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Unformatted text preview: Aff K Answers Dartmouth 2K9 CJ Lab 1 Tony and Werner AFFIRMATIVE KRITIK ANSWERS Last printed 0/0/0000 0:00:00 AM 1 Aff K Answers Dartmouth 2K9 CJ Lab 2 Tony and Werner Impact Calc Prefer Extinction The only moral act is the affirmative Extinction causes thousands of generations to die. Matheny 07 [Jason G. Matheny Research Associate, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University, PhD student, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University "Reducing the Risk of Human Extinction" Risk Analysis. Volume 27, Number 5, 2007 http://www.upmc-biosecurity.org/website/resources/publications/2007_orig-articles/2007-10- 15-reducingrisk.html An extinction event today could cause the loss of thousands of generations . This matters to the extent we value future lives. Society places some value on future lives when it accepts the costs of long-term environmental policies or hazardous waste storage. Individuals place some value on future lives when they adopt measures, such as screening for genetic diseases, to ensure the health of children who do not yet exist. Disagreement, then, does not center on whether future lives matter, but on how much they matter. 6 Valuing future lives less than current ones (intergenerational discounting) has been justified by arguments about time preference, growth in consumption, uncertainty about future existence, and opportunity costs. I will argue that none of these justifications applies to the benefits of delaying human extinction. Under time preference, a good enjoyed in the future is worth less, intrinsically, than a good enjoyed now. The typical justification for time preference is descriptivemost people make decisions that suggest that they value current goods more than future ones. However, it may be that peoples time preference applies only to instrumental goods, like money, whose value predictably decreases in time . In fact, it would be difficult to design an experiment in which time preference for an intrinsic good (like happiness), rather than an instrumental good (like money), is separated from the other forms of discounting discussed below. But even supposing individuals exhibit time preference within their own lives, it is not clear how this would ethically justify discounting across different lives and generations (Frederick, 2006; Schelling, 2000). In practice, discounting the value of future lives would lead to results few of us would accept as being ethical. For instance, if we discounted lives at a 5% annual rate, a life today would have greater intrinsic value than a billion lives 400 years hence (Cowen & Parfit, 1992). Broome (1994) suggests most economists and philosophers recognize that this preference for ourselves over our descendents is unjustifiable and agree that ethical impartiality requires setting the intergenerational discount rate to zero . After all , if we reject spatial discounting and assign equal value to contemporary human lives, whatever their physical distance from us, we have similar...
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