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RE: Anti-Battistella: PART ONE
Lucius K seems to be arguing against my view of counterplans (although he
claims to be opposing Domenic Battistella's view). I *do* support
counterplans absent negative fiat, so to clarify any confusion, that is my
position (and I think Bob's, though with perhaps a very different
justification which I don't understand).
lucius K's arguments against the opp benefit are just about right on
target. So to his opp cost is fiat...
This is really a matter of terminology. I think I am being reasonable in
saying that a counterplan supported by opp cost doesn't claim fiat.
Advocacy and fiat are really the same thing, and opp cost is how neg
avoids the advocacy burdens of the counterplan.
I'm not going to repeat my justification for opp cost, but it basically
deals with the role assumed by the judge, and it is currently being
discussed in the "opportunity benefits" thread...
Just wanted to clarify confusion basically. All the issues are discussed
"Love is apparently killed by time, only because it transcends time; and
its spiritual and infinite essence cannot be contained with the limitations
of a material and finite world."
- Caroline Spurgeon, on Shakespeare's philosophy of love
From: lucius K [SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 1997 12:40 PM
To: Michael Korcok
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; CEDA-L@cornell.edu;
Subject: Anti-Battistella: PART ONE
The long awaited, highly anticipated,
The Anti-Battistella: PART ONE
In this post I will outline Dom Battistellas main arguments. I will then
answer Dom's main arguments against the opp cost model. In part two I will
answer his second argument against dispositionality.
Dom makes the following arguments...
PART ONE: Opportunity cost analysis is a flawed model
A. Aff is allowed to turn opportunity costs into opp benefits
B. Opportunity benefit is an abusive concept.
C. Without Neg. fiat, opportunity cost is flawed.
D. Without negative advocacy of c/plan, opp cost is flawed.
PART TWO: Counterplan is not dispositional.
A. Logical justifications for
B. Pragmatic justifications for.
Let the the debating begin!
1. OPPORTUNITY COST ANALYSIS IS A FLAWED MODEL:
"This brings me to a much larger point, opportunity cost seems
like a bad way of evaluating counterplan debate"
A. AFF IS ALLOWED TO TURN OPPORTUNITY COST INTO OPPORTUNITY BENEFIT:
"If opportunity cost argument is true then it seems to me that
turning the counterplan still be an advantageous affirmative
strategy. My understanding of opportunity cost is that by fiating
the affirmative plan, the opportunity to pass a more beneficial
counter option to the affirmative is lost. If this is a good
reason to vote negative, even if the negative could never prove
the counter option will ever be passed, then wouldnt it hold true
that by fiating the affirmative plan, the opportunity to pass a
less beneficial counter option (e.g. above said turned
counterplan) is lost, even if the affirmative could never prove
that the counter option would ever be passed. It seems to me
this would provide a good reason to vote affirmative."
Opportunity benefits are used implicitly in debate. By the Aff proving
they are the best plan of action, then they prove that they utilize the
best opportunity to solve the SQ. The aff argues this any way they can,
whether theres a counterplan or not. If there is a counterplan and the Aff
successfully turns or links greater disads to it, then the Aff is trying
to convince the judge they are the BETTER opportunity to solve. That in no
way translate to the BEST opportunity or BETTER than the SQ or even BETTER
then what it was in the 1AC. By winning that the c/p is not the best
opportunity does not magically translate to the Aff plan being better.
Old Dominion University (AFF) says that we should decrease pollutants and
offers a topical plan. George Mason University (NEG) is attempting to
negate the resolution by presenting opportunity costs to the plan. To do
so, GMU offers a counterplan which says decrease pollutants through market
incentives. But by doing this both universities accept that the SQ is
undesirable. By offering an opportunity cost counterplan, in essence GMU
is arguing, "I agree that the SQ is not so desirable, but neither is the
Aff plan. If I prove in this round that the affirmative is not desirable,
then I win that the resolution is false. Following this round we will
forever keep on having debates on other types of resolutions/plans till
eventually we can solve the SQ. However, if the judge votes for ODUs plan,
then this would be the last round on the subject. That means the Aff is
desirable and as far as we can see, there are no better alternatives."
ODU wins turns and disads to GMUs counterplan. To gain an opportunity
benefit from this, ODU would basically be saying that to vote for the
plan, you prevent policy makers from taking a less beneficial counterplan.
FALSE. If that were so, then the counterplan is really a disad, and the
turn would be another reason to vote aff. But Dom forgets that the policy
maker is the judge. In order for ODU to win opp. benefits they would have
to prove that their plan will prevent the judge from taking a worse
alternative. But to do that, they must prove that the judge was going to
vote for the counterplan, that negative fiat is going to be carried over,
and that the judge's hands are tied and that she/he is not allowed to vote
for the SQ or any other alternative to the plan and the counterplan. That
is illogical, and can result in the Judge being forced to affirm the
resolution when in fact it is not desirable!
It is illogical to keep the counterplan in rounds as proof of plans
desirability. GMU granted that the SQ is not desirable, but by arguing a
counterplan, they are not conceding the affirmative plan is better than
the SQ. So if the aff wins that the counterplan is not net-beneficial,
then the Negative is forced to defending the SQ. This should'nt be a death
sentence, but a change of strategy.
The Aff plan saves 100 lives but because of Neg's disad, kills 300 people.
The net-effect is that Aff kills 200 people. The Counterplan saves 200
lives, but b/c of Aff DA it kills 500 people. Net-Effect is that the
counterplan kills 300 people. So to sum up this round, SQ only kills 100
people. Aff plan, in second place, kills 200 people. In third is the
counterplan which kills 300 people. Under the fallacy that counterplans
arent dispositional then the judge would have to affirm the resolution is
true even though it is not.
This is the reasoning that the Negative is now the counterplan and only
the counterplan. Wrong, this role playing only applies to the Aff, they
have to be topical and only topical. The negative role is to present any
reason possible to disprove the resolution. This doesnt allow the Neg to
be inconsistent, but allows the Negative to switch form affirming the SQ
to affirming a counterplan, just as long as the negative negates the
Affirmative does gain a benefit from turning the counterplan. (May not
exactly be an opportunity benefit) It's that the counterplan is rejected
from the round. Part two will further explain this.
Further, it would seem Dom's logic is based on recipricalness. That if the
the negative wins turns and/or disads to the Aff plan, they win. If the
Aff wins turns and/or disads to the counterplan, shouldnt they win? NO!
Because Negatives turns of the plan proves the resolution false. Turns to
the counterplan doesnt prove the negatives resolution to be false because
they dont represent an a priori resolution. They represent all possible
non-topical worlds (within the confounds of legitimate fiat, relevance,
competition, etc.) including non-topical counterplans and the SQ.
The only way the counterplan would stay in the debate, post turns and
disads, would be if the Aff wins that the counterplan is a unique direct
cost beyond the Negative fiat, thus no longer an opportunity cost but a
direct cost. (Under opp cost model of analysis)
B. OPPORTUNITY BENEFIT IS AN ABUSIVE CONCEPT.
"How would the negative ever be able to debate if all the
affirmative had to do to win a debate is find a bunch of obscure,
detrimental policies that could exist, claim that these policies
are bad, then claim that by fiating the affirmative these policies
could never exist and hence the affirmative wins because these bad
policies could never have the opportunity to exist."
This scenario wouldnt happen since the counterplan is dispostional and
that the only benefit you get would be that the counterplan is dropped.
(Which is a big advantage to the Aff, see PART TWO)
This scenario sounds like counterwarrents arguments. This has already been
rejected by the debate community because of its abuse. Negative forces the
Aff to defend all possible topical worlds. Because of parametrics, the Aff
plan becomes the resolution in-rounds. This spikes out counterwarrents.
Also, in a sense, this is already what the affirmative does. The negative
is responsible for the SQ (if they choose) Thus the affirmative can pick
any obscure, topical action to justify the resolution.
For the scenario to work, the Aff has to be able to carry over negative
fiat to the counterplan. Otherwise the scenario would be confusing direct
costs with opportunity costs. Explain how that can legitimately be done.
C. WITHOUT NEGATIVE FIAT, OPP. COST IS FLAWED:
"Probably never, which is my point. By running anarchy as on
opportunity cost of plan you only prove how ridiculous the concept
actually is. Only fiating anarchy, however you plan to do that,
can prove the opportunity is lost."
Dom makes the assumption that Negative gets no fiat under opportunity cost
model. I've never argued this and have yet to see his justifications for
this assumption. Opportunity cost would use fiat, thus it solves as a
model for counterplans, so it would seem that Dom and I agree here.
D. WITHOUT NEGATIVE ADVOCACY OF C/PLAN, OPP. COST IS FLAWED:
"At the same time why is it O.K. for the negative to be able to
provide an opportunity cost (counterplan) to the plan withoul
actually advocating the opportunity. This is where inevitability
becomes a question. If the opportunity is inevitable then why
run a counterplan. This argument seems better suited as an
inherency attack and case turn."
This is were Dom is confusing advocacy with fiat. With negative fiat, the
counterplan is a viable opportunity cost. Dom also seems to be confused
with the difference between opp. cost and direct cost.
"A disadvantage is a grounded negative device because it is a reason NOT
to undertake the plan action. More particularly, disadvantages are the
direct costs of undertaking plan actions: they represent the worth of the
plan in comparison to the uniqueness actions which WILL be undertaken if
the plan action is not done. Now, is a comparison between plan action and
the uniqueness actions which WILL be done in the absence of the plan the
correct way to assess the value of plan actions? The perhaps surprising
and certainly troubling answer of economists and policy analysts is that
it is not correct. Opportunity cost is the REAL value of undertaking any
action. Roughly put, the opportunity cost of an action is the value of the
best course of action which must necessarily be foregone if an action is
undertaken. Counterplans seek to present the opportunity costs of taking
plan actions. The competition requirement on counterplans is just the
requirement that it be shown by the negative that the counterplan action
must be foregone if the plan action is taken. To summarize thus far,
counterplans are grounded because they present the opportunity costs of
undertaking plan action and their worth functions as a reason NOT to
undertake plan action."
So by using counterplans as an argument that the Aff denies an inevitable
as well as superior alternative, then the Negative is really arguing a
unique disad that is a direct cost of doing the plan. Like last years EPA
trade-off disad. Say the aff runs EJ. Neg. can run a disad saying the Aff
uses the EPA and trades off with the EPAs Right to Know program which will
solve EJ even better. This is unique because inevitably the EPA will use
the program to solve environmental racism. Dom's example is like taking
the Disad and making it a counterplan, saying that the Aff plan prevents
the opportunity for the EPA to solve, which inevitably they will do. So
when Dom criticizes the the counterplan under the opportunity cost model,
he is really criticizing a disad under the false name of counterplan.
Because the resolution is the center of the debate and because the Aff
must win the resolution to win the round, the Aff has advocacy burden of
their plan. The negative does have advocacy burdens. They must prove the
resolution false. But this burden doesnt translate to having to advocate
their counterplans. That is because their counterplan is not affirming any
resolution. Thus negative advocacy burdens is not symmetrical to Aff
Thanks for reading!
George Mason U.
P.S. Look out for PART TWO!
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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