Dr. Srader makes an important point that seems to have been overlooked: there are different rule sets by which the debaters can play. Rezcentrism ("aff affirms the rez; neg negates it") and plancentrism ("aff presents a plan and affirms it; neg negates it") are both internally consistent even though they contradict each other. They are different games. The question is: which would you rather play?
Comparing the educational value of the games is a potential way to weigh them against each other. So is comparing their adherence to the goals of donors (at least in college debates).
My favorite way to compare the games is: which is the least naïve to common practice?
Common practice is to state the resolution as a formality in the 1AC and to focus the rest of the debate on the merits of the plan. When aff runs a nontopical plan, neg doesn't run topicality and then try to convince the judge that the status quo is perfect. Instead, they still debate the merits of the nontopical plan
because the plan is still the true focus of the debate. "The plan is nontopical; vote neg to penalize aff's left field tactic" and "the plan should not happen; it does not earn your ballot" are different angles of attack against the plan.
A few logical fallacies I couldn't resist correcting:
Why would it make any sense for the neg to negate the affirmative case. If that was true then it would be Aff's job to affirm the negs case. Aff and Neg are flip sides of the same coin, not different coins.
Aff takes the side of a particular statement (rezcentrism: the resolution / plancentrism: "our plan should happen") being true. Neg takes the side of it being false.
Masked Midnight wrote:
I see more danger with rez-centrism, where the AFF has to run a whole rez to be legitimate -- that's the only way that the entire resolution can be effectively affirmed.
The resolution is a statement. Like any statement, it is either true or false, not part-true-part-false. If a topical plan should happen, then the resolution is true. (By definition of "topical plan".) Actually, our imagination is the only limit to the variety of ways a statement like "_____ should reform _____" can be argued. It's not much harder to argue than "something in the world should change."
it is abusive to make another team do research outside of the Rez to be able to defend there case inround against who knows what the Negative pulls
Actually, there is a limit to the counterplans neg can run, and it's far more limiting than the resolution itself. That limit is competition. A topical counterplan means: if the CP should happen, then the resolution is true. A competitive
counterplan means: if the CP should happen, then the plan should not happen. Not just any counterplan is competitive.