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Bsh1 vs Dar Political Correctness & Terrorism

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9/9/2016 1:24:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The debate

Resolution: On balance, political correctness is harming the West's ability to combat terrorism.

I'll start off by saying that this is an awesome debate topic. I'm actually considering doing a debate myself on it. The amount and kind of arguments that both sides can make, and the relevance the current political world, furthered by the crazy US Presidential Election make it a very good debate indeed. This debate should be redone at a point when it can be given the full attention it deserves.

I'm posting this in the forums for a couple of reasons. Firstly because it is long and would take a multitude of comments on the debate that would be annoying for me to do to get the character count right and have to constantly copy & paste and would spam the debaters a bunch and would get lost in all the other comments and it's weird doing the order. Google docs fixes that, but posting it in the forum has added benefits such as advertising the debate thus getting it more readers, encouraging people to vote more, and making it easier to discuss the RFD if debaters have qualms as they are able to quote the specific portions and I get a notification.

Since Pro conceded my RFD will be more constructive criticism and advice than analyzing argumentative impacts against the other side (although the impact of individual arguments and how to improve would be included in the advice; you know what I mean.)

Pro starts by establishing the framework by which he will affirm the resolution. I find that the way in which Pro sets up his framework, and thus the angle of all of his arguments is faulty in and of itself. Pro seeks to affirm the resolution by giving incidents in which political correctness *has* hindered the fight against terrorism. But this isn't the same as the claim that political terrorism *is* hindering the fight against terrorism. The difference is that the "is" resolution relates to the concepts of political correctness and terrorism, as in the principles of political correctness intrinsically negate the negate the concept of the West fighting terrorism. The "has" is a more specific and a completely different debate as it involves *events* (rather than principles of the subjects) in the past and involves the debaters arguing over specific instances of political correctness and whether they affected the fight on terrorism. The latter is obviously a more superficial form of the debate that just discussed the issue on a surface level. This doesn't give the topic the discourse it rightly deserves.

The arguments that Pro makes (as in a claim being substantiated by reasoning/evidence with an impact) have claims that don't affirm the resolution. Thus it follows that the impacts are outside the resolution, inherently negating all of Pro's arguments.

In light of this, the actual content of Pro's first argument is a lot of fluff. This is problematic, not only in persuading the reader but also for judging the impacts. The fact that left-wingers are in favor of multiculturalism is irrelevant to anything in the debate, as well as the opinions of German and Italian nationals, as well as a professor being accused of racism by the media. All of these irrelevant things distract the reader from the actual impacts. Remove the fluff.

But even regardless of this, the impact of the argument is outside the scope of the resolution (scope being that which is relevant to the resolution; *falling* under the scope of the resolution.) The outline of the argument is essentially that political correctness is resulting in allowing large amount of immigrants to come into and remain in European countries (which is well substantiated) and this is leading to large amounts of crime (which is fairly substantiated but expanded on in the previous paragraph.) The problem is that the resolution is not "Political correctness is leading to crime in Europe" it is "...hindering the West fighting terrorism." The impact of the argument: that political correctness causes crime is irrelevant. If Pro showed me how this crime leads to terrorism, such as crime makes people more likely to become terrorists then this argument would work. But he doesn't, there is no link to terrorism and thus the argument doesn't work.

Pro's second argument is also irrelevant to the resolution. Pro argues that the massive influx of immigrants has caused right-wing terrorism against immigrants. People responded to this by creating a racist taboo of speaking bad about Muslims, as well as naivety of native citizens towards immigrants (as they can be dangerous.) Regardless of the blatant "us vs. them" tactic used, the impact of this still isn't linked to the West becoming unable to combat terrorism. How is citizens being naive about the dangers of immigrants prevent Western countries from fighting terrorism. How does the taboo about speaking bad about Islam prevent Western countries from fighting terrorism? This isn't explained at all; the argument isn't tied to the resolution.

Pro's last argument is confusing. The entire beginning based on socialism makes no sense. What does this have to do with political correctness? This isn't clear, and just seems like a soapbox for random right-wing views. Pro argues that political correctness makes people dismiss issues as racist or bigoted instead of discussing it which leads to a loss of intellectual debate. This doesn't hold much impact though because Pro doesn't tell me what the impact of having intellectual debates is, thus I can't determine the impact of losing it. Pro then says that PC leads to banning of books in universities although leads to same problem as before.

To summarize Pro's side, Pro needs to restrain from embarking on irrelevant right-wing ideology issues that are irrelevent to the debate such as immigrants "flooding over the border" because it distracts from the actual arguments. Pro should also try to be more lucid and use simpler language and sentence structure instead of "it will be prudent to infer...prevaricating," etc.

Con starts with his opening arguments by examining the psychological aspect of terrorism and how political correctness actually helps to combat it. The first example being that most members of terrorist organizations because they feel socially alienated. Con uses great evidence to back this up by showing examples from real terrorist groups and showing how their recruitment efforts focus on those who are socially alienated. Con explains that violation of political correctness makes these people feel socially isolated, as shown by videos of Trump being used for extremist propaganda, and common sense as Con elaborates on in the summary. Thus, Con proves that lack of political correctness fuels terrorism. This argument could have been made better if Con would have focused more on showing me that violation of political correctness leads to terrorism. He only shows me this in his summary which isn't supposed to be an argumentative phase, and with the Trump video (but that isn't strong evidence.) I would have liked to see more evidence of this, more examples of lack of political correctness, and elaborate more on how this turns someone towards extremism. Use research on that part. The ghettos part of the argument didn"t make much sense to me, it's out of place in the argument. What does the law enforcement not paying attention to ghettos have to do with political correctness? It doesn"t.

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9/9/2016 1:25:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Con"s second argument is essentially restating the impacts of the first except for expanding on some kind of carrot/stick point and funding for taking care of groups likely victim to terrorism. This didn"t really have to do with political correctness though, and there wasn"t really a connection made between these being caused by political correctness, especially by the given definition of political correctness in R1. Con should have made clear that political correctness sentiment makes these kinds of measures likely to happen, rather than "PC measures such as X are good" since there is no such thing as PC measures/laws.

Pro responds to Con"s argument by saying that instead of solving the issue, PC actually makes the issue worse by acknowledging that there are different groups. Pro argues that PC groups people into distinctly opposing groups, thus dividing people and making the situation worse. This is a good response and could potentially have defeated Con"s argument if it was backed with research. If Pro showed me that political correctness effectively does create a societal sentiment that they are in different groups (rather than just saying it), this would turn Con"s argument against him as it would use the "social outcast" part of Con"s argument to his advantage. Although, this argument would need to expand to cover the "insulting" part of Con"s argument, that terrorist-prone groups feel that their country hates them due to insults. Pro would have to include this aspect in his argument or show how the social outcast outweighs this.

Pro then moves on to attack the idea that people turn to terrorism because of social alienation by quoting "professionals in the field" saying that there is no specific terrorist profile. Based on Pro"s rebuttal, I have to side with Con since Con actually provides reasoning of why people turn to terrorism. Pro"s rebuttal to this does not provide any reasoning for why this isn"t true, it just tells me it isn"t true based on an appeal to authority. Thus, this rebuttal doesn"t work in defeating that link.

Pro then continues to try to debunk the connection of social isolation and terrorism by giving one example of a terrorist duo; brothers, and explains that they were not socially ostracized yet still became terrorists. I still have to side with Con because Con"s evidence is systematic research which inherently outweighs a few examples.

Pro continues by arguing that many terrorists are not mentally unstable (through interviews with survived suicide bombers), and instead decide to become terrorists through choice. I don"t find this argument compelling because the argument"s claim: that terrorists are unstable, was never made by Con. Con merely argued that they turned to terrorism because of societal isolation and hatred. Thus, Pro"s rebuttal here is really a straw man of Con, it's irrelevant. Secondly, the impact of potential terrorists *choosing* to join terrorists groups instead of just being mentally unstable doesn"t contradict or negate any of what Con was saying since Con"s argument merely shows that PC will deter potential terrorists from *choosing* to join terrorism. This just doesn"t harm Con"s side at all.

Pro"s next rebuttal regards Con"s argument about ghettos. Pro"s argument here doesn"t reply to the substance of Con"s argument at all, and instead forwards Pro"s same argument from his opening arguments regarding immigrants causing violence; of which was already explained as irrelevant to the debate. As such, the rebuttal is also irrelevant.

Pro then brings up an interesting argument that finally makes the connection between crime and terrorism that his opening contentions so critically lacked. Pro explains that the crime and violence that is caused by immigrants in European countries allows for the perfect breeding ground for terrorists by inspiring hope in people through jihad. Pro relates the situation to Hitler in the economic depression of Germany. This is a good argument and the most important one of the debate as it makes all of Pro"s earlier contentions relevant again.

Con returns with his rebuttals to Pro"s arguments by reiterating what I said earlier about Pro not being topical. Con also brings up great evidence that shows that the influx of immigrants is actually not related to the increase in terrorism and crime, but this isn"t topical since Pro"s argument had to do with crime. This is because the argument was essentially: PC is allowing immigrants to enter European countries and stay there thus leading to increased crime and violence creating a breeding ground for terrorism. Con cuts the link that immigrants are causing terror, but that was never a link in the argument. Con should have instead focused on immigrants not causing crime. This rebuttal is a straw man, it doesn"t work.

Con"s next point didn"t really address an impact of the opponent but instead just reiterated Con"s main point of his opening argument. Con just affirms what I already explained was wrong with Pro"s arguments until he disputes the claim that PC is leading to allowing immigrants to move to and remain in European countries by explaining that the Muslim population had been rising well before the massive influx, and thus isn"t a result of PC. This is fatal to Pro"s argument as it takes out the essential link making the argument topical (see previous paragraph for the argument structure.)

The rest of Con"s arguments don"t address huge impacts, and regardless Pro"s only argument was already taken out. Con just attacks the evidence backing up Pro"s claims, but does it poorly. This is because Con"s first claim that the evidence is from before the refugee crisis works because it sheds doubt on the fact that the perpetrators were immigrants. Pro"s evidence refers just to Muslims, rather than immigrants. So assuming the majority of immigrants were Muslim in the Muslim crisis, the crimes were done before most of the Muslims were immigrants and thus not an immigration problem. Con should"ve made that reasoning clear since I had to interpret it that way, I should have been told that. Con"s second point, that there is no evidence that minorities did the crimes doesn"t work since Pro said they were done by Muslims and Muslims are minorities. Con"s third point that people are more likely to report things doesn"t work since it doesn"t disprove the fact that there is a super high rape rate, and that it's caused by immigrants, which is still a negative value. Whether other countries also have higher(er) rape rates is irrelevant to this end, as having X amount of rapes in Sweden is still just as bad regardless of the rape rate of Australia.

Overall, I feel that Con focused a little too much on right-wing terrorism in this round when it was mentioned so little in Pro"s own opening arguments.

That"s all I"ve got to say. Peace and Love