The Instigator
Jokerdude
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Pluto2493
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

17. In matters of collecting military intelligence, the ends justify the means.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,943 times Debate No: 4443
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (15)

 

Jokerdude

Pro

Alrighty then, good luck to my opponent and lets have a nice debate

To start Ill define the word justification http://dictionary.die.net...
The definition states
Justification
n 1: something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an
action to be reasonable or necessary:

So on the first definition this will be the first world that the debate shall involve, where the affirmative has to prove that by collecting military intelligence there has to be a "reasonable or necessary" reason to collecting this information.

The second world is based on a consequentialism idea of thought. This is one where the affirmative will argue that morality is solely based on the outcome of the action.

This is going to be the framework for this debate.

WORLD 1

Our world is in terrible shape in these modern times, gas is high, the economy is dwindling. The US needs more options to help get ourselves out of this slump. A way to help is to stop this out of control war, to do so we need to gain the advantage against our opponents. So it should be deemed that to pull the US out of a draining war and to protect our troops from further harm the US should do anything in its power to gain information that could lead to the end of the war and lead to more prosperity in the US

WORLD 2

From a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence. So it is through this train of thought that using any "means" to obtain this information would be for the betterment of society. It is also through this thought process that to sacrifice one life to save the many is morally sound. A branch of consequentialism is also known as Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summed among all persons. This ties in with the above argument and is a reinforcement as to why ends justify the means in terms of over all happiness.

Thats all for now Ill post more in round two
Pluto2493

Con

Thanks to Jokerdude for doing this debate and thanks to the judges for judging.

I will now move on to my constructive speech.

The idea that my opponent and this resolution try to suggest is just plan wrong.

The ideas of consequentialism and utilitarianism are inherently flawed. The reason PRO uses these means is to serve the greater good. However, that does still not justify doing whatever it takes to get the intelligence. For example, if the US found a terrorist hideout, it would not be justified to bomb them. Sure, possibly more people could be saved in the US, but let's think about this. Why does the US want the greater good for its people? Because human life is the greatest gift we have. The US would not bomb its own people, so what makes it different if the US bombs them? It is still killing: something that the US was trying to prevent. Now, instead of Americans being killed, it's terrorists, but they're still dead people.

Let's look at this terrorist example again. Say there's a suspected terrorist that the US has. Sure, he could know where the bombs are, but what if he doesn't? Allow me to explain further: the term 'suspected' implies that it isn't confirmed that the person is a terrorist. Therefore, there are numerous cases where the person isn't a terrorist. If you've seen the movie 'Rendition' (http://www.imdb.com...), it follows the true story of Khalid El-Masri who was tortured for information about a terrorist plot. They had calls from 'his' cell phone to a man that later suicide bombed a town square. While being tortured, he finally gave information because he was in so much pain. We find out Khalid El-Masri is mistaken for Khalid al-Masri, a known al-Qaeda member.
This instance clearly shows how it is unjust to torture people and use ends to justify said torture. Think how many people could be in the same situation (http://en.wikipedia.org...). This would only lead to more terrorists and prolonged war, the opposite of what PRO wants. Clearly, PRO's justification is wrong.

Okay, let's take a look at some other examples of 'ends justifying the means'. Wiretapping is a new issue and is broad enough to be brought into this debate. The US government wants to listen to and read everyone's calls, mail, texts, and e-mails. This is unjustified because everyone has some right to privacy. Where do I get this, you say? The United States Constitution. The 4th amendment protects us from searches and seizures without proper warrant. I am not a terrorist, so I see no warrant or reason whatsoever for them to be looking at my mail. In fact, the amendment was put in place by our forefathers so they couldn't do that very thing.
This same concept can be applied to numerous things regarding this resolution, so do NOT accept anything that can be applied to this argument.

Now I will give you an example of my own. Say a proverbial nation wanted to build another atomic bomb. They would need a team of scientists to do this. So they go out and ask a group of well known nuclear physicists. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the scientists refuse, because they think it's wrong. The government does not accept that answer. They make a deal: either they build the bomb, or they die.
This is the most plain-out-and-simple example of how wrong the resolution is. Scientists are doing something against their will for something that will kill millions of people. Otherwise, they will die, and that is in no way justified. I can't make it any clearer.

All in all, I negate this resolution on two main premises:

1. The philosophies of consequentialism and utilitarianism do not justify means.

2. The practical examples of the resolution are wrong.

With that said, I urge you to vote CON.
Debate Round No. 1
Jokerdude

Pro

Jokerdude forfeited this round.
Pluto2493

Con

My opponent forfeits his round. There's really nothing to say. I find it unfair that I must waste my round simply because he did, and thus I urge the judges to take into account this forfeiture when making their decision.

With that said, I patiently wait my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 2
Jokerdude

Pro

I really am terribly sorry, my parents decided to leave earlier than I thought we were going to leave and then there was a 2 day road trip actually pluto Im now only like 10 minutes away from minneapolis visiting my granny for her 80th birthday. So I urge the judges not to make this a decideing factor I got to a computer as soon as I could, I hope my arguments can cover any doubts.

Now to the arguments

My opponent tries to argue that the ideals of consequentialism is flawed his reason is that it contradicts the goal of consequentialism. Yes killing will be involved but the resolution is to gain military intelligence, the means to do so will most often not include killing that person. The US puts itself first because we look after our own interests first, as I stated above "to save the many at the cost of the few" sure some terrorist, and may I point out that these are people with intentions to harm us, will be harmed but that is the consequentialist view on how to save the millions in the US. Fighting doesn't have to continue but so long as terrorism remains a giant threat to US security we must follow the consequentialist view to stopping the war. Also as a side note the people we are fighting are not US citizens so they are not entitled to the same rights US citizens are entitled to.

Personally I think the example my opponent gave in the second paragraph helps me more than it helps him, Ill explain. In this example it was a person with known ties to terrorists, but a different person with known ties to terrorists was arrested. Either person would still show that ends justify means because using utilitarianism since the ends resulted in a beneficial way for the US the means were justified. Also this is debating in the sense that the people we would try to gain information from would just be "suspected." In alll reality there is more likely to be "known" terrorists. . The resolution is meant for those in a forigen country trying to find information. Again I would like to reiterate that even a few innocent for the larger picture is worth while in the grand scheme of things. If my opponent can name 2 or 3 who have been wrongly tortured I could name millions of lives from just 1 accuratly tortured person. Also it is incorrect to say that more terrorists would be created, there is no basis for this and if anything it would decrease because of the consequences they would endure if caught by the US. It would lead to a swifter war with less US casulties which we as a nation need to start seeing in these troubled times.

This whole next paragraph is not within the resolution and has no merit within this debate. The resolution states "for military intelligence". This is matters pertaining to overseas and people who are not citizens of the United States. This paragraph is referring to internal affairs and does not fall within the resolution so should not be a voting factor for the judges. All this paragraph is trying to do is gain sympathy with no real ties to the resolution.

This next example is the polar opposite of the resolution. This example is to build a bomb using stolen scientists. Again this example doesnt meet the resolution because it isnt a matter of collecting military intelligence, military intelligence is to infer knowledge to help with military matters, generally to the next step in an on comming battle/ war. On top of that it doesnt meet either of the 2 worlds set up in the 1st argument where the point of utiltarinism is to sacrifice a FEW lives if it will save millions. This example kills millions to save the few.

In conclusion ends do justify means in the terms of utiltarinism and consequentialism. Saving millions of lives should take precident over any other matter in this debate. The way to save these lives is to collect military intellegence by what ever means so we can pre-emptivly strike our enemy and end this ongoing war. They are time tested theories and there is no basis for why these theories dont apply to military intelligence.

Vote Pro for the reasons above, and if you vote for CON that is like saying that you want to prolong the war killings thousands of US troops and bring the war even closer to home.

Id like to thank and apologize to my opponent and the judges for this round its a bit screwy but it was fun.
Pluto2493

Con

I will go right down the flow and wrap up with why I win.

First off, my opponent simply reiterates what his R1 argument was. You can cross-apply my whole R1 argument, as he still did not respond to it. As I have stated, no matter what the outcome is, no matter how better life is, no matter how many people are saved, it is STILL not justified to kill or torture a person. Those things violate human rights. He says that terrorists aren't US citizens, thus they should not receive the same rights as we do. I find that completely unjustified. PRO is viewing terrorists as sub-human, people that do not have any rights. It was Yasser Arafat that said "For whoever stands by a just cause and fights for freedom and liberation of his land from the invaders, the settlers and the colonialists, cannot possibly be called terrorists." In other words, a terrorist is only in the eyes of the beholder.
To sum it up, like any other person, to torture or kill any person is unjustified. They have human rights, just like every other person.

My opponent, I think, misinterprets my example. He says this:

"In this example it was a person with known ties to terrorists, but a different person with known ties to terrorists was arrested."

However, the examples I showed we're innocent people. The only reason they were tortured is their middle-eastern background/name. They had no ties to terrorists whatsoever. Now those people are scared forever because they were tortured for something they didn't do.
Then PRO goes on to say that torturing a few innocent people would be okay because it helps the greater good. I can tell my opponent has never been tortured. To torture or kill a person, as I have said many times, is one of the ultimate crimes against humanity. Now think of an innocent person that is tortured. They have done nothing wrong, and now they are dead or scarred for life. And for what? To kill some more people, so they won't kill more people? This just shows how false this resolution is. It is COMPLETELY contradictory, because you are killing people to stop killing. Also, it's no different if I went out and shot someone. They are completely innocent and now dead. My opponent has shown no difference and only supported this idea.
The reason I said it could only lead to more terrorism and prolonged war is two-fold: 1. The reason there are 'terrorists' is because they hate a cause, person, or country, usually because it is hurting them. Now think if a family member was tortured or killed innocently. You would want revenge. Therefore, you could very well become a 'terrorist' also, and try to take the 'killer' down. 2. As with the case of El-Masri, people that are being tortured give false information. Thus, armies think they have leads, but they're actually false. That leads to a longer war.

Next my opponent states this (I will copy-paste, word for word):

"The resolution states "for military intelligence". This is matters pertaining to overseas and people who are not citizens of the United States. This paragraph is referring to internal affairs and does not fall within the resolution so should not be a voting factor for the judges. All this paragraph is trying to do is gain sympathy with no real ties to the resolution."

??? Okay, let's look at the resolution for a moment.

"In matters of collecting military intelligence, the ends justify the means."

That's it. First of all, where in there does it even mention the United States of America?

Second, where in the ENTIRE resolution does it say that it has to be international (overseas) affairs?

I don't even get this argument. My opponent must have got too much into the mindset of the previous example about terrorism. I see absolutely no reason why this argument doesn't apply. The Patriot Act (wiretapping) is used to gain knowledge (intelligence) about suspected terrorist. This resolution is perfectly okay for this resolution. (I think it's just too good of an example that my opponent couldn't think of a way to counter it ;] )
What's more: this deals with terrorism, the very thing we were debating about earlier. If this doesn't apply, neither does his whole previous argument about consequentialism.
So please cross-apply my wire-tapping argument, as it still stands.

Next we go onto the scientists. He says:

"military intelligence is to infer knowledge to help with military matters, generally to the next step in an on comming battle/ war."

Therefore, it does not meet the resolution. This again makes no sense. Intelligence is defined as "the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations." The resolution says 'collecting military intelligence', meaning gaining knowledge about things related to the military. Building a bomb to win a war is definitely related to the military.
I even meet HIS definition. The next, and last, step in World War II was building a nuclear bomb. Why can't building a bomb be the next step in a war?
Then, well, I just can't understand why he would say this:

"This example kills millions to save the few." Therefore, it does not meet the parameters of the debate.

That's EXACTLY why the resolution is wrong. He pretty much concedes this debate. The proverbial military needs knowledge on how to build a bomb, so they blackmail the scientists (means). The scientists obviously want to live, so they build it. Now millions are dead (ends). In that situation, as my opponent concedes, ends don't justify the means, because the ends result as millions more dead than the means. THAT'S why his consequentialist viewpoint, and this resolution, are wrong.

Here is why I win this debate round: To kill someone is the ultimate crime against humanity. It doesn't matter the circumstances, or what will be the result, you're still committing the greatest crime imaginable. This resolution discusses whether or not this is justified to have a certain result. Throughout this round, my opponent assumes the resolution if it is BETTER to torture or kill one person to save many. But that is not the resolution. It is justification. At that point, PRO loses this debate, because no where in this debate did he discuss why killing can be rationalized.

I also win the examples debate. If I can prove one instance why the resolution is wrong, I win. Luckily, I did this twice. He had no answer for my wiretapping argument, and pretty much agreed with me on the proverbial scientist bomb example. At THIS point, PRO loses, CON wins.

Thank you to the judges for taking time to judge this debate and thanks to Jokerdude for an excellent debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by rgb1110 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by aeronowak4tkd 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by SoutherngentFL 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by kato0291 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Johnicle 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Biowza 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Jokerdude 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by BeatTheDevil89 9 years ago
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