[eDebate] fiat fairness and fun

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Thu Nov 15 11:57:23 CST 2007

michael, if "all and only
those counterplans within the scope of authority of the appropriate
decision-maker are legitimately fiatted," then wouldn't any 'alternative-agent' counterplans have to be, in effect, an arm of the u.s.f.g. (as the hypothetical decision-maker must have "the
authority to make the alternative agent take the alternative action")? ...whether your interpretation disallows all non-topical counterplans, you admit it disallows the united nations counterplan which - if competitive/mutually exclusive - seems to ask an important question for our decision-maker to consider: should i still act when my action might preclude the more effective action of *an independent agent*?

the rest shouldn't take long, since i'm not trying to take a position on every detail of debate theory, but only trying to show something very intuitive. that's why, you'll notice, i accepted your
reduction of all possible worlds to whether the topical affirmative
should be enacted (which jives with the 'highest value lost
opportunity' notion of counterplans - or that 'there's no
counter-plan world'). not sure i entirely agree (since i'm leaving open the question of whether there are good reasons for evaluating perms as more than
mere tests), but it didn't seem
central to the argument, so i let it slide. {if the phrase 'possible
worlds' irritates you, just replace it with 'possibilities' or 'options'.}

note also i was taking the iran counterplan example out of its resolutional context for clarity's sake - i just wanted to show a clear-cut case. obviously, determining necessity versus contingency isn't an either/or-categorization in most instances; it's a gradient bounded by two poles: the more necessary the precondition, the less you can screw with it and still have a good debate.

so i wrote, "the
only reason for debating whether the u.s. should [impose] sanctions to
disarm iran absolutely depends on iran not disarming." - to which, michael replies, "huh. really? the other advantages don't matter at all?" -- the whole phrase should be read at once: 'the
u.s. should impose sanctions to disarm iran'. there may be other
good reasons for imposing sanctions, but that wouldn't be 'imposing
sanctions to disarm iran' - it'd be imposing sanctions for some other
reason. case advantages are contingencies, and they show why imposing
sanctions to disarm iran is a good idea, and they can (and you're right,
usually do) include reasons why imposing sanctions is a
good idea in general.
we determine necessity by how intrinsic it is to the action at hand; for
instance, i wrote: "however, if iran disarms, that would be a possible
world where the u.s. *couldn't* [impose] sanctions to disarm iran."
- michael replied, "of course the US could still [impose] sanctions
against Iran." right, but it couldn't impose those sanctions 'to disarm
iran' if iran has already disarmed. don't know why that's giving you
trouble; it's matter-of-fact: if iran disarms, it's impossible for the u.s. 'to impose sanctions to
disarm iran', regardless of whether it imposes sanctions for some other
valid reason - e.g. "[imposing] sanctions gets Syria to defund Hezbollah
or it
stops the French from invading". therefore, the quality of any debates on whether the u.s. should impose sanctions to disarm iran depend on iran not disarming unilaterally; if the quality of that debate is valuable to you, then you shouldn't allow the iran disarm counterplan.

'necessary versus contingent' is just a way of distinguishing between
things we need (those that have indispensable use-value) and things we might use but
don't have to have. didn't mean to get too wordy. (and mentioning 'inherency' was just an attempt to start with a standard concept before
working our way up to counterplan theory. didn't mean to get too basic.)


yeah, the rent in impossible worlds is impossibly high -- but i just said we'd inhabit them; policymakers still pay the rent.

mr. impossible

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