2NC Ext #2 – Predictions Good Extend 1NC 1 – predictions are good – our Kuraswa evidence indicates that even if predictions are wrong in some instances they are still necessary to prevent consequences – we should still take preventative measures to
When engaging in the labor of preventive foresight, the first obstacle that one is likely to encounter from some intellectual circles is a deep-seated skepticism about the very value of the exercise. A radically postmodern line of thinking, for instance, would lead us to believe that it is pointless, perhaps even harmful, to strive for farsightedness in light of the aforementioned crisis of conventional paradigms of historical analysis. If, contra teleological models, history has no intrinsic meaning, direction, or endpoint to be discovered through human reason, and if, contra scientistic futurism, prospective trends cannot be predicted without error, then the abyss of chronological inscrutability supposedly opens up at our feet. The future appears to be unknowable, an outcome of chance. Therefore, rather than embarking upon grandiose speculation about what may occur, we should adopt a pragmatism that abandons itself to the twists and turns of history; let us be content to formulate ad hoc responses to emergencies as they arise. While this argument has the merit of underscoring the fallibilistic nature of all predictive schemes, it conflates the necessary recognition of the contingency of history with unwarranted assertions about the latter’s total opacity and indeterminacy. Acknowledging the fact that the future cannot be known with absolute certainty does not imply abandoning the task of trying to understand what is brewing on the horizon and to prepare for crises already coming into their own. In fact, the incorporation of the principle of fallibility into the work of prevention means that we must be ever more vigilant for warning signs of disaster and for responses that provoke unintended or unexpected consequences (a point to which I will return in the final section of this paper). In addition, from a normative point of view, the acceptance of historical contingency and of the self-limiting character of farsightedness places the duty of preventing catastrophe squarely on the shoulders of present generations. The future no longer appears to be a metaphysical creature of destiny or of the cunning of reason, nor can it be sloughed off to pure randomness. It becomes, instead, a result of human action shaped by decisions in the present – including, of course, trying to anticipate and prepare for possible and avoidable sources of harm to our successors.