EDEB8 - Ultimate Online Debating
About Us   Debate    Judge   Forum
Views:
3687

Resolved: Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens.

(PRO)
WINNER!
1 point
(CON)
0 points
adminadmin (PRO)
I'd like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate.

Role of the State
On side affirmative, we consider it a foundational principle of western liberal democracy that government ought to serve its people. People have basic needs and wants. Those needs include food, for without food, human life doesn't survive.

As a syllogism this argument is fairly basic:
Premise 1: Governments have a basic duty of care for their citizens
Premise 2: Citizens are basically cared for by providing basic needs, such as food
Conclusion: Governments have a duty to ensure citizens are fed

The fact that humans need food is hardly in dispute. The correlation is most apparent in times of famine, where people tend to die somewhat more quickly than outside times of famine. The key question we need to ask ourselves is whether the government has such a responsibility.

We see this obligation recognized in a number of ways. First, as democracies, a government is accountable to the people first and foremost. This is the same principle as elections and referenda operate on. Justice in this sense derives from the government's sole reason for existence, the mandate of the masses. It is also enshrined in basic natural law, in that the social contract (mutual rights surrendered) to form a state are done for the betterment of the human condition. Otherwise, there is no purpose to the state.

Second, we believe governments generally accept such obligations anyway, and thusly it would be good for them to keep these commitments. Examples would be found in the sanctity of human life as proclaimed by organizations such as the United Nations, and most specifically, the United Nations World Food Programme. Even impoverished nations such as Angola or Mauritania do their part to contribute to this vastly important system of response to global hunger. In cases where such obligations are not directly accepted, such as North Korea, the government is doing so more because of a perceived threat by the international community than any other factor (in this case, a trade embargo) and makes other commitments to food security usually on its own (which in this case, it has).

Therefore, we see the very purpose and intention behind a well-functioning government as being for the betterment of people and society, which encompasses the promotion of life through the insurance of a food supply.

Natural Justice
When we consider justice in abstract, removed from any thought of the government's position in relation to it, we see a number of key themes emerge. Two of the most important are fairness and objectivity. This what we call a just government - one that acts impartially and fairly to all. It follows on a more global level, a just government would attempt to ensure fairness and impartiality between nations also, and intervene where appropriate.

We can further observe that this common law obligation is pivotal in providing confidence in a government. An arbitrary decision maker who is believed to toss coins in the name of justice can hardly be known as just. Such natural justice extends so far into the legal and political system itself in every state today, as it does to the rights, duties and obligations governments bestow on all of their subjects. A clear example of this in action is redistributive taxes, where the government provides everyone with an obligation to contribute for the betterment of society, and the right to receive a basic wage if they fall on hard times.

In addition, it is evident food production occurs. We have food, and market incentives both to produce it, and for there to be a steady supply. Ensuring food security therefore need not mean any more than simply distributing this food equitably. A fifth of the world is overweight, and a fifth of the world today is in hunger. It takes not a genius to figure out the simple solution to this.

Natural justice therefore requires governments to distribute food equitably. Since we have an equal right to life, and food exists for the continuation of life, an equitable distribution is one that is fair and unbiased, providing everyone with their food needs, not just a few whom the government selects. And by not making a selection, the government is making a selection. They are selecting those who are the haves, over those who are the have-nots.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-07-01 05:11:49
| Speak Round
TejreticsTejretics (CON)

I thank admin for accepting. If Aff accepts, I propose a rule to limit 1-point votes, and restrict voting to those with reasoning for this debate.


== Constructive Case ==


CONTENTION 1: Metaethical Flaws


Observation One: The resolution deems the concept of a “just government” necessarily requiring a moral obligation to provide food security, and this moral obligation is based on roots of morality. Sans fulfillment of this obligation, by the terms of the resolution, a government would be unjust and immoral.


Links and Impacts


The Aff position invokes concepts of metaethics and values of morality, by providing a universalright to food security. This concept of morality hinges on the objective existence of morality, and places where metaethical values can coherently be applied. The assumption is the concept of “justice” being hinged on roots of morality, thus if the Aff position’s conception of morality is flawed, presume Neg.


The resolution’s own appeal to morality is ungrounded, since the values used are essentially an attempt to resurrect a force that holds together all objective values--God. Yet God is dead, thus appeal to what is “good” fails.Nietzsche writes:


“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” [1]


Nietzsche’s position was that the concept of God can no longer appeal as root of any moral values, and morality cannot hinge on a higher power anymore, which questions the basis of morality, and, as he notes, morality itself must thus hinge itself on the “new gods”--humanity. This would imply that the sole concept to ground morality is humans, but this would mean morality is grounded by individual perception, thus is subjective.


The link is that for the government to beobliged to necessarily provide food security to be considered just, where the resolution deems a government that does not provide food security is necessarily unjust and immoral. But if morality is subjective, then what hinges morality can’t be defined, so a position of necessarily providing food security fails to affirm morally.


The impact of the kritik is what allows it to negate--sans any moral compulsion, moral obligations cannot be enforced; thus, nothing is obligated to do anything, and obligations can’t exist objectively sans the conceptualization of God. Thus, the sole subjective morality used would be used by humans according to human need to enforce action--this fails to qualify as proper “morality”, since it would then imply the transformation of morality into a moralizing vengeance that destroys all concepts of “goodness”.


A re-explanation of the K:


The concept of morality requires something to ground it, and, if God is dead as grounding for morality, the sole ground is humanity itself, which turns morality into a subjective force that is exploited at will and becomes a core moralizing vengeance, thus evoking concepts of positive moral obligations merely forces a new moralizing vengeance.


The K is effective here because it shows an obligation impossible to take, and places morality into the principles of the government, which fails since then it would either destroy the concept of secularism or commit horrible acts in the name of morality, allowing fascism to replicate at the micropolitical level.


CONTENTION TWO: Providing True Food Security is Impossible


Observation Two: “Ought” implies “can” (OIC). To coherently hold justice to an “ought” assertion, re-explanation of the resolution leads to an interpretation of forcing an obligation on justice. In other words, the resolution says that a just government isobliged to provide food security for its citizens, which would mean that if the government did not provide food security to its citizens, it would be considered unjust and immoral. But an entity cannot coherently be considered unjust if it fails to do something which it is unable to do, ergo if something is obligated to perform an action, it should be able to perform that action.


Argument


High levels of agriculture and food acquisition are required to maintain food security.Strange and Scott:


“Catastrophic plant disease exacerbates the current deficit of food supply … Plant pathogens are difficult to control because their populations are variable in time, space, and genotype. Most insidiously, they evolve, often overcoming the resistance that may have been the hard-won achievement of the plant breeder.” [2]


In addition to disease, attempts to provide everyone with food often ends up with giving food to the wrong person, and no one truly in need of food gains food.Fong:


“[R]ecipients … misrepresent themselves to receive benefits. … a series of audits of 10 States to assess … potentially fraudulent recipients … revealed that a total of 8,594 recipients were receiving potential improper payments. Some … were using the social security numbers of deceased individuals … these recipients could be receiving about $1.1 million a month.” [3]


Affirming food security, additionally, often helps insurgents who hijack attempts to provide food security, e.g. in the case of Somalia.Franks:


“[T]he [WFP] was left with little decision but to withdraw from Somalia in 2011. Much of its food aid was being lost to al Shabaab. This left a lot more people vulnerable to famine but there are very significant risks regarding where food aid will ultimately end up.” [4]


Climate change endangers food security. “[C]limate change [has] already cut into the global food supply. Global crop yields were beginning to decline – especially for wheat – raising doubts as to whether production could keep up with population growth.” [5]


== Conclusion ==


Thus, morality cannot affirm food security, and food security is impossible, thus we hold just governments to an impossible obligation. The resolution is negated.



== Sources ==


[1] Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Madman”: The Gay Science, section 125.

[2] Richard N. Strange and Peter R. Scott. “Plant Disease: A threat to global food security.” Phytopathology 43 (2005).

[3] “Statement of the Honorable Phyllis K.Fong, Inspector General - before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, US House of Representatives.” U.S. Department of Agriculture Official Website. March 8, 2012. Web.

[4] Franks, Suzanne. “Public Perception And Policy: Famine And Food Securitization In The Horn Of Africa.” Chatham House. Web.

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-threat-food-security-humankind
Return To Top | Posted:
2015-07-01 15:30:32
| Speak Round
Cross-Examination
Tejretics: This is the cross-examination for the AFF side alone, i.e. the AFF side asks questions (assuming there are two cross-examinations, please clarify).
admin: There's four rounds, so there will be 3 cross-examination rounds. You can feel free to ask as well if you like, but otherwise I'm happy to oblige.
admin: Do you believe that a just government is possible?
Tejretics: That depends on a highly specific definition of "justice" to remain coherent and valid. If "justice" indicates what is "right" and "wrong", then such justice cannot be upheld sans definition of the terms. God is dead, and God remains dead, and sans that, we have no grounds for positive moral obligations. But if justice upholds merely *negative* obligations, e.g. do *not* kill, instead of *do* ensure food security, then perhaps.
admin: So to clarify, if we take justice in the sense of positive obligations, such as food security, can such a government exist?

Return To Top | Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for opening their case.

At the outset of this debate, I'd like to acknowledge that my opponent has apparently offered absolutely no rebuttal to my substantive material. My points, taken independently, provide two essential rationales for the resolution. As my opponent has not attacked them, my burden in this debate is fulfilled. Even if my opponent's points stand, I still win this debate because his role is to prevent me from meeting my burden, and mine is only to meet that burden. This situation will continue until con provides some measure of engagement with my material.

What my opponent offered instead was a series of attacks on the resolution as opposed to my constructive arguments. In this round, I'm going to do what he didn't do, and engage with his material.

Metaethics
This argument has been written to presume a metaphysical basis for justice as the principle underlying the topic. As con points out, God is dead. What con neglects to mention is perhaps the most important bit: We have killed him.

In general, side affirmative denies that Nietzsche is absolutely right about everything. Just because Nietzsche, writing more than a century ago, thought metaphysical bases for morality had become meaningless, doesn't actually make that true. It's just his personal opinion. In case there's any lingering doubt over whether Nietzsche was omniscient or not, he certainly didn't correctly predict his own eventual madness and subsequent death, leaving a decently huge body of unfinished manuscripts. For con to base his entire argument on one obscure Nietzsche quote is thus fairly shallow.

This being said, Nietzsche and I are actually broadly in agreement in this topic. Nietzsche's point was that we define our own morality. His point was more that when we do this, we must become the gods we idolized. This is a central theme in many of Nietzsche's works, but perhaps none more so than Twilight of the Idols where he spells it out clear as day: we define our moral purpose, and thus idols who provide our morality become "killed" by our decisions, as they lose all sway over us. As such what Nietzsche was really observing was subjective morality - notions that life itself entails our undergoing of a moral apotheosis that Nietzsche termed the "Will to Power" (a slogan that the NAZIs later hijacked).

Con preemptively counters this by arguing such morality is ungrounded. So what? We are become Gods, the idols of the world. Nietzsche himself had two responses to this. First, a central tenant of Nietzsche's philosophy was that the "common nature" of man was a falsification. As such not all morality is equally ungrounded - Nietzsche felt this would show itself in tangible terms with social and technological development, leading to a "last man" and "Ubermensch". Second, Nietzsche also elsewhere argued that we have an incentive to ground our subjective moral beliefs in what Nietzsche called "eternal recurrence" - which is basically the notion that positive experiences are no less positive each time they are experienced. It is the view of side affirmative that morality isn't randomly assigned, but tends towards particular norms on the basis of our experiences (this is a slight variation of Nietzsche's point). For example, people with a violent upbringing might be less inclined to be active decision makers due to fear of consequence, or the need to constantly scan for trouble. Nietzsche himself denied a lack of human obligation - he argued for an "obligation to life", most famously in The Anti-Christ. We can extrapolate from this certain policy that promotes and celebrates life, as the basic premise of the human raison d'être.

As you can tell I know my Nietzsche. But in this particular resolution, we're not talking about the morality of an individual. We're talking about the morality of a state. In the previous round, I established that states are bound by social contract to the individuals it serves. As such, states tend towards norms as dictated by the prevailing moral beliefs in that society. In return, people surrender part of their moral freedom to join with that society. This moral narrowing generates social capital, the value derived from socially held beliefs that we mutually impose on each other. That social capital is definable, unlike moral content throughout space and time. When we examine the outcomes of this process, we find two extremely common, though by no means certain themes. The uncertainty of this isn't problematic at all - we on side affirmative are happy to limit this topic to either being specific to the here and now, or alternatively, we're happy to agree we're wrong 1% of the time and right the other 99%.

First, natural justice, and this is the principle I defend in my second point. The world is on a long-term collision course with equality under the law, treating all people with inherent dignity and fairness. Our moral status as "Gods" affirms our unique place and the value of a human life, the basis for human rights, which are the basis for civil rights, which are the basis of justice. We find that this conception of justice, born out a strict common-law interpretation, is not only entirely universal, but becoming increasingly relevant in a world where civil rights are growing.

Second, human needs. People need food to survive, so in general, they'll demand food. As the role of the state is bound by the social contract, my first point thus establishes that in general, people will demand food from their states and eat it. Since the government has this common mandate, the government has this obligation.

A few brief rebuttals to my opponent's concluding remarks on this point follow. First, states are by definition a force of moralizing vengeance - the great Max Weber argued that states are merely a "monopoly on violence". This makes sense in the context of my model, and isn't problematic at all. Put another way, if somebody undermines food security in a just society, they break the social contract and thus their punishment is to face the wrath of the collective society, whatever form that punishment may take, and whatever authority sanctions it. This destroys no concept of goodness, because the value of the promotion of life is a socially held belief. We believe this can lead on to greater goodness in other respects through the promotion and proliferation of life, enabling freedoms (such as new technology) that we never thought possible.

Finally, the social contract cannot be changed on a whim. People are less exploitable now than ever before, and it's because we've developed as a society, tending towards the ubermensch. Valuing secularism is by no means mutually exclusive with human rights, and generally I fail to understand this point. Last of all, horrible acts are committed in the name of morality, and I leave it to the reader's imagination to recall them. However, food security is not among them. We feel quite confident in proclaiming food security to be integral to any properly rationalized conception of justice.

Impossible
First of all, ought does not imply can. Ought simply implies a direction in which we should move. Every business owner ought to fill out their tax forms - failure to understand the tax code doesn't absolve them of that responsibility. They still try and do their best with the limited resources they have. This is the difference between ought to do and will do - ought always denotes a goal, while being denotes a certainty as best can be established.

Second, we deny it's not possible to provide food security, for several reasons.
  1. Many states have done it already. Food security isn't exactly unprecedented here. Remember we're not talking about global food security, only the food security of one state.
  2. Supply issues are constantly being reduced with better pesticide technology etc. Yields for all major crops are experiencing rapid growth.

  3. Further, even if this were not the case, there are plenty of opportunities for meeting these challenges.
  4. Climate change = more greenhouse gases = faster growing crops, not slower growing like con said. This is why greenhouses exist.
  5. Similarly, distribution issues are reduced by globalization, more efficient management etc. We find that echoed in the fact that in general, food insecurity is, in fact, declining as crop yields rise. The following data comes from the Phillipines: 

  6. Social development, too, can broadly empower people to improve food security. We take evidence of this from BRAC, the world's largest NGO, and their "inclusionary" approach to dealing with hunger, including the education of women. This helps them to better manage their farms and produce more yield.
  7. Food security is an area of increasing concern. Paradoxically, as it has become less of a problem, it has become more apparent in our consciousness. Evidence of this is to be found in the fact we're doing this debate at all, or say, in the Pope's recent Encyclical.
In general then, this point fails on two levels: it's not impossible, and even if it were, ought does not imply can.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-07-06 11:50:54
| Speak Round
TejreticsTejretics (CON)
Thanks ...


... to Zaradi for permission to use the core of his ideas to negate the resolution.


PREFACE


In this round, I’ll only refute the Aff case, and will defend Neg case later. Thanks for an eloquent response.


PRO’S CASE


R1. Role of the State


The Aff case invokes the conception of what normativity requires, and upholds that justice requires upholding what is morally perfect. Such desire can have an overall negative impact. While the purpose of governments is care for citizens, desire for such care being upheld by justice doesn’t work, especially since no moral obligation can exist, and, as such, positive obligations are incoherent.


The cause for government being care doesn’t imply that governments ought to care for their citizens in order to be considered just. Desire for such an obligation can only have negative impact. A basic psychological conceptualization of desire is that desire is a constant flow of production. This definition is denied when the desire is for something justice lacks.


Lack is anti-production, and, as such, desire for a clear value that is lacked by anything considered “just” can only be negative, especially if such a value is impossible to uphold (see C2). For the links, I hold that desire is generally understood as wanting a material object, or something needed, rather than something lacked, thus emerging as a constant flow of production. Desiring what justice lacks is a problematic understanding of desire itself. Deleuze and Guattari write:


“Desire is the set of passive synthesis that engineer partial objects, flows, and bodies, and that function as units of production. ...Desire does not lack anything; … It is, rather, ... desire that lacks a fixed subject; there is no fixed subject unless there is repression …needs are derived from desire: they are counterproducts within the real that desire produces. …Lack is a countereffect of desire; it is deposited, distributed, vacuolized within a realm that is natural and social … There is only desire and the social, and nothing else.” [1]


Justice is not based on normativity – since desire of normativity is grounded by a lack-based framework. This lack-based framework has grounds solely in spirit, and not in actual terms of societal needs and pragmatism. Nietzsche notes:


“Pure spirit is pure lie … [when theologians and priests seek political power] the will to the end, the nihilistic will, wants power.” [2]


A reconceptualization of desire can form revolution and prevent the replication of totalitarianism. Deleuze and Guattari 2: “[The] thesis of schizoanalysis is between two poles … the … reactionary and fascisizing pole and the schizoid revolutionary pole … The two poles are defined, the one by the enslavement of production and the desiring-machines to the gregarious aggregates that they constitute on a large scale under a given form of power or selective sovereignty; the other by the inverse subordination and overthrow of power … by these molar structured aggregates.”


For there to be true revolution, we must challenge any form of fascism and uphold justice with simple and pragmatic means.


This is merely an expansion of the K I presented in R1, and it applies to any lack-based framework of morality. Only pragmatic affirmations of morality can embrace justice in its true form, not holding it to any obligations.


As such, the role of the state isn’t to uphold something impossible – only to pragmatically gain means to help citizens, thus affirming justice, instead of turning it into a fascist, authoritarian moralizing vengeance.


R2. Natural Justice


The entirety of this argument is based on equality – to uphold a moral framework of equality, we can easily distribute food equally. But this argument fails to account for the impossibility of ensuring food security. Basically, let me phrase this argument syllogistically:


P1. Food security should be ensured to uphold equality if it is possible to do so.

P2. It is possible to do so.

C. Food security should be ensured.


I question both premises. The second premise, in particular, is completely refuted by my C2, and the first premise assumes a framework of morality is based on equality. But reductio ad absurdum – equality can even mean no food for anyone, which would uphold Pro’s conceptualization of justice in his C2. An equality-based framework of justice is also inherently flawed as it fails to account for net utility, which is required to affirm true justice.


For instance, there are two people in a desert, and only a single waterskin. Either they can choose to be righteous and equal, and not take any water from the waterskin, or they can decide one person to drink the water and the other to die. The latter would increase net utility, and, thus, is a pragmatic and moral decision. That completely negates the assumption that “natural justice” requires food security.


== Sources ==

1. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus, pp. 26-29.

2. Friedrich Nietzsche. The Antichrist, pp. 8-9.


Return To Top | Posted:
2015-07-06 16:04:25
| Speak Round
Cross-Examination
Tejretics: Mixed CX, since this is CX2. Neg engages, Q1: "What makes you think a moral obligation is possible? And what holds governments to *moral* obligations to justice?"
Tejretics: And, in answer to AFF CX1 Q2, no, if a just government does need to ensure food security, then such a just government does *not* exist.
admin: Answer to 1) I don't believe I need to show the possibility of anything in this motion, but broadly speaking, access to resources. Answer to 2) the social contract.
admin: If I were to accept the premise that the sort of government you describe does not exist, is the resolution a tautology?
admin: Let me read that back to you, adding in the premise. "Non-existent, just governments ought not to provide food security for their citizens". Do you see that statement as tautological?

Return To Top | Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for answering my case. Since my opponent has not offered further answers to my extensive rebuttal to his case in the previous round, and since he has barely engaged with CX, I would like to take this round to further explain and defend my own case.

Role of the State
Lack Based Frameworks
This point conceives of the state as a social entity, not an individual moral actor. Aggregate moral decision making simply bears no relevance to theoretical philosophical musings of individual psychology. As such, I feel overall, my opponent's points are fairly misdirected. Further, these musings have not been individually substantiated. My opponent has apparently taken the words of Nietzsche, Deleuze and Guattari for the words of omniscient minds. These are not reliable or very relevant sources (and they're not even cited properly!) What my opponent needs to do is provide a cogent justification, not name-drop.

There are several responses to desire for something lacked. I feel this argument is only working because "justice" is not how we usually think of desire day-to-day. I'm going to use a more simple example to show why this argument is absurd: money. In general, people tend to desire money. Who here wouldn't mind being richer? There's two equally essential elements to this: need, and lack. If we didn't need money to buy stuff, we probably wouldn't want money. It would be useless to us. However likewise, if we have all the money we could ever want, we wouldn't want any more, as it would be useless to us. This is known as scarcity - we try to fulfill our unlimited wants (need) using our limited means (lack). I agree that the desire for a lack in this case can only be negative. After all, we wouldn't desire a lack of money given our current lack and our current needs. Instead, we can follow the double negative there and say we have a positive desire to make money given a lack and a need.

The same follows with justice. We only have, to paraphrase my opponent, negative desire "for a clear value that is lacked by anything" - which if you reverse that, means we do have a positive desire for a non-lack of justice. OR put another way, when the world lacks justice, we don't desire it. But we need to be clear, what we're not desiring here is the world, we still want the justice, and this is the logical issue my opponent doesn't seem to grasp. If you live in an unjust government, we don't have a positive desire for the lack of justice in that state. No - we have a positive desire to live in a just state. If you're poor, you don't have a positive desire for the wealth you lack (who'd want a lack of wealth?). Instead you have a positive desire to be wealthy.

Deleuze and Guattari have a slightly inconsistent conceptualization of it, particularly in the terms used by their translators. At times they equate need to desire, for instance. They argue that lack is a form of social construction. All this is largely irrelevant to this debate. But where there is overlap, it supports my case. All they're basically saying is that a lack cannot be a positive desire - hence why we desire societies that are just, not unjust societies. It's not a difficult concept to wrap your head around logically. My case completely agrees we demand just societies. Con argues that normative justice is lack-based because lack of justice is the norm. The problem with this argument is that it again confuses cause and effect.Because there is the norm of a lack of justice, individuals in that society have no positive desire for that lack of justice, and logically therefore, do have a positive desire for justice.

In addition to that, I presented a large number of quite specific justifications for why people want a just society. None of them has been answered or rebutted by my opponent. Even if this point did somehow negate mine (when in fact it only supports it), my other evidence affirming the point is not refuted.

Moral Obligations
In no way should my case be construed as upholding any morally perfect standard. Instead, we've argued for a strict common-law interpretation of justice. Although guided by several principles, we don't necessarily equate any one unique standard of justice with moral perfection, nor do we suppose any one standard of justice is any more morally perfect than any other. In particular, I provided two key themes common to this interpretation that my opponent appears to concede.

My opponent argues moral obligations cannot exist. This attack is irrelevant to the resolution. The resolution presupposes a just government, and simply questions whether that just government would provide food security for its citizens or not. If justice is to be equated to a moral obligation, then logically, moral obligations must be presupposed in this debate as well.

Con agrees that governments have a purpose to care for their citizens, saying that to be considered just, a government need not have an obligation to provide such care. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Justice is not a title, but a word that confers responsibilities. If you in all practical senses do not act just, then you are not just. This one-sentence remark by my opponent is also inconsistent with his own case, as he later argues for justice to be pragmatic.

Grounds in spirit/Totalitarianism
Once again, my opponent treads careful ground here. Insofar as he critiques justice, he is not addressing the resolution at hand.

Con argues that lack-based frameworks are not pragmatic. Quite the contrary - scarcity is the basis for just about every moral action people take. This is particularly true of food security. The pragmatic outcome of not providing food security is that people die, which I'm sure my opponent will not contest as a negative outcome.  Avoiding the deaths of people has always been a social need and pragmatic. Nietzsche's critique was of the motivation of clergymen in seeking political office. Nothing about it implies food security is impractical.

Regarding totalitarianism, there are several points to be made. First, no warrant is given for this line of thinking. It's an assertion. Second, there's no inherent reason why a fascist government cannot be just. We feel it is entirely possible for a totalitarian government to completely fulfil the justice requirements of their people. Third, we just outright reject schizoanalysis as the best clinical tool for analyzing somebody's brain. Even on an individual basis, mainstream psychology happens to be more accepted, simply because psychology works well in clinical practice. Finally, even if we did accept this, we doubt a fascist mind-factory-economy would necessarily lead to such a state. Nowhere did Anti-Oedipus suggest that. Perfectly regulated minds of the kind opposed by the work don't lead to an unjust state every time, especially when all the incentives are there for people to provide each other with food security. In a framework of justice, there is simply no rational trade-off for food security, and I doubt it was Deleuze or Guattari's intention for their work to be used as a justification for the "just" death of millions of innocent people because the government refused to provide them food.

If anything, it is Deleuze and Guattari whose arguments are "grounded in spirit" since they are based on nothing more than a particular conceptualization of the mind, as opposed to any pragmatic need or social need. Their arguments are baseless, worthless, and ultimately, as Nietzsche tells us, nihilistic.

Natural Justice
As a basic first principle, food security is not the same as providing food equally. We agree on that. I never said equally. What I said was fairly.

I did claim our right to life is equivalent. This doesn't mean that food supply need be equivalent, only that just governments need to support life for everyone. That life support may mean providing any level of food security from the minimum required to keep a person alive, right up to all the food you could eat. Given that the fundamental basis for this equality is the right to life, two things follow: first, absolute equality is insufficient as a standard for natural justice, and second, providing no food and thus allowing death through starvation is not natural justice.

To aid in my opponent's comprehension of that, therefore, allow me to provide a more accurate syllogism of the crux of this point:
P1. A just government acts in accordance with certain principles insofar as it is able
P2. It is only consistent with these principles to ensure food supply
P3. Governments are able
C. Food security should be ensured by governments

My opponent's problem with my point is thus mostly due to him strawmanning it. At no point have I advocated restricting food supply access to zero as consistent with any standard of justice.

The remainder of his points presuppose an insufficient food supply. I have two responses to this. First, I thoroughly rebutted his point on the matter. Food security is common.

Second, even if it were not the case, it would not be problematic for me to claim that there are no just governments, because ought does not imply can. Just because I am not able to provide food security doesn't mean I have to. Not only did I explain this point in previous rounds, but we find evidence of it in con's material from last round, that obligations should not be a moralizing vengeance - we should simply do the best we can.

Third, even if ought did imply can, the point still doesn't hold. We are happy to, but do not need to, affirm that governments that do not provide food security are simply not just, and therefore, just governments ought to have this obligation because otherwise they would not be just. Whether such a government could actually exist is simply irrelevant to the resolution.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-07-11 12:51:24
| Speak Round
Cross-Examination
admin: In previous rounds, you've dictated a structure for CX. Will I be allowed to ask questions again this time?
admin: Specifically, I'd like to ask if there's anything I can do to help people manage their time, since forfeits due to time constraints have become increasingly common on the site lately....

Return To Top | Speak Round


View As PDF

Enjoyed this debate? Please share it!

You need to be logged in to be able to comment
adminadmin
I'll just let my round expire. If you forfeit your round as well, we can end the debate here.
Posted 2015-07-14 03:00:40
TejreticsTejretics
Disregard "defense", etc. all rounds for any form of rebuttal
Posted 2015-06-28 09:11:23
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2015-07-24 00:18:56
RXR.Judge: RXR.    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: admin

Rules of the debate

  • Text debate
  • Individual debate
  • 4 rounds
  • 10000 characters per round
  • No reply speeches
  • Uses cross-examination
  • Community Judging Standard (notes)
  • Forfeiting rounds does not mean forfeiting the debate
  • Images allowed
  • HTML formatting allowed
  • Unrated debate
  • Time to post: 3 days
  • Time to vote: 2 weeks
  • Time to prepare: None
  • Time for cross-examination: 2 days
BOP is shared. Common/average understanding of topic to be adhered to. 10k characters.

R1. Constructives
R2. Rebut Constructives
R3. Defense
R4. Counter-Rebut Constructives