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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Tanaka Hideyuki (Shorin Global) vs. Opposition: Zainab Gilani (Binghamton University)

Judge: Caleb Maier (Unaffiliated)

Resolution: THBT: An overriding ethical obligation to protect and preserve extraterrestrial microbial life and ecosystems should be incorporated into international law.

  • Tanaka Hideyuki
    Tanaka Hideyuki
    vs.



    Zainab Gilani
    Zainab Gilani
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    Speech Details

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    Posted at April 11, 2016 08:54:09AM EST by Tanaka Hideyuki

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    Posted at April 13, 2016 03:54:59AM EST by Zainab Gilani

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    Posted at April 13, 2016 09:11:47AM EST by Tanaka Hideyuki

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    Posted at April 15, 2016 04:55:36AM EST by Zainab Gilani

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    Posted at April 15, 2016 08:18:21AM EST by Tanaka Hideyuki

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    Status

    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 17, 2016 09:37:12PM EST by Caleb Maier

    Category Tanaka Hideyuki Zainab Gilani
    Use of evidence: 3 3
    Delivery skill: 3.2 4.4
    Coherence of arguments: 3 4
    Responsiveness to opponent: 2.5 3.5
    Identification of key points: 3 3.5
    Comments: Nice work. Try to be more flexible during the debate. You'll have to change your argument somewhat to respond to your opponent's points--keep reviewing your points, but make sure to add enough new ones to counter your opponent.

    I liked your point about how earth's environment is a good model of our potential to destroy other life. I think this might be a good opening for an anti-colonialism argument. You might argue that colonialism was a great atrocity on Earth, and that repeating that in the future could be awful.

    You have the opportunity to make stronger arguments in the beginning. Perhaps talk about who microbes might cure cancer. Perhaps discuss how space travel will only help certain countries, and is therefore unjust. Perhaps say that colonization would be impossible if private companies destroy the only cells we can study that successfully live on another planet.

    As far as delivery goes--try to put the paper lower so we can see your face.
    Nice analysis--I especially liked the argument about uncertainty and preserving humanity. You are a very clear speaker, and link very well to the topic.

    I don't have much in the way of criticism, so I thought I'd add something for you to think about. You might be asked to further justify the preservation of humanity (in the sense of a species) in the future. What obligation do we have morally to pass on our genes? (I personally am tempted to say none, but there are good arguments against me there).

    I also liked where you talked about having to intervene to protect. I think you might have the opportunity--if there's time, and if you're interested in making this more philosophical--to make an argument about colonization. You might say that this law would force intervention, which could lead to domination/sovereignty/ownership, which could turn into exploitation. Just a thought.

    You might also think about adding other bad things about the law itself, or consequences of breaking it. Maybe trade sanctions, conflicts, or disproportionately cracking down on less powerful countries trying to achieve space capabilities.

    The decision is for the Opposition: Zainab Gilani

    Reason for Decision:

    Opp argues that interplanetary infection is extremely unlikely, which was uncontested, so I buy this arguments. Moreoever, Opp argues that the contaminating microbial life will be necessary as one colonizes other hospitable planets. They also make a strong argument that making laws now, when we do not know the situation, could hurt the international community later.

    Opp also makes a point about the observer effect, but I don't know how to weigh it. Observation would have an effect perhaps (even though I'm pretty sure this effect is more about light and electrons), but this doesn't mean the effect will be significant.

    I buy that disrupting microbial life might be necessary for colonization, which outweighs the risk of interplanetary contamination.


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