Judge: Joe Koehle (Kansas State University)
Resolution: RESOLVED: The United Nations should adopt a resolution decrying or demanding an end to the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.
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Posted at May 5, 2014 10:16:10PM EST by Omid Abaei
Posted at May 6, 2014 10:48:53PM EST by Jordan Knight
The decision of the United Nations to end the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji Japan would set an unfortunate standard. And that standard is that appeasing the demands of extremists is more important than the livelihoods and traditions of the Japanese people. However, before tackling the ineffectiveness of the United Nations, I would like to respond to the arguments made by the proposition. First, the proposition states that the ways in which dolphins are slaughtered is inhumane. However, while the methods by which dolphins were slaughtered in the past may have been reprehensible, there are currently new methods being put in place to make the slaughtering of these sentient creatures less painful. The pushback to alter these methods stretched from Tokyo to Taiji, where a fisheries official told Agence France Presse that the US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, should visit the cove and learn about the new humane way of killing dolphins. "We have switched to a more humane way of butchering them. We cut the spinal cord so that they don't bleed. We don't butcher them like before. Next, the proposition makes the point that dolphins are important bio indicators and are important for the health of other marine life. The opposition does not refute this statement. However, according to Masao Hasegawa of the Japan Daily Press, it is important to remember that the fishing in Taiji does not destroy the environment by accelerating the extinction of any specie due to the declining fishing permits available to Taiji fishermen, so these dolphins will not have a dangerously lower population and can still promote stability in the ecosystem of the ocean. The proposition also states that high levels of mercury in dolphin meat is harmful to the Japanese. However, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the levels in general dont pose any immediate danger to ordinary consumers and according to research conducted by the ministry, which checked 9,700 fish of 400 different types in the early 2000s with assistance from the Fisheries Agency and local governments, ishi-iruka, or harbor porpoise, which accounts for 96 percent of dolphins caught in Japan, have lower levels of methyl mercury than several other fish commonly eaten by Japanese people. Also, the few dolphins that are transported to dolphinariums help improve the knowledge of marine life and make people understand the importance of dolphins. The proposition also attempts to get the point across that dolphins deserve to have the same ethical considerations as humans. However, Masao Hasegawa of the Japan Daily Press has stated and I quote, Human beings, so long as they live on this earth, will continue to consume other lives, whether they are plants, fish, birds, mammals, or even dolphins. If anything is inhumane, our human life is paradoxically inhumane. It is therefore important to realize that our existence depends on other creatures lives, so we must all be thankful for the loss. But if the human life and its basic rights (which include freedom and prosperity) are threatened because of our love for other creatures, I must say that the order of morality is deeply confused. We should not hinder anyones rights for sustenance and to lead prosperous lives. Without the ability to hunt dolphins following the ban to hunt whales in 1988 by international regulations, the income of the Taiji fishermen would only be around 2,000,000 yen (about 20,000 USD) annually, which is definitely not enough to sustain, not to mention prosper. While dolphins do deserve a certain level of respect, the ability of people to make a decent wage is simply more important. Next, the proposition points out that the United Nations is the only organization capable of passing and enforcing such a resolution. He uses the banning of whale hunts in Japan as an example. However, at the end of last month, Japan has recently launched their first whale hunt since the International Court of Justices ban. Tokyo has called off its next Antarctic hunt, slated to begin in late 2014, and said it would redesign the controversial whaling mission in a bid to make it more scientific in an effort to once again gain permission to hunt whales for scientific research. But vessels would still go to the icy waters to carry out nonlethal research, raising the possibility that harpoon ships might return to Antarctica the following year. So while the ban temporarily halted fisherman, the United Nations ruling has not had much of an effect on the decisions of the Japanese to carry out the practices of their past heritage. So while this law may have set a precedent, similar to the Emancipation Proclomation, there is simply no one to enforce it aside from extremist animal rights agencies that have no legal jurisdiction. The plan of the opposition is a plan to withhold the traditions of the Japanese people and for the United Nations not to act in any way to preserve both the traditions and the livelihoods of this proud nation and to not set an unfortunate standard that depending on other living creatures to live is wrong.
Posted at May 7, 2014 10:54:20PM EST by Omid Abaei
1. (Caroline Kennedy stands by her remarks against the Taiji Dolphin hunt; April 2014)
2. (Taiji is located in the Wakayama prefecture)
The textual form of my speech:
In this speech, I will be defending my case, while then going on to attack my opponents case.
First my opponent states that my plan would set a standard that appeases the demands of extremists and devalue the traditions of the Japanese people. This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, it uses faulty logic. Just because something is traditional does not mean that it is legitimate or morally right. In this case, the Taiji dolphin slaughter is morally wrong due to the inhumane killing methods the fishermen use. Once again, Id like to quote an article from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, which states that the killing method would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world. My opponent says that the killing methods have been reformed, yet you must look at his source. His source is a local Taiji union representative, which is clearly a biased source as he has a motive to lie, so as to reflect criticisms. Even though Caroline Kennedy was invited to go back and visit Taiji again in January, she stated in April that she still stands by her negative comments about the Taiji Dolphin Hunt.
My opponent also states that the levels of mercury do not pose an immediate danger to ordinary consumers, and that the dolphins have lower levels of mercury than several other fish eaten by the Japanese people. This logic is wrong, however, because, the source he cites says that the dolphins caught in Iwate, Hokkaido and Miyagi prefectures are the ones with lower levels of mercury than other other fish. This is irrelevant, because Taiji is in the Wakayama prefecture. As I stated before, according to the National Institute of Minamata Disease, in 2009, citizens of Taiji were tested for mercury, and were found to have over 5 times more mercury in their body than the average Japanese citizen. The harm here is that mercury is a poisonous chemical that causes severe problems to the human body. I can read a laundry list of the effects of mercury, but theres no way I can capture the true effect that chemical poisoning has on a human body. In my opponents world, this poisoning will continue, as he provides no counterplan. In the propositions world, the UN will take action, alongside with other activist groups, to make sure this poisoning ends or is reduced. My opponent goes on to say that human beings will continue to consume other living beings. I agree with this, but there are 2 limitations for this. Just because we have the potential to consume other beings, doesnt mean we have to do it savagely. Id like to state that I am not against the consumption of dolphins. As the proposition, I believe that if dolphins hunts are regulated, and performed ethically, then they should be allowed, as long as the meat is safe for human consumption. The reason the UN should ban the Taiji dolphin hunt is because that hunt does not meet any of those standards. Not only are the dolphins slaughtered brutally, but the meat is unsafe for human consumption. My opponent says that the income of the Taiji fishermen would fall. This is similar to another period in United States history. When slavery was made illegal, the income of farmers dropped too. Income does not provide an excuse for the continuation of immoral actions. My opponent then goes on to state that the UN is ineffective, and that Japan has already launched their first whale hunt since the ban that I talked about in my previous speech. This is perfectly fine, because Japan is still complying with the ban. The ban states that Japan cannot go whaling in Antarctic waters, and no where in my opponents article does it say that Japans whaling fleet is going to the Antarctic. This actually supports my side, as it shows that the UN is not looking to infringe upon the sovereignty of Japan. Japan has the right to go fishing and whaling. But when that right is abused and hurts the welfare of other human beings, then it must be regulated. Once again, the proposition is not proposing for Japan to stop dolphin hunting as a whole, but rather to ban the cruel and inhumane methods used in Taiji, both to preserve dolphin rights, and the human right to stay free of sickness. In the end, vote affirmative because I show a solvency to the harms of immorality, and human sickness.
Posted at May 8, 2014 10:49:21PM EST by Jordan Knight
The proposition makes the point that the evidence used to show how the slaughtering of dolphins is becoming more humane is biased. However, I will point out that the evidence used to show that the slaughtering of dolphins is inhumane by the proposition is also biased. This is because the article which explains the ways in which dolphins are killed takes a quote from a Sea Shepherd Conservation activist Melissa Sehgal. If this evidence is not biased, I dont know what is. The proposition also makes the point that just because people will continue to consume animals, it does not mean that individuals should take the lives of animals savagely. First, I have already mentioned efforts of improving the efficiency in putting dolphins to death. Along with this, the killing of any creature in anyway can be considered savage. Before individuals were able to mass slaughter creatures, they had to rely on less progressive weapons to take down their prey in any way. The killing of any creature in anyway is a savage method. However, it is how we choose to take advantage of the animal that separates us from civilized human beings and ferocious beasts. Next, the opposition states that my evidence of how mercury levels are decreasing cannot be considered a viable resource because these dolphins were caught in other areas of Japan. However, I will remind the judge that in my opening speech, I stated that according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the levels in general dont pose any immediate danger to ordinary consumers and according to research conducted by the ministry, which checked 9,700 fish of 400 different types in the early 2000s with assistance from the Fisheries Agency, according to local governments, ishi-iruka, or harbor porpoise, accounts for 96 percent of dolphins caught in Japan. One of the major species of dolphins caught in the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji is the harbor porpoise. So to say that my evidence does not apply does not make any sense. Next, the proposition states that the fall in income of the Taiji fishermen would be similar to the loss of income of slave owners following the Emancipation Proclamation. However, one cannot draw a parallel between wealthy slave owners, whose overall revenue only slightly dropped, to these Taiji fishermen. Even the few slave owners who were not able to keep up with the demands of certain crops still held a very valuable asset, land. The Taiji fishermen have no assets. Without these current fishing regulations, they would become even more destitute than they already are. As I stated before, without the ability to hunt dolphins following the ban to hunt whales in 1988 by international regulations, the income of the Taiji fishermen would only be around 2,000,000 yen (about 20,000 USD) annually, which is definitely not enough to sustain, not to mention prosper. The banning of slavery did not throw landowners into poverty, but that is exactly what will happen to the Taiji fishermen if the United Nations puts an end to their livelihood. The ability of a human being to live should not be hindered in order to appease the demands of extremists. Also, the proposition challenges my claim that the United Nations is not effective in passing resolutions concerning immoral actions. He seems to have misunderstood my argument. While Japan may have canceled the whale hunts in Antarctica this past year, they are attempting to find similar loopholes that were taken advantage of for over twenty years so that they may continue these whale hunts by the start of next year. While the regulations of the United Nations may be complied with, the drive of the Japanese people to follow the traditions of their ancestors and take advantage of the resources available to them will never be squashed. The only effect the United Nations resolution would have is that it would put a temporary delay on further dolphin hunts that are inevitable. Along with this, I will remind the judge that any arguments not addressed should go conceded. The proposition has failed to respond to the importance of dolphinariums and that they are important for the economic stability of the Taiji people and the economies who choose to import these dolphins. I am forced to believe that because the proposition has failed to address this statement, it means that the proposition agrees that the annual Taiji dolphin hunt should not be stopped in order to preserve the revenue made by the Taiji people and continue to educate people about the abilities of dolphins and their importance in the environment.
Posted at May 10, 2014 02:37:09AM EST by Omid Abaei
All my sources were cited in previous videos. Thank you for watching/judging/competing!
This match has been completed. Show the Decision.
Submitted at May 12, 2014 12:48:54PM EST by Joe Koehle
|Category||Omid Abaei||Jordan Knight|
|Use of evidence:||4||3.6|
|Coherence of arguments:||3||3|
|Responsiveness to opponent:||3.7||3.7|
|Identification of key points:||3.3||3.3|
|Comments:||Good rebuttal/closer. I like the way you sneakily dodge some of his best arguments.
||Nice job using your rebuttal to evaluate and weigh arguments|
The decision is for the Proposition: Omid Abaei
Reason for Decision:
Good debate. The opposition eeks out a win in my mind because they are doing a little better job debating the evidence presented and have some arguments that address the major sources of negative offense (tradition is a fallacy, he's not against hunts).