In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.
Resolved: In the United States, private ownership of handguns ought to be banned.
First round acceptance.
Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: ‘I seek God! I seek God!’—As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?—Thus they yelled and laughed. The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. ‘Whither is God?’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we plunging continuously? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continuously closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God remains dead. And we have killed him. ‘How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.’ Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. ‘I have come too early,’ he said then; ‘my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.’ It has been related that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said to have replied nothing but: ‘What after all are these churches now if they are not tombs and sepulchers of God?’. God is nowhere to be found, yet there is still so much light! Light that dazzles and maddens; crisp, ruthless light. Space echoes like an immense tomb, yet the stars still burn. Why does the sun take so long to die? Or the moon retain such fidelity to the Earth? Where is the new darkness? The greatest of all unknowings? Is death itself shy of us? The brilliance of God’s non-being provokes a wave of cynical laughter. How strange that God’s last act should be so entertaining! A good joke, but rather an old one now. It spawned innumerable witticisms that circulated in the market-place; a final testament dissipated amongst the buzz of commodity exchange, but they faded fast. What was the death of God anyway? A slight fizz of exuberance in the stock-market? A moderate lightening of the spirit? A relaxation? The end of a badly-scripted play, greeted by the languid effervescence of cheap champagne? For a long time there have been more important things to talk about in market-places. The things they save the expensive champagne for. Perhaps they laugh a little at God’s demise occasionally, but they are bored by it. Even his taxidermists have deserted him, the best of them at any rate. Those that remain are mostly the otherwise unemployable; the second rate, the incompetent or unenthusiastic. So he deteriorates still, becoming more moth-eaten and absurd. If they laugh at all it is because Jahweh has come to seem so much like a neglected teddy-bear; balding, one arm hanging loose, an eye coming away. When they were children stories about bears had frightened them. Not any more. There was always something shoddy about this God. Lost on the way to being, and to us. Even lost, for a little while, on the way to death. A stumbler, an unwitting clown, everything he does is botched, improvised, ostentatious; his past a mix of gaucherie and tantrum. His diminishing flock rarely ask him about scientific matters any more, few of them dare ask themselves. He long ago dropped out of such classes, to the secret relief of his family. For a while they insisted that he had other gifts—ineffable ones—and (with the blindness of mothers) praised the ageing infant’s good nature, which they said had calmed down a lot. One can only smile. Maybe it is that we brought out the worst in him. For who could doubt God’s fear of us? Was he not omniscient? Did he not always see the rusty dagger in our hands? And we were created in his image! (The corporealization of his hatred for himself.) What tatters of self-love remained to him came apart at this sight. To reign over all things, as the archetype of man. A piteous enough truth to exhibit. Few things approximate so closely to infinity as the humorous incommensurability between man and the sum of the universe. To span such a gulf within oneself is to live an idiocy. To be not only an animal, but a depraved one: an aborted animal, a sick animal, a delirious animal. Upon first seeing a rabid dog one thinks it is becoming human. This is not a promising basis for divinity. If he hid from us it was only in attempting to hide his eyes; to block us out. Yet amongst the accidents of his omniscience—or of his inexistence—was included the absence of eyelids. We burnt on his sleep-starved retina like harsh stars. Our deicide crawled like a rash upon his skin. He could only stare at us, and our history ensued; a convulsion of lethal horror. Of course, he made innumerable attempts at emigration, but who would have him? Who wants a second-hand God? Philosophy provided only a temporary refuge; rebelling eventually against his bad manners. How nostalgic he was of his days as a carpenter, once he had become a tramp. It is tempting to dredge into our lassitude, seeking another end for God. Might he not have been allowed to retire? The state would surely have granted him a modest pension After all, few would dispute that senile tyrants make wretched victims. It seems scarcely more dignified to kill God than to slaughter a dog when it becomes too old to work. It is rare to find one who takes much pride in slaughtering God these days. More common is a vague feeling of impurity; one has soiled oneself by bothering with something so vile and corrupt. That God was ever permitted residence amongst us is a source of embarrassment, or, at best, of uneasy humour. It is understandable that many should feel vaguely bad about God, was he not a little too vulnerable, old, and pitiful to kill? Should we not greet his inexistence with an impatient ‘of course’, and turn to more serious things? Do we really lack the delicacy to let God die quietly, on his own, like a dog? It is true that we probably merited a better God to sacrifice. It is not unreasonable to imagine that a cosmos that spawned a Herakleitus deserved a more dignified ruler than the grumpy old ape of Occidental monotheism. Nevertheless, it is pointless nursing such regrets. They belong to the mournful ‘might have beens’ of our history; decided long before we had a chance to shop around for a God.
The above was written by Nick Land in 1992.
My argument is that sacrificing the debate itself, not just the message of the debate, is the only way that we can ever move beyond worshipping the monolithic ideal of debate. That we can move beyond justifying something because we have hashed it out in the Academy, that we can move beyond our own God complexes -- that is only through the affirmative.
While the negative case may be true, it doesn't matter about the logistics of the affirmative. The speech of the 1AC was, in its own right, a rejection of the world and its foundations. I am shooting myself with what is being taken away, and I am shooting you and the debate with it. I leave no survivors, and thus, the negative doesn't matter.
My act was the rejection of debate that formed the question of banning handguns. It precedes all arguments.
I kill the judge no matter which way they vote. There exists no salvation in the institution.
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