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RFD for Male Date Rape Protection Debate

whiteflame
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10/12/2015 1:51:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is an RFD for the debate between FourTrouble and Zaradi given here: http://www.debate.org...

I think my vote hinges on the obscurantism Kritik. No, it's not a matter of whether or not I'm buying it as a voting issue. I have a hard time determine which voter outweighs the other, since both debaters ignore the voters of the other and I'm sort of just left to come to a decision of which is worse: avoiding this debate completely, or terrorizing debaters. I can see reasons for both, but any assessment I make will take place outside of the debate, and so I can't really make a determination on whether or not it is reasonable to vote on this basis alone.

What makes this Kritik important is the question of what Con needs to have done in order to win his own Kritik, and it's not just about being obscure. There's a distinct concern expressed throughout Pro's rebuttals that Con's argument is supported by quotes taken out of context and using strange interpretations of the terminology. I'm still not quite sure how I'm going to view this (and it'll come back into play by the end of the debate), but no matter how it ends up, it will be integral to my decision, since I'll either be rejecting Pro's argument that context is key, or I'll be rejecting Con's argumetn that his cards stand by themselves.

So this is a long way of me saying that I won't be addressiing most of the sources given by Con directly until the end of the debate. I'll focus my attentions elsewhere as I work through this thing.

Pro's argument basically goes untouched, so there's no need to cover it in great detail. One thing I should note is that Con's Kritik functions entirely on a post-fiat level, which means that any impacts he produced are going to be compared with these. So preventing date rape and addressing concerns about sexism are on the table.

Con's Kritik focuses on bigger impacts. The idea is that the economics calculus that comes with marketing links to neoliberal controls that further link to biopower. Biopower takes place in the form of state control over individual bodies, entrenching sexism, reducing the value of life to a minimum, and destroying the planet. I'll address how well Con succeeded with each of these as I go through the structure. I mentioned above that I'll address the specific sources and uses of terminology at the end, which means I'll be skipping through this rather quickly so just keep that in mind.

The real question at this stage is whether Con did a decent job linking to his impacts. Con drops the contraception argument, so I'll leave that out.

The short answer is that I'm buying these impacts, at least partially, if I'm buying the out of context quotes. The view that marketing induces state control over individual bodies stands with some strength by the end of the debate, and the Perry link does afford it some solid support. It's not perfect because it does mention reproductive rights as an important component to the link, and Con did drop contraception and therefore the link to reproductive rights. However, the idea of state control and its problems is directly supported as well, so I'm buying this.

I'll focus on bare life later, since that's a term-based discussion.

The sexism impact is probably the most contentious on this level. Con's argument appears to be that we have to ignore sex and treat individuals as humans, not as male or female. This might solve for the mindset that men and women should be viewed as worthy of different protections. But I find the lack of response to Pro's argument that context should distinguish men and women in some ways to be Con's biggest problem. In other words, while we should change our views of the differences between men and women, Pro is arguing that there are many important aspects of each that should be distinguished. Essentially, by trying to negate the differences, Con is causing a separate set of harms that only appears when no difference between the sexes is accounted for. While it isn't sexism per say, it is a clear harms that results from a change in our perspective of what sex means, and I'm buying that obscuring the differences between men and women is both something Con is promoting and damaging. It doesn't affirm Pro's counter-Kritik on the subject of underlying sexism (which probably required more information to be clear anyway), but it does still stand as a reason to affirm.

I find that the destroying the planet impact was mostly overly dramatized and not particularly well-supported, The idea that marketing or any form of biopower is suddenly going to end the planet based on a small increase is problematic. While I buy that any resistance can be beneficial and prevent some potential harms, Con did have to provide some form of brink analysis here in order to show that Pro's plan is somehow exceeding what's happened before to such a degree that we should expect that kind of outcome. Honestly, I think Con would have been better off arguing for a more minimal impact and justifying it to a greater degree. Even his examples, using Nazi Germany, end up lending more credence to Pro's responses by giving him opportunities to shift the problems that Con's citing to other areas, like absolute dictatorships (note that Con never addressed Pro's response on that).

So all Con is winning thusfar is the mentality that government control over lives is bad. The link to bare life is what makes this strong, and we'll shortly see how well that stacks up.

The alternative, to resist and escape the impacts, is based chiefly in the Gabardi link, which I never see much response to throughout the debate. It mainly depends on how I view biopower, though, so we'll see how that goes.

Alright, now we get into the central discussion and, thankfully for me, what I have to do here has little to do with analyzing each and every source carefully. This isn't a matter of whether the sources were good enough. The question is, does further context matter beyond the cards themselves? Pro pretty much grants that, if the cards stand by themselves, Pro's Kritik stands. There are a few areas where he challenges Con's logic, but for the most part, the story would stand unopposed.

I'm not convinced that I should do this. Dropping the context out makes for some difficult problems. Pro points out that many of the philosophers Con sources actually couch these arguments in larger points that go against Con's claims. Con is quick to dismiss this, pointing out that his argument is still logical, and I can see that to a degree. However, Con himself says in the final round that the reason he's not running a purely analytic argument without sources is that "even analytical arguments require warrants to them." He's right, but that makes it more difficult to buy his arguments in a vacuum, with each of the cards existing in a vacuum separate from the philosophers that wrote them. It's not game ending, but it makes buying Con's arguments that much more difficult because now I'm finding it difficult to buy his warrants.
whiteflame
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10/12/2015 1:52:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The debate on terminology doesn't do Con any favors, either. Pro presents me with a lot of reasoning for why the terms matter and why we should care how they're defined. Most of Con's response is to ignore the request to directly define the terms and, instead, attempt to broaden Pro's definitions in vague ways. This is particularly true with biopower, which Con tries to fundamentally change in an effort to avoid many of Pro's responses about where it does and does not apply. While I could potentially buy this if Con had nailed down his definitions and presented them as options against Pro's, Pro is just spending so much more time analyzing the word and why it matters in context. This happens at several other points on the flow, and each time it does, I'm having a more and more difficult time giving Con's links the gravitas he thinks they have.

But I suppose what really pushes this over is the combination of the two. The only way I can analyze many of these terms is to look well beyond the literature Con directly presents me with, something Pro points out multiple times. The more I do so, the more I'm presented with evidence that Con's argument doesn't align with those of his sources, either because his terminology is wrong or he's taking certain points out of context. Sure, if I was forced to stare only at the cards and sort of assume Con's arguments employed reasonable definitions of the terms, I might be able to pick him up on this Kritik. However, I simply can't ignore all of the argumentation to the contrary, and since Con's major surviving impact " the bare life impact " is based chiefly in me buying his view of biopower, we have a problem. His links just aren't solid, and he doesn't get nearly enough access to his impact.

As such, I buy Pro's argument that his reduced sexism and reduced incidence of male rape are the major impacts of the debate because all of their link stories are very clear. Those outweigh, and so I vote Pro.

One last note: I really disliked the argument from Con that he had no choice but to run the Kritik. I found that to be more than a little suspect, particularly when he presented the option of running a "giving rape protection away free" counter plan. You had options. Even if you didn't, though I don't know the circumstances behind this debate, you were likely a part of the choice of the topic and your side in it. If you couldn't run anything else, the fact that you chose to do this showed a desire to be obscure with your argument. This sort of excuse really is ridiculous in my opinion.