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Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/1/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,413 times Debate No: 70731
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (1)




The debate isResolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.

This is intended to be an LD debate. It will be structured to be as close to LD format as reasonably possible. If you are not familiar with LD debate or don't know what LD debate is, please refrain from accepting. The round structure will look something like this:

Round One: Acceptance
Round Two: Aff's Case, Neg's Case + rebuttals
Round Three: Aff rebuttals, Neg rebuttals
Round Four: Aff rebuttals, Neg passes the round to keep in line with speaking rounds.

Good luck to whomever accepts.


Thanks for the challenge, I am also looking forward to this LD resolution and would love a practice round in this format.

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


I value morality. Identity construction is the basis upon which ethics is possible. Butler:
  • “before we can speak about a self who is capable of choice, we must first consider how that self is formed. ... the sphere in which the subject is said to emerge is ‘‘ontological’’ in the sense that the phenomenal world of persons ... becomes available only after a self has been formed ... The possibility of this epistemological encounter presumes that the self and its ... world have ... been constituted, …”

In constructing ethical theories the first evaluation is to allow for the formation of the “I” through contesting stable gender identities. Butler 2:
  • ““effects” of gender hierarchy ... are ... foundations, ... There is no ontology of gender on which we might construct a politics, for gender ontologies always operate within established political contexts as normative injunctions, ... Ontology is, thus, ... a normative injunction that operates insidiously by installing itself into political discourse ... The deconstruction of identity ... establishes as political the very terms through which identity is articulated. ... If identities were no longer fixed as the premises of a political syllogism, ... a new configuration of politics would ... emerge ... Cultural configurations of ... gender might then ... become articulable within the discourses that establish intelligible cultural life, …”

Thus the standard is disrupting fixed gender identities. The affirmative burden is to show that establishing food security enables the disruption of stable gender identities. Prefer this standard for 4 additional reasons:

1 ) Absolute identities don’t apply to our actual life and are disjoined from the subject. Butler 3:
  • “Symbolic order creates ... intelligibility through ... “having” ... and “being” ... Every effort to establish identity within the terms of this binary disjunction ... returns to the inevitable “lack” and “loss” ... and mark[s] the incommensurability of the Symbolic and the real. If ... understood as ... culturally universal ... it makes sense to ask: What ... signifies what ... in this ... crosscultural affair? This question, ... is posed within a frame that presupposes a ... dichotomy within ... the ... displacement of the subject. ... [for example] the sexes ... reveal the speaking “I” as a masculinized effect of repression, ... but whose very coherence is called into question by the sexual positions that it excludes in the process of identity formation. …”

2 ) Absolutist identities preclude moral language because they’re grounded in universal images which prevent different perspectives in discourse. Butler 4:
  • “The ... plasticity of language, ... resists the fixing of the subject position as masculine. ... A woman cannot use the first person “I” because as a woman, the speaker is “particular” ... and the invocation of the “I” presumes the capacity to speak for and as the universal human: ... the speaking subject ... “reappropriates language as a whole, proceeding from oneself alone, with the power to use all language.” ... This privilege to speak “I” establishes a sovereign self, ... speaking establishes “the supreme act of subjectivity.” …”

3 ) Our view of the body must be contestable since a binary categorization precedes an accurate evaluation of epistemology. Butler 5:
  • “Categories of ... gender, ... have constituted the stable point of reference for ... politics. These constructs of identity serve as the points of epistemic departure from which theory emerges and politics itself is shaped. ... the category of sex ... presuppose[s] a generalization of “the body” that preexists the acquisition of its ... significance. This “body” ... [is] a passive medium that is signified by an inscription from a cultural source figured as “external” to that body. Any theory ... ought to question “the body” as a construct of suspect generality when it is figured as passive and prior to discourse. …”

4 ) Ethics without fluid identity is a failed project, since it endorses ethical violence. Butler 6:
  • “A subject who can never fully give an account of itself ... [is] a result of being related at non-narratable levels of existence to others ... If the ‘‘I’’ cannot ... be disjoined from the impress of social life, then ethics will ... presuppose ... social critique ... Such a move not only severs the task of ethics from the matter of social life ... but it fails to understand the resource of ... irreducible relations to others as a precondition of ethical responsiveness. ... one must ask how the formation of the subject implies a framework for understanding ethical response and a theory of responsibility. If ... inquiry return[s] us to … socially enforced modes of individualism, ... that ... leads to an ethical violence that knows no ... self-acceptance ... [and] it ... [is] obligatory, ... to return [to] the question ... ‘‘How are we formed within social life, and at what cost?’’”

First, the food movement is and has been historically sexist against women. Walter:

Walter, Pierre. "Educational Alternatives In Food Production, Knowledge And Consumption: The Public Pedagogies Of Growing Power And Tsyunhehkw." Australian Journal of Adult Learning Volume 52, Number 3. January 11, 2012. Web. February 08, 2015..
  • “the food movement, have been criticised in feminist scholarship as repositories of male, middle class norms, practices and oppressive gender relations … calls to return to more holistic, organic and local food production … mean additional labour for women, and family meals may be sites of violence against women, both symbolically and materially … scholars in the food movement have also begun to critique the structure and relations of social class, whiteness and power expressed in alternative food practices, pedagogies, spaces and community institutions in the food movement … Slocum argues for the importance of understanding and acknowledging the history of racism, colonialism, and class and gender oppression underlying the food system in attempts to enact local alternatives to it … that the US food system was built on a foundation of genocide, slavery and layers of racist institutions that have dispossessed racialized groups of cultural pride … it survives … through the work of people of color who serve, disproportionately , in the hazardous work of farm labor and food processing. Institutionalized racism intersecting with processes of colonialism, welfare ideology and gender and class oppression is also visible in the areas of food insecurity, disease and excess death …”

And, women are the ones who are disproportionately harmed by food insecurity. Choudhary:

Choudhary, Neetu. "Gender, Work And Household Food Security. "Economic and Political Weekly. October 02, 2007. Web. February 09, 2015..
  • “the household is not a homogeneous entity, and that the “right to equality” is frequently denied to women, with intra household factors influencing the distribution of resources and work within the household is by now fairly well recognized even if not adequately reflected in mainstream social science literature … women are losers in the household level distributive process and enjoy lesser rights for disproportionately higher work responsibilities … women's own status in terms of food … security is not commensurate with the huge contribution they make to household economy and food security … Despite the literal recognition of women’s role … there is a relative dearth of empirical work on how much women actually contribute to food security and through what ways. This leaves us with hardly any data to draw policy inferences …”

The implications of food insecurity for women are things we ought to be solving for. UN:

United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. "The Right To Adequate Food." Human Rights Fact Sheet No. 34. December 12, 2003. Web. February 05, 2015..
  • “Women have specific dietary needs … in relation to their reproductive health. INfringement of the right to adequate food of women of childbearing age … could lead to life threatening complications during pregnancy or delivery. Malnutrition of pregnant … women can ... result in ... malnutrition … of their children … Women … in many countries … receive less food than the male members of the family, because of their lower status. Violence against women … may also contribute to women’s food insecurity … a preference for male children may lead to female infanticide, including by means of deprivation of food and water …”
And providing food security that’s attentive to gender relations is key to preventing gender related violence. Sachs:

Sachs, Carolyn. "Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue, Feminist Food Sovereignty: Crafting A New Vision. "Agrarian Studies Yale University. December 12, 2003. Web. February 03, 2015..
  • “Poor people and women were particularly affected by these price increases and were unable to purchase sufficient food. bush such recurring fluctuations can continue to be expected in the global corporate food system where people in the global south are dependent on food for which prices are determined elsewhere with limited attention to the impact of commodity and food price increases on poor people. Conflict and civil unrest increase gender-based violence, disempowerment and food and nutrition outcomes. Women and girls tend to be affected differently than men and boys in emergencies due to … food emergencies. Women often lose their capacity to provide seeds, livestock, and food for their families unless emergency relief operations adopt gender sensitive approaches. In conflict situations, women and girls are more vulnerable to gender-related violence and may not be able to access their fields for growing crops or grazing livestock … Programs that are attentive to gender related concerns during periods of instability and emergencies will be more likely to provide food stability from year to year and throughout the growing season.”


Jacksegs13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend my arguments.


My case is attached:

Allow my opponent to make whatever arguments he wants in the 2AC as I have forfeited the NC/NR.

A quick apology to my opponent for this hastily prepared case.

My opponent's entire case rests on the assertion that objective moral codes exist. This is not true as I have proven, and thus I negate, and my opponent's entire case comes crumbling down.
Debate Round No. 3


So the roadmap is theory shell, overview to the NC, line-by-line of the NC, then AC extensions and voters if I have time.

A. Interpretation – Ethical burdens imposed by a debater must be sufficient to win the debate.
B. Violation - I do not win by turning skepticism (i.e. that moral statements aren’t false)
C. Standards -
  • 1. Reciprocity: NIBS grant unreciprocal options in favor of the negative, who can challenge any number of assumptions within the resolution, which is unfair since reciprocity ensures that both sides have an equal opportunity to win the ballot. And, I have no way to leverage turns against truth-statements, which skews my 1AR strat since I can’t weigh impacts and win but they can. Moreover, Necessary but insufficient burdens create a structural inequity in the round, because the negative wins the entire round if they win that one burden, while the affirmative has to win 100% defense on the burden to have a chance at winning. Reciprocity harms fairness because they grant the NEG a 2:1 advantage in the debate and I’m skewed in terms of winning the ballot.
  • 2. Logical consistency: running different ethical theories allows them multiple contradictory ethical theories they can win off of. This skews fairness because I can’t engage in the 1AC without also contradicting myself. Also this is unfair because since they defend ethics can both be objective and subjective I can’t pick a coherent strategy against their case without contradicting my case. i.e concede subjectivity and goes for skep negates or answer subjectivity and then have to turn the objective ethics section.

D. Vote them down.

1. Fairness is a voter because competitive debate mandates equal burdens. This means the function of the ballot is to vote for the better debater but that’s functionally impossible if one side is skewed.

2. Only voting on theory can give the aff an offensive route against their strategy. Otherwise, it would still function as an insufficient burden. Voting is also the only way to deter the unfair argument in the future; otherwise they’ll continue to run it to win the time tradeoff.

3. Theory is an issue of competing interpretations because reasonability invites judge intervention since any brightline would be arbitrary so it’s not what you do, it’s what you justify.

Then, as an overview to the NC:

Their entire case is in violation of the structure of the debate. Not only is his case posted external to the site, but it exceeds the 10,000 character limit assigned to the debate(1). This is blatantly unfair since it lets him say more and respond to more than I physically can, which gives him an unfair advantage in the debate. If we cut him off at the 10k character limit, he stops in the middle of his Council of Foreign Relations card at "techniques that result", so only allow him access to that text and nothing below it. Doing so would be inherently unfair against me for trying to follow the rules.

So, let's talk about Skep now! Group all of his first contention together.

First, there's absolutely no link between the resolution and morality. He makes the claim that the resolution questions the morality of just governments, but provides absolutely zero warrant to this.

Secondly, his normative skepticism doesn't actually address the AC. The entirety of my framework addresses the resolution epistemically, which functions on an entirely different level of thought than normative. This means that even if you buy the NC, it isn't responsive to the AC.

Third, the theory shell I read at the top of this round means you vote him down for running skep in the first place.

Fourth, Skep is epistemologically bankrupt. Epistemology requires us to behave as if there were a risk of us being wrong. Thus skep is rejected because if true there is no down side but if wrong we allow for infinite moral violations. Sepielli (2):

  • [as] imperfect beings … we must make our decisions under uncertainty. … I should perform the action with the highest expected value. … by multiplying the subjective probability that some … comparative is true by the value of that action if it is true, doing the same for all of the other … comparatives, and adding up the results. … suppose I am deciding between actions A and B. There’s some chance that A is better than B, and … [a] slightly greater chance that B is better than A. … also … if A is better than B, then A is saintly and B is abominable; but if B is better than A, then B is slightly nasty and A is merely okay. Despite the fact that my credence is higher that B is better than A, … I ought to do A instead, since A’s “normative upside” is so much higher than B’s, and its “normative downside” not nearly as low.

Thus, we're obligated to view things in the light that the way we view things could be wrong. Skep precludes us from doing that since it says literally everything is subjective so who are we to say that something is right and wrong. Thus, it bites into the harms of Sepielli.

Then, off of the Just Government criticisms:

First, his definitional argument is literally bull. Theres's absolutely no warrant for the link between his definition and his argument that in order for a government to be just that 100% of their actions have to be fair and consistent with moral values. I argue that the definition implies that, on balance, a just government's actions should be fair and consistent with moral values.

Second, arguing that just governments don't exist is nonsensical in terms of the resolution because the resolution assumes the existence of just governments. The resolution makes the assumption that just governments exists and then asks us the hypothetical of what ought they do, so denying just governments exist is pointless: it's a part of the resolution.

Third, even if arguing that just governments don't exist is a decent idea, he's got no warrant for why just governments don't actually exist. His argument relies on an entirely abusive definitional argument that makes no sense just to prove that a government can't be just. But even if you buy that argument, he has no warrant for why the US isn't just under his abusive definitional argument. But even if I give him that the US isn't a just government, that doesn't mean there isn't a possible just government out there. It's just....not a good argument.

Now, let's look at the aff:

The only response that was made against the aff was that skep is true, so the aff collapses because morality sucks. I've already thuroughly responded to skep, so that leaves literally 100% of my case unresponded to. Extend out literally everything as clear and compelling offense to affirm off of.


First, you affirm off of theory. Skep harms debate as an activity and it's a reason you should vote him down for using it.

Second, even if you don't buy theory, I have other responses to skep, so it leaves him without any kind of argument against my case. Which leaves me an entirely unresponded to case, a fvcking entirely dropped case, to extend out as offense and a reason to affirm the resolution.

Third, there's no reason to look to his presumption arguments because the debate is really clear.


(1) -
(2) - What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do, Andrew Sepielli, Rutgers – New Brunswick



Jacksegs13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AngelofDeath 3 years ago
It's also about speaker points and how good your case is, right? I remember I lost a round to this sh*tty speaker once because the judge thought he brought up better points than me, but I totally got more speaker points than him.... "Low point win" i think it was....
Posted by AngelofDeath 3 years ago
If people don't care about arguing morals and stuff why not just do PF instead? That's all about stats, I think...?
Posted by Zaradi 3 years ago
Because it's not specifically about the resolution but rather the other person's case.
Posted by AngelofDeath 3 years ago
So then how is it different from a regular case???
Posted by Zaradi 3 years ago
Technically it is but no one really cares and we just argue whatever kind of argument we want so long as it can tie into the resolution somehow.
Posted by AngelofDeath 3 years ago
".I don't get it. So is it no at the same time or something?
Posted by Zaradi 3 years ago
"Yes" and yes the quotation marks are there on purpose.
Posted by AngelofDeath 3 years ago
Oh....ew. But wait, isn"t LD all about morals and sh*t in the first place?
Posted by Zaradi 3 years ago
Skep = skepticism = moral skepticism
Posted by AngelofDeath 3 years ago
What is a skep case??? Is this an LD term that I should know?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit and dropping of theory killed Con. With the theory extended, I have to vote Con down on the basis that his case was unfairly lengthy.