The Instigator
F0102439
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Lonewolfunrol
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Resolved: water ought to be valued as a human right rather than a commodity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,528 times Debate No: 29661
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

F0102439

Pro

Edward M Muskie, A U.S. Senator said
In a speech given March 1, 1966, "High quality water is more than the dream of the conservationists, more than a political slogan; high quality water, in the right quantity at the right place at the right time, is essential to health, recreation, and economic growth."

Water is essential to human life, without water, human life is not possible.



Lonewolfunrol

Con

You say that without water, human life is impossible. The human body is quite the miracle worker in terms of survival. Recent studies have shown that the human body can go as much as three whole days without a drop of water, and still survive. With this in mind; why not sell high quality water, and use said money for something more helpful. Perhaps even the purification and distribution of even more water?
Debate Round No. 1
F0102439

Pro

You stated that "the human body is quite the miracle worker in terms of survival. Recent studies have shown that the human body can go without water", but only for three days. What would happen to people after the said three days? The answer is quite simple they would not survive. You also stated " why not sell high quality water and use said money for something more helpful". What would happen to the less fortunate people in society who can not afford the above mentioned high quality water. The answer is quite obvious, they will not survive. So therefore you are stating that you are willing to let the less fortunate people in society perish.
Lonewolfunrol

Con

As Americans, we should be able to know the difference between those who are are are not less fortunate. For instance, people who have a good-standing GDP Per-Capita should have to pay for a bottle of purified water, while said money should go to giving water to someone who has no job, or is homeless. If we were to sell water to those who can afford it, and split the earnings by giving water to the needy, we can use the other part of the money to do a multitude of things; such as manufacturing new jobs for said needy. Tell me this: if we were to just hand out water to every person out there, regardless of finances, we would end up losing quite a large amount of money in the process. As I've stated, the less-fortunate should get their water for free, but those who aren't need to pay for their water, as it seems only fair.
Debate Round No. 2
F0102439

Pro

You stated that "as Americans", then let me ask you this. What about the less fortunate countries such as India and Iraq? They have horrible GDP Per-Capital. You also stated that " if we were to just hand out water to every person out there, regardless of finances, we would end up losing quite a large amount of money in the process", so your saying that we would lose money, but would it not increase our relations with other countries. Vote for Pro
Lonewolfunrol

Con

For the other countries such as India and Iraq, that's yet another thing we could use our earned finances on from selling water to the more fortunate. If people paid a simple price, say one dollar, for a bottle of water, imagine what possibilities could come from the earnings of said water. Just consider my intentions.

May the best man win, my friend.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by daerice 4 years ago
daerice
Having a right to water doesn't mean someone has to give you water.

But it should mean they can't stop you from getting it. Water rights mean control of a primary resource, and that is Big Business, and when it gets big enough local people are priced out of their local water source. See the Bolivian water wars:
http://www.pbs.org...
Citizens were prevented from accessing wells, or even digging them. The local people couldn't afford to buy their own water. Military personnel were stationed at wells to prevent indigenous people from taking water out of the ground. These are the native Bolivians, who have depended upon the local resources of that land for their entire history.
This situation doesn't involve someone giving someone water, it involves having it taken, packaged and sold back to the people who owned it and controlled it first.

Another way in which your right to water can be taken away, is when your water resource itself is destroyed.
A scathing example of this is Mexico:
In Mexico the water is poisonous, all of the tap water and most of the ground water. Municipal water was cut off years ago, there is no "public" water, and in the poor section of Mexico City the taps are dry, and have been for a long time. The only drinkable water in Mexico is bottled and most of it is owned by Nestle.
http://thoughtforfood.net...

The idea of a human "right" to water doesn't compel anyone to give you anything except access - fair access to your local water resource. The buying and selling of water is wasteful and encourages areas to grow beyond their means.

Water is different than other sorts of commodities like shoes, golf clubs, sports cars, perfume or diamond earrings.
Water is a Primary, and Limited resource that is vital to life.
The water wars have already begun: http://www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com...
Posted by BigSky 4 years ago
BigSky
Having a right to water does not mean someone has to give you water. Just because I have the right to own a firearm does not mean someone has to give me a firearm. Therefore, humanity already has a right to water. Before responding, think about what I have said.
Posted by daerice 4 years ago
daerice
Water is a primary good, necessary to life. A life without access to clean drinking water is fraught with hardship, disease and calamity. The commodification of water cannot by justified, and the contender assumes that free water will be provided to the poor at no cost, however it is clear that in many countries where water rights are privately owned indigenous people suffer.

An excellent film on the subject here: http://www.imdb.com...

Contender assumes that high GDP equates with high quality of life, but this is not always so, since the measure is only total profit in a given country. GDP does not include a measure for the distribution of wealth, rate of incarceration, infant mortality rate, level of education, or access to healthcare.

Finally, the commodification of water in the U.S. is fairly new. For many years drinking water flowed from taps all over the country at a minimal cost to the public. It is the desire to profit from what people need most the drives the market for bottled water. This is a position which is ethically difficult to justify.
I have to find my support remains with the Instigator.
No votes have been placed for this debate.