The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

WODC Round Two - Energy

Do you like this debate?NoYes+5
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/21/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,548 times Debate No: 76777
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (103)
Votes (6)




This is for the WODC. The resolution is "This House believes the United States should nationalize oil exports and seek to join OPEC"

First round is acceptance. 2.5k minimum Elo to vote.


I accept, hard.
Debate Round No. 1


Observation One: The resolution implies a direct actor to view the perspective of the round from. By it mentioning "The United States should do x", the resolution asks us to consider the weight of impacts and arguments from the perspective of the USFG. Therefore, arguments should be weighed toward their benefits to the USFG as an actor.

Observation Two: The burden of proof is split as the resolution poses a hypothetical situation of asking if we should do x or not do x. Therefore, I have to show why the USFG should a) nationalize oil exports and b) try to join OPEC. Con must show why the USFG shouldn't a) nationalize oil exports and b) try to join OPEC. Whoever best argues for their side ought to win the debate.


Morality comes first in this debate because it gives us the warrants required to actually do things and gives us reasons for why things matter. We can both stand up here all day and shout the pros and cons of the resolution back and forth, but all of it would only beg the question of why those things matter in the first place, which ethics gives the answer for. This means that if my opponent doesn't a) run some kind of competing moral framework or b) link into the framework I will propose, then my arguments are preferable because they actually try to explain why my actions and impacts are preferable.

In order to understand what makes affirming this resolution a good idea, we must understand what about nationalizing oil and join OPEC is desirable to the USFG. Only this account of desirability gives us an explanation for our actions. Mark Mercer[1] explains:
  • “To understand what another has done is … to have a … description of the action he has performed, one that reveals it to be intentional … to know an agent’s reason for performing … action involves understanding his motivation in doing it. … It is not enough, … to understand what a person who intentionally sips from a saucer of mud has done … An interpreter has also to comprehend what in desiring to sip from a saucer of mud was attractive to him. … One way is to connect that piece of behaviour to one or more of the strange agent’s self-regarding ends. If we can see in sipping from a saucer of mud a way of maintaining self-respect, or even a way to delight in the taste of mud, we can understand the desire the agent had to sip from a saucer of mud. We need not connect his self-regarding end to an intention to realize that end in or through his action; we need only … connect it to an expectation of realizing it.”
This understanding of desirability towards our own self-regarding ends lays the basis for the framework of understanding our actions and deciding what moral actors ought to be doing: normative egoism. Mercer[1] continues:
  • “weak … egoism is the doctrine that all actions are performed in expectation of realizing self-regarding ends. … egoism is the doctrine that behind any action whatever that an agent performs intentionally, ultimately there lies the agent’s expectation of realizing one or more of her self-regarding ends, an expectation without which the agent would not have performed the action. … if an agent does not expect to forestall his own unhappiness or to promote his self-image, …, in … performing an action … then that agent will not intentionally perform an action of that type. … some other self-regarding end, not as a consequence … but directly as part of engaging in that activity, … To enjoy tennis is to take pleasure in playing tennis, and not, … to attain experiences of pleasure through playing tennis.)”
Therefore, under my framework, the USFG should take the action that is within their own self-regarding ends. Whether those actions are beneficial to others or affect others are irrelevant to normative egoism: so long as it's within the USFG's interest to nationalize, my framework is sufficient to affirm.


The resolution asks me to argue in favor of two points: that we should 1) nationalize oil and 2) try to join OPEC. I'll address both parts here.

To start off with, the economic benefit towards the USFG were they to nationalize would be immense. In 2013 oil companies were said to generate more than $1 trillion per year in revenue[2], which would be a massive boom towards our economy and solving back for the national debt. With an increase in domestic production since then with the discovery of shale oil, those numbers are only going to rise.

Moreover, if we are to say that the role of the government is to serve the people that it governs, then nationalization of resources allows for governments to best ensure that resources are used to best serve the people, rather than in the interests of the private corporations.

This means that a) the USFG makes more money from nationalizing the oil, and b) they will be better able to use it to best serve the citizens of the US rather than to make money for private companies and corporations, which is in the best interest of the USFG.

So now that we've concluded that nationalizing oil is in the USFG's self-interest, why should we join OPEC? This one's pretty simple. OPEC controls the prices and supplies of a massive amount of oil in the world[3]. They're the organization that decides what people should price oil at and who gets what oil. If they wanted to make the life of the USFG harder, they could easily hamper our ability to get foreign oil, which isn't in the interest of the USFG. Joining OPEC gives us a voice in the decision making progress, meaning we can steer things toward our advantage, which is in the best interest of the USFG.


Ethical theories that rely on the maximization of happiness and aggregation of impacts are nonsensical because the universe we exist in is spacially infinite. Nick Bostrom[4] explains:
  • "Recent cosmological evidence suggests that the world is probably infinite. ... [I]f ... [it] is ... then it contains an infinite number of galaxies, stars, and planets. If there are an infinite number of planets then there is ... an infinite number of people. Infinitely many of these people are happy, infinitely many are unhappy."
Bostrom continues to explain what this means for ethical theories like utilitarianism:
  • "Suppose the world [does] contains an infinite number of people ... Ethical theories that hold that value is aggregative imply that ... [such an] infinite world contains an infinite quantity of [both] positive ... and ... negative value. ... [But we] can do only a finite amount of good or bad. ... adding or subtracting a finite quantity does not change an infinite quantity. Every possible act of ours therefore has the same net effect on the total amount of good and bad ... [namely] none whatsoever. Aggregative consequentialist theories are [thus] threatened by infinitarian paralysis: they seem to imply that ... it is always ethically indifferent what we do.”
Thus, aggregative theories fail in an infinite universe. Two reasons to think that we live in one. Max Tegmark[5] explains:
  • "the Level I multiverse ... is the least controversial type. We all accept the existence of things that we cannot see but could see if we moved to a different vantage point ... Objects beyond the cosmic horizon have a similar status. The observable universe grows by a light-year every year as light from farther away has time to reach us. An infinity lies out there, waiting to be seen. ..."
Tegmark continues:
  • "[The Level II multiverse is] an infinite set of distinct Level I multiverses, some perhaps with different spacetime dimensionality and different physical constants. ... [O]n the very largest scales. ... [space] as a whole is stretching and will continue doing so forever, but some regions of space stop stretching and form distinct bubbles, like gas pockets in a loaf of rising bread. Infinitely many such bubbles emerge. Each is an embryonic Level I multiverse: infinite in size and filled with matter deposited by the energy field that drove inflation."

[4] Nick Bostrom, “The Infinitarian Challenge to Aggregative Ethics,” 2008,
[5] Max Tegmark, “Parallel Universes,” Scientific American, 14 April 2003,


When a bill passes through congress it costs taxpayers two million dollars a day. [1] This doesn't include the costs of writing the bill and having everyones staff read the legalese and decode it for the representative as well the cost of senate and the president looking over it. A conservative (extremely) estimate is that it would cost 25 million to pass this type of bill. This is why any challenge to the status quo, has to be significant enough to overcome the cost of changing. This fact itself means that the majority of the BOP, is on pro.

Furthermore, I'm allowed to contradict myself. If I take 3 or 4 methods of attack to negate the resolution, and only one holds up, that will be enough to win. As long as each method of attack is self contained and not "overly" self contradicting, it's fine.

Non Aggression Principle

The government is there to protect our rights. The United States government was founded with this in mind, and is why it includes the bill of rights. Men/women have a right to self ownership.

"The basic axiom of libertarian political theory holds that every man is a self owner, having absolute jurisdiction over his own body. In effect, this means that no one else may justly invade, or aggress against, another's person. It follows then that each person justly owns whatever previously unowned resources he appropriates or "mixes his labor with". From these twin axioms " self-ownership and "homesteading" " stem the justification for the entire system of property rights titles in a free-market society. This system establishes the right of every man to his own person, the right of donation, of bequest (and, concomitantly, the right to receive the bequest or inheritance), and the right of contractual exchange of property titles.[2]

When it comes to woman/man, there are only three possibilities to ownerhip (everything else is sub deviations of these three things)

1. Somebody else owns you.

2. Nobody owns you.

3. You own yourself.

The first option is a moral abomination. If number one is true than it justifies or is tantamount to slavery. The United States has been there, the history is ugly and we all recognize slavery as wrong. This option isn't worth considering. If my opponent wants to argue that slavery is ethical, I welcome him to try.

The second option is also wrong. One understanding of the word ownership is right of use. This is not something we could part with, without doing something unthinkable, such as killing ourselves. You could argue that isn't the true definition of ownership, but regardless of the title, the premise still supports the premises and arguments that follow.

The final option is self ownership, and after exploring the other options, and ruling them out, this stands as a truism. [3]
The concept of self ownership, helps us to recognize the fact that ownership does exist. A property is either unowned or owned. If it is unowned, than whoever first takes posession of the land/property is rightful owner, who may do with his property what he pleases, so long as he does not violate the non aggression principle, by stealing owned things, or damaging them. (including people, who are self owned). Anthony De Jasay, says it a little better than myself.

"[if] taking first possession of a thing is a feasible act of his that is admissible if it is not a tort (in this case not trespass) and violates no right; but this is the case by definition, i.e., by the thing being identified as "unowned." Taking exclusive possession of it is, in terms of our classification of possible acts, a liberty, and as such only a contrary right can obstruct or oppose it. 14 The opponent of this simple thesis is trying to have it both ways: he is both asserting that the thing has no legitimate first owner from whom a second or nth owner could have legitimately obtained it by agreed transfer, and that there is nevertheless somebody who has been and still is entitled to use the thing and therefore can validly object to being excluded from it. But an entitlement to use the thing is an at least partial antecedent ownership claim needing an owner, or the permission of an owner, before it can be made; ownership cannot both exist yet not exist. If, on the other hand, the objectors have been using the thing without being entitled to it, because no third party had excluded them by taking first possession, and because they were unable, unwilling, or uninterested to perform the act of taking first possession themselves (whatever that act may consist of), their enjoyment of the thing was precarious, not vested. Its appropriation by a third party may have deprived them of an uncovenanted advantage, but it did not violate their rights."[4]

The government taking ownership of an entire industry would violate the non aggression principle.

Negative Environmental impacts

"oil consumption by the transportation sector contributes significantly to American greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Climate change will cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decades, as sea levels rise"[5]

The United states dependence on oil needs to end. In the next round,, I'll bring up my counter plan and explain how to do that, but for now we just need to know that my opponent's plan reduces the price of oil, encourages more oil consumption, and takes focus off of efforts in green energy by diverting focus, and making green energy more of a financial burden. (when considering comparative cost.

These environmental impacts are bad for the world and by extension the United States.

" Burning oil is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and ... a major driver of climate change... if left unchecked....(has) serious security...implications. Burning oil imported from "dangerous or unstable" countries... released 640.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is the same as keeping more than 122.5 million passenger vehicles on the road.....the gravest consequences of climate change.... threaten(s) to destabilize governments, intensify terrorist actions, and displace hundreds of millions of people due to increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters, higher incidences of diseases such as malaria, rising sea levels, and food and water shortages. A 2007 analysis by the Center for American Progress concludes that the geopolitical implications of climate change could include wide-spanning social, political, and environmental consequences such as "destabilizing levels of internal migration" in developing countries and more immigration into the United States. The U.S. military will face increasing pressure to deal with these crises, which will further put our military at risk and require already strapped resources to be sent abroad. Global warming-induced natural disasters will create emergencies that demand military aid, such as Hurricane Katrina at home and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami abroad.... Developed countries will be responsible for aid efforts as well as responding to crises from climate-induced mass migration...intelligence experts...recognize that global warming poses serious environmental, social, political, and military risks that we must address in the interest of our own defense."[6]

The tenth amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."[7]

The United States government doesn't have the legal authority to nationalize the oil industry. I challenge my opponent, to show me where in the constitution, the federal government is authorized to nationalize the oil industry. My opponent won't find that portion of the constitution, it is unethical and not in the best interest of the United States (collection of citizens), to violate it's own laws. If for no other reason, the judges should vote for con on the basis that the resolution is flawed.


[3] The ethics of Liberty, M. Rothbard (purchase book from this location to support a great non profit organization).
[4] DeJasay, Anthony (1997). Against politics : on government, anarchy, and order (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge. p. 173.
Debate Round No. 2


A quick note before we begin, my opponent has not contested the point that we should seek to join OPEC. His concession of this means I've already fulfilled half of my BOP.

On The BoP

First, his argument for why I have the BoP is pointless. I'm arguing that through a single year of having the oil nationalized, we'll make $1 trillion. His $25 million would be pocket change to that.

Second, he ignores the nature of the resolution implying we're comparing worlds, a world in which we nationalize oil and try to join OPEC and a world in which we don't and the harms and benefits of both worlds. This means that, by the way the resolution is set up, the burden of proof is split.

But I don't even see why this is a debate because he provides arguments of his own anyway.

On Contradiction


To avoid running a theory shell on this statement alone, no, my opponent is not allowed to contradict himself willy nilly so long as one of his arguments holds up. This is a) an attempt to shot-gun argument out (which he's doing rather poorly, ironically), and b) a violation of the fairness of the debate. Forcing me to adhere to a standard that my opponent doesn't have to stick to is like saying that I can only type without using any vowels and if I make a grammatical error I lose, but my opponent can type like a 12 year old with their first phone and not get punished. Fairness in debate is important because debate is entirely about a contest between two sides to see who the better debater is, but this becomes impossible if one side is skewed.

Now before I get into the meat of the debate, there's one thing I need to mention really quickly. My opponent makes no response at all to any word that I wrote in my case. His entire last round was constructing his own arguments. Hold these dropped arguments against him.

On the NAP:

There's a number of reasons why you don't look to the NAP here.

First, the NAP is a horribly flawed philosophy. There's nothing about it that actually binds actors into following it. Furthermore, even if there are people who follow the NAP, there's no protection or recourse in the inevitable situation where someone doesn't follow the NAP.

Secondly, the NAP is insufficient to make moral judgments. Saying that I ought not perpetuate violence is all well and nice, but when someone comes at me with a gun and says that they're going to shoot me, what am I supposed to do under the NAP? I can't fight back, since that would be in violation of the gun-totting criminal's right to self-ownership. My opponent would probably argue that people have a right to defend themselves if their life is being threatened, but there's nothing in the NAP that allows this kind of exception to occur. It requires some higher moral framework in order to make these kinds of delineations, which is why you prefer my framework over his. I can make these kinds of choices under my egoistic framework. The NAP can't.

Third, extending out the NAP to apply to property rights is a misapplication of the NAP that takes it out of context and only justifies using real, literal force in response to a "perceived" threat. If someone tresspasses on my property, therefore violating my property ownership and my rights to that extent, how am I supposed to react in line with the NAP? I can't just tresspass on the tresspasser's property as equal payment, as that doesn't actually do anything. I have to go over the aggression that they came forth with and threaten them (often times with deadly force) if they don't comply with our wishes. This just perpetuates the same aggression it seeks to prevent.

So at the end of the day, you can't look to the NAP to justify anything. You're preferring my framework of egoism, which actually justifies moral actors taking actions and explains those actions.

On The Environmental "Counterplan":

First off, no, he can't just say "Oh hey guys I'll post a counter-plan to my opponent's arguments eventually saying why he's wrong, but just trust me that he is!". It's inherently unfair to give me less time to react to new arguments when I've presented all of mine in full from the start. If he actually wanted to run this counter-plan, he could've a) put it in since he used 8k out of the 10k characters alloted for the debate, or b) even if he didn't have run, he easily could've made room by shortening up the unnecessarily long block quotes to give himself some more space. Don't let him actually get away with this, that's unfair to me.

On The Negative Environmental Impacts:

This contention is easy enough to get out of by just saying that I don't bite into these harms. There's absolutely nothing in the resolution saying that by nationalizing the oil industry that I have to continue burning more and more oil. There's no reason for why I can't just say that the USFG should take control of the oil industries and start implimenting greener measures to reduce green-house gas emitions and reduce the damage on the environment. He's trying to stick words in my mouth that I've never said. This entire contention just fails to link to my case.

On The Constitution:

This argument is laughably flawed. His argument that it's unconstitutional for the USFG to nationalize an industry is just blind to the fact that this has already happened in the recent past. Multiple times. The banks, railways, steel mills, coal mines, and foreclosed homes have all been nationalized at one point or another[6]. If his argument was true and that it wasn't constitutional, these things wouldn't have happened.

But even if I buy that his argument here is true, it's just the is/ought fallacy. His argument here is that because it is illegal, it should stay illegal, but that begs the question of why it's illegal in the first place or even if it should be illegal. He provides no warrant at all in this argument for why it should be illegal, meaning that I can still advocate for this nationalization.

And what about that Underview?

Up to this point in the debate all of the impacts of my opponent's case have been utilitarian in nature: he's trying to weigh harm to the environemnt and monetary cost against the proposed resolution of nationalizing the oil industry. The problem is he never addresses the underview where I explain why Utilitarianism fails entirely. Extend out the Bostrom and Tegmark cards explaining that, because the universe is spacially infinite, that there's always going to be an infinite amount of good and an infinite amount of bad in the universe. Subtracting some finite quality from an infinite quality will still be infinite. This makes utilitarian calculus impossible to actually do, meaning that utilitarianism fails.

What impact does this have on the debate? Simple: all of his impacts become meaningless. There's no way to weigh them agaisnt each other anymore if utilitarianism fails. You default to my framework of egoism which says that we should act in accordance to our own self-interest. This means that the resolution becomes affirmed because if egoism is true, the USFG can do whatever they want so long as it's within their own self-interests. It falls to my opponent, since he dropped the egoism framework, to explain why it isn't in their self-interest to affirm the resolution. The problem with this is that because he also dropped the underview, he can't actually do that: he doesn't have any kind of way to weigh different impacts without it devolving into meaninglessness. This means it's physically impossible for him to negate the resolution.

But let's take a step back and say that you as the voter aren't buying this. You aren't buying the util underview and you aren't buying the egoism framework. That's still fine, because I'm still winning the debate. The NAP is shot as a philosophy, I don't link into his environmental harms, and his constitutional argument is just flat out wrong. I'm creating the economic incentive to nationalize the oil industry with a trillion dollars a year in profits for the USFG, which more than outweighs the economics harms coming off of his case. I can even outweigh the environmental harms coming off of his case (since $1 trillion/year is more than $500 billion/decades according to his own evidence) and go back and fix the harms that nationalizing the oil industry would create while still having profits. There's just no level of this debate that I'm not winning on.

So let's recap real fast.

1) My opponent didn't touch on a single argument of mine. Literally 100% of my case was dropped.
2) You can extend out my egoism framework as a sufficient reason to affirm the resolution. If egoism is valid, then the USFG ought to act in whatever way fits their best interests meaning if they want to nationalize the oil industry then there's no reason they shouldn't. It's on my opponent to provide the reasons for why they ought not nationalize, which he can't actually do since he doesn't respond to the underview. If Utilitarianism is flawed and can't actually account for anything, then there's no way to leverage impacts against my framework as reasons to not affirm.
3) Even if you're not buying into my framework, I'm still winning on the contentional level since the economic benefits of nationalizing a) outweigh the negative impacts coming off of his case, and b) can be used to go back and solve for the negative impacts coming off of his case, meaning that he has no unique offense to extend out and negate with.
4) Don't let him stand up in the next round and come up with some funky environmental counterplan since he had plenty of opportunities to make that argument in the last round. It's inherently unfair to me to have presented all of my arguments in favor of affirming in the first round while he gets to sit back and choose what round he wants to fully flesh out his case. And fairness is important because without it the entire debate becomes pointless.


[6] -


4 round debates are typically round 1 acceptance, R2 opening arguments, R3 rebuttals and R4 counter rebuttals and closing remarks. This is done out of a sense of fairness. It is unfair for me to make rebuttals in R2, because my opponent can't make rebuttals in R2. (having not seen my argumens yet) On the same token, it is unfair to restrict my space for opening arguments, by forcing me to offer my rebuttals also in R2. This is not just a DDO thing either. Typically in live debates, both sides make an opening statement, that doesn't address their opponent.

Concerning BOP. It's silly that my opponent brought this up to start with or continues down that path. (maybe to force me to eat up character space). I merely explained why challenging the status quo means assuming BOP, and since this is a debate where he proposes an action "should nationalize, and join Opec" not comparing worlds "better off with nationaliztion and being in OPEC", he has BOP. (notice "join" and "nationalize" are actions")

I'll continue to argue as much as I can according to the fair structure mentioned in paragraph 1, please note that no arguments have been dropped and my opponent is attempting to win by unfair means. Also note that I use HTML in my debates. I'm poor and have to use my cellphone to debate at the moment, creating some formatting disadvantages that HTML helps overcome. He saw 2,000 extra characters, but as a result of the HTML, I really only had a few hundred extra characters at most.

Moral Framework

"Therefore, under my framework, the USFG should take the action that is within their own self-regarding ends. Whether those actions are beneficial to others or affect others are irrelevant to normative egoism: so long as it's within the USFG's interest to nationalize, my framework is sufficient to affirm."

I don't really think much of a response is needed here. This is probably what everybody assumed, before actualy reading the debate. The United States should do what's in it's interests. Maybe my opponent felt the need to include this portion, because most normal people think of the world as a whole when forming their arguments, but I'm not a normal person. I'm an American. I think the U.S. is the center of the universe. So anything I argue, will be in referance to what I believe is in the U.S.'s best interest.

It's important to keep in mind what the USFG is. The USFG isn't some entity that acts on it's own. It's a representative of the people. It's not a true democracy either. (the democratic part is a check on power) The USFG is there to protect the rights of the people, as well as their physical security. Some balance needs to remain between the two. (security and rights). The best balance is to use their power to protect the rights of the people, from threats foreign and domestic. (see round 2 for an explanation of people's rights).

What you should take away from this section, is that what's in the best interest of the USFG (defined as a representative of the people), is to protect the rights of it's citizens. (rights defined by NAP, in R2) It's because the USFG is a tool of the people, and not it's own separate beast. (and shouldn't be)


"To start off with, the economic benefit towards the USFG were they to nationalize would be immense. In 2013 oil companies were said to generate more than $1 trillion per year in revenue[2], which would be a massive boom towards our economy and solving back for the national debt. With an increase in domestic production since then with the discovery of shale oil, those numbers are only going to rise."

There are a few problems with this. It ignores the USFG's role, which is to protect the rights of the people. (NAP) The other problem, is that it assumes the national debt is a bad thing. Before I go into the national debt, let me just address the 1 trillion dollars. My opponent is either for putting it into the economy or towards the national debt. if it goes toward the national debt, it's not really going towards the economy. It actually takes that money out of circulation. The other problem, is that these are American companies, so the money is already going into the U.S. economy. Not all of it granted, because we do have free trade, but the government also wouldn't spend all that money domestically, and the little that they do spend, will be at their discretion and not at the discretion of individuals who they represent.

The other assumption given here, is that national debt is bad. National debt isn't inherantly bad, and my opponent hasn't shown there to be any harms associated with a large debt. It's merely a tool, and debt can be useful. Anne Mayhew from the University of Tennessee explains;

"Debt is just one side of a transaction. "Credit" is the same thing by a slightly nicer name, and credit has long been an everyday tool in both the private and public sectors. Every dollar of debt creates an asset of equal value. As headlines often remind us, each U.S. citizen owes a share of our currently $16 trillion public debt. But Americans also own approximately $11 trillion of that debt " as participants in Social Security, insurance policyholders, participants in pension funds, stockholders, or, more directly, by virtue of having purchased Treasury notes. "Treasuries" are very secure, and those not owned by Americans are held by foreign banks and governments that are glad for the chance to lend money, securely, to the United States."

"This means that a) the USFG makes more money from nationalizing the oil, and b) they will be better able to use it to best serve the citizens of the US rather than to make money for private companies and corporations, which is in the best interest of the USFG."

The USFG is made up of and represents the people, and their rights. The nationalizing of the industry is bad. It's theft. The company would be taken from the people without compensation. (My opponent views national debt as a boogie man, so he can't argue for compensation, as it would increase debt). Even if compensation was give to investors, it would be pennies on the dollar. With these companies representing such a large percentage of the S&P 500, we'd certainly see, almost everyone's retirement portfolio drop significantly, forcing even more reliance on government subsidies. (which cause debt) My opponent, doesn't state how investors are to be compensated or how to deal with the inevitable effects of nationalizing several corporations, wich play such a large effect in the S&P 500, and it's too late to do so now.

"OPEC controls the prices and supplies of a massive amount of oil in the world"

Most of the oil in the United states comes from, non OPEC countries, and cooperation with them, merely mitigates the problem. My opponent is also using the fact that the United States would have more access to oil at a cheaper prices as a premise. Clearly cheaper prices on oil lead to higher amounts of purchasing of oil. My opponent's plan, makes it easier for the U.S. to get oil, and to get oil at a cheaper price. More oil and cheaper oil, clearly leads to more consumption of oil, it's the law of supply and demand.

More oil consumption has negative impacts on the environment, which is bad for us. (My opponent aadmits or drops this, earlier this round). With oil being more expensive, it will force people to seek and use alternative energies, it wil have a good impact on the environment, and on the rewards of innovation.


"Ethical theories that rely on the maximization of happiness and aggregation of impacts are nonsensical because the universe we exist in is spacially infinite."

None of my arguments have had these underlying assumptions. I haven't argued for any form of utilitarianism. This argument, doesn't effect my arguments or rebuttals at all, not to mention, my opponent has offered no evidence that the universe is infinite, and though we can't know for sure (exactly the reason, this argument should be ignored), there's a lot of evidence to suggest the universe is finite. According to National Geographic reporting on a popular study:

"Now a new study of astronomical data only recently available hints at a possible answer: The universe is finite and bears a rough resemblance to a soccer ball or, more accurately, a dodecahedron, a 12-sided volume bounded by pentagons."

Stephen Hawkings also discusses that the universe could be finite;

"no-boundary universe is one in which the universe does not start with a singularity....Hawking and Hartle then wedded this idea to general relativity s view that gravity is just a consequence of curved space-time. Under classical general relativity, the universe either has to be infinitely old or had to have started at a singularity. But Hawking and Hartle s proposal raises a third possibility that the universe is finite but had no initial singularity to produce a boundary (thus the name)."

Pro's underview rests entirely on the assumption of an infinite universe (something undetermined), and that entire argument, must be thrown out.


I think we should use the CFR's plan to reduce oil dependance. ( )

1. eliminate liability limit for spills
2. Incorporate well safety recommendations(see site)
3. 45 MPG fuel economy standards
4. implement ALt. fuel cars
5. Nat gas for bus and truck
6. import fee
Debate Round No. 3


On The Structure of the Debate

There's nothing within Round One to suggest that the way the debate was structured was how Con suggests it should be. Moreover, that's not even some kind of unspoken standard on this site, nor is it that way in debate IRL. Lincoln Douglas is the best example where the negative's very first speech is where they read their case AND attack their opponent's case. Moreover, it's not unfair to ask him to do both because it's compensated by the fact that I have to refute his case and defend my own in the very next round, which means we're both splitting characters. Prefer this method because it best increases the strategic aspect of debate: knowing which arguments are worth characters and not worth characters is an important skill to maximise the effectiveness of your arguments and the set-up that best allows for that is best for showing who the better debater is, which is the entire point of debate.

This means that you hold him to the drops he's had. He didn't respond to my case at all until round three, and doesn't respond to a single attack against his case. Don't let him make a response to any of the attacks against his case next round because it physically becomes impossible for me to respond to them, where he's had the ability to respond to them all debate long. It's not my fault he didn't take advantage of the opportunities in front of him, so hold this against him when you're weighing the round.

From here, this debate becomes super simple to evaluate. I'm going to walk you through a summary of the round in this aspect and point out the reasons why you affirm today, which includes the framework debate, the contentional debate, the counterplan now that it's been presented, and on-case refutations on the neg.


My opponent pretty blatantly conceded to egoism, which is a game-over mistake on his part because egoism is unique aff offense. Under my framework, the USFG is entitled to do whatever they so choose to do for whatever reason, even if it disrespects their citizens. This means that if you're buying egoism, which you have to at this point because he pretty blatantly conceded to it in the last round, then you affirm because the resolution essentially becomes a truism: the USFG can do whatever they want, so it's morally acceptable for them to nationalize the oil industry and try to join OPEC.

And ignore the role of the government argument because:

1. It's irrelevant to the debate. Just because the government has respected citizens, that doesn't mean they have to.
2. It's not inherently against my case. I can use the $1 trillion plus in revenue to turn around and vastly improve the lives of my citizens, moreso than would be possible if we didn't nationalize. Moreover, he never warrants any kind of "rights" that would be violated by affirming other than his NAP argument, which I'm already winning.

So the framework is the first place you can look because there's literally no other framework to go off of. He concedes that he's not running util, and he drops all the responses I make against the NAP so there's literally no other framework option for you to go to to evaluate the round. You affirm straight up here.


My argument that the USFG gains $1 trillion plus in revenue if we nationalize the oil industry stands. The only responses he makes against it in the last round miss the mark entirely. His attempt to pidgeon hole me into doing either economic relief or debt reduction misses the point I'm making; we can do whatever the flying f*ck we want with the money. We can compensate the oil industries, start to reduce the debt, AND provide stimulus to the economy while having income to spare. The potential benefits we can do with it is nearly limitless, I was just listing examples.

Also, he misunderstands the reason why I stated we ought to try to join OPEC. I never made the argument that it gives us cheaper gas, rather I made the argument that "Joining OPEC gives us a voice in the decision making progress, meaning we can steer things toward our advantage" to repeat it literally. Nothing about cheaper prices, rather a desire not to give OPEC the ability to screw us over.

Moreover, none of his contentional arguments actually stand since he dropped all the refutations. And simply saying that joining OPEC encourages more oil use and leads to the environmental harms he listed isn't enough to actually make me bite into the harms, nor does he warrant this statement at all. I could join OPEC and not encourage people to use a drop of oil.


First off, you're not even evaluating the counterplan because a) it's unfair for him to be able to present case arguments at his leisure while I present all of my case arguments from the very start. It gives me less time to repsond to things that carry massive amounts of offense in the round, which unfairly tilts the debate in his favor and b) don't buy the argument that he didn't have enough character space. His round was 8k in a 10k limit debate, and even if you buy his excuse that he only had a few hundred to spare anyway, his counterplan was only 300 characters, meaning it probably would've fit anyway. He chose not to put it in immediately, which is unfair to me. Hold it against him.

But even if you ARE evaluating the counterplan, his counterplan is garbage.

1. He offers no reason to believe that the impacts of this are more beneficial than the impacts I'm extending off from my case.
2. He offers no warrants for why any of this is even possible. He gives us no reason to believe that any of this can actually be done.
3. He doesn't explain why anyone would actually do this in the first place.
4. But even if there's some massive amount of weight to this somewhere that I'm not seeing, you can turn this against him because nationalizing the oil industry is the best way to achieve this counterplan. The government has far more resources than any private corporation or organization, meaning that if anyone can actually force people to follow these standards, it's the USFG. This means that the only way we can actually impliment this counterplan is by affirming first.

So you either don't evaluate the counterplan on a standard of fairness, don't evaluate it because it's bad and unwarranted entirely, or affirm off of it because affirming is the only way any of that can actually get done. There's no way he gets any kind of offense off of it.

On Case Refutations:

Literally every argument I made against his case was dropped entirely. Extend out the reasons I stated why the NAP is bad and impossible and self-perpetuating and insufficient. There's no way he can garner any offense off of this.

Then extend out the argument I make against the environmental harms. Just saying we should nationalize the oil industry doesn't actually mean I'm causing harm to the environment. I can nationalize the oil industry and force it to comply to a whole bunch of green-friendly regulations and policies that improve the environment entirely. There's nothing forcing me to take a match to the country's supply of oil.

Then extend out the arguments I make against his constitutionality point saying that it's totally legit to nationalize an industry and we've done so multiple times in the past. There's no reason we can't here.


For the sake of simplicity, I'm kicking the underview. He doesn't bite into it, and concedes that he's not making any kind of utilitarian argument. And even if he was secretly and planning to take back the concession next round, I still outweigh through the economic profits and our ability to do a whole bunch of good with that kind of money.


This debate is super simple to evaluate and you affirm in a ton of different places:

1. The framework is sufficient to affirm because he concedes to egoism and egoism warrants the USFG doing whatever the hell they want to, regardless of what the citizens want. This means since egoism stands then the resolution becomes affirmed before anything else happens in the debate.

2. I'm winning the contentional debate because of the economic benefits from nationalizing the oil industry. The revenue that we'll get outweighs any of the impacts coming off the negative case.

3. The counterplan doesn't have any kind of solvency to it or any kind of warrant to it at all. Moreover, if it was possible at all, the only way it would work is if the government nationalize the oil industry and imposes it, meaning that you'd have to affirm before this even becomes possible.

4. There's literally no other way for the neg to get any other offense because he drops all the responses to his case that I post, meaning that he has no case left.


My opponent's entire case rests on trying to convince voters that the debate structure I adhere to is rare or unfair. When in reality it is the most common one used on the site and most of the standard bearers use it. This red herring argument fails and it's just lazy debating. The intention is to win the debate by trickery or deception, instead of by providing extra arguments. I have no doubt a few people here will fall for it, because of bias for my opponent. It's a failing strategy however, and has cost him this debate.

List of standard bearers who use this format, or a modified one if they instigate the debate as con. The list isn't extensive, but space is limited, they're all top ten on the leader board , active and well respected. Most people not on the leader board use this structure as well.

1. Mikal
2. BSH1
3. Subutai(actually goes out of way to say no rebuttals by con in R2)
4. Thett
5. Wylted

This is specifically everyone in the top ten who lays out the round structure. Everyone else either says 1st round acceptance or doesn't specify anything. If Zaradi doesn't like the most popular debate structure on DDO, I would've been happy to accomodate him, but he ignored it until I posted my round. He's wrong when he says it's not fair. Each side gets an equal amount of character space to issue arguments, rebuttals and counter rebuttals, and they each must do them in the exact same round. He should be happy, under his proposed system he'd have less space for counter rebuttals than me. Voters, don't buy Zaradi's desperate attempt to game a win here, count his dropped arguments as dropped, and ignore the red herrings

My opponent has actually failed to provide counter arguments in his final round, as he is supposed to, so in actuality, he's dropped most of my rebuttals, and those must be weighed in my favor.


Neither me nor my opponent are obligated to be consistent. If he forwards to competing arguments to affirm the resolution, and one fails than the other argument can still stand and win it for him. Just as he can take multiple routes to affirm the resolution, I can take multiple to negate it. This isn't some form of special pleading that took place in my arguments, just a statement of fact.


My opponents rebuttals for the modified NAP, I proposed don't work.

"First, the NAP is a horribly flawed philosophy. There's nothing about it that actually binds actors into following it. Furthermore, even if there are people who follow the NAP, there's no protection or recourse in the inevitable situation where someone doesn't follow the NAP."

there's really nothing that binds anyone to any ethical system, even the ones he proposes. This is a red herring, We're discussing what should be done. Most certainly it is important to consider ethics when examining what should be done. Pro points to a situation, where a person robs somebody with a gun and since NAP doesn't discuss that specific scenario, it isn't a good guide. NAP, tells us what is ethical. Given that the robbery is unethical, there is recourse in NAP. As stated the government was created to preserve our rights (something not contested). The gun to the head is a violation of rights, the government has an obligation to seek justice against this individual. The courts and police should handle such an unethical action.


My opponent drops all my arguments that fossil fuels are bad for the environment and that a reduction in prices, and my opponent ignores my arguments about how supply and demand effect the prices of things. His system which proposes to make oil easier to obtain and cheaper, ignores the laws of supply and demand and the negative impacts of such a huge supply of cheap oil. He doesn't mention it, but I suppose he thinks that voters will allow politicians to keep oil prices artificially high, despite the fact that the conversation of gas prices is something the everyman discusses and complains about everyday. Corporations have incentive to keep gas prices high, politicians do not.

My counter-plan is dismissed as coming too late and not being exact enough on how it would work. However, my opponents plans on how to implement the affirmative are also missing. This is a double standard. My counter-plan needs as much explanation on how it could be implemented as his plan, and so far his plan has no description on the implementation process.


We know that the United States should obey it's own laws, and my opponent has provided no argument for why the government should violate it's own laws. Pro states that nationalization has happened before so it must be legal. This is the equivalent to saying that murder doesn't happen at because it is illegal, or maybe Rape must be legal, because it actually happens. People and governments break laws all the time. Laws aren't a magic force-field that stops people from doing bad things. It's true that the USA has violated the constitution before, and have had to be stopped by the Supreme Court. The Supreme court just ruled bans on Gay marriage are illegal. This means that the USA, has actually been found to be violating it's supreme laws, and now the law books must be amended.

Under view

My opponent has dropped this contention completely, but it should be noted that it's absurd this debate, even uses "The world is infinite" as a premise in any of it's arguments.


My arguments about the definition of the US government are dropped. Which is that it is a collection of citizens, beholden to the citizens, so what's best for the USFG is the equivalent to saying what's best for the citizens of the United States. My opponent seems to confirm that interpretation of what the USFG is.

"the role of the government is to serve the people that it governs, then nationalization of resources allows for governments to best ensure that resources are used to best serve the people"

So we're both in agreement on the purpose of government (even if we disagree with how it's carried out), which is to serve the people. If the government is intended to serve the people, it's fulfilling it's egoistic role doing so.


1. The structure used is fair and is the most common used. These arguments should be ignored.

2. In the previous round in the section titled "substance" I undermine my opponent's premises. Every single premise he makes is shown to be bad, and he drops all these, ignoring them in the "counter rebuttal" round, which is round 4. These arguments show how nationalization hurts the citizens of the USA, by attacking their retirement investments, violating their rights (see NAP).

3. The law of supply and demand argument is dropped and shows that more available oil and cheaper oil, will cause more consumption which harms the environment.

4. The principle of NAP, which is merely shrugged at and not fully addressed, shows that nationalization of industry, violates the rights of the people. Since the government should do what's best for the people, obviously they shouldn't infringe on their rights.

Some Misc. Responses

The structure arguments are annoying me, so mostly those will get addressed here, even if unnecessary because of the obvious ridiculousness of them. This is written in a flow of consciousness, so I may address a few other points here as well.

"There's nothing within Round One to suggest that the way the debate was structured was how Con suggests it should be. Moreover, that's not even some kind of unspoken standard on this site, nor is it that way in debate IRL."

Absurd, there is nothing in round one that suggests the structure you propose, which is more unfair than the one I like adhering to. It is clearly an unspoken standard on the site, and most people adhere to it. I do it in every debate, unless I just want to negate. You're the only one, I've ever heard complain. In several types of IRL debate, this is the basic structure. LD isn't the only thing out there.

"it's not unfair to ask him to do both because it's compensated by the fact that I have to refute his case and defend my own in the very next round

No, the very next round after R3, which is where this was written, you'd only have to defend your own case. R2 arguments, R3 rebuttals, R4 counter rebuttals and whatever your style is in concluding a debate. Each individual gets the same amount of rounds and characters to do each task, there is nothing more fair than this structure, and unfortunately you've forced me to deviate from it.

You've honestly spent the entire debate, attempting to gain some sort of unfair advantage, whether it be contesting the most common debate structure used on the site, and one I'll continue to use, because in no way is any judge going to let you win this debate, which is such a clear loss for you, because of that silliness. You should've actually tried to defend the proposition, or used the 1 strategic forfeit that the WODC allows, which would've deprived me of half a point, instead of resorting to trying to weasel your way into an unfair win.
Debate Round No. 4
103 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zaradi 3 years ago
Why? I kicked it at the end of the debate anyway because he concedes that he wasn't running util, so there was no point to talking about it.
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
Though (1) has to assume infinite number of planets instead of plain dark energy throughout ...
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
OK, drop (1), it was a dumb objection. Deal with rest.

Note, though, that intelligence is not a favorable attribute...
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
@Zaradi -

I'm not buying your version of Bostrom's attack on aggregate theories.

(1) How does an infinite universe --> infinite people?
(2) Assumes infinite + x is impossible, but since the universe is spatially infinite *and* expanding, infinite + x *is* possible
(3) Multiverse is not entailed by spatially infinite universe, and completely fails Occam's razor.
(4) Fails to account for many-worlds hypothesis & ultimate ensemble theory.
(5) Bostrom doesn't dismiss aggregate theories in principle, he concludes that the aggregation principle has to be *modified*. He himself admits he supports some variation of the aggregation principle.
(6) Ethics is not a quantum state, since we are causally disconnected from anything outside the observable universe, so aggregate theories only work within the observable universe.
Posted by sherlockholmesfan2798 3 years ago
RFD Part 3


Since they each has their strengths and weaknesses, I must decide on quality and importance. I will be giving this to Con, because he was able to disarm the OPEC arguments made by pro. In the first round, pro set the topic as :"This House believes the United States should nationalize oil exports AND seek to join OPEC". This means, to win, pro has to prove that we should nationalize oil AND join OPEC. He was unable to prove why we should join OPEC, so Con wins this IMHO.

Seeing as I had to type this quickly (I must leave soon and there isn't much time to vote), I may have made some spelling errors. I apologize for this in advance.
Posted by sherlockholmesfan2798 3 years ago
RFD Part 2


Con easily takes this. Con showed us how this violates the laws of the USA. Pro said that this shouldn't be used because it has been broken in the past. This is the weakest argument pro put in this debate. Just because it happened in the past, we should allow it to happen in the future? Con clearly told us how the US have violated the constitution and how doing bad action in the past, doesn't make them correct in the future. Furthermore, his gay marriage reference is just the icing on the cake for this very strong point.


This is where the decision is made a bit difficult. Pro states that the decision to join OPEC gives them a voice, so they can "steer the ship" their way. However Con stated that joining the OPEC doesn't truly help the US because most of our oil comes from non-OPEC countries. This argument wasn't properly refuted by pro. Therefore, Con gets this point, which could have been pro's if he bothered to dispute this.


This is one of the most unorthodox claims I have ever heard by Pro. The debate structure Con put out is the debate structure most commonly used by organized debaters in this website. To think that pro has never seen this after spending so much time on this website is difficult to believe. If I had factored this in to the debate, Con clearly would have gotten this. However, the proper debate structure should not be factored into the debate, as it doesn't prove whether or not the US should nationalize oil and join OPEC. I was just astonished to see this in what was an interesting debate.

My conclusion will be in my third comment.
Posted by sherlockholmesfan2798 3 years ago
A very long, yet riveting debate. Since it was a very long and organized debate, my RFD will outline each point under a heading.


The morality argument was handled a bit differently by both participants. Pro chose a egoism to follow and outlined why egoism was beneficial to the USA. Con chose to contest the ethics of this by using the NAP (Non-Aggression Principle). However, pro disarmed this in the third round and Con didn't strongly contest why egoism is wrong. In the fourth round, Con defended the NAP, saying it was only to be used in specific scenario.However, con doesn't state why the NAP should be used over egoism and doesn't tie in why NAP is more important. Pro shows how egoism is useful to USA and its citizens.


Pro clearly showed how the extra 1 trillion dollars would be beneficial to the American people. It could be used to lower national debt, or help the economy. Con chooses to contest this by stating that national debt can be a tool and how pro wasn't specific as to how exactly the trillion should be used. But this doesn't show why extra trillion would be a bad thing. It shows how we can tolerate the world, if we didn't have the extra trillion. Pro easily points this out and tells us "we can do whatever the flying f*ck we want with the money". This is true, and how the trillion is specifically used isn't the point.

Also, Pro stated we can use the extra money for environmental purposes. Con didn't touch this argument, which is why the environmental argument is pro's.

I'll have more in my second comment.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Thanks for sharing your RFD with us.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
Also, I just realised I wrote 7 trillion several times. Sorry. The two numbers are pronounced similarly in my native language, hence the error.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
(Another side note: I think Pro should have spent more time elaborating on how nationalisation would cause the oil industry to serve the people instead of corporations. Had he been able to demonstrate that this would bring sufficient good, the tide would, IMO, have been turned in his favour, and my vote may have been a true tie. However, without sufficient explanation to convince me of this, it is purely a line of logic - not enough to be convincing.)
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by sherlockholmesfan2798 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in the comments.
Vote Placed by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. (Technically, it isn't an RFD, since it explains why I lean Con, rather than why I tied this.)
Vote Placed by Philocat 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: In comments.
Vote Placed by n7 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: Not a particularly satisfying debate. The back-and-forth, the actual debating, was good, but the foundation for the debate was exceptionally weak. I don"t score debates...if I did, I"d score all categories a wash except for arguments to CON. I commend PRO for his aggressive stance throughout the debate, but ultimately IMHO his case fell flat. Far too much of it dealt with irrelevant philosophical points, and his ultimately assuming all of BoP made his case that much harder to advocate, and BoP went unfulfilled.