I was first introduced to this hypothetical scenario at NFL Nationals by Will Thibeau of Glenbrook South. Originally proposed by Layne Kirshon of the Kinkaid School (although probably not for the first time), it provides an interesting litmus test for an individual’s judging philosophy.
The affirmative reads a topical plan and argues that its adoption will trigger nuclear conflict. The 1AC isolates several internal links but does not articulate a terminal impact — their only contention is that the plan will trigger nuclear conflict. The 1NC “link turns” the case for eight minutes, answering the affirmative’s internal links and advancing several internal links of their own contending that the adoption of the plan will prevent nuclear conflict. The rest of the debate is narrowly focused on this nexus question: does the plan cause or prevent nuclear conflict? At the conclusion of the debate, the judge determines (based on the arguments advanced by both teams) that the plan’s adoption will in fact cause nuclear conflict (and thereby sides with the affirmative). Should s/he vote affirmative or negative?
Post your answer in the comments along with the reasoning that brought you to it. Many people have already spent hours discussing and debating this hypothetical, so it seems like a perfect way to kick-off the return of The 3NR after a much-needed vacation. Ready set go.