Monday, January 2, 2012

This house would allow doping in sport - moderator's report card

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your active participation. This debate has been a very interesting one: let’s sum up the main ideas and have an overall analysis of every side’s arguments.

The proposers’ main idea is to legalise doping at one’s own risk and yet not encourage this practice.

Firstly, proposers argue that the values associated with competition such as fair play are being replaced by other values such as entertainment and business. A commentator would not agree: sports still represent ideals to most people and open, legal doping would shatter these ideals. The proposer qualified this as pure hypocrisy and claimed that openly assuming doping would not change these ideals. Legalising doping would restore honesty facing the public as well as justice among sportsmen. Both points of view are legitimate, depending on the spectator but the initial argument is ultimately rebutted by a simple and pertinent comment: the popularity or the lucrative nature of an activity does not justify its legalisation. 

In addition, proposers claim that there will always be athletes who will get the better of control tests and legislation in one way or another and that this not only leads to controversy and scandal, but more importantly to injustice. Opposers propose regulation reinforcement policies to restore justice but proposers rebut by claiming that dopers will always be ahead of testers and that these policies would prove to be useless. 

Our proposers therefore prove why this change is indispensable.

Last but not least, proposers argue that ethically, doping is a personal matter and that every sportsman should dispose of the right to do what he/she wants to do with his/her body. In this context, substance use prohibition is meaningless. Opposers do not agree: in order to stay competitive, non-dopers would have to dope even if they prefer not to dope at first place. They argue that in competition, competitors must ‘abide to a certain framework of rules’ and that in this case, fair play constitutes one of them. Our practical proposers in turn qualify these arguments as utopic: to them, sports have become a complex industry where doping is just one of the numerous factors that are necessary to win competitions. To them, today, practically all athletes dope: regulation is just a euphemism for hypocrisy. 

The growing number of doping scandals throughout the years confirms our suspicions that more and more athletes dope... The benefits from the change proposed therefore outweigh the harms: hypocrisy versus a couple of athletes who have not sold their souls to the devil (yet)!

The opposers’ main arguments include rebuttals to the proposers’ arguments as well as some new points.

The main one is the health issue. It is now widely known that doping can have dangerous effects on health. The quest for newer and better substances increases this risk as these substances present side effects which manifest themselves essentially on the long run. This argument however, was rebutted by a comment: the dangerousness of an activity is a necessary but not sufficient condition to its prohibition. The excessive practice of sport itself for instance, is a dangerous activity, nonetheless, it is not prohibited. 

Another argument is the shift of competition from race tracks to pharmaceutical labs. Proposers in turn argue that physical ability is only one of the many factors that determine the result of a competition. Physical ability is nevertheless the most important one, but our opposers have failed to comment it.

Lastly, opposers argue that dopers are a bad example for spectators, to which proposers answer by saying that everyone should be responsible for his own actions.

As we can see, both sides have presented some very good arguments. The proposers have had solid arguments and have been more subject to rebuttals by commentators and opposers. The opposers’ arguments, in turn were mostly constituted of rebuttals. However, notice that our pragmatic proposers (with the help of commentators!) have managed to have the last say in every micro-debate of each argument and have succeeded to prove why their policy is indispensable and why the benefits of their policy outweighs its harms.

The victory is therefore awarded to the proposers, despite the poll results! Congratulations to the opposers for winning the votes, and to the proposers for winning the arguments! 

by VB

No comments:

Post a Comment