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I negate the resolution, Resolved: Bystanders have a moral obligation to

act in the face of injustice

I value morality as the resolution makes a normative claim with the

statement “moral obligation”

My value criterion is minimizing violations of autonomy.

First, we must respect autonomy to truly value the worth of individuals.

Edmundson 08 [Robert Edmundson. “Principle of Respect for Autonomy”. Key Ethical Principles. Scension. Professor of
Ethics. Washington University in St. Louis. January 26th, 2008.]

As commonly understood today, autonomy is the capacity for self-determination. Being autonomous, however, is not the same as

being respected as an autonomous agent. When one respects a person’s capacity for self-
determination they acknowledge[s] the worth of that individual[s] as an independent
agent[s]. To respect an autonomous agent is to acknowledge[s] that
person’s right to make choices and take action based on that person’s own values and
belief system. The principle of respect for autonomy implies that one should be free from
coercion in deciding to act, and that others are obligated to protect confidentiality, respect privacy, and tell the
truth. The principle of respect for autonomy, however, does not imply that one must cooperate with another’s actions in order to
respect that individual’s autonomy.

Next autonomy is a pre-requisite for people to pursue other desires and

goals. Without autonomy, one cannot have the freedom of individual
choice to try and obtain other desirable aspects of life. Moreover,
regardless of what ethical principle is the best, people must be able to
rationally choose that principle to obey, which requires an expression of
autonomy. This makes autonomy a pre-requisite to picking a moral
framework in this round.
And. Autonomy violations are the impacts that matter the most, because
there are no good impacts with violations of autonomy.
Contention One: Acting in the face of injustice is supererogatory.

Supererogatory means the action of doing more than duty requires.

While it is commendable to help others, people are not morally obligated
to do so; it is supererogatory.

Olufemu Badru, Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, December 09


Although it is the last in the listing of the principles that under pin the society of peoples, the duty of assistance is
very important to Rawl’s internationalism. As stated in the earlier part of this work, it is the only principle that shows that the
society of peoples owes anything at all to the distant other in the sense of positive action to bring the peoples in the burdened
societies out of their problems. Laudable as this principle might have otherwise been, its central defect lies in the

supererogatory implication. The principle grants a duty that does not morally
obligate society of peoples to help the distant needy in those burdened societies. What it allows
to get to those needy peoples is just humanitarian services. Thus, the recipients of the assistance from the society of peoples are
deprived of any moral right to make a morally binding demand on the society of people if they fail to fulfill this duty of assistance.

The justification is twofold

First) When we place blame on someone it is when they fail to do

something they are accountable for, i.e. if someone promises to give their
kid a ride to a soccer game, but then fails to do this, they are blame

Next, when we praise people it is because they go above and beyond, i.e.
if someone jumps on a grenade, that would result in a lot of praise, as
nobody expects someone to do this. This means that actions that result in
praise are supererogatory.

Lastly, we praise people when they intervene during injustice (he

concedes this in cross-ex), thus there is no MORAL OBLIGATION to act.

Second) Philosopher Bernard Gert, has ten rules to abide by and

everything else is supererogatory. They are “Do not kill, Do not cause
pain, Do not disable, Do not deprive of freedom, Do not deprive of
pleasure, Do not deceive, Keep your promises, Do not cheat, Obey the
law, Do your duty”

None of these are act in the face of injustice, meaning it is a

Contention Two: Individuals have the right to make their own
Individuals should judge what they deem to be just and then act
Larry Krasnoff, Professor of Philosophy at College of Charleston South Carolina, October 10

Of course we ought to do what we judge to be good, and of course we ought to do it because of its
goodness. The model here is one of recognition, drawn without fundamental alteration from the case of belief. Certainly we
ought to exercise our autonomous judgment about what to believe, but
just as certainly we ought to believe what we judge to be true, independently of
anything about ourselves. In the theoretical case, our thoughts are necessarily directed towards objects beyond ourselves, and so
the role of our will must be to subordinate itself to our best judgments about the nature of the object.

And. There is no universal moral obligation, as it is determined on an

individual basis.

Ana Iltis, Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University, 03


The multiplicity of autonomous selves do not sustain a single standard of morality. MacIntyre argues that we possess “the

fragments of a conceptual scheme… We possess indeed simulacra of morality, we continue to use many of
the key expressions. But we have – very largely if not entirely – lost our comprehension, both theoretical and practical, of morality.”

The most striking feature of contemporary moral debates is “that they apparently can find no terminus. There seems to
be no rational way of securing moral agreement in our culture,” The ongoing
debate concerning the morality of immorality of abortion is a clear example of this lack of agreement or spectrum of views. There

are significant disputes concerning the moral and legal permissibility of abortion A successful account of
moral integrity and moral responsibility, therefore, cannot be universal
but must be situated in a particular context. Absent a universal
understanding of morality, no single sense of moral obligation is
available. There appears to be no framework within which we may justifiably assert that all individuals are morally obligated
in particular ways beyond a limited set of side constraints we may recognize as universal. It nevertheless is the case that we
routinely wish to attribute moral obligations to individuals and to understand the moral obligations particular persons bear. We may
understand particular individuals as having particular obligations only with an appreciation of their moral characters and moral
integrity. Moral character allows us to attribute moral obligations, and moral integrity is the mechanism by which we can evaluate
the extent to which they satisfy the obligations.

There are two implications

First) Each person has a different view of values and what constitutes
moral action. Only individual morality exists. Thus, the concept of
universal morality is an illusion, so saying that every individual has the
same moral obligation to act in the face of injustice makes no sense.

Second), Affirming is a double-bind, either

A) The aff tells everyone what is just and what is unjust which is
oppressive, and is a clear violation of autonomy, as individuals are
not allowed to judge what is just and unjust. But it also forces them
to act on ideals that may not be theirs, which is oppressive.
- Also even if the aff is not forcing people to act it is
pressuring them to act, as people will be pressured by
society as others will be doing it and people will view
them as bad people if they don’t. OR
B) The aff allows each person to decide what is injustice and what
isn’t, which is subjective. Everyone deciding what injustice is,
causes chaos, because there is no room for compromise under the
aff, and that will create crisis. For example, if one group of people
believe that gun control is unjust and the other believes guns are
unjust, it will surely lead to chaos.
Neg cross-ex strat

Do we have to act in every single instance of injustice?

Do you defend minimal or extreme actions, Why?

- They give reasons why, neg uses this in 1NC

Explain the moral obligation?  Why is there a moral obligation?

Do we praise people when they act in the face of injustice?

2NR Strat

Autonomy framework

- The only unique value to individuals and their lives.

- Pre-requisite, as everything presumes having autonomy, PICKING

Key Voters for the round

1. The framework debate flows to the negative, because of ….. It o/w

their framework on timeframe, because It is a pre-requisite to their
framework, meaning you need to prefer my framework.
2. My first contention, that there is no moral obligation to act, but
rather it is just supererogatory flows to the negative, because
a. The warrants are…
b. This gets rid of all their offense, meaning they cannot win the
round, because there is no moral obligation to act, so even if
they prove it is good it does not mean it is necessary.
3. My second contention that there is no universal moral code, also
flows to the negative, because ….
a. O/W on magnitude, injustice will become worse

AT: Aff says they defend extreme actions

The moral obligation to assist others is limited to not causing harm to

ourselves. Defending large actions has lots of disadvantages.

RJ Howard, MD, Surgeon University of Florida School of Medecine, August 06

In developing his thoughts about ‘the obligation to assist’, Peter Singer separates preventing evil from promoting good and contends
‘if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral

importance, we ought, morally, to do it’. Slote argues that ‘one has an obligation to prevent serious
evil or harm when one can do so without seriously interfering with one’s
life plans or style and without doing any wrongs of commission’.

For a person to give beyond their means or to negatively affect their

ability to give in the future would be counterproductive to the very
nature of aid, and demonstartates that there is no moral obligation to do

AT: Virtue ethics

- It is impossible to define objective “virtues.” What constitutes a

“virtue” depends on cultural orientation. What constitutes a virtue
is open to infinite interpretation which creates a double bind: either
a) virtue ethics is entirely relativistic and therefore empty, or b)
virtue ethics depends on duty-based ethics to define the “correct
virtues” through some meta-ethical system. Either way reject virtue
ethics as a standard.
- Virtue ethics provide no way to determine what virtues are- virtues
are defined through other ethical theories.

AT: It will create good results (On neg)

- It will actually not create good results

o Turn: the affirmative will not actually end up helping, but
rather it will just make people ignorant and not see injustice,
because they will not want to be obligated to intervene.
o Turn: cross-apply my second contention, that states it will
create chaos, because people will be acting in what they see
as injustice.
- Next the perpetuators are the only people to blame
AT: Personal responsibility (On neg)

- This standard does not make an actual stance on when people are
responsible, rather it is just saying people are responsible.
- It does not have any weighing mechanism, which is very is a reason
to not accept it.

AT: Deontology

Kant doesn’t apply to governmental policies because the theory is

impractical. It is impractical, because It does not take ends into account,

meaning results do not matter, which is very detrimental. Moreover, this

framework sees extinction and genocide as not necessarily bad. If the

intent of an action is good, but results in genocide that would not be

considered a bad action. Furthermore, if a meteor hit Earth and killed

everyone that would not be considered bad under deontology. Thus it is

illogical. Also, deontological frameworks are abstraction, which is bad and

should not be used as a standard, because we need to focus on material

conditions of oppression not abstract philosophy. We can’t restrict

anyone’s freedom, so any action is bad. Meaning no permissibility, so

stopping slavery would be bad, so don’t accept their framework.

AT: Util

Don’t buy my opponents standard of utilitarianism. Aggregation is

nonsensical since combining disparate experiences is impossible. Ten

headaches don’t become one migraine as there is no actor capable of

experiencing the collective pain of ten people. Util fails to respect the

inherent value of each human being, if slavery produced more good than

harm it would be viewed as good under Util. Triggers permissibility,

because we cannot calculate actions, because of infinite chains, so we

cannot calculate how good it is, meaning under this framework all actions

are permissible. Because all actions are permissible that means slavery

and genocide are allowed, meaning reject this framework.

AT: Small actions (On neg)

- These actions do not do much if anything.

AT: Act omission distinction (On neg)

No act omission distinction makes Morality over demanding

- i.e. if one had to murder someone in order to have a kid that would
be immoral, but kids cost a lot of money, and that money could
have gone to saving a life, thus it would be immoral to have a kid.
Triggers permissibility, because no actions are allowed.
- AT; to this. Not mutually exclusive, there is a line, you can still do
things and donate and help out, just doesn’t have to be this
- Only need to act against a few injustices
First, my opponent proposed no definitions for the
following words, so you have to use the following
definitions to evaluate the round.

Merriam-Webster defines “negate” as “to deny the

existence or truth of”

And according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “Face”

refers to, “the front part of the head that in humans
extends from the forehead to the chin and includes the
mouth, nose, cheeks, and eyes”

Injustice doesn’t have a face, so this statement makes no

sense and is false. Endorse a negative ballot, because the
resolution is false.

Next, according to Cambridge Dictionary “act” means to,

“perform a part in a film, play, or television production.”

The result of acting is a production, which spreads

malicious propaganda to its viewers, as well as creating an
actor-viewer relationship, in which the viewer is

Entertainism (“Movies and Its Deep Impact on Society: An Issue No One Talks
About.” Entertainism, Entertainism, 2018,

The Negative Impact of Movies on Society Spreads Propaganda Movies are

successfully able to influence its viewers to a very large extent,

which is exactly what the advertising industry capitalizes on. They use a few
seconds of movie footage in order to market their products
to the whole world. For instance, a new car model, or new designer clothes and
accessories, are showcased to the world by the actors enacting their roles. This makes
us aware of the new product, makes us curious and interested. This results in us finding
out about the new product through the internet and through discussions with friends.
This way, the chain of advertising and communication of the information continues in a
flow smooth, without making the advertising companies spend a dime. Affects Lifestyle
Everything we watch and listen to, affects and influences us at some level or the other.

If not consciously, it leaves its traces in our psyche. Since we consider actors
as superiors and almost have god-like devotion for them,
whatever they do affects us as well. We try to emulate them and
behave like them. We emulate their newest fashion trends, the way they
speak, and the lifestyles they lead, both on and off-screen. We are interested in finding
out which celeb is dating who, and what all they are up to in their personal and private

lives. This is exactly why smoking in movies has been banned,

because people watch their favorite actors smoking on-screen and it makes the
people of society feel that they too must try it. At some point, we all
think that it is the new cool thing to do, and we do it because it makes us feel special.
Media affects our culture in many ways. For instance, movies have significantly affected
our moral beliefs as well, by seriously jeopardizing the very foundation of marriage.

Movies make it seem like it's normal to indulge in

extramarital affairs, and polygamous relationships, which
in reality [are] might turn out to be an extremely unsafe and detrimental
practice[s] for everyone involved. Movies have their own plus and negative points,
just like everything else in the world. Nonetheless, movies and their impact on society
runs very deep and has become an integral part of our very existence. It affects us in
more ways than we can imagine.

There is no justification that bystanders have a moral

obligation to act in movies. The acting industry should be
minimized rather than increased, so the negative world is