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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Yuri Suzuki (Shorin Global) vs. Opposition: Zoe Liebmann (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.

  • Yuri Suzuki
    Yuri Suzuki
    vs.



    Zoe Liebmann
    Zoe Liebmann
    Click to begin

    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at April 11, 2016 09:56:28AM EST by Yuri Suzuki

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    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 12, 2016 01:14:29PM EST by Zoe Liebmann

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    11/06/2013 {Astrobiology Magazine, "Scientist Suggests Comet and Meteorite Impacts Made Life on Earth Possible", http://www.astrobio.net

    Posted at April 13, 2016 09:31:33AM EST by Yuri Suzuki

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    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 14, 2016 11:51:08AM EST by Zoe Liebmann

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    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 15, 2016 07:32:29PM EST by Yuri Suzuki

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    None available for this speech.

    Status

    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 17, 2016 06:14:12PM EST by Caleb Maier

    Category Yuri Suzuki Zoe Liebmann
    Use of evidence: 2 3.5
    Delivery skill: 3.5 3.5
    Coherence of arguments: 3 3
    Responsiveness to opponent: 2 2
    Identification of key points: 2.5 2.5
    Comments: This is a shockingly close debate. I have had to watch the rounds 3-4 times to reach the conclusion that I did. I thought both debaters did an excellent job. If I were to add some constructive criticism, it would be to try to construct stronger offensive points, and maintain that offense throughout. This is a shockingly close debate. I have had to watch the rounds 3-4 times to reach the conclusion that I did. I thought both debaters did an excellent job. If I were to add some constructive criticism, it would be to try to construct stronger offensive points, and maintain that offense throughout.

    The decision is for the Proposition: Yuri Suzuki

    Reason for Decision:

    This is a shockingly close debate. I have had to watch the rounds 3-4 times to reach the conclusion that I did. I thought both debaters did an excellent job. If I were to add some constructive criticism, it would be to try to construct stronger offensive points, and maintain that offense throughout.

    A large portion of the debate comes down to the counterplan, so I will begin there. Opp offers a counterplan that models the resolution, except that it replaces ethics with utilitarianism. Opp claims to garner all of Prop's advantages--namely, the prevention of contamination that is dangerous to extraterrestrial microbial life. In addition, Opp proposes that the counterplan will garner three unique advantages: (1) It will allow for space exploration (which allows for research, finding extraterrestrial life and actively protecting found microbial life); (2) it is more effective than "ethics," because ethics is subjective and therefore hard to enforce; and (3)ethics would cause eco-fascism.

    However, there are some aspects of Prop's constructive that they repeat throughout that Opp may have missed. In the constructive, Suzuki mentions that contamination is "biomatter," and in the rebuttal they spend a fair amount of time explaining the difference between the intersteller meteor and biomatter originating from Earth.

    Because of this, I have to accept that it is possible to explore space while avoiding contamination, but allowing water and non-organic air (Liebmann's two examples) to spread. Therefore, Liebmann's counterplan does not garner the advantage of spacetravel.

    In the proposition rebuttal, Suzuki also confronts the eco-fascism claim, saying that they don't understand the connection between making a law and engaging in a war. Truth be told, I am a little unconvinced by that link as well. However, Liebmann does not clarify this link in their Opp rebuttal. I ultimately buy that this argument that this law would create war and fascism is not fleshed out enough to be a compelling voter.

    It is the middle argument that has the strongest weight for me--that ethics is not universal and therefore cannot make an effective law. There wasn't much time spent on this, and I suspect that there is a slight possiblity it was only intended to usher in the eco-fascism argument, but I'm confident after reviewing the videos that it can stand on it's own.

    This point gains even more importance because Opp concedes Prop's entire analysis on the importance of preventing the spread of dangerous contamination and the irreversability of failure to do so. If the law is ineffective, I am left to imagine that it may not prevent contamination. This could potentially justify Opp's counterplan's uniqueness, and garners some mediated offense. I say "mediated" because the impacts are not actually expressed, but I think that I can take some liberty there.

    However, Prop also has some offense. In the proposition rebuttal, they add near the end of their speech that one cannot know the effects of the contamination because one hasn't encountered the lifeforms. This is a strong argument. Basically, a utilitarian framework is useless until some extraterrestrial lifeform is encountered and understood--otherwise, one cannot assert disadvantages, because one does not have enough information to determine the right course of action. Like Opp's argument about the ineffectiveness of the ethical framework in legal terms, this point is not very well fleshed out, but I again feel that taking such liberties is warrented because it is necessary to provide contrasts between the shockingly similar plan and counterplan.

    What I find most frustrating is that both of these points were dropped in the final speeches. Prop in particular had a lot of time to emphasize their offense in the combined rebuttal and closing, but mentioned neither ecofascism nor the disadvantages of ethics.

    If I could, I would call this debate a tie, because there seems to be little to no difference between the plan and the counterplan. Even if I included the dropped arguments, it end up being different ways that Util and Ethics are ineffective in the law. Because I have to choose, I tend to favor the plan, rather than an identical counterplan. Again, close debate, and great job on both parties. http://speechdebate.binghamton.edu/images/smilies/smile.gif


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