live, and thus something that is environmentally-conscious benefits both.
For the fact that all of my opponent’s arguments fall and my stand, I urge an affirmative ballot in today’s debate.
Thanks to icebob for the debate!
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