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RFD For Assisted Suicide Deabte

bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:30:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
**This is an RFD for the debate here: http://www.debate.org...**

It's slightly more than 30k characters. That means it would be at least 16 comments and, given how I'd have to break it up, it would likely be more than that. While I've done RFDs that long before, I'm trying a new method for ease of reading, hence posting it here in this forum post. It still needs to be broken up into 4 posts, but at least it's not going to give the poor debaters a zillion notifications, and it's not going to clutter up the comments.

Anyway, on to the RFD.

I was asked to vote on this by Pro, though it didn't affect my vote.

Short(er) version:

I wrote a pretty long RFD, but to be honest, this debate hinged on Pro's concession. "Pro's concession?" I hear you, hypothetical reader of this RFD, say, "Where did he do that, I don't remember it!" Allow me to show you:

"In my proposal, you'd still need to give informed consent, which would entail completing a psychological exam showing mental competence. Companies already make the drugs (it's the same stuff used in assisted suicide), so practicalities aren't gonna be an issue. Smart regulations solve all problems that Con raises."

Pro says that you'd have to complete a psychological exam, and that the drugs are the same under his plan as they are under assisted suicide. I grant he doesn't explicitly say, but one presumes that Psychologists/psychiatrists would administer the test. Refer to his definition: "In assisted suicide, the doctor assists but the patient is the final causal actor in his or her own death." His suggested counterplan became indistinguishable from his opponent's plan at that point, and so he basically conceded. He could, I suppose, argue that the difference is the lack of active assistance, but given that in the end "the patient is the final causal actor", I hardly see how that's differentiated.

Now, there's a lot on the table in regards to his two-pronged-sorta approach, where he wanted to be defending the status quo AND/OR the public sale of deadly drugs. But he advocated the plan above--I feel like, if you're advocating the position of your opponent, you've pretty much conceded the debate even if it's just a "prong" of a wider strategy.

This debate suffered a great deal from a lack of focus. At times, Pro seemed to be advocating against euthanasia, or even murder, neither of which fit into the definition that he provided of assisted suicide. He had a tendency to just spout off random assertions and statistics. Con, I would note, did not do a good job of contesting them...of particular note is the 95% statistic, which is false, but since Con didn't contest it, it becomes true for the purposes of this debate and I have to accept it as such through gritted teeth. Con focused solely on the drugs counterplan, which was a risky move because I do think that holding Pro to it as a necessary part of his plan is largely subjective; an argument could be made either way, and when you're leaving it up to the judges interpretation like that, you stand a good chance of getting burned.

Pro's equal protection argument focused on the notion of classifying dying people differently than not-dying people; that wasn't a necessary part of assisted suicide by his own definition, and I was somewhat surprised that Con didn't just run an argument that negated that, since he could have and stayed within the bounds that Pro established. Pro's two prong approach was arguably abusive, and I was very much on the fence about it myself. But in the end, that advocacy I quoted was the shining point at which I think he gave up the proverbial ghost. And the reason is a lack of focus; I think he was trying to have it both ways, to defend the status quo and/or the drugs point, but since those conflict and contradict, there wasn't likely going to be a good way to get a win with both, and helping one was very likely to hurt the other. Obviously, far be it from me to pre-judge a debate, and it was possible for him to successfully do it--I just had a sinking feeling as soon as I realized what he was doing, he never really pulled it out.

I could choose to prefer his argument that he was running both cases, but I think that his failure to make that explicit, coupled with the fact that it means he's taking both sides around Con (the extreme of no good way, and the extreme of good way freely available), makes me think it would be unfair to Con to do so.

I think if Pro had stuck to just the status quo, he'd have had an easier time and stood a better chance of winning; he certainly spent more time crafting a case in support of the status quo than he did crafting one that had lethal drugs available publicly. The actual arguments in R2 were largely focused on advocating against the normalization in any way of suicide. But then, without the drugs angle, the entire debate would have gone differently since Con spent a lot of time addressing that and very little time addressing the plain status quo.

Long(er) version addressing the points:

Pro opens R1 by explaining the definition of assisted suicide, as distinct from euthanasia.

In his clarification, he seems to make this about PHYSICIAN assisted suicide: "In euthanasia, the doctor kills the patient. In assisted suicide, the doctor assists but the patient is the final causal actor in his or her own death." That is, obviously, a subset of assisted suicide. I don't know if it was intended to be a true constraint or not (that is, within this debate "assisted suicide" = "physician assisted suicide"), but from context the debate seemed to center on physician assisted suicide, so I'm largely interpreting it in that way. I'll be referring to it as "AS" for "assisted suicide".

In R1, Pro outlines *only* the resolution being AS should be illegal, and some general rules. In Con's acceptance, he says "I do very much appreciate Pro's willingness to clarify the debate as we'd discussed". I'm not sure if he means that R1 has been clarified, or that he's pre-emptively thanking for clarification later on. This will be more important than might have otherwise been expected given later case construction.

Pro opens the first real round by saying that "I'm gonna argue that assisted suicide erodes basic rights, including equality and freedom. I then conclude with a somewhat libertarian alternative: make deadly drugs freely available to the public. "

Just on its face, I'm somewhat concerned about this. This seems like it's going to be contradictory--the resolution is the prevention of AS altogether (emphasis on physician AS), yet, Pro's saying he's going to conclude that deadly drugs should be freely available. Definitionally, that seems little different than AS; the only difference would be the physician, and that's not even strictly necessary, because if I sell you deadly drugs for the purposes of suicide, that's not really different than a doctor prescribing deadly drugs for the purpose of suicide. Honestly, I cringed on reading that, for fear that Pro's attempts to establish either side he's presented would undermine the other. Of course, it alllllll depends on arguments, doesn't it?

Pro argues that we generally recognize life as inherently valuable, and that by giving some, but not all, people the right to request suicide, we're necessarily indicating that we think those lives are "inferior" (and thus, worth ending).

It seems a valid point, and focuses on the limiting of AS, so it doesn't inherently hurt his second case, that drugs should be freely available. He's essentially arguing that we're creating 'lesser value' lives. He could have argued this from the opposite direciton, too. That said, he didn't define AS as requiring a terminal condition, yet he seems to be arguing that it's a necessary part here. Con *should* contest this, but (spoiler alert) he does not, because Con focuses far more on the "lethal
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:32:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Pro moves on to talk about instrumental value, and to argue that if we disregard inherent value, there's no reason for equal protection. He hasn't defended that AS treats people as having only instrumental value to society. Is the value *to society* the reasoning behind the classes of AS? I don't think so; per Pro R1, it's the individual making the choice, it's society limiting who's allowed to *make* that choice. It is a distinction, so Pro has to address it else his case doesn't hold on its own, though obviously I expect Con to point that out in order to get Pro to do so.

Pro continues with this sort of asserted reasoning with his next point. He argues, without any evidence, that "A doctor who assists suicide primarily intends to cause death; a doctor who withdraws care only intends to respect his patient's wishes. Doctors decide whether to administer an assisted suicide; patients decide whether to refuse treatment. " Except, as per Pro's R1, this is false: "In assisted suicide, the doctor assists but the patient is the final causal actor in his or her own death." Upon what grounds does he give these two different intents? In both cases, the consequence of the actions is death. In both cases, the consequence is the result of the patient's wish. Pro has failed to differentiate except through assertion that the intent differs, and I find it implausible based on what Pro has presented so far--because he very clearly differentiated between AS and Euthanasia. The argument here seems rather more like euthanasia than AS since his definition of AS requires the patient to make the decision. Pro needs to convince me that the motives are different given this.

Pro argues that AS would erode privacy by requiring oversight. All medical care gets oversight, though, so I'm not entirely sure what point he's making, especially given his definitional limitation: that the Patient has to be the final actor. That said, that's for Con to address; the objection I just raised is not one that I take seriously, as Con hasn't raised it or any yet, it's just one that I, personally, think of on reading the point. Pro then moves on to argue that if AS is allowed, then there's no justification to prevent non-consensual euthanasia. I fail to see this link, though Pro asserts it. I wish Pro had sourced his Netherlands point to establish that "a slippery slope has been proven by the evidence". As readers, we aren't just going to take Pro's assertion that the logic was the same. That two events did happen does not necessarily mean that it's a slippery slope situation--Pro's burden is to establish it.

Pro argues that "even with safeguards, there's still a possibility for abuse...of doctors mistakenly killing persons without their consent, as well as the risk that the patient is being coerced by others" Again, I refer myself back to Pro's R1. Neither of those scenarios would *be* AS under Pro's definition, because AS as he defined it requires the patient to be "the final causal actor". It is, still, a practical concern. Yet, for Pro not to show us whether that's actually been an issue is somewhat concerning; he mentioned the Netherlands for his slippery slope (though he didn't really support it outside of assertion); given that we have places where AS is legal, and given that he already looked at one (the Netherlands), where is his evidence that this is an actual problem?

Pro asks "Why interfere with a suicide attempt if the state has already pre-approved it?", arguing that AS normalizes suicide. He says "That's a scary prospect considering that 95% of suicide attempts don't attempt suicide again, because they're often just a cry for help." I wish he'd cited this (to step outside the debate a bit, because this wasn't properly contested by Con, but I do not believe that to be accurate. The number he's referencing is the approximate percentage of people who survive their first attempt at suicide, NOT the number who don't attempt again. 10-15% of the survivors are estimated to die by suicide, and much more than that attempt again. To repeat, not relevant because not contested--and I fault Con for not contesting. From an overview standpoint it's problematic nonetheless).

Pro argues that it may unduly impact minorities. "minority cancer patients are three times less likely ... to receive adequate palliative care... blacks are 3.5 times more likely... to have one of their limbs amputated...minorities receive worse AIDS treatment. There's no reason this wouldn't translate to assisted suicide." I'm not sure how he means that, and the closest he comes to explaining it is that "many elderly Dutch patients insist on written contracts assuring against non-consensual euthanasia", so I'm guessing he's saying he thinks minorities would be given the option (that they'd have to exercise, per his own definitions) more often?

Pro says that "Legalizing assisted suicide corrupts the medical profession. First, it invalidates the Hippocratic Oath, the standard principle for medical ethics. Assisted suicide intentionally doesn't heal, and it intentionally does harm, completely violating the oath." But he's already differentiated the cessation of care, which seems to be identical in this regard; so is he saying that "respecting the patient's wishes" via ceasing care is likewise damaging to the medical profession? I know, it's a side issue to the actual contention, but just in terms of concept coherency, I'm struggling with what Pro's presenting.

Pro says that doctors would be "sanctifying" suicide, acting as "priests". As rhetorical appeal to emotion, I suppose this is an effective point. It's not super compelling to me personally, though, and as for it being the case that "the only thing that doctors do when they assist a suicide is santify the suicide", that rather seems absurd on its face, but it is up to Con to contest it.

Pro claims that legalizing AS would disincentivize medical research, since killing people would be "cheaper". I actually want to concede this argument just basically; that people live in misery with condition X is going to be more of an incentive to curing condition X than if they can check out painlessly. But the argument Pro presents is contradictory without further justification that he doesn't provide. But given where the incentives lie, that argument is nonsensical. If not killing people is more expensive, then just in terms of basic incentives, companies providing these options (who reap the benefit of things that are "not cheaper") are definitionally incentivized; Pro needs to expand this for it to make sense. Is he saying *insurance companies* would be incentivized to suggest it? I'm not sure, and he doesn't explain.

Pro argues that "A bad suicide makes the world worse; a good one makes it better." He gives as an example of a good suicide Mohamed Bouazizi, who killed himself for non-medical reasons, to protest. But I'm not seeing a relevance here; as Pro says, people "can already commit suicide unaided; they don't need doctors to commit suicide". So Mohamed Bouazizi wouldn't be prevented if AS is allowed.

Pro claims "A medical treatment isn't good or bad; it's neutral. And that is what legalizing assisted suicide does: it reduces suicide to a medical choice. The question "to be or not to be" becomes a medical rather than moral question. " A bold assertion that I would expect him to actually support; he doesn't, though, he merely asserts it.

Then Pro summarizes. Of key note here is that he reiterates his proposal regarding deadly drugs. He says to "make deadly drugs available to the public, albeit with warnings about what ingesting them will do and perhaps even a waiting period. This solution removes any need for assisted suicide. The few who take deadly drugs wouldn't need the blessing of a doctor"
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:33:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Except he fails to differentiate between "deadly drugs" availability and AS. He also fails to explain why his complaints about AS don't apply to his scheme for deadly drugs.

Now, I recognize that I've been a bit harsh on Pro's case. I idon't want it to seem as though I'm biased, here. I'm really not--I am looking at his argument and its relation to his own definitions. The points he makes that I dismiss as mere assertions will stand if Con doesn't contest them; it's just really easy for him to contest them, because all he has to do is say "nuh uh". That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, as they say. I'm going to be just as harsh on Con, as I hope becomes clear.

Con immediately seizes on Pro's statement in R2 about his idea of legalizing deadly drugs to the public at large. It's a strange gambit, to be entirely honest. And here's where that earlier statement by Con in R1 makes me curious. Was this debate *supposed* to be about Pro's case as a whole, including the deadly drugs point? I don't know, and the debate doesn't make clear. Pro did mention it both in R2 opening and closing.

I get it; from that line at the beginning and the summary at the end of R2, one could think that Pro's intending to run a plan of "Make AS illegal, AND give deadly drugs". But the resolution is "Make AS illegal". The R1 clarification focused exclusively on AS with no mention of deadly drugs. Con never really moves on to address Pro's points without reference to the drugs bit. He notes most of Pro's bare assertions, which is good since they were bare assertions, but each time he draws it back to the "legalize deadly drugs" point. The best point Con makes in his own right is on equality, where he says "[Pro's] saying society uses assisted suicide to apply that value, yet it is entirely personal and applied through their informed consent." This was kind of obvious from the R1 definitions, but it was absolutely necessary for Con to point it out in response to Pro's arguments.

Pro opens the round by saying "This debate isn't about making deadly drugs freely available to the public. The debate is about assisted suicide. I argued two potential alternatives to assisted suicide: (1) the status quo, and (2) making deadly drugs available."

Pro argues that it would be abusive for Con to offer a case at this point. I disagree, given that Pro is the one who defined assisted suicide. Con's alternative (AS should be legal) is predicated on the definitions that Pro provided--a "case" of a sort was presented even before Con accepted the debate: "Assisted suicide [where the doctor assists but the patient is the final causal actor in his or her own death] should be legal". You're both making philosophical cases here; whether the concept should be legal or illegal. I don't think it would be abusive for Con to simply use what he's already been provided with as his "case".

Pro seems, in this round, to consistently forget that it's a necessary part of AS, per his definitions, to have consent. He keeps talking about society assigning a value to life and using that assignation to justify various kinds of murder, but none of those would involve consent as AS does. Per Pro's own definition, it's the person who assigns that final value and makes that final decision, and it's society which allows them to do so.

After claiming that this debate is NOT about deadly drugs, Pro then spends a good deal of time on the subject of deadly drugs, even more so than he did in R2; this seems a mistake to me if he had intended on repudiating the drugs point.

So, for a bit of overview: I am of the opinion that this central question is going to be incredibly subjective. Con isn't "wrong" to argue that the deadly drugs bit is a necessary part of Pro's case, nor is Pro "wrong" to argue that it isn't. It's about how it was presented. And that's a tough question given this R3 (and especially given that Pro, earlier in the same round, claimed that introducing a new case in R3 would be "abusive"). His points are scanty, to be honest, and lack a good deal of rigor--they're all assertions (and frankly, were I not acting as tabula rasa I'd point out that they're *flatly wrong* assertions, but that's not my place). But hoo boy, they do take up a healthy percentage of the round. I will note this though: "As for suicide attempts, there's no indication that those who attempt suicide as a cry for help would use these drugs. And if they did, they'd have to undergo a psychological evaluation and give informed consent, which means there'd be opportunity to interfere before the attempt. " This doubling down and attempt at expansion was Pro's second biggest mistake in my opinion. He *could* have handwaved away the references in R2 as being not central to his case, and simply dropped the deadly drugs argument entirely; that's actually where I thought he was going to go, and I probably would have gone along with him on that, because in R2 it DID seem tangental. But it was mentioned in the opening and conclusion of that round, so there was a measure of importance attached, and when he doubled down on it in this round to respond to Con rather than just letting it go, he put voters in a bind of interpretation and theory, and none of us actually like doing that. Plus, often there's a lot of opinion where that's involved, and since it's about the overarching concepts of debate, it's not really a tabula rasa issue. I wound up coming down on the side of holding him to it as his plan, but it was a close thing, and it hinged on the two references combined with the R3 double-down.

Pro says "There are two differences between assisted suicide and my proposal. First, assisted suicide empowers doctors; my proposal empowers individuals." This isn't actually explained at all, and doesn't make sense in light of the definitions provided by Pro in R1. He says "Second, assisted suicide limits drugs to the terminally ill; my proposal doesn't." Again, this is contradicted by his own definition, which does not include "terminally ill" (though this argument by Pro fails because of that, I find fault with Con for not noting it). Pro says "In my proposal, you'd still need to give informed consent, which would entail completing a psychological exam showing mental competence. [The drugs are] the same stuff used in assisted suicide...Smart regulations solve all problems that Con raises." That's a somewhat confusing statement from Pro; how is that different than AS, *except* in that AS is usually-but-not-definitionally limited to terminal patients? That may as well be an advocation for AS; they can't have/use the drugs until they go through the intermediary and give consent, *which is what AS is*. So this whole "legalize deadly drugs" thing is, frankly, a big muddle. The BoP is shared, but Pro needs to decide what he wants to argue and stick to it. As it stands, he has basically conceded the debate by positing a form of AS, which is the exact thing he's supposed to be arguing against! As a read, I was rather dumbfounded that he'd do this.

This was the big loss for Pro, for me. He basically supported AS as his own case, right down to having a medical practioner be the gatekeeper. His "differences" were not included in the definitions *that he wrote in the very first place*. Frankly, Con didn't seize on this as much as I believe he should have, but he does mention it and, frankly, it's also just inherent to the information being presented; Pro gave the definitions in R1, then made claims that contradicted those definitions in this round, then gave as his plan something he couldn't show as different from AS, which he was advocating against. I'm a blank slate in terms of the debate, but that doesn't mean I don't take what Pro has said and see whether it makes any gorram sense.
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:33:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
In the next round, Con wants to insist on this as a debate between "the net benefits of assisted suicide vs. increased availability of deadly meds". I will also note that Pro does have a point when he notes that the status quo is a *very different* case than the "deadly meds" case. It is true that Pro has essentially staked out BOTH ends on either side of Con; on the one hand, he wants to claim status quo, that of no AS. On the other hand, he wants to stake out a position where nobody needs assistance for suicide, because the means to accomplish it are readily available without a doctor (except with a psych eval). In terms of fairness, it's a little rough on Con; he has to argue against prohibition of any "easy" means of suicide AND all the "easy" means of suicide. It leaves the really only difference overall the inclusion of doctors, which even that is sort of only implied by the definition, and which Pro negated the previous round, and which doesn't seem to be differentiated from what Pro suggested. I'm left somewhat flabbergasted, and this makes the debate hard to judge. Is it fair for Pro to hem Con in from both sides like that, and argue for whichever is most convenient at the moment against the points Con makes? Is it fair for me to make up a good difference between AS and Pro's "smart regulations" plan so that it doesn't seem like a concession? I'm inclined to think it's not, because it wouldn't be fair to Con, but I think I've already outlined that.

Con argues that Pro keeps holding onto the deadly drugs argument, so we should hold him to it, that he proposed the deadly drugs as his singular alternative, that he never even mentioned the status quo in R2, and that "He can't just add a case if he feels like it." Con argues that it's not reasonable for him to have to defend against two diametrically opposed cases. Con also argues that " Pro expands his case in an attempt to avoid my harms, adding a psych exam and nebulous "smart regulations"."

Con argues that the deadly drugs case is "legalizing assisted suicide, and just changing who is assisting. In my case, it's the physician and psychologist. In his, it's the psychologist (someone needs to do the psych evaluation) and the government." I said earlier I didn't think Con had seized on this enough--I don't. But he didn't ignore it entirely; if he'd done so, I might have had to see it as a dropped point. It's worth noting that it also relies on me accepting that Pro is tied inescapably to his deadly drugs point. That said, while I think it's rather subjective as to whether we accept that or not, I found myself coming down on the side of it being so. Con argues Pro's "saying that suicide becomes impossible to distinguish from murder. How do you determine if someone took one of these drugs on purpose or by the designs of someone else?" An important point, given that Pro's methods for addressing that concern seem to bring his case closer to Con's, to the point of being indistinguishable.

Con's point 3) is largely uncompelling, to be honest, despite Pro's dropping of it earlier. Con's 4) is an attempt to differentiate his case from Pro's by arguing that it being explicitly assisted means more oversight to ensure mental illness is not the issue. Con could have benefited from some research of his own at this point, but he didn't use it, so it's not there. Con's 5) doesn't make sense in light of Pro's conceding of the psychological evaluation barrier.

Con notes that Pro has seemingly conflated AS with Euthanasia at various points.

He makes a few more points; it's worth noting that there's an awful big gap between what are essentially bullet points, making it harder to read.

A big failure on Con's part is that he doesn't really do a very good job of attacking the status quo. He doesn't address why, specifically, assisted suicide is better than, say, unassisted suicide. He doesn't talk much about what form that assistance takes. He doesn't talk about why we generally prohibit the well from comitting suicide, or at least disincentivize it. Con spent so long on the drugs point that everything else was just bulletpointed assertions that weren't particularly compelling.

As of this point, this debate never really settled on a specific tack to take. We never really discussed AS in depth, we never really addressed terminal illness vs. access to all. We got an overall muddle, where two very smart people talked very irately past each other. Still, given what a mess this became, as of the end of this round I come down on the side of Con by a narrow margin, and only because I not only bought the link to the drugs point, but also consider Pro's advocacy to be essentially advocacy for Con's position, I think Pro might well have had a victory, but it's hard because without the drugs point, Con would have presumably argued very differently.

There are still summations in the final round, but at this point, let me be clear: I would not have given the win to EITHER debater, were it not for what was essentially a concession from Pro. That's a narrow and stupid grounds for victory. Pro's case was muddled and Con didn't really make a solid constructive, focusing as he did on rebutals to the drugs point.

We (finally) get to the final round.

Pro opens the round by claiming that he gets to argue both cases, and that if either win, he wins. To a certain extent he's right, but in this particular situation, not only is he arguing two opposing cases that contradict each other, he's doing it in such a way as to put Con into an unfair position, so I'm inclined to accept Con's interpretation.

Pro argues that his arguing for the status quo was "implied". He notes that all his contentions except for the one that changes the status quo don't change the status quo; I fail to see how this really supports his point. He claims that he wrote about deadly drugs AFTER 9,000 words that didn't mention deadly drugs at all, which is patently false given that he included it in the opening as well as the closing (thus, at the beginning of the 9,000 words and after the 9,000 words). He's not helping me to prefer his interpretation with this sort of comment. He says it was an afterthought and not a focus of his policy, yet, he expanded it in R3, which he doesn't admit at all when he talks about R3, just saying that he corrected Con as soon as possible. What I needed to prefer his interpretation would be for him to DROP the argument, not double down on it. I probably would have bought the afterthought argument; rhetorically, R2 seemed more like that. But when he doubled-down, he lost me, and this didn't win me back.
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:34:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Pro moves on to definitions, and I really think he's muddling again: "The right/crime at issue is intentionally helping a patient end their life. We're not talking about the right to kill oneself."--except, per his R1 definition, we somewhat are, given that AS is defined as requiring the patient to be the final causal actor.
He even repeats this contradiction: "The debate's about whether doctors should have the right to intentionally cause the death of another human being." Again, patient is the final causal actor--that's from Pro himself. I find Pro's response uncompelling on these grounds.

Pro complains about Con's fairness complaint. He misses that it wasn't just that Pro was using two cases that Con objected to, but that Pro was arguing diametrically opposed cases. He took both ends of the spectrum away from Con under what he wants us to prefer. But I've already explained at length why I wound up not preferring that.

Pro talks about the burdens, and I would agree that Con can't win (and add that Pro didn't either), except for the point I mentioned.

Pro summarizes arguments from the previous rounds. One that stood out, though, was where he claims "assisted suicide empowers doctors to refuse assistance." Nowhere in his case has he established this.

Con gives analysis of Pro's argumentation, and I'm inclined to agree with him. He repeats his own previous arguments as Pro did.

Again, though, Con didn't really give a solid construction with its own justification and sourcing. He makes some assertions, to be sure, and Pro never really directly addressed them. But Pro did so, too. Neither side's constructvie was particularly strong, which brings me back to that stupid point I noted earlier, which is the only reason I wound up awarding a victory to EITHER side.

As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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YYW
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6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
PRO and CON had equal burdens, and the sort of counter-plan thing that FT advanced was a tangential point. It was severable from the rest of his arguments, and even if whiteflame completely won the deadly drugs argument he still lost the debate because he made almost no strides in the way of offering affirmative arguments. This was a very clear cut win for FT.

Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.The alternative plan to assisted suicide is a red herring in the debate. The reason that it's a red herring is because it does not impact the resolution. Only those arguments that actually impact the resolution matter. Nothing else matters. Whiteflame never made the connection explicitly or implicitly between FT's counterplan and assisted suicide harms.
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YYW
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6/17/2015 7:25:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I say this because I have seen every person who judged this debate other than me make the same mistake:

If an argument doesn't impact the resolution, then it's irrelevant. Irrelevant arguments can have no bearing on the outcome of the debate. The deadly drugs counterplan (which was weird, given the structure of this debate) was irrelevant, because it did not impact the resolution.

This was not "simply" a policy argument, and WF had as much of a burden as FT to satisfy; doing otherwise would unfairly confer a benefit on one party at the expense of another. Who holds the status quo position, versus who holds the change position is and ought to be irrelevant. The only thing that matters is who presents more compelling arguments which impact the resolution, and who maintains those arguments over the course of the debate.

This debate was about whether assisted suicide should be legal. On that point, which I think most judges agree, FT won. The reason FT won is as much because he advanced several arguments (see my RFD, and the debate, generally), some of which he sustained throughout the course of the debate. The reason whiteflame lost is because the only point that he clearly won was a point that was tangential to the resolution (read: one that did not impact the resolution).
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YYW
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6/17/2015 7:31:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
That said, I like the idea of posting RFD's in threads and linking them. That was a good idea, and I think I'll do that in the future.
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FourTrouble
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6/17/2015 12:35:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.

This is exactly how I felt during the debate. It seemed like whiteflame was imposing a totally abusive burden on me to defend deadly drugs. That's part of why I find it so ironic that I'm being voted against by bluesteel/raisor primarily because of my supposed "abuse" when I literally felt the opposite was being done to me. I should have dropped deadly drugs immediately, but I didn't really understand how to do that, and I was worried whiteflame was going to do exactly what he did, which is that he'd try holding me to deadly drugs, so I felt like I had to defend it.

That said, I appreciate the RFDs from bladerunner and raisor, even though I think they got it wrong too, because at least they seem to understand what the debate turns on, and they're voting on technical things that really is pretty subjective -- it comes down to the judge's discretion rather than what was argued in the debate. And I'm find as long as they admit that. It's not what Tejretics did which is just totally misunderstand the entire debate, to the point where it's hard to believe he even read it, or if he did, probably just skimmed for buzz words, or something. Folks like that shouldn't be voting at all, or there should be some sort of training for them before they can vote.
FourTrouble
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6/17/2015 12:40:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
@bladerunner

Thanks for the extensive RFD. The feedback is very much appreciated and helpful. I think you and YYW clearly understood the debate best among the voters so far, and your feedback has been the most helpful in terms of improving the arguments. So I thank you for that.

That said, I'm sad to see you voted on a "concession" that was never intended and I have a question about that. Shouldn't arguments be interpreted to not be concessions? It's kinda like statutory interpretation -- generally-speaking, you interpret laws to not be unconstitutional. That's how Chief Justice Roberts saved Obamacare, and I feel like a similar canon should apply to voting and interpreting debate arguments, like "interpret X argument to not be a concession," or something like that. Thoughts?
ben2974
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6/17/2015 12:54:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 12:40:41 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
@bladerunner

Thanks for the extensive RFD. The feedback is very much appreciated and helpful. I think you and YYW clearly understood the debate best among the voters so far, and your feedback has been the most helpful in terms of improving the arguments. So I thank you for that.

That said, I'm sad to see you voted on a "concession" that was never intended and I have a question about that. Shouldn't arguments be interpreted to not be concessions? It's kinda like statutory interpretation -- generally-speaking, you interpret laws to not be unconstitutional. That's how Chief Justice Roberts saved Obamacare, and I feel like a similar canon should apply to voting and interpreting debate arguments, like "interpret X argument to not be a concession," or something like that. Thoughts?

Sorry for being 100% random, but the "About Me" on your profile page is awesome.
FourTrouble
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6/17/2015 12:55:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 1:34:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Pro moves on to definitions, and I really think he's muddling again: "The right/crime at issue is intentionally helping a patient end their life. We're not talking about the right to kill oneself."--except, per his R1 definition, we somewhat are, given that AS is defined as requiring the patient to be the final causal actor.
He even repeats this contradiction: "The debate's about whether doctors should have the right to intentionally cause the death of another human being." Again, patient is the final causal actor--that's from Pro himself. I find Pro's response uncompelling on these grounds.

Also, just to clarify this, since it's the major thing I was trying to clarify in R1 but wasn't able to -- the "right/crime" is the doctor or assister's -- the right to suicide is something folks already have. The assisted suicide debate is supposed to be about the rights of those who assist, not about the rights of the patient, at least that's how i was trying to frame it in R1. I guess that wasn't very clear, but that's what it's about. It's like arguing for a right to assist murder when murder is alraedy legal. Obviously, you're not committing murder, you're just assisting. It's two different thigns.

Was this unclear in R1? I was trying to make it clear but it's hard to explain that.
bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:06:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
PRO and CON had equal burdens, and the sort of counter-plan thing that FT advanced was a tangential point. It was severable from the rest of his arguments, and even if whiteflame completely won the deadly drugs argument he still lost the debate because he made almost no strides in the way of offering affirmative arguments. This was a very clear cut win for FT.

Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.The alternative plan to assisted suicide is a red herring in the debate. The reason that it's a red herring is because it does not impact the resolution. Only those arguments that actually impact the resolution matter. Nothing else matters. Whiteflame never made the connection explicitly or implicitly between FT's counterplan and assisted suicide harms.

But Pro undermined his own case with his Drugs argument, which is why I ultimately came down on the side of Con. Had Pro dropped it, rather than attempting to salvage it, I would have probably nulled this debate because I don't think either side made a constructive sufficient to carry the burden. Pro was rebutted by Con, and Con's constructive was lacking, leaving me with what would have been (to me) a tie. When Pro basically suggested AS as his way of salvaging Drugs, that's when I gave the win to Con.
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:07:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 12:35:51 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.

This is exactly how I felt during the debate. It seemed like whiteflame was imposing a totally abusive burden on me to defend deadly drugs. That's part of why I find it so ironic that I'm being voted against by bluesteel/raisor primarily because of my supposed "abuse" when I literally felt the opposite was being done to me. I should have dropped deadly drugs immediately, but I didn't really understand how to do that, and I was worried whiteflame was going to do exactly what he did, which is that he'd try holding me to deadly drugs, so I felt like I had to defend it.

That said, I appreciate the RFDs from bladerunner and raisor, even though I think they got it wrong too, because at least they seem to understand what the debate turns on, and they're voting on technical things that really is pretty subjective -- it comes down to the judge's discretion rather than what was argued in the debate. And I'm find as long as they admit that. It's not what Tejretics did which is just totally misunderstand the entire debate, to the point where it's hard to believe he even read it, or if he did, probably just skimmed for buzz words, or something. Folks like that shouldn't be voting at all, or there should be some sort of training for them before they can vote.

I do think it comes down to subjective; whether we hold you to drugs or not. Which is why that debate was so frustrating to read. I get YYW's interpretation (and yours), I just disagree with it for the reasons I hope I made clear. But it's frustrating, for me, when I have to judge based on framework rather than content.
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:09:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 12:40:41 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
@bladerunner

Thanks for the extensive RFD. The feedback is very much appreciated and helpful. I think you and YYW clearly understood the debate best among the voters so far, and your feedback has been the most helpful in terms of improving the arguments. So I thank you for that.

That said, I'm sad to see you voted on a "concession" that was never intended and I have a question about that. Shouldn't arguments be interpreted to not be concessions? It's kinda like statutory interpretation -- generally-speaking, you interpret laws to not be unconstitutional. That's how Chief Justice Roberts saved Obamacare, and I feel like a similar canon should apply to voting and interpreting debate arguments, like "interpret X argument to not be a concession," or something like that. Thoughts?

Well, I certainly admit that it wasn't a true concession--obviously, you didn't explicitly concede. My point was that you suggested AS as your way to salvage drugs, which meant your proposal was AS, which meant you were arguing FOR the Con position. "Concession" was the best way I had to concisely indicate that, but to be clear, I know you didn't truly "concede".
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:11:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Also, to be a bit pedantic, presumption of constitutionality actually depends on the level of scrutiny. Under Strict Scrutiny, a law is presumed unconstitutional until proven otherwise:

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

"Once a court determines that strict scrutiny must be applied, it is presumed that the law or policy is unconstitutional. The government has the burden of proving that its challenged policy is constitutional."
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 1:15:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 12:55:28 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 6/17/2015 1:34:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Pro moves on to definitions, and I really think he's muddling again: "The right/crime at issue is intentionally helping a patient end their life. We're not talking about the right to kill oneself."--except, per his R1 definition, we somewhat are, given that AS is defined as requiring the patient to be the final causal actor.
He even repeats this contradiction: "The debate's about whether doctors should have the right to intentionally cause the death of another human being." Again, patient is the final causal actor--that's from Pro himself. I find Pro's response uncompelling on these grounds.

Also, just to clarify this, since it's the major thing I was trying to clarify in R1 but wasn't able to -- the "right/crime" is the doctor or assister's -- the right to suicide is something folks already have. The assisted suicide debate is supposed to be about the rights of those who assist, not about the rights of the patient, at least that's how i was trying to frame it in R1. I guess that wasn't very clear, but that's what it's about. It's like arguing for a right to assist murder when murder is alraedy legal. Obviously, you're not committing murder, you're just assisting. It's two different thigns.

Was this unclear in R1? I was trying to make it clear but it's hard to explain that.

You made clear that that's what we were talking about, but you then equivocated on what the action was; the doctor does not do the killing, per your definitions the patient does.

Contrast this: "the debate's about whether doctors should have the right to intentionally cause the death of another human being" vs. this: "In assisted suicide... the patient is the final causal actor in his or her own death."

That's explicitly contradictory; you say it's about causing a death, in a context where you've explicitly said that you're NOT causing the death (the patient is).
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FourTrouble
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6/17/2015 2:58:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 1:15:04 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
You made clear that that's what we were talking about, but you then equivocated on what the action was; the doctor does not do the killing, per your definitions the patient does.

Contrast this: "the debate's about whether doctors should have the right to intentionally cause the death of another human being" vs. this: "In assisted suicide... the patient is the final causal actor in his or her own death."

That's explicitly contradictory; you say it's about causing a death, in a context where you've explicitly said that you're NOT causing the death (the patient is).

Okay, I see what you're saying, and that depends on how you define "causation." If causation jsut refers to the final actor in anything, then sure. But that's not how causation usually works, or how it's interpreted under the law. Yes, the patient is the "final" actor, but that leaves room for other "actors," i.e. the doctor. The key point I emphasized in the definition is that the doctor's "intent" is to cause death, in both "assisted suicide" and "euthanasia," and they "are" one of the "causes" for the patient's death. They're not the "only" cause but they're one of them. But for the doctor's assistance, the patient wouldn't have died. So i disagree that the statements are explicitly contradictory.
FourTrouble
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6/17/2015 3:02:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
And I also disagree that the deadly drugs proposal was "AS," but that wasn't argued in the debate, so meh.

Again, for me, it comes down to the "intent" element. AS is about "intentionally" assisting. There's no "intent" to assist suicide under my proposal. Only doing your job of taking a psych exam, getting informed consent, and so on.
YYW
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6/17/2015 7:40:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 1:06:17 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
PRO and CON had equal burdens, and the sort of counter-plan thing that FT advanced was a tangential point. It was severable from the rest of his arguments, and even if whiteflame completely won the deadly drugs argument he still lost the debate because he made almost no strides in the way of offering affirmative arguments. This was a very clear cut win for FT.

Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.The alternative plan to assisted suicide is a red herring in the debate. The reason that it's a red herring is because it does not impact the resolution. Only those arguments that actually impact the resolution matter. Nothing else matters. Whiteflame never made the connection explicitly or implicitly between FT's counterplan and assisted suicide harms.

But Pro undermined his own case with his Drugs argument, which is why I ultimately came down on the side of Con.

No, he didn't, because the entire point was tangential to the resolution, and it was severable from the rest of his arguments (as is obviously the case because it was tangential to the resolution). And, even if it wasn't severable, FT was still winning because he more directly met his burden, whereas white flame barely even made affirmative arguments.

Had Pro dropped it, rather than attempting to salvage it, I would have probably nulled this debate because I don't think either side made a constructive sufficient to carry the burden.

The entire point is irrelevant, and anything he said with regard to deadly drugs therefore should have had no bearing on any judges RFD, because it does **not** impact the resolution.

Pro was rebutted by Con, and Con's constructive was lacking, leaving me with what would have been (to me) a tie. When Pro basically suggested AS as his way of salvaging Drugs, that's when I gave the win to Con.

I agree that P was rebutted by C, but C's rebuttals to an irrelevant point don't advance C's case **at all**.

And it was not a tie... it was not even remotely close to a tie.
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 8:54:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 7:40:39 PM, YYW wrote:
At 6/17/2015 1:06:17 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
PRO and CON had equal burdens, and the sort of counter-plan thing that FT advanced was a tangential point. It was severable from the rest of his arguments, and even if whiteflame completely won the deadly drugs argument he still lost the debate because he made almost no strides in the way of offering affirmative arguments. This was a very clear cut win for FT.

Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.The alternative plan to assisted suicide is a red herring in the debate. The reason that it's a red herring is because it does not impact the resolution. Only those arguments that actually impact the resolution matter. Nothing else matters. Whiteflame never made the connection explicitly or implicitly between FT's counterplan and assisted suicide harms.

But Pro undermined his own case with his Drugs argument, which is why I ultimately came down on the side of Con.

No, he didn't, because the entire point was tangential to the resolution, and it was severable from the rest of his arguments (as is obviously the case because it was tangential to the resolution). And, even if it wasn't severable, FT was still winning because he more directly met his burden, whereas white flame barely even made affirmative arguments.

Whiteflame made affirmative arguments? (Parum pum pssh).


Had Pro dropped it, rather than attempting to salvage it, I would have probably nulled this debate because I don't think either side made a constructive sufficient to carry the burden.

The entire point is irrelevant, and anything he said with regard to deadly drugs therefore should have had no bearing on any judges RFD, because it does **not** impact the resolution.

I disagree, for the reasons I noted. Fundamentally, the question is whether he's advocating the status quo or his own plan.

Pro was rebutted by Con, and Con's constructive was lacking, leaving me with what would have been (to me) a tie. When Pro basically suggested AS as his way of salvaging Drugs, that's when I gave the win to Con.

I agree that P was rebutted by C, but C's rebuttals to an irrelevant point don't advance C's case **at all**.

Not in the slightest; in fact, Con never really made a constructive case.

And it was not a tie... it was not even remotely close to a tie.

I recognize that's your position, but simply restating it doesn't really do anything in terms of explanation.

How about this: What points that Pro raised in support of the motion were not addressed by Con such that you consider Pro to have fulfilled his burden?
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 8:56:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 3:02:27 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
And I also disagree that the deadly drugs proposal was "AS," but that wasn't argued in the debate, so meh.

Again, for me, it comes down to the "intent" element. AS is about "intentionally" assisting. There's no "intent" to assist suicide under my proposal. Only doing your job of taking a psych exam, getting informed consent, and so on.

How is that differentiated?

In the case of a guy coming to you, Doctor FourTrouble, and saying "Hey, I want to kill myself", and you, Doctor FourTrouble, say "Okay, let me check off these boxes and then prescribe you this drug"

In the case of a guy coming to you, Doctor FourTrouble, and sayin g"Hey, I want to kill myself with these drugs that I want to buy, and you, Doctor Foutrouble, say, "Okay, let me check off these boxes and then you can buy this drug"?
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bladerunner060
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6/17/2015 8:57:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 2:58:46 PM, FourTrouble wrote:

Okay, I see what you're saying, and that depends on how you define "causation." If causation jsut refers to the final actor in anything, then sure. But that's not how causation usually works, or how it's interpreted under the law. Yes, the patient is the "final" actor, but that leaves room for other "actors," i.e. the doctor. The key point I emphasized in the definition is that the doctor's "intent" is to cause death, in both "assisted suicide" and "euthanasia," and they "are" one of the "causes" for the patient's death. They're not the "only" cause but they're one of them. But for the doctor's assistance, the patient wouldn't have died. So i disagree that the statements are explicitly contradictory.

You went to great pains to point out that the doctor isn't necessary because suicide is already legal, so this point doesn't really make sense.
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TheHitchslap
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6/18/2015 12:09:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 1:30:52 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

You did a through job on the RDF.

Would love for you to do the same in my signature.
All I ask is to be objective of course.
Thank you for voting!
TheHitchslap
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6/18/2015 12:09:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 7:31:49 AM, YYW wrote:
That said, I like the idea of posting RFD's in threads and linking them. That was a good idea, and I think I'll do that in the future.

Same
Thank you for voting!
Varrack
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6/18/2015 12:39:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
You could try typing your RFD in a Google Doc and linking it there. That way you wouldn't have to break it up at all.
bladerunner060
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6/18/2015 4:11:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 12:39:27 AM, Varrack wrote:
You could try typing your RFD in a Google Doc and linking it there. That way you wouldn't have to break it up at all.

I don't like linking off-site, and I don't like the fact that the RFD could be changed/deleted. When I look at old debates, I know I want to be able to see those RFDs; similarly, I want the debates I vote on to have accessible RFDs. I usually just type them as a bazillion comments, but of course, that's problematic.
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Raisor
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6/18/2015 4:18:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
PRO and CON had equal burdens, and the sort of counter-plan thing that FT advanced was a tangential point. It was severable from the rest of his arguments, and even if whiteflame completely won the deadly drugs argument he still lost the debate because he made almost no strides in the way of offering affirmative arguments. This was a very clear cut win for FT.

Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.The alternative plan to assisted suicide is a red herring in the debate. The reason that it's a red herring is because it does not impact the resolution. Only those arguments that actually impact the resolution matter. Nothing else matters. Whiteflame never made the connection explicitly or implicitly between FT's counterplan and assisted suicide harms.

Yeah severance is pretty much exactly why the drugs advocacy was bs.

Saying the argument is severable doesn't make it fair- it actually demonstrates exactly why it is unfair.

If com attacks the drugs, pro severs and avoids cons case.

If con talks about why AS is good, pro leverages his drugs advocacy as an alternative that captures the benefits of cons case.

Severance lets pro have his cake and eat it to; con has to guess which advocacy to focus on. Plus the drugs advocacy is in tension with pros case. This gives pro an unfair structural advantage. This was all argued in round and it's why I decided pros advocacy was drugs.

Don't advocate policy positions if you aren't planning on defending them. That's the lesson from this debate.
YYW
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6/18/2015 7:57:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/18/2015 4:18:55 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 6/17/2015 7:16:02 AM, YYW wrote:
PRO and CON had equal burdens, and the sort of counter-plan thing that FT advanced was a tangential point. It was severable from the rest of his arguments, and even if whiteflame completely won the deadly drugs argument he still lost the debate because he made almost no strides in the way of offering affirmative arguments. This was a very clear cut win for FT.

Whiteflame picked the weakest part of FT's case and basically spent the most time focusing on that, which is neither a fair tactic, nor was it enough to undermine FT's case.The alternative plan to assisted suicide is a red herring in the debate. The reason that it's a red herring is because it does not impact the resolution. Only those arguments that actually impact the resolution matter. Nothing else matters. Whiteflame never made the connection explicitly or implicitly between FT's counterplan and assisted suicide harms.

Yeah severance is pretty much exactly why the drugs advocacy was bs.

It's only severable because it's irrelevant. Because it's relevant, it has to be severable from the rest of the debate. Otherwise, irrelevant things would have bearing on the outcome of the debate, which they cannot do beyond the extent to which they are wasted character space.

Saying the argument is severable doesn't make it fair- it actually demonstrates exactly why it is unfair.

Irrelevant arguments are irrelevant, and you and every other judge which has given white flame the win did so because he won an irrelevant point, which was improper and erroneous.

If com attacks the drugs, pro severs and avoids cons case.

Again, that's not how the inclusion of irrelevant arguments works.

If con talks about why AS is good, pro leverages his drugs advocacy as an alternative that captures the benefits of cons case.

There is no world in which PRO's alternative plan to AS would have helped him, which is why your analysis here is wrong. And if you would have given PRO points for arguing in favor of an irrelevant point (read: one that does not impact the resolution), then you should reconsider the way you vote.

Severance lets pro have his cake and eat it to; con has to guess which advocacy to focus on. Plus the drugs advocacy is in tension with pros case. This gives pro an unfair structural advantage. This was all argued in round and it's why I decided pros advocacy was drugs.

You are wrong for the incredibly simple reason that irrelevant arguments are irrelevant. The policy position which Pro advocated for is beyond the scope of the resolution. It is lost on me why he included it. Whether he won the point or not, the deadly drugs counter-plan has no bearing on the resolution in play. There are concievable ways that it could have been made relevant, but there was no link between the counter-plan and the resolution, and to the extent that it bore weight in your RFD, your RFD is wrong.

There is no unfair structural advantage unless all judges were going to incompetently count an irrelevant argument in his favor if he won it (so, basically do the same thing that everyone but me did if FT won the irrelevant point). But, with tremendous irony, you not only considered an irrelevant point, but the existence of an irrelevant point was enough for you to give PRO the loss where you even acknowledge that he was otherwise winning.

So, basically you reached out into thin air and grasped, got nothing, and then returned with an arbitrary RFD. Bluesteel's was far worse, but he's deactivated so I won't go into further details about why his RFD was inept.

Don't advocate policy positions if you aren't planning on defending them. That's the lesson from this debate.

The reason why your RFD is arbitrary, poorly written and incorrectly decided is precisely because you turned what was otherwise a win on the basis of an irrelevant point. The lesson from the debate, I agree, is not to include irrelevant topics lest judges might get the absurd idea to give a person the loss because they did so, and that's what their opponent decided to capitalize on.

If the debate was about legalizing deadly drugs, then I agree that FT would have lost. But, the debate was about assisted suicide. In the event that the conceptual difference is lost upon you, that means that the debate was NOT about deadly drugs... yet for some enigmatic reason judges who are not me seem to be unable or unwilling to see the distinction.
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YYW
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6/18/2015 8:22:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Ultimately, this debate is a lesson in irony. The reason this debate is a lesson in irony is because every judge other than me has essentially said or tried to say the same thing:

FT lost because of the deadly drugs counterplan.

There is no reasonable dispute that the deadly drugs counterplan is irrelevant to the resolution. It is irrelevant to the resolution because it doesn't impact it... in the event that that glaringly obvious point is lost on anyone. So, every judge other than me has given FT the loss because he included an irrelevant point where he otherwise won the debate.

Raisor has argued that this is necessary because doing otherwise (read: not considering PRO's irrelevant argument in their RFD's) would give PRO an "unfair structural advantage." The opposite is true.

Considering any argument which does not impact the resolution produces an RFD that is erroneous precisely because allowing irrelevant arguments to have an impact on a judge's RFD allows debaters to argue whatever they want, without regard to the resolution at all, and gives the party who has so tangentially deviated to proceed haphazardly without regard to what both debaters agreed to debate.

Essentially, turning the debate on the irrelevant point at once gives debaters a license to say "fvck it, I do what I want!" and then win the debate, which is essentially what happened to the extent that deadly drugs were the subject of the debate. That is absurdity.

But, in this case, as Raisor judged the debate, by the standard Raisor used, if PRO won the DD point, then he would have gained nothing, but if he lost it he would be penalized. That is *the literal manifestation* of giving CON a structural advantage, which is why Raisor's debate is as arbitrary as his standard is hypocritical.
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