Released: Filed Under: NCFCA Lincoln-Douglas
About "The Ends Don't Justify the Means (NEG)"
The struggle of this year’s resolution is to define ethical obligation of government to your side. Almost always, the Affirmative does this by defining that the government’s purpose for creation was to protect the citizens’ rights, backing that assertion with the social contract theory which states that since the citizens give up rights to the government, they are the government’s foremost responsibility. This case seeks to challenge that claim directly by arguing that government obligation isn’t primarily to protecting the citizens’ rights, but to not harming any human rights.
This case makes the claim that governments have an ethical responsibility that comes before the protection of citizens’ rights by citing UN human rights treaties. UN human rights treaties outline that the governments primary responsibility must always be to never interfere with the enjoyment of human rights, only trying to promote the human rights of citizens (and others) after it makes sure to never violate them. In other words, the end of promoting human rights can’t come at the cost of violating them. The significance of these human rights treaties is that, while there are nine core treaties, every government in the UN has signed at least one of them and every major government is a member of the UN. All of this information points to the idea that the social contract theory and any other beliefs that the government is obliged to the citizens first is really based on unfounded opinion and not representative of the real world. To the contrary, all major governments have directly declared that to never interfere with or deprive human rights is their first duty.
There is no incorporation of applications because there simply is no need from them. Once you’ve established that government’s first obligation is to never harm human rights, the argument transforms into a definitional one where you must simply maintain that preventive war, by being an assault on people and military outside of a declaration of war, deprives individuals of their right to life. This is where you should seek to have the Affirmative agree that preventive war generally leads to the loss of life in cross examination. You may even get them to agree that this accounts to a violation of human rights to some degree.
As the Affirmative, you have a couple options for how to counter this. In the opposition brief, you will find a series of quotations that support your side. The first quotation, under obligation, will allow you to build an argument that even if governments believe they aren’t obligated to the protection of citizens’ rights first, they can’t disavow their innate responsibility under the logic (as opposed to proven truth) of the social contract theory. The citations under “Obligation to Human Rights” provide quotes by the two most recent presidents stating that the United States is ‘America First’ in it’s policy making, assisting you in undermining the human rights treaties of the UN as not representative of what governments truly believe they are obligated to do.
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Zachary has competed in NCFCA Lincoln Douglas debate for three years, including making it to finals at a national-level tournament and competing at Nationals. He is also qualified to Extemporaneous finals at his regional tournament. In his spare time, he’s a runner and a golf player who does some science activities on the side. This year, Zachary is competing in his fourth season of NCFCA Lincoln Douglas debate as a high-school sophomore.