Environmental Protection vs. Resource Extraction
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...
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- Three days
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- Two weeks
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Environmental protection ought to be prioritized over resource extraction when the two are in conflict.
Prioritize: to treat one thing as more important than another
In conflict: implies a situation in which two or more competing interests clash
Ought: indicates moral desirability
1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all undefined resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. The BOP is evenly shared
9. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
10. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the description's set-up, merits a loss
R1. Pro's Case; Con's Case
R2. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R3. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R4. Pro generic Rebuttal and Summary; Con generic Rebuttal and Summary
- Is there a moral system that can be justified objectively enough to verify the validity of considering environmental protection as morally imperative to prioritise over or under resource extraction?
- What does it really mean to be in direct conflict and what reconciles such conflict in a way where ‘both sides win’ so as to negate the scenario if at all?
- Why does our species have the responsibility to care for all the others if we are a part of nature and our very greed, industrialisation and other less malignant reasons for extracting resources (such as curiosity itself) are all part of our natural urges and are the result of hormonal, neural and such natural processes in our bodies and brains/minds?
- I will begin to answer them and explain why beyond a shadow of a doubt we should favour extracting resources over (immediate) environmental conservation in the vast majority of scenarios where the two are in conflict.
Altruism, cooperation, and caring for the vulnerable is what made our species unique. It is empathy and cooperation, not self-interest and competition, that drove our physiological, cognitive, linguistic, cultural, social, and technological evolution. We wouldn’t be the large-brained, neurally-plastic, intelligent, cumulatively-learning, empathetic beings that we are without the mutual help that characterizes our everyday interactions. Our evolutionary history is one of collective child-rearing, cooperative hunting and gathering, caring for elders and the sick, and freely sharing information. Raising weak, slow-maturing human infants requires immense amounts of collective effort and the free sharing of knowledge, attention, time, love, joy, and fun. This is a miracle that we have reproduced in each generation. That each and every one of us is able to walk, think, talk, and imagine in one or more language(s) and navigate complex social worlds is a testament to this collective miracle. We owe this miracle to everyone alive today, and all that came before us. We could never be our own selves, in other words, without others – without all others in time and space!Long before we domesticated plants and animals and settled in cities, our ancestors kept their elders alive through such free love and care. We have solid evidence that Neanderthals cared for elders who were of no economic benefit to the group. Our ancestors “incurred such costs” freely and easily out of sheer empathy, but also because elders are precious sources of love, stories, and fun – because they help make us who we are.So where is the catch?A popular account that runs from most economic theory to pop evolutionary psychology is that the cooperative nature of our species gives rise to a so-called “free-loader” problem. In the famous stag-hunt scenario, two hunters figure out that they reap longer-lasting benefits if they forego their own individual pursuit of small game and jointly concert their effort to track a deer, which can be brought home to feed a large group. It is through such scenarios, or so the story goes, that cooperation evolved. But by this account, many people benefit from the work of others without having to pitch in – and so the free-rider problem is born! Thus, a dominant trope in evolutionary psychology claims that the evolution of social intelligence was crafted in efforts to deter free loaders. In this cognitive-arms-race model, humans evolved fine-honed socio-cognitive abilities in a constant race for free-loading and free-loader detection: the free-loaders become better at deceiving the group, and the group better at outsmarting free-loaders, and thus are good mindreading genes passed on and expressed in ontogeny. This is the so-called Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis.But there is another – some would claim, better – version of this story. For philosophers and evolutionary theorists like Kim Sterelny and Tad Zawidski, free-loading was not always the ‘problem’ we make it out to be in our ruggedly individualistic capitalist societies. By their account, often summarized as Cooperative Foraging Hypothesis, our species survived, evolved and thrived precisely because of ongoing collective efforts to ensure that everyone got their share and was kept alive, regardless of the symmetry of contribution. This view is supported by a wealth of ethnographic evidence from past and contemporary hunter-gatherer, horticulturalist, and even agrarian societies. What is more, the surprising lack of archeological evidence for intra-and-inter group violence and warfare prior to the rise of agriculture 6000 years ago has lent more clout to the emerging view that altruism and peaceful cooperation were much more commonplace than previously assumed. This view offers a sharp and refreshing contrast to the Hobbesian myth of “nasty, brutish, and short” lives in a “state of nature” endorsed by Steven Pinker in his popular book on the historical decline of violence. In the cooperative foraging view of human nature-nurture supported by ethnographic, archeological, and experimental evidence, selfishness and free-loader worries are not an inevitable expression of our nature, and are understood as historically specific social problems that emerge in stratified societies – particularly those that are dependent on money.In his excellent ethno-history of money and passionate debunking of the rational-actor, homo econominus view of human nature, anthropologist David Graeber points out that for most of human history, the reciprocal expectation that social obligations had to be repaid in a symmetrical, eye-for-an-eye manner was simply not the norm. If an Iroquois hunter needed a new pair of moccasins, Graeber reminds us, he or she did not have to worry that it would not be tradable for meat. They would simply go to the longhouse and ask for a new pair; in the same way that anyone from the longhouse would have gotten their share of food when requested. In another famous story recounted by Graeber, the anthropologist Peter Freuchen, living among the Greenland Inuit, once found himself returning to his tent hungry after an unsuccessful hunt on the sea ice. Upon waking to a pile of walrus meat placed before his tent, he went to find the band’s best hunter to thank him for his gift. The hunter would have none of it:"Up in our country we are human!”, the hunter told Freuchen, “and since we are human we help each other. We don't like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow."
"Con keeps avoiding admitting that we need the environment to extract resources and is denying the interests conflict because he says we need resource extraction in order to give back to the environment in ways we never could without doing so".
- Your computer?
- The electricity it runs on?
- The job you do to earn the money to afford the rent to have the place and/or access to the Internet to research this and perhaps even research to write the best pro-environment or anti-environmentalist paper you write in yoru life for a Ph.D. or just for the sake of charity or profit?
- ^ You think they come out of nowhere?
- That a large portion of Con's case is a kritik and should be disregarded
- That consequentialism should not be used as this debate's evaluative mechanism
- That even if we do use consequentialism, we must "count" the land in our calculations
- That Thrasymachian ethics ought to be rejected
- That "nature" refers to an ecosystem or to a biosphere
- That Con has a skewed perspective of resource extraction
- That resource extraction is anti-knowledge
- That resource extraction contributes to food insecurity, disease virility and spread, poverty, and war
- That we are one with the land (monism)
- The argument from marginal cases
- The land ethic (properly understood as a duty-based communitarianism)
- That resource extraction is contributing to a worldwide mass extinction event
- That this mass extinction event is crippling nature's ability to recover
- That resource extraction severely harms the environment