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RFD: Seagull v. Lannan (Conscription)

YYW
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4/25/2016 1:42:32 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
I. Resolution

"Military Conscription is Just"

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

II. Burdens

The debate is about justice, therefore it is normative, and therefore the burdens are equal. Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong, and they misunderstand what debate is and how it works. Burdens in normative resolutions must be equal because the alternative is to impute structural bias on one debater at the expense of the other, which is unfair, and produces an arbitrary result based not on the content of the debate but on specious and subjective notions of "the status quo."

Here, especially, notions of "the status quo" would be objectively stupid because the status quo with respect to burdens includes both the pro and the con sides, depending on which country you want to cite. So, if I was a citizen of Israel (which I am not) my status quo would be in favor of conscription at the expense of not conscripting, meaning that I would be imputing bias on lannan (in favor of conscription) at Seagull's expense. But in that I am a US citizen, if I regarded my own country's "status" as the "quo" (lol) I would be doing the opposite.

But, because I am not so stupid or arrogant as to think that I can define what the "status quo" is, I will not define it. In the alternative, I will do what I always do, which is objectively evaluate the debater's performance based on their arguments' relative strength. This is to achieve fairness to the debaters, and check my own values and ideals at the door. Doing otherwise would make me an incompetent judge, and would be fundamentally offensive to the purpose and function of what debate is about.

To win PRO must affirm the resolution and persuade a reasonable judge that military conscription is just; CON must in the alternative persuade a reasonable judge that military conscription is not just. These are equal burdens. Conspicuously, what it takes to win has nothing to do with "the status quo" nebulous, illusory concept that it is.

III. Arguments

PRO correctly begins by saying that this debate is about justice because it's referenced in the resolution, justice would there be giving each their due. Curiously, PRO moves into a discussion of contracts; however, be conflates private contracts with the social contract. Nonetheless, PRO grounds his analysis with respect to the resolution in the social contract, and posits that this mechanism of social order "dictates what is due to the individual, and to society. In its most basic form, the individual agrees to obey the law and be subject to a society in exchange for the goods of that society i.e. protection, infrastructure, community." PRO then discusses and describes contracts, and then concludes that society operate through contracts between individuals and society, of which conscription is one.

CON disagrees, and grounds his advocacy in individual rights, and, in particular, the notion that in "a civilized society, we as humans must live together peacefully," where "people are treated as an end of themselves, not a means" and "they are able to live together as citizens in this Kingdom to be treated as ends and this will lead to an equality through individual rights." CON argues that a draft would be violative of individual rights, and the notion of "treating people as ends" because a draft "forces rational beings into the military to serve their country" and forcing individuals to "against their will to preform a task that does not treat them as an end." Additionally, CON argues that drafts because they are compulsive and enforceable risks intrusion on individuals' right to life.

CON continues his advocacy against drafts by discussing harms: (1) to the military (e.g. "Morale and force cohesiveness would suffer intensely, particularly with a two-caste military") and (2) to the family (e.g. "the women in the family have their husbands have to leave to go into the military and have an increased chance of death severally harms themselves, but also their household income").

IV. Clash/Analysis

The fundamental issue this debate presents is whether the draft is just; and while PRO tells me that justice is giving each their due, he does not tell me how individuals are due conscription. CON, nevertheless, indicates that individuals are due to be treated as such, and thus, as ends unto themselves.

Overall, PRO does little to directly refute CON's arguments. In response to the "kingdom of ends" analogy, PRO merely says that "to claim that a society owes an individual the due of this kind of society with nothing in return would be unjust." This does not rebut the substance of CON's point, which was that individuals must be treated as ends. While PRO made a gesture towards refuting equality, the impact of "equality" was merely the effect of treating all individuals as ends to CON's argument. The equality to which CON referred was in being treated "as ends," and what was critical about CON's argument was about treating all not as means to ends (i.e. by CON's standard doing something offensive to individual rights), which (implicitly) is what PRO was arguing for. PRO's responses to CON's articulated harms to the military (i.e. "A draft is a way for society and individuals to meet the criteria required of the social contract.") or family unit (i.s. "[t]hus this contention that drafts hurt the poor misses the mark and demonstrates an issue that happens perhaps because there are not as many drafts.) do little to rebut, but rather simply respond. The difference is that PRO would have had to do one of several things to rebut, and thus undermine the impact of, CON's points, which he did not do. For example, PRO did not negate CON's harms, or even marginalize CON's harms in light of other benefits which PRO could (and should) have identified.

On rebuttal, CON satisfactorily turns PRO's argument from contracts to benefit his side, by articulating the impact of disparate bargaining power between individuals and governments, consistent with his prior concerns regarding enforcement power and compulsion. CON uses several examples to illustrate this principal, including Nazi Germany, and Vietnam.

CON thereafter reconstructs the impact of his kingdom of ends arguments, to the effect that he shows that his kingdom of ends model of society is consistent with the social contract that PRO rested his case upon. In a similar fashion, CON readdressed the harms to the military and family unit points, and further buttresses his points while refuting (though not especially powerfully) PRO's responses. Though, given that PRO only responded and did not rebut, this still was sufficient to tip the scale in CON's favor.

V. Outcome

PRO loses this case because he failed to advance his burden of persuasion, where his burden was to persuade a reasonable judge that military conscription is just. While PRO articulated a standard of justice--the socratic one--and discussed the social contract, he did not even so much as define what an individuals "due" is with respect to the draft. PRO at no meaningful point countered CON's arguments in any respect (read: to reply is not to rebut). CON, in the alternative, required of justice that it regard individuals as ends unto themselves rather than means and showed to a sufficient degree that justice is duly offended by a draft which by its operation treats individuals as means. CON made some marginal (though could have done a better job in) effort to turn the social contract argument from PRO (though it was not sufficiently articulated) against PRO, as well. Thus, this is a plain and objective win for CON, and anyone who disagrees with me is unquestionably wrong.
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lannan13
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4/25/2016 1:56:15 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Thanks for the vote YYW.
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tejretics
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4/25/2016 3:28:52 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
YYW, why do you buy the "kingdom of ends" as a sufficient means to uphold justice? Lannan's sole explanation for the idea that it upholds justice is here: "This is important as it is part of the soceity [sic] that we should strive to as it maximizes human equality and the ability to live together peacefully." He doesn't explain (1) how it "maximizes human equality," (2) how it maximizes "the ability to live together peacefully," or (3) how the ability to live together peacefully upholds justice (read: I see it as irrelevant).

On reading the RFD, I'm seeing the problems with my reasoning. I, somehow, assumed the social contract argument had weight in its explanation -- but on reading the debate again, it clearly lacks explanation on how it upholds justice. But I don't see how Lannan upheld his burden of persuasion in demonstrating that mandatory conscription is unjust, either.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
YYW
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4/25/2016 4:26:57 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/25/2016 3:28:52 PM, tejretics wrote:
YYW, why do you buy the "kingdom of ends" as a sufficient means to uphold justice? Lannan's sole explanation for the idea that it upholds justice is here: "This is important as it is part of the soceity [sic] that we should strive to as it maximizes human equality and the ability to live together peacefully." He doesn't explain (1) how it "maximizes human equality," (2) how it maximizes "the ability to live together peacefully," or (3) how the ability to live together peacefully upholds justice (read: I see it as irrelevant).

The kingdom of ends illustration (it was an *illustration* not an *argument*) was used only for the purpose of explaining what a society looks like that treats people as ends. It was not used for the purpose of "maximizing human equality," or anything else. It was an indication of what a "just" society would look like where people are treated as ends, the implications being that they would exist in a state of equality, live peacefully, etc.

It's not that I was "buying" the argument, as much as I was "understanding what purpose the illustration served in the context of his value framework."

On reading the RFD, I'm seeing the problems with my reasoning. I, somehow, assumed the social contract argument had weight in its explanation -- but on reading the debate again, it clearly lacks explanation on how it upholds justice. But I don't see how Lannan upheld his burden of persuasion in demonstrating that mandatory conscription is unjust, either.

Seagull did nothing to justify his contracts argument, and it had no weight or explanation because he didn't ground it. Moreover, any weight it had was turned by Lannan when he used it in furtherance of his own model of a just society. Lannan showed that conscription was unjust because it used people as means rather than ends, which is unjust by his standard of justice. There is no world in which Seagull won that debate.
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tejretics
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4/25/2016 4:28:25 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/25/2016 4:26:57 PM, YYW wrote:

(1) I agree that Seagull didn't explain his contracts argument - that isn't the issue here.

(2) I wasn't talking about the "kingdom of ends" example - I was asking why you bought that treating people as a means to an end is unjust. Lannan doesn't explain or justify that in any way.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
YYW
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4/25/2016 4:46:05 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Tej's RFD:

It's clear that Pro isn't arguing an "on balance" consideration of the topic, but merely saying that conscription is just in specific scenarios.

This is wrong. The resolution is normative which implies equal burdens, doing the opposite would be inconsistent with the phrase "on balance" existing in the resolution. That said, "on balance" language is superfluous to the BOP, but it cues in dumb judges (i.e. those who accord the status quo with any significance) that the burdens are equal.

Pro should have made an observation that this was sufficient to fulfill their burden, but Con makes an error in failing to contest Pro's approach, so I have to agree with Pro's approach.

This is wrong. You're hugely screwing up how burdens work, and debaters do not get to "set" their burden by doing anything other than choosing a normative versus a positive resolution. Thus, you look at the resolution and figure out what kind it is as a judge to figure out burdens. This is a normative resolution and thus the burdens are equal. Inquiry ends there.

Beyond that, you're reading WAY WAY WAY too much into what effect and/or meaning PRO's language has. He never did anything to interfere with how burdens work (not that he could even if he wanted too), but even abiding by dumb judging theories (i.e. ones that do not comport with normative resolution/equal burden impositions) the burdens here are still equal because PRO never even defined the status quo.

Pro essentially argues that contracts are the means by which justice is fulfilled, and that those in a social contract, thus, must repay to their society based on this contract.

That is not what PRO said. PRO talked about contracts. Then he talked about some notion of a "social contract" and finally concluded with "because the social contract" therefore "draft is not unjust." It was totally unsupported, and he never made the link between contracts and justice as you suggest he did.

Pro also brings up the offense -- later in the round -- that war harms society more than conscription, and by Con's own standards, conscription is just. Con's response to the contract argument is that Pro is committing an is-ought fallacy (I presume he means simply because there is a contract doesn't mean there ought to be one), but Con drops Pro's framework with regards to contracts upholding justice, so I buy Pro's contract-based argument.

This is totally misplaced weighing, and CON did not "drop" PRO's framework (to the extent that PRO had a framework, which he barely did... one could only find PRO's framework with a most charitable... borderline interventionist... reading). But, any framework PRO had (read: social contract) CON turned in rebuttal in the penultimate round of the debate.

Another major point of contention with regards to Pro's case is on whether Pro is required to defend conscription in and out of war, but Pro says that isn't his burden -since to show that "conscription is just" is not necessarily to show that "conscription is just in most cases." Con doesn't justify that Pro has to defend universal, mandatory conscription. This point of contention goes to Pro, which allows Pro to turn Con's utilitarian argument.

This, again, is absolutely wrong. PRO's burden is to affirm the resolution, meaning, by implication, he would obviously have to defend conscription to the extent that CON argued against it, which CON did, with considerable relative effectiveness. Affirming the resolution means "just." Period. So, as a judge you must be given some standard for what justice is. PRO's standard was the socratic one, but he barely, if at all, made the connection between "giving each their due" and a draft. Getting caught up on "kinds of conscription" misses the point, beyond the extent to which they are used as illustrative examples. The debate is about conscription, generally. In particular, whether it's just for a country to require military service of its citizens.

Con has two arguments: (1) the contract violates justice by infringing on the right to life and treating humans as a means to an end,

That was not what Lannan said.

and (2) the contract poses a net harm to society.

That is closer to what Lannan said but still missing key points.

The first argument seems to explicitly contradict the second one -since the former would mean each individual should be considered,

That is also wrong (because you have mischaracterized what Lannan said), and as a judge it is not your place even if his arguments did contradict one another beyond the extent to which the opponent calls a debater out on it.

while the latter implies a utilitarian and collectivist framework. The collectivist argument - the second one - is successfully turned by the argument that war harms society more, and conscription helps end war. I'd have liked more on the link re: collectivism ends war, though.

This is so beyond the scope of what the debate contained that you are without question making the same mistakes that whiteflame does here (i.e. being an interventionist judge). That is wrong because it considers aspects beyond what happened in the debate, meaning that you have in this case made an arbitrary decision while mischaracterizing the debater's arguments.

The argument from "the kingdom of ends" isn't clearly elucidated at all.

It wasn't an argument, it was an illustration. See above commentary for further explanation of this, and with regard to the rest of your RFD.

The mistakes you're making here are like exactly what whiteflame does when he judges debates, so my advice to you is to stop reading his RFD's because he's an incompetent judge.

You mischaracterized arguments, incorrectly weighed them, and factored in an abundance of information well and far beyond what actually happened in the debate. In the future, you must contain your RFD's analysis to ONLY THAT WHICH HAPPENED IN THE DEBATE, and you must correctly apply the burdens.
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YYW
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4/25/2016 4:46:49 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/25/2016 4:28:25 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/25/2016 4:26:57 PM, YYW wrote:

(1) I agree that Seagull didn't explain his contracts argument - that isn't the issue here.

Oh but it is.

(2) I wasn't talking about the "kingdom of ends" example - I was asking why you bought that treating people as a means to an end is unjust. Lannan doesn't explain or justify that in any way.

Yes he did. Read his first round. Moreover, PRO never undermined it. Read subsequent rounds.
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tejretics
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4/25/2016 5:27:48 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/25/2016 4:46:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2016 4:28:25 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/25/2016 4:26:57 PM, YYW wrote:

(1) I agree that Seagull didn't explain his contracts argument - that isn't the issue here.

Oh but it is.

No. I admitted my RFD was wrong. We're not discussing my RFD here.


(2) I wasn't talking about the "kingdom of ends" example - I was asking why you bought that treating people as a means to an end is unjust. Lannan doesn't explain or justify that in any way.

Yes he did. Read his first round.

There's no explanation of "justice" linking to it. To quote from an earlier post, he doesn't explain (1) how it "maximizes human equality," (2) how it maximizes "the ability to live together peacefully," or (3) how the ability to live together peacefully upholds justice (read: I see it as irrelevant).

Moreover, PRO never undermined it. Read subsequent rounds.

That's irrelevant. If an argument isn't sufficiently warranted, it should be discredited anyway.

And YYW, this isn't about my RFD - in my very first post, I conceded my RFD was wrong. But it was wrong because of my analysis of Seagull's arguments, not because of my analysis of Lannan's. Lannan's argument re: humans are a means, not an end, was not elucidated at all. He doesn't explain the link to justice.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
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4/25/2016 5:32:58 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Also, note that I'm calling the argument on treating humans as a means to an end being unjust the "kingdom of ends" argument for convenience.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
YYW
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4/25/2016 5:41:57 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/25/2016 5:27:48 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/25/2016 4:46:49 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/25/2016 4:28:25 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/25/2016 4:26:57 PM, YYW wrote:

(1) I agree that Seagull didn't explain his contracts argument - that isn't the issue here.

Oh but it is.

No. I admitted my RFD was wrong. We're not discussing my RFD here.


(2) I wasn't talking about the "kingdom of ends" example - I was asking why you bought that treating people as a means to an end is unjust. Lannan doesn't explain or justify that in any way.

Yes he did. Read his first round.

There's no explanation of "justice" linking to it. To quote from an earlier post, he doesn't explain (1) how it "maximizes human equality," (2) how it maximizes "the ability to live together peacefully," or (3) how the ability to live together peacefully upholds justice (read: I see it as irrelevant).

You're missing the point. The way people in the kingdom of ends will be treated equally is by treating them as ends, and peace is an ancillary consequences. Equality and peace were simply the results of treating people as ends, they were not being used in the argument as reasons why treating people as ends is just in itself.

Moreover, you're missing the bigger point here, which is this argument's strength in relation to what PRO said. PRO simply replied by assuming the absence of duties imposed on individuals in CON's kingdom of ends, which was non-responsive because Lannan never said anything about the absence of duties. He, in the way most charitably interpreted to PRO, only was talking about the absence of ONE SPECIFIC duty, not all duties to the social contract--the one duty being the duty to serve. Moreover, PRO never connected in his own framework (read: the social contract) the duties imposed by this mechanism of social order to a particular obligation to serve in a state's military. He just said, essentially, "that there are duties" and not "individual military service is a duty obliged by the social contract because [x], [y], or [z]." Doing that would have provided both connection between his burden and his framework, and actually advanced his case. He failed to do that, however.

So, while I (obviously) agree that Lannnan cold have spend more time on the KoE thing, it wasn't necessary that he do do, first, because the benefits were ancillary to justice by his own standard, and second, because of the deficiencies in Seagull's argument.

Moreover, PRO never undermined it. Read subsequent rounds.

That's irrelevant. If an argument isn't sufficiently warranted, it should be discredited anyway.

That is absolutely wrong, because you're WEIGHING ARGUMENT'S RELATIVE STRENGTH. The question of whether an argument is sufficiently warranted is something that you as a judge do not get to address; it's for the other debater to undermine. To the extent that you do otherwise, you're being an interventionist judge. You might not afford all arguments identical relative strength (nor should you) but to *discredit* an argument because *you think* it's not sufficiently warranted is highly inapropriate.

And YYW, this isn't about my RFD -

Well, it's about judging in general, and your RFD provides an opportunity to learn.

in my very first post, I conceded my RFD was wrong. But it was wrong because of my analysis of Seagull's arguments, not because of my analysis of Lannan's. Lannan's argument re: humans are a means, not an end, was not elucidated at all. He doesn't explain the link to justice.

Your RFD was wrong both because of how you handled Lannan's and Seagull's arguments, and my post above indicates why.
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tejretics
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4/25/2016 5:45:46 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/25/2016 5:41:57 PM, YYW wrote:

You have me convinced.

Thanks for the feedback.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
fire_wings
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5/28/2016 10:43:24 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 4/25/2016 5:45:46 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/25/2016 5:41:57 PM, YYW wrote:

You have me convinced.

Thanks for the feedback.

first time I ever heard you say that.
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