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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Frank Santos (Binghamton University) vs. Opposition: joshua chung (NEI Education)

Judge: Josh Cangelosi (San Diego Christian College)

Resolution: Resolved: This house believes that being a vegetarian is a better ethical choice than meat eating.

  • Frank Santos
    Frank Santos

    joshua chung
    joshua chung
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    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at October 6, 2014 09:19:06AM EST by Frank Santos



    Animal Production and Health Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 01/1996 Management of Waste from Animal Product Processing (Cited Chapter Two: Slaughterhouses)

    Humane Society International 2010 The Impact of Animal Agriculture on the Environment and Climate
    Change in Brazil

    Peter Singer, 2002 Bioethics Professor at Princeton University, "Animal Liberation" Chapter 1: All Animals Are Equal" Pg 6

    Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

    Brian Grow, P.J. Huffstutter and Michael Erman 09/15/2014 Reuters Investigative Reporters

    Posted at October 7, 2014 09:09:10PM EST by joshua chung



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at October 8, 2014 06:57:07PM EST by Frank Santos



    Threat of Global Warming

    Supplements to replace meat-eating while still maintaining a vegetarian diet

    Posted at October 9, 2014 10:48:07PM EST by joshua chung



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at October 10, 2014 08:52:40PM EST by Frank Santos



    None available for this speech.


    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at October 11, 2014 02:02:11AM EST by Josh Cangelosi

    Category Frank Santos joshua chung
    Use of evidence: 5 1
    Delivery skill: 5 5.1
    Coherence of arguments: 5 5
    Responsiveness to opponent: 2.5 4
    Identification of key points: 2.5 4
    Comments: Say resolution not the resolved statement.

    Don't put all your eggs in one basket in the rebuttal but try to win on multiple issues. In good debates, judges always feel better when they are able to vote on multiple issues if possible. So give me more reasons why you should win in the end.
    Great passionate speaking style.

    The decision is for the Opposition: joshua chung

    Reason for Decision:

    Okay, on the issue of the Opps lack of source citations, the Opp should have done more research on the topic and should have responded to this Prop argument. That said, I am a bit conflicted on how to weigh this argument and whether it should factor into my decision regarding who wins the debate or simply factor into my allocation of speaker points (one of the categories of which is evidence after all).

    I decide to look at the specific arguments that matter and see if a lack of evidence makes the difference as to who wins those arguments. The reason I look at the arguments in this way and dont just vote Opp down for not having research is as follows. First, it seems to me that most everything the Opp says amounts to common knowledge, i.e., to what an educated person would be expected to know and to what might be found in any number of sources. As such, none of that material really needs citing, so there is no real concern of plagiarism. Accordingly, I dont think the Opp deserves to forfeit the round just because he does not do that great of research.

    Moreover, I think the Prop should be careful of implying that only arguments backed up by evidence are reasonable. If that were the case, then entire disciplines (such as math and philosophy, to mention the first that come to mind) would be excluded from the realm of reasonableness. Yet, one can arrive at certain conclusions via deductive logic, for instance, without any appeal to evidence. And there are lots of arguments that Prop makes that are not exactly supported by evidence. So it is the quality of the argumentation that I will examine, not simply the quality of the evidence. Of course, some arguments will require evidence, and Ill take that into consideration as well.

    Reason for decision:

    1. Prop drops the Opps burden line of reasoning that says Prop has to show that being a vegetarian is THE best choice for everyone. Opp mentions people with allergies to certain foods and Native Americans who needed meat to survive in the effort to show that being a vegetarian is not the best choice for everyone. Opp reasserts this argument in the Rebuttal, and Prop never responds in the Closing. At that point, Prop has accepted the burden Opp placed upon him and has also failed to uphold that burden. No evidence is really needed for this Opp argument (I think the points about allergies and Native Americans are common knowledge.)

    2. On the normativity of ethics: I think Opp is right that the claim that being a vegetarian is the better ethical choice entails the claim that people ought to be vegetarians. I believe that most ethicists would agree that ethical claims carry normativity. Indeed, it would be very odd to say that something is the better ethical choice but that we should not choose it. Somethings being the better ethical choice just means that we should choose it.

    So that argument sets up Opps double bind: either 1) the Pro does not support the resolution, or 2) Prop is legislating his morality on others by telling them what to choose instead of letting them choose for themselves (a choice they should have because, as Opp has shown, that choice might mean life or death). Again, no evidence is needed for these arguments.

    3. Vegetarianism will kill animals: Opp provides several good arguments here that go dropped. First, Prop says that going veggy will reduce global warming, but as Opp says, that reduction will require the killing of cows that fart. Second, more land use for agriculture will result in the destruction of animals habitat. None of these arguments really require evidence.

    4. Bees and extinction: Opp drops Props analysis on bees, which says that more pesticides will lead to bees dying, which will lead to plants not getting pollinated, which will lead to animals dying, which will lead to extinction. Again, this link scenario is pretty ubiquitous online and in debate. That said, the first step could use some supportive evidence to make the argument more persuasive. But given the magnitude of the impacts, Prop should not just say generally that Opp does not provide evidence for any arguments but should produce some reason to question this link scenario. But even if I dont weigh the bees argument, I think the other arguments are enough to secure an Opp decision.

    1 Comment


    Thank you for the constructive criticism and your time judging this debate round. Previously, I was unaware there was a "common knowledge" precedent in place, and I definitely see how that damages my angle in the round.

    Josh, I didn't actually think you were plagiarizing. It just seemed like the best angle to take to win. Good debate. - Frank Santos on October 11, 2014 at 08:37AM EST

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