Uil Debate Case: Negative

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Plautus was one of ancient Rome’s greatest playwrights. He once said, “The day, water, sun, moon, night-I do not have to purchase these things with money.” I affirm the resolution, “RESOLVED: Access to drinking water ought to be valued as a human right instead of as a commodity.” Affirming achieves the value of morality defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as, “conforming to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.” This is the proper value for the round because of the word ‘ought’ in the resolution which the same sourced defines as, ‘Used to express duty or moral obligation’ meaning the resolution is asking us to determine the more moral means of providing drinking water to people. Morality is also the proper value because water is essential to life and questions of what are essential to life are fundamentally moral questions. Thus, we need a criterion that illuminated how to best achieve the value of morality. As morality is too broad a concept to achieve universally within the scope of the resolution because moral questions go beyond questions about water distribution, my burden becomes one of demonstrating that failure to respect a right to access drinking water violated a necessary tenant of morality. If I prove that failing to affirm violated a necessary tenant of morality then failing to affirm necessarily cannot be moral and so we must affirm to have chance of conforming to the rules of right conduct. Respecting human rights is a necessary tenant of morality. William R. Thomas explains in “Individual Rights: The Objectivist View”. He writes, “What does it mean to have rights? A right is an absolute political claim. If you have right to some land, other people ought to permit you to have it. If you have a right to vote, nobody should prevent you from voting. If animals have rights, then we mean that no one ought to harm them. Rights are political claims because they pertain to what the law can or can’t force you to do, and what it can...
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