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(RFD) Stargate v. Taj: War on Terror

YYW
Posts: 36,391
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12/11/2015 11:51:57 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
I. Debate:

http://www.debate.org...

II. Resolution

The resolution was unspecified, as to the exact language of it. In the alternative, the resolution was more a general referendum on whether the War on Terror ("WT") is a good or acceptable thing, (i.e. should we keep on waging it) in a general sense. This is indicated by PRO's saying "I am going to be for the war on terror, con is going to be against the war on terror." and CON's acquiescence to the same.

III. BOP

Burdens of persuasion are equal, because this is a normative resolution. As I have said before, will say here, and will surely say again, the resolution itself is what defines the burdens, and nothing else. The resolution in this case being normative (involving question of opinion) and not fact (one involving questions of what is provably the case), compels identical burdens. To do otherwise would be to impute bias on one debater at the expense of the other, to the extent that the burdens were imbalanced -which is abhorrent.

IV. Arguments

A. PRO:

PRO has four main arguments: (1) National security of both the US and US allies, being jeopardized by major terrorist groups around the world, compels a response by the US. An example of this threat is what happened in San Bernardino ("SB"), and another is 9/11, and WT is a response to that. (2) There are economic harms (discussion of these was very scant; more evidence would have been helpful to the debater in the way of advancing his burden, preferably with specific examples). (3) US allies are threatened, as is shown by what happened in France. (More details relating to what happened in France would have been useful here, as was the case with your second argument. (4/5) ISIS is the agent of aforementioned threats, and therefore should be combatted. (Last two arguments were not discrete arguments, they were ideas whose interrelationship compelled their being joined. Be careful how you structure your case. You want arguments to be discrete. Here, too, you needed more evidence/examples/analysis.)

B. CON:

(1) World isn't safer because of WT, as is shown by the prolific incidences of terrorism after the WT's initiation. (2) Cost of WT is very high, (but does it justify the benefits? It's not enough to simply say that taxpayers are "throwing away their money." You need to explain why that's the case, presumably, by explaining how the WT is ineffective or counterproductive, as you sort of did in your first argument. However, w/out the link, I can't give you points.) (3) WT is "fundamentally flawed" because of ambiguity of fighting war against concept. (This wasn't very persuasive, because you're holding out WT as something that it's not, only to tear it down from that perspective. You can make the argument that "Wars on Abstractions" are flawed, but you've got to give me reasons for that. What you gave me is a reason why the WT shouldn't be called a WT (semantic impact), rather than an argument about why we shouldn't be fighting the WT (hard impact, which would have advanced your BOP). (4) WT caused ISIS. (The obvious implication here is that the WT is counterproductive, and therefore should be abandoned. This is probably the strongest argument you're going to make, but you've got to clearly outline, if that's the argument you're going to make, (a) what the US did, and did not do; (b) what impact that had in the areas we did it, i.e. Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.; (c) why that means that the methods utilized in WT are going to cause more terrorism (by explaining how actions US took resulted in increase in global terrorism . . . not enough just to say "ok, here's what we did, and here's what came after that" because that argument doesn't show causation.).

V. Clash

Really just one major area of clash: whether WT is a good and efficacious response to terrorism's proliferation around the world.

PRO successfully identified in the debate that there was a problem, and perhaps even one that compelled some kind of a response. But, his burden was to persuade me that the "specific" response (i.e. the WT) taken by the US in relation to incidences of terror was a good and efficacious thing to do. It is not enough just to say "here are these incidences of terrorism, and so we must do something, therefore we must wage a war on terror."

CON more or less indicated that after the WT's initiation, terrorism has increased but he has no causal link between the WT's initiation, and resulting increase. (I wonder how much more terrorism there would have been without the WT?) The fact that an increase came after the occurrence of some event does not mean that it caused the event, and CON was missing the analysis that suggests a causal connection. (i.e. how did the WT bring about the increase in global terror?).

CON has shown that the war costed a lot of money, but without the causal link between the WT and an increase in global terror, I can't be persuaded that the war was all in vain because CON doesn't tell me how much terrorism was avoided by engaging in it to begin with. PRO vaguely suggested the occurrence of negative economic impacts... but misses vital details/analysis.

VI. Conclusion

CON wins, because even though he was missing the causal link between the initiation of the WT and the subsequent increase in global terror, PRO also did not show how the WT has substantially reduced terrorism. PRO's argument is just that "there is terrorism, therefore we must do something about it." (PRO might have, and probably could have won the debate, for example, if he defined the WT as doing 'everything conceivable to combat terror', and then rebutted CON's evidence of terrorism's increase by saying, "yeah, well we're not doing enough so that's why you're seeing that." but didn't. This is not the only example, however... just a suggestion.) However, without being substantively rebutted, the simultaneous occurrence of the WT--as it has been conducted--and an increase of terrorism is less unpersuasive than the argument that the implicitly discredited specific response suggested by PRO is compelled by the general problem he identified. CON therefore more effectively satisfied his burden than PRO.

VII. Comments

Grammar is a virtue: e.g. "more loosed in 911 and other terrorist attacks other then lives." (PRO, round 1); change to "more lost in 9/11." Graciousness is also a virtue: e.g. "Pro fails to use proper English grammar, so I'm confused what he is saying in his first sentence." is unsportsmanlike. Be nice.

Generally, you guys are pretty young so this is about what I expect from kids your age. Not a bad job. It's about B+ work at the 10th grade level, which is above average for sure.

Some advice: Structure is key. You've got to very clearly explain what you're arguing, then argue it, and then tell me why you've won. In the course of doing that, you should avoid making inferences (e.g. post hoc inferences of causation). Try to think about what kind of evidence you'd need to support the claims you're making, too. That will surely help you get an idea of what's missing from both of your cases.

Feel free to ask for advice or clarification, if you're interested. You both certainly have the potential to become very good debaters, which is encouraging.
Tsar of DDO
tajshar2k
Posts: 2,385
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12/11/2015 11:56:35 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/11/2015 11:51:57 PM, YYW wrote:
I. Debate:

http://www.debate.org...

II. Resolution

The resolution was unspecified, as to the exact language of it. In the alternative, the resolution was more a general referendum on whether the War on Terror ("WT") is a good or acceptable thing, (i.e. should we keep on waging it) in a general sense. This is indicated by PRO's saying "I am going to be for the war on terror, con is going to be against the war on terror." and CON's acquiescence to the same.

III. BOP

Burdens of persuasion are equal, because this is a normative resolution. As I have said before, will say here, and will surely say again, the resolution itself is what defines the burdens, and nothing else. The resolution in this case being normative (involving question of opinion) and not fact (one involving questions of what is provably the case), compels identical burdens. To do otherwise would be to impute bias on one debater at the expense of the other, to the extent that the burdens were imbalanced -which is abhorrent.

IV. Arguments

A. PRO:

PRO has four main arguments: (1) National security of both the US and US allies, being jeopardized by major terrorist groups around the world, compels a response by the US. An example of this threat is what happened in San Bernardino ("SB"), and another is 9/11, and WT is a response to that. (2) There are economic harms (discussion of these was very scant; more evidence would have been helpful to the debater in the way of advancing his burden, preferably with specific examples). (3) US allies are threatened, as is shown by what happened in France. (More details relating to what happened in France would have been useful here, as was the case with your second argument. (4/5) ISIS is the agent of aforementioned threats, and therefore should be combatted. (Last two arguments were not discrete arguments, they were ideas whose interrelationship compelled their being joined. Be careful how you structure your case. You want arguments to be discrete. Here, too, you needed more evidence/examples/analysis.)

B. CON:

(1) World isn't safer because of WT, as is shown by the prolific incidences of terrorism after the WT's initiation. (2) Cost of WT is very high, (but does it justify the benefits? It's not enough to simply say that taxpayers are "throwing away their money." You need to explain why that's the case, presumably, by explaining how the WT is ineffective or counterproductive, as you sort of did in your first argument. However, w/out the link, I can't give you points.) (3) WT is "fundamentally flawed" because of ambiguity of fighting war against concept. (This wasn't very persuasive, because you're holding out WT as something that it's not, only to tear it down from that perspective. You can make the argument that "Wars on Abstractions" are flawed, but you've got to give me reasons for that. What you gave me is a reason why the WT shouldn't be called a WT (semantic impact), rather than an argument about why we shouldn't be fighting the WT (hard impact, which would have advanced your BOP). (4) WT caused ISIS. (The obvious implication here is that the WT is counterproductive, and therefore should be abandoned. This is probably the strongest argument you're going to make, but you've got to clearly outline, if that's the argument you're going to make, (a) what the US did, and did not do; (b) what impact that had in the areas we did it, i.e. Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.; (c) why that means that the methods utilized in WT are going to cause more terrorism (by explaining how actions US took resulted in increase in global terrorism . . . not enough just to say "ok, here's what we did, and here's what came after that" because that argument doesn't show causation.).

V. Clash

Really just one major area of clash: whether WT is a good and efficacious response to terrorism's proliferation around the world.

PRO successfully identified in the debate that there was a problem, and perhaps even one that compelled some kind of a response. But, his burden was to persuade me that the "specific" response (i.e. the WT) taken by the US in relation to incidences of terror was a good and efficacious thing to do. It is not enough just to say "here are these incidences of terrorism, and so we must do something, therefore we must wage a war on terror."

CON more or less indicated that after the WT's initiation, terrorism has increased but he has no causal link between the WT's initiation, and resulting increase. (I wonder how much more terrorism there would have been without the WT?) The fact that an increase came after the occurrence of some event does not mean that it caused the event, and CON was missing the analysis that suggests a causal connection. (i.e. how did the WT bring about the increase in global terror?).

CON has shown that the war costed a lot of money, but without the causal link between the WT and an increase in global terror, I can't be persuaded that the war was all in vain because CON doesn't tell me how much terrorism was avoided by engaging in it to begin with. PRO vaguely suggested the occurrence of negative economic impacts... but misses vital details/analysis.

VI. Conclusion

CON wins, because even though he was missing the causal link between the initiation of the WT and the subsequent increase in global terror, PRO also did not show how the WT has substantially reduced terrorism. PRO's argument is just that "there is terrorism, therefore we must do something about it." (PRO might have, and probably could have won the debate, for example, if he defined the WT as doing 'everything conceivable to combat terror', and then rebutted CON's evidence of terrorism's increase by saying, "yeah, well we're not doing enough so that's why you're seeing that." but didn't. This is not the only example, however... just a suggestion.) However, without being substantively rebutted, the simultaneous occurrence of the WT--as it has been conducted--and an increase of terrorism is less unpersuasive than the argument that the implicitly discredited specific response suggested by PRO is compelled by the general problem he identified. CON therefore more effectively satisfied his burden than PRO.

VII. Comments

Grammar is a virtue: e.g. "more loosed in 911 and other terrorist attacks other then lives." (PRO, round 1); change to "more lost in 9/11." Graciousness is also a virtue: e.g. "Pro fails to use proper English grammar, so I'm confused what he is saying in his first sentence." is unsportsmanlike. Be nice.

Generally, you guys are pretty young so this is about what I expect from kids your age. Not a bad job. It's about B+ work at the 10th grade level, which is above average for sure.

Some advice: Structure is key. You've got to very clearly explain what you're arguing, then argue it, and then tell me why you've won. In the course of doing that, you should avoid making inferences (e.g. post hoc inferences of causation). Try to think about what kind of evidence you'd need to support the claims you're making, too. That will surely help you get an idea of what's missing from both of your cases.

Feel free to ask for advice or clarification, if you're interested. You both certainly have the potential to become very good debaters, which is encouraging.

Thanks for the vote.
"In Guns We Trust" Tajshar2k
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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12/12/2015 12:19:44 AM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/12/2015 12:02:38 AM, stargate wrote:
I'll take all this into account, and make sure I fix these types of mistakes when I do a new war on terror debate.

Right on :)
Tsar of DDO