Saturday, August 16, 2008

LD Sept. - Oct. 2008 Topic: Woot!

Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.

Yeah. Freaking awesome topic, and I don't get to do it. Beh. This is perhaps one of the most distilled 'value' topics I've ever seen. Why the NFL didn't use it for NatQuals or Nationals is completely beyond me. There is no crack for policy or statistics to enter. There is no odd loophole such as "Justice" to frame it oddly. It is just "morally permissible".

Even though I don't actually compete with this topic, I'll post various bits about it to help any new or seasoned LDers to victory.

First of all is a breakdown of the topic and some first-look musings as to potential problems or ideas.

1. "Morally permissible": This is the big frame which the entire round hangs upon. Key things to remember is that this is not justice, or legal, or constitutional. This is 'permissible'. Is it allowed within your moral framework, and why is your framework best?

2. Utilitarianism: There's more to it, but that's effectively what it is. It ought to be straightforward, but there'll always be some ex-CXer with a bone to pick who will attempt to screw this topic up by defining everything to hell and back.
Remember, definitions are like salt. Use them wisely and to taste. Don't let your opponent define your case for you. You don't need a strict definition of what and how the killing will be. LD is about abstractions and values. Don't muddle a topic this good with statistics and plans.


Aff: Pretty much, you have the default easy ground. It isn't the high ground, but it's going to be many debaters' strongest cases. I'm not going to give away some secret case idea, (that goes to my team), but pretty standard and pretty strong cases will come off of utility and practicality. Don't use hypothetical examples. Judges are like tigers. Poke them with knives, and you'll get your arm mauled off by an angry tiger.
As an Aff, answer me this: Why is murder morally acceptable because you feel you have a good reason? Murder is the killing of an innocent person. Why is it acceptable?

Neg: You've got the fun part. You're going to have to delve deeply into Deontological systems to figure this one out. Remember, don't let your opponent use flashy examples. Latch onto the inherent value of a person. If the Aff tries to bring up the dirty bomb scenerio or some sort, ask where the bright line is. If they bring up the value of a certain person (family, politicians, and the like) figure out the subjectivity of human value.

Anyways, I'll post more later. I'm tired.