Hey,1. Don't panic.
I am new to debate and we have to learn LD first and she threw the topic on us and showed us how to format it but i am so stuck!!!!!! I dont want to quit debate but i am so lost... I am stuck on Aff and Neg cases... the cases are due tomorrow! I am so screwed!
2. Have you read about how to write a case?
3. Seriously: breathe. And keep reading.
Neil Mehta said...
First of all I'd like to say that your blog helps me and all my friends start our cases each year. But this year, especially this topic, I'm having trouble grasping what the resolution actually means and what we are supposed to be debating
Thanks for the help.
Public health is a largely preventive approach to medical matters that affect the community--harms inflicted by disease, malnutrition, environmental hazards, and the like. Its primary tools are education, inoculation, sanitation, and regulation. Criminal justice, on the other hand, is society's response to harms inflicted by individuals. It employs punishment for many reasons, chief among them retribution, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and deterrence.
Which is a more effective approach? That's the utilitarian or pragmatic (and hence empirical) question.
Which is a more just, fair, or moral approach? That's where we bring in arguments based on rights, liberty, the "harm principle," and more.
All kinds of questions circulate around us. What is crime? What is the purpose of punishment? Is drug addiction a disease? When, if ever, is the state justified in forcing someone to seek treatment?
Anonymous said...For "tape and toothpicks," I think you're doing rather well. One of the primary philosophical questions is whether the state is justified in coercing drug abusers into treatment for what, in many cases, is a "victimless crime." The resolution focuses on abuse, which may not imply that anyone is even suffering personally from the effects of the illegal drug. Most drug users, statistically, are not hardcore heroin addicts or tweaked-out meth-heads.
Hey Jim, your site has always been very helpful to me, and I'd like to sincerely thank you for all the help; the articles you post really jumpstart my cases.
As for this resolution: I'm having a really hard time grasping what the rez is asking of us, and which philosophy each side pertains to. I feel as though both aff and neg can argue many of the same philosophers and things, and its really confusing me. Both sides can use Kant, Societal Welfare, Rawls, the Social Contract, and something to the effect of: "deterrence of crime is necessary."
I guess the most stable affirmative ground would be proving that public health is effective in reducing drug use, and that criminal justice isn't.. and then linking it all together with claims to Justice or Societal Welfare
I guess the most stable negative ground would be proving that public health does not actually deter drug use, and that crime only has one solution: criminal justice.
Both seem to clash well, but I don't think they get to the heart of the rez, which is: what should be done of the individuals who commit these actions.. and whether those individuals are responsible for their actions.
At this point, I'm putting together cases with tape and toothpicks because I don't quite understand what it is I truly should be debating as a traditional debater. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
But what of those who are? Abetted or spurred on by the abuse, they can wreak havoc on society, and, via the social contract, we expect them to suffer, and society to respond to their crimes with fitting punishment.
But it's not so simple: even a public health approach can be coercive, as doctors take on the role of law enforcers, infringing on liberties without strict guidelines to limit their power. At least in the criminal justice system, you have an adversarial framework meant to protect the rights of the accused. When it comes to the "soft power" of public health, the experts always seem to win.
I agree that there is a strong element of either-side-can-use-the-same-framework, but, honestly, that's often true of LD resolutions, the most recent nuclear weapons resolution being a perfect example.
Anonymous said...Drug court (Wikipedia has a decent summary), a relatively modern invention, is a great way to focus a balance Neg, in which you argue that criminal justice and public health officials need to join forces. Mandatory treatment with improved recidivism rates: what's not to love?
I noticed you mentioned drug courts as a matter of criminal justice. Is there any way for the negative to include drug courts in his advocacy, and if so, how?