The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

A Duel Should Settle The Ukraine War

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 523 times Debate No: 65552
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




Hey everyone, I have a very good debate topic that I think everyone will enjoy and follow very closely in the days ahead. The Luhansk People's Republic leader-aka a separatist leader in eastern Ukraine in the ongoing war has proposed a solution to the conflict. He suggests that the Ukraine president duel him for the overall result of the conflict. The Ukraine president gets to choose the time, place, and weapon. The LPR leader is even willing to have it filmed on live TV to make sure it is a fair fight. He also says that up to 10 people may be witnesses for each side.
Sources: RussianToday
Kiev Post
I personally am on the pro side, and see this as a very reasonable way to settle this conflict. Rules:
No foul language
Respect my views
And have fun with this one!
Good luck to whoever accepts, this should be an entertaining debate. I can't wait to get started :).


Thanks, Kylar, for the debate, and for bringing this news to my attention. I don't know if my first post will be long or short (yet), but I apologize if my posts end up being very long. Forgive me if this ends up sounding like a essay.

Why do I not think dueling is a good idea to decide conflicts? After all, isn't it better, as the High Priest said, for one man to die rather than a nation? Dueling is substituting one man for an army. Instead of the armies fighting, the men (leaders) fight. By examining the causes and the effects of dueling we may hope to arrive at a conclusion as to whether dueling is a satisfactory method of resolving conflicts in general and this conflict in particular.

It will be helpful, first of all to determine what the actual "purpose" of war is in the first place. Although this debate is confined to a particular war, (the Ukraine War) finding a general purpose for war will be beneficent to our exploratory journey and may certainly aid in determining the answer to this question before us. In general, nations engage in warfare because (a) one nation wants something from another nation, and (b) that other nation is unwilling to hand over that something. World War I started because Austria-Hungary levied a plethora of demands on Serbia, and Serbia was unwilling to meet them. World War II started because Germany and Japan (and possibly Italy) both wanted to increase the size of their nations (or arguably empires). The Civil War started because the South wanted independence, due to their not-unfounded fear that slavery would one day be banned. In fact, just about every revolution on the face of the earth, including the American Revolution, was the result of certain bands of citizens wanting independence and the mother nation refusing to grant that longed-for autonomy, although on second thought I realize that the American Revolution was initially initiated because of the colonists' indignation concerning certain British tax policies and actually need not have proceeded to the revolutionary phase.

Generally, both nations think they are in the right, and both nations will do everything in their power (limited by the nations' sense of honor) to win. Tactics, espionage, economic policy, and, yes, even dueling-- all will be actuated (or not actuated) based on the leaders' evaluation of whether the considered actions will result in gaining or losing what they went to war over. Of course, the nation's "scum line" will also play a part; for example, one nation may be quite willing to assassinate its enemy's leader while other nations may shrink from such an unchivalrous action. Ukraine will accept the duel only if (a) Ukraine thinks it can win, and (b) Ukraine's sense of honor and proprietary does not preclude such a method of settling a dispute. (It may be noted that if Petro Poroshenko simply does wish not to duel, based on fear of a failure in (a) or (b) or other personal reasons, Ukraine will also not accept.) Risking your president is a big step, and when you throw in the result of the war, dueling really is reduced to a very important throw of a die. The die may be weighted in one nations' favor, based on the skill of the opponent, but generally a nation will only initiate a duel if it thinks victory is very doubtful or if it thinks its leader is far superior than the other nations' leader regarding feats of arms. So, to (a) and (b) we may add (c), Ukraine's potential cost/potential benefit evaluation. For example, if a nation is losing badly and has a Hulk of a president who majored in fencing, then dueling is a no-brainer. If a nation has a 5' 2' 69-year-old grandma with asthma, then dueling is not smart.

It may be noted that so far I have been unable to determine a universal "should" or "should not." All three determinants of dueling are variable, and to establish a general principle I would have to superimpose my own (b) and state that dueling is morally or wrong or morally preferable or other such nonsense. I shall avoid both stances, as it seems to me that each circumstance much be judged situationally. If there was a war initiated by nobility with little or no importance (say the Duchess' daughter called the Prince a warthog and refused to apologise) then dueling would make sense. Let the idiots settle their disputes private. However, in the case of crucial, international issues between intelligent nations such as aptly-named World Wars, then dueling makes no sense--to either party. Why risk your leader and the outcome of the war over the doubtful outcome of one twenty-minute sword fight? Would the reader think placing the American Revolution in the hands of two duelists an intelligent decision? The dubiousness of dueling is exacerbated when one realizes that presidents are not selected due to their superior sabership. They are selected due to their ability to lead a nation in times of war, peace, calamity, and prosperity. This latter condition has resulted in an abundance of relatively ancient leaders, who while prized for their wisdom may have their pugilious efficacy doubted.

Going back to the universal "should" or "should not" I would now promulgate that a duel SHOULD NOT settle the Ukrainian War. From Ukraine's standpoint, basically leaving the outcome of the War up to the chance result of a swordfight (or pistol fight, or battle-ax fight) would be ignorant and stupid. You don't toss a coin to determine the outcome of your football game if the odds are on you. If Pro disagrees, I would simply ask whether he wold say the same of the Revolutionary or Civil Wars. War is serious, is fought to be won, and as a leader you would be unwise to leave the result up to what could very well come down to a slip or a chance deflection. Unless, of course, you are doomed anyway. Which leads me to my conclusion that the Luhansk People's Republic's president's offer of a duel can be interpreted in a few ways: 1) He doesn't think the LPR can win the war, 2) He's not taking the war seriously and doesn't think there's much at stake, and 3) He thinks he can beat Petro Porenshka pretty easily--and that he wishes to do so. That deals with (c). Obviously the LPR thinks dueling is a good idea for it, as it has initiatedthe duel. I do not think Ukraine will accept, as Petro Porenshka is 48 and probably not the finest swordsman around.

(a) Ukraine-no | LPR-yes
(b) Ukraine-probably no | LPR-yes
(c) Ukraine-no | LPR-yes

The very fact that Igor Plotnitsky has offered the invitation tells me that he is either not taking the war seriously or thinks that killing a grey-haired chief executive is the best plan for winning.
Neither make me want to support him. Since Ukraine would not benefit from the duel, I take the should not side.

Having looked at why a nation would duel, we will now look at results that might ensue. I would guess that there is a good chance of sore losing; nations refuse to abide by the agreed rules and conditions of the debate, cry foul play, refuse to stop fighting, etc.. This also tells us that trusting dueling to resolve a conflict is a bad idea. Ergo, the should not side.

Bottom line: Only soldiers who think their cause is either not worth fighting or lost suggest duels. If the cause is lost, then the other nation will probably either not accept or on the other hand refuse to concede in the event of a defeat. If the cause is not worth fighting, the war should stop and the leaders should be judged in a real court instead of sent out as make-believe gladitators.

I still have characters left, but I need to take a MacroEcon practice test. Sorry if my arguments are incoherent.
Debate Round No. 1


Well well very good arguments my friend :). Thank you for accepting my debate and I think we will have a good time with this. In rebuttal I say this, and my argument will be brief because I do not have a lot of time due to school stuff, I am sorry. I believe that the LPR leader is being remarkably chivalrous for his actions. He is offering to settle this as gentlemen. He is giving the Ukraine president the chance to choose the time and place and weapon, which is very chivalrous for someone that has been locked in a bitter war since May 1st with him. Therefore, this is my rebuttal for round 2. I can't wait to hear your arguments my friend.


I will also be brief, friend.

I don't think the LPR leader is chivalrous for wishing to settle a national war that will impact the lives of millions in a private duel. Would you think this dueling business chivalrous if the two leaders decided to settle the war by tossing a coin? Dueling is a little like that. It, unlike treaties, is utterly unrelated to national interests, and, unlike battles, it is utterly unrelated to national strength. Similar to tossing a coin, it involves a large degree of chance. The main factors are the strength, skill, and courage of the antagonist presidents, which doesn't make sense to decide the fate of nations.

I don't see the point in it, unless, as a friend of mine said, the war was over purely personal affairs.

Kylar, you say that he is chivalrous in offering to settle the war "like gentlemen." I guess that according to the Elizabethan idea of a gentleman you would be right. But I think that trying to get together with a very important president in order to try to slash him apart with a saber or dagger or whatever is not very friendly behavior. I agree that a gentleman would try to settle a war with a minimum loss of life. However, I think it is plain that when the war is over something important then the gentleman leader should try to win or should make a treaty with his enemy instead of settling the duel in a potentially arbitrary way.

The Ukraine president, Petro Porenshka, is 48 and has gray hair already. I doubt he's a master at sword fighting. I do not know why on earth the LPR leader has offered him any choice of weapons and time and place. It may be chivalrous, but it is not smart.

For example: I remember reading (though I don't know where, it may have been fiction or non-fiction--probably the former) of someone with absolutely no skill who got challenged to a duel. He chose to fight with battle-axes, blindfolded. What if Petro Porenshka chooses to play Russian Roulette? Each leader has a revolver with one loaded chamber and five unloaded chambers. They spin the cylinder and then start shooting at point-blank range. First person to kill the other wins. Would you call this chivalrous? However, a swordfight between two gentlemen who have never practiced fencing before is almost as bad, deserving a place in a reality TV show rather than a place in international geopolitical history.

Thanks for keeping this friendly. I wish a good thanksgiving to all reading this.
Debate Round No. 2


First of all, my friend, thank you for being willing to debate me on this, and Happy Thanksgiving to you :)! I will be brief, just as I was in Round II. I concurr that Mr. Porshenka probably would not know sword fighting that well, heck I have been in II sword fights with my second cousins and lost miserably lol, so I don't expect that Mr. Porshenka would sword fight well either with the LPR leader. However, Russian Roulette may be a good way to settle this war. I do not exactly approve of it, but it might be logical. But, if that does not work, a loaded pistol duel would work. The two of them would meet and shake hands, and turn around. They would take 10 paces back, and spin around and fire, the first to fall wins. I look forward to seeing your arguments, and again, I am your friend to the end :), this is a great debate, and I thank you for doing it with me my friend :). This debate is friendly, yet serious :). And I shall keep it friendly, and I hope you continue to enjoy this, as I am.


Okay, Kylar. I'm sorry, but I think you're gonna lose.

You really think Russion Roulette is a logical way to settle a war? Russian Roulette is based solely on chance. It would be more logical to simply toss a coin, as at least that wouldn't kill anyone. And who thinks that tossing a coin is a good way to end a war?

As I pointed out earlier, if a war is worth fighting then it should not be decided by chance. If you think war SHOULD be decided by chance, you are basically saying that war serves no purpose and should just stop. But war actually does serve a purpose. It serves the purpose of preserving liberty, establishing independence, expanding nations (whether or not that's a good purpose may be debated), and protecting interests. I'm sure there are others.

Wars have consequences. If Hitler had won, where would Europe be today? The lives of millions hang in the balance often. It is disrespectful to all those who have died for their nation to claim that we should just toss a coin and arbitrarily end a war involving independence, liberty, and national interests.

Would you say the same if Texas had seceded and the US was fighting it to bring it back into the Union? Just toss a coin (or kill a president at the same time) and let's just end the war? It doesn't matter who wins?

Thanks for the debate again. I will enjoy it even more if I can convince you that your dangerous viewpoint is wrong.

But thanks for being friends again, I appreciate your friendliness. (And I just threw in some bad grammar; did you notice?)
Debate Round No. 3


First of all, you are bringing up very valid points and I am most honored to debate this with you, my friend :). Thank you for being willing to discuss/debate a very interesting topic that has been in the news recently. Second off, you are correct in your arguments, and therefore, I admit concession. You have won, and I forfeit, acknowledging that you are correct in your arguments. I changed my views as a result of this debate, and admit defeat. Thanks again for the debate, my friend.


Thank you, friend. I appreciate it, and I'm glad I could change your mind.

By the way . . .

We've got snow falling, I think! Actually, we had a white halloween this year. *sigh* I used to live in California. That says it all. But snow isn't all bad.

Do you have snow on the ground?

Again, happy Thanksgiving, and Go Packers! and thanks, friend for friendliness and amiability and all that.
Debate Round No. 4


Happy Thanksgiving! Go Packers! I love being a good friend and as kind as I can during debates. Thanks for the debate, we should do this again soon.


Well, that was the least stressful and friendliest debate I've ever had!!!! Thanks, friend. I think we should both get good conduct points. Have a great thanksgiving Kylar (a white Thanksgiving for me and just about everyone in Wisconsin!) and thankyou again.

Go Packers!!!
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by james14 1 year ago
Mr. Messi: I object. My opponent conceded. How can you give him the victory?!
Posted by Atheist-Independent 1 year ago
Duels never solve anything. Just ask Alexander Hamilton.
Posted by Domr 1 year ago
do you mean like a yugioh duel? because that would be pretty epic.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Leo.Messi 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Less Violence with a duel. A war millions would die- But in a duel only 1 would perish.
Vote Placed by Atheist-Independent 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Alexander Hamilton would be proud. Concession by Pro grants Con the debate.