[eDebate] Counterplan Competition

Tripp Rebrovick trebrovick
Thu Jan 17 06:54:24 CST 2008

Counterplan two is competitive:

Logic divorced from a context is pure, meaningless form. In diplomatic
exchanges, each side gets ONE opening move; one strategy, and only one. When
the debate is about negotiation tactics -- whether it is better demand a
reciprocation from the other side or not -- the debate is over that
question: which tactic is better. Not which one is 'logical.'

Deductive logic is only important for 'truth-value' (i.e. positive)
statements rather than normative statements. While yes it is *true *that
'giving Iran X' means 'give Iran X if they do Y AND if they do not do Y,'
asking the question in that form ignores the more fundamental question of
competition for counterplans. What's at stake is whether or not asking for a
concession, *forecloses gaining the net benefit from leaving that
requirement out*, that is to say, whether or not the US *should* include
that requirement in its offer. Assuming the neg has a net benefit (and let's
hope they do), then even the possibility of the affirmative's offer makes
the 'counterplan ALONE' the most net beneficial strategy.

Even if the counterplan just adds "and give Iran X if they do not do Y," the
permutation must still include the offer of "Give Iran X if they do Y," and
THAT condition is from where the net benefit comes. To the extent that the
counterplan seems 'logically' plan-plus, such logical implications have no
consequence: competition should be decided through net benefits, not
abstract, formalist concerns. The 'logical' inclusion of "give Iran X if
they do Y" into "give Iran X" doesn't link to the or 'substantive' inclusion
*in the plan*.

If you read the following two cards, I guess you can win:

1. "We OUGHT to use deductive logic as invented and articulated by Bertrand
Russell in the Principia" (and therefore the way the neg gets its
competition is bad)

AND that

2. '"Obviously, EVERYONE in the world DOES use this type of logic" (and
therefore the aff doesn't have to defend what I call the 'substantive'
inclusion of the requirement in the plan).

But...then you're probably just being genocidal; zero point and all that
stuff about assuming instrumental Western logic is universal, a-historical,
etc. etc. We'll have that debate, too.

On Jan 17, 2008 1:21 AM, Dylan Keenan < dylan.keenan at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've argued this with several people this year, but I firmly believe CP #2
> is not competitive and is in fact plan plus (assuming one is looking at
> functional competition; the CP is clearly textually competitive which is
> another issue):
> The essential action of the plan is to give Iran X if they do Y. Any CP
> that includes giving Iran X if they do Y can not logically be competitive.
> A CP to give Iran X would give Iran X if they do Y. On top of that it
> would also give Iran X if they do not do Y.
> Let me restate that a different way. The CP "give Iran X" is identical in
> action to teh CP "Give Iran X if they do Y AND give Iran X if they don't do
> Y". Anyone who ran the second counterplan would lose on perm do the CP, but
> somehow we think the former, which is identical in its action, is
> competitive.
> I think the misperception flows from a basic misunderstanding of logic. An
> if then statement, If X then Y, is NOT equivalent to the statement If Y then
> X, nor is it necessarily equivalent to the statement X only if Y.
> Most people who think the CP is competitive see the plan as an only if
> statement. In other words they interpret an If then statement as offering
> the security guarantee ONLY under the circumstances where Iran complies with
> some demand. We started putting "if, but not necessarily only if" in our
> plan to try and clarify that, but somehow people still read the if statement
> as only if.
> As for CP #1 I think it is compeitive but totally illegitimate ---- there
> is no comparative literature for 99 out of 100 of these counterplans.
> CP #3 is competitive and may have literature but the plan isn't topical.
> What happened to just debating the case without shady counterplans?
> Dylan Keenan
> On 1/17/08, Jean-Paul Lacy <lacyjp at wfu.edu> wrote:
> >
> >
> > In his "Wake Series of Poker" results, Will Repko mentioned
> > (tangentially)
> > that the quid pro quo thing introduces a whole new set of counterplan
> > competition questions.
> >
> > In that vein, here are some questions to help explore that:
> >
> > 1. Does this counterplan functionally exclude something from the plan?
> >
> >        Plan: Offer Iran X if they do Y
> >        Counterplan: Offer Iran X if they do Y and Z
> >
> > 2. Does this counterplan functionally exclude something from the plan?
> >
> >        Plan: Offer Iran X if they do Y
> >        Counterplan: Offer Iran X
> >
> > 3. What about this counterplan?
> >
> >        Plan: Offer Iran X
> >        Counterplan: Offer Iran X if they do Y
> >
> > I'm interested to hear what people think.
> >
> > Yes, there are more nuanced questions than whether the CP excludes
> > something from the plan that also determine if a counterplan is
> > competitive, but I think a broader discussion of "what actually excludes
> > stuff from the plan" is useful.
> >
> > So far this year, I've tried to remain as agnostic about these questions
> > as
> > possible. I've tried to let the debaters arguments rule my
> > decision-making
> > as much as possible. This is getting harder as my own thoughts calcify.
> > My
> > hope is that y'all can help us judges approach things with a fresh mind.
> >
> > --JP
> > lacyjp at wfu.edu
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> >
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