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RE: Neg Fiat
Paul Xenakis writes:
> You're right. CWT wasn't feasable so I'll use your example. The problem
> of propensity/inevitability still exists. If approval of this new U.S
> policy was inevitable, then their would be a true opp cost to
> ratifying CWC, and a senator would certainly be justified in voting
> against CWC. However this would not really be a c/p and would be better
> suited as a DA--not that it really matters. But we all know that most
> c/p don't have that type of propensity, they are infact inherent,
> i.e--they won't go in to effect. Because they at best MAY go into
> the true opp cost can't really be measured. It may preclude a better
> option. It may not. This has to be evaluated in the congresman's mind
> as well as a judge, regardless of the role. (I tend to agree with the
> role you put a judge in, but I don't think it legitimizes opp cost.)
I often wonder how others are interpreting roles. It doesn't seem to be in
the same way I originally intended the term. Throughout this passage, the
judge is assumed to be a Congressman. Insofar as the judge assumes that
particular role, everything said is correct.
However, I have argued a couple times that the role of U.S. congressman is
insufficient for fiat to be meaningful. It would mean that I could prove
sufficient opposition in Congress to aff plan and show that the judge's
vote wouldn't mean anything! I hold that the judge best assumes the role
of a social institution. In that case, the role is empowered to fiat the
counterplan at any time desired.
> do think opp cost is true--to an extent. I do think that a fiated
> is stronger, and is easier to win with.
A couple things.
1) The reason I advocate opp cost is that I find neg fiat to be a bogus
concept, although I realize I've never really supported that position. It
seems that if we are, on some level, debating truth of the aff plan or
resolution, then we decide only whether or not the affirmative plan is a
good thing. The implied comparison is to the world absent the
affirmative plan. I'd like to see how you justify making an arbitrary
change to the basis of comparison, even if that arbitrary change competes
and is better than the aff plan. I suspect (but don't know) that the
justification for neg fiat will end up being that debate would suck without
it. My problem with that answer is that we don't have a real basis for the
counterplan except agreement on a way to solve a problem in debate. It
just smacks of a rule, albeit a rule of convention.
2) Stronger, I disagree with. I've been arguing otherwise and your latest
objections are answered above. Regarding easier to win, I'd say of course.
Opp cost probably isn't feasible in a round, at least until enough people
understand the theory that we wouldn't have to repeat this same elaborate
discussion in a timed speech in-round. As long as people don't understand
the theory, explaining it in the round will probably not prove to be a
promising strategy. Personally, I'd just put more responses on the disads!
That's one of the reasons, besides fun and the learning experience (note
how much my justification differs now from what I started out with), that I
think we should have this public discussion now. Not the consensus thing,
but so that the issues can be discussed intelligently in a round with time
> With a fiated c/p a judge
> has two definite options. Assuming competition, he can only vote for
> He knows for a fact that both options are possibilities and that if
> he picks one the other will not go in to effect. With an opp cost c/p a
> judge has one *definite* option. He knows that the plan will go into
> effect if he votes for it, however if he votes for the c/p he only votes
> for the *possibility* of it going in to effect. As I said, I think opp
> cost is a valid argument but not very strong,at least not as strong as a
> fiated c/p. I don't think the presence of an opp cost warrants a neg
> ballot, especially in comparison to a fiated c/p where a judge would
> actually be voting for the policy to go in to effect. I wonder if there
> could be some type of consensus on this issue. If there is then we
> should shift the focus of this thread to whether neg fiat is legit. If
> it is we should use it because the position is stonger. If not then we
> should use opp cost. (I don't know if I could ever do such a thing :)
My answer on neg fiat is above. But I, of course, don't think opp cost is
weaker. The role still retains fiat powers... it's just that neg doesn't
really advocate the cp as a policy option yet. The cp can be considered
later, after we decide on the advisability of the aff plan involving opp
> The role may be assumed where they take opp cost in to *consideration*.
> As a neg, I would rather the judge not be forced in to looking at the
> probabiltity or inevitability of a c/p. With fiat they don't have to.
> The probability has to be considered once the judge has assumed the role
> you propose. For instance (not to beat a dead horse) if anarchy is
> proven to be mx and net beneficial in a round then the judge must
> evaluate the probability as unlikely, and hence vote aff. The judge
> would have to give the argument a little more credit if a card was
> that anarchy is coming, and support will make its way in to Congress for
> disbanding the gov't. Although it still may not warrant a neg ballot, it
> would be closer. The judge would have to give even a little more credit
> to the neg if they fiated anarchy, which provided even greater
> propensity. I think that's why a fiated position is more credible,
> regardless of the role of the judge.
Again, the requirement for propensity is spiked out by the fact that fiat
is not granted in a one-time gift but inherent in the role of the judge.
The fiated counterplan is not relevant to the resolutional question, be
cause the resolution asks debaters to compare plan to absence of plan, not
counterplan. See above. The fiat exists for the counterplan to be enacted
any time, but no one advocates it as policy because negative policy
advocacy is irrelevant to the round.
"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
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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