Resolved: Women and children first
I need to correct a misidentification in my R2, III.a regarding “Pro’s BoP…” That should have read “Con’s BoP…”
I Rebuttal: Relevance: maritime law
I.a Con’s R3 argues, “Maritime law is not very relevant. Perhaps it would be for if prioritizing for women and children… was illegal…” Curious position to take considering Con’s entire BoP is just that: opposing apparent prioritizing of women and children as policy. Con argued in R1, “…the policy is unjustifiable and unfair…” Con opened the door claiming the policy was prioritizing. That, dear readers, is Resolution creep, and that is a failed argument.
II Rebuttal: definition of policy
II.a Con failed to note ‘policy’ as a critical term in his Resolution or define it in Description. In R3, Con states, “Whether or not ‘women and children first’ constitutes a policy is not relevant to the truth value of the resolution.” Remember Con’s Description:
“This debate is about the policyof prioritizing women and children for life boat seats during the sinking of the Titanic.”
II.a.1 Is ‘policy’ relevant to the truth value, and not relevant to the truth value of the Resolution? Simultaneously? We have already been to Con’s “…the policy is unjustifiable and unfair…” If Con truly wants it both ways, I conclude we are back to Resolution creep, and that is a failed argument.
III Rebuttal: numerical arguments
III.a Con’s R3 argues, “…there were unfair disparities in the survival rates among the passenger classes…” but further argues, “…this fact is not relevant to the merits of ‘women and children first.’” Con is confused on the merits of his own arguments, to wit, relevance of maritime law, and definition of policy.
III.b My R2 argument, III.a, spells out that, by the numbers, more numbers of men perished than women and children, but there were more adult male passengers onboard than women and children, combined. Was it unfair that ticketed passengers allowed more men than women and children? There were fewer passengers than the capacity of the Titanic, so White Star Lines cannot be accused of age and gender discrimination. That is a failed argument.
IV Rebuttal: “Pro’s arguments so far haven’t been good”
IV.a The last desperate Con claim of Resolution creep. Pro's detailed arguments, summarized:
1. There was no maritime law [a “formal policy,” by definition] presenting legal precedent of “women and children first.”
2. There was no defined “formal policy” of “women and children first.”
3. There was no policy bias of men vs. women and children; there were simply more men than women and children onboard.
IV.b It is not that there has been a concentrated effort to demonstrate that, according to Con’s R3 conclusion, “…the arguments have largely been that it's unclear that the policy was entirely the creation of Captain Smith.” Rather, the simple argument, stated in R1, I.a.2, that “…the Officers reacted differently in carrying out the order.”
IV.c It is not that Con’s R3 conclusion is, “…semantic arguments and the argument that it wouldn't have been as bad if other contributing factors weren't at play.” It wasn’t even, as Con suggested, that “…the policy was unjustified and unfair.”
IV.c.1 Rather, the simple arguments, stated in my R1, II.d, were that“…the RMS Titanic simply was not equipped to accommodate all persons on board the vessel, as a matter of design and manufacture,” and, in my R2, I.a, that “…maritime law did not stipulate that all souls onboard a vessel had to be accommodated by lifeboats,” and, finally, thatmy R2, II.b.3, that “the regulations governing the number of lifeboats had not been changed since 1894—18 years earlier—and the Titanic was 460 percent larger than the largest ship in the world at the time the outdated rules were published.”
IV.d It is not that Con argued, “Pro has yet to advance any argument in favor of the merits of ‘women and children first.’” Merit? As if merit equates to a necessary policy? Con’s Description and arguments are that there must have been a policy of women and children first, and that the policy is unfair.
IV.d.1 To quote Con’s Description again, “This debate is about the policy of prioritizing women and children for life boat seats during the sinking of the Titanic.”
IV.d.2 And, again, Con’s R1, “the policy is unjustifiable and unfair.”
IV.d.3 Still, again, Con’s R2, “Pro has argued only that the policy didn't have the support of the captain and that a substantial loss of life was caused by incompetence or chaos.” [I did not argue that, by the way. I argued that two Officers took two different interpretations of the Captain's order. Better to quote an opponent's argument than to re-interpret it in one's own words. The two Officers did that to the peril of the Titanic.]
IV.d.4 Finally, Con’s R3, “Whether or not ‘women and children first’ constitutes a policy is not relevant to the truth value of the resolution.”
IV.d.5 “Policy, policy, policy, policy.” Con’s broken record has simply been refuted, not as he expected, that I would argue in favor of a policy. Let me remind Con of his R3 argument, immediately following the quote in IV.d.4, above: “The debate title is "Women and children first." I agree, that is the Resolution, in a nutshell. Am I the only one that notices the Resolution is lacking the word “policy?”
IV.d.6 Thus my unerring, constant argument throughout: there was no policy for Pro to support. Note that I defined policy, which Con avoided in the Description and in three argument rounds to do himself, even though Con made the word significant in all his rounds of argument. By definition, a policy did not exist. What was it, then? As both Con and Pro cited, the source called it a “suggestion.”
VI.a If the semantics are not clear enough, let’s review Con’s Description, again. Con states, “Death23 is CON. Death23 is arguing AGAINST women and children first.”
VI.b Often, when the Initiator defines a participant’s BoP, the opposing party’s BoP is also defined, but a Pro BoP is missing from Con’s Description. I take by that exclusion that Pro’s BoP is for Pro to define. I have: I do not argue FOR women and children, first, last, or ever. There was no policy, and Con’s Resolution does not speak to a policy, at all. Therefore, according to Con’s own subsequent arguments of policy as a repeating bell, policy fails the Resolution. It, is, simply, as I’ve stated, Resolution creep. That is a failed argument.
I am grateful for your read of these debate arguments. Please vote for Pro.