The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Conscientious objectors should be obliged to make the same sacrifices as conscripted soldiers

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,321 times Debate No: 10194
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

The leader of one nation to another: "You should, like, chill out, man. Instead of invading my country, why not light an ethically-sourced soy-wax scented candle, make a nice cup of organic Fairtrade jasmine tea and attain inner peace through holistic meditation? Because killing people is like wrong, you know, and war is like really bad and that."

I think we can all sympathise with the appeal from a pacifist head of state to an evil, psychopathic tyrant to stop his warmongering ways and get in touch his feminine side though the medium of spiritual healing but, unfortunately, more often than not, the ruthless dictator in question will ignore such an entreaty and will instead order his amassed armies to cross the border and advance on his enemy's capital with strict instructions to mercilessly crush all resistance en route.

In such a scenario, even the most peace-loving president would have no option but to mobilise his armed forces and immediately compel all men of fighting age to enlist for military service.

However, there will be some men who refuse to fight on either moral or religious grounds. They are known as conscientious objectors (CO's) and their status is recognised by the United Nations.

http://www.wri-irg.org...

However, a prospective CO cannot just turn round to a recruiting sergeant and say "I love my country as much as the next man, but I'm ethically opposed to physical violence so, if it's all the same to you, I'll just go home, open a can of beer and watch the action live on CNN."

That's because his fellow countrymen are expected to take up arms and, if necessary, make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of their nation. In view of this, applicants for CO status must convince the recruiting sergeant that their beliefs are sincerely held.

Therefore, as part of a rigorous interview, I propose that the applicant for CO status should be asked the following key question:

"Are you prepared to die for your country?"

Now, if the answer is ‘No' then the recruiting sergeant will know that the applicant is a merely a coward and should reject his application for CO status, give him a uniform and a rifle and pack him off to the front.

However, if his answer is ‘Yes' then his application for CO status should granted and his right not to perform military service, even in a non-combat role, should be respected. But he shouldn't be allowed to walk away from his responsibilities just like that. Instead, he should be sent to a secure holding compound located next to a field hospital where he will join other CO's. There, he will be given non-military tasks such as sorting medical waste and washing soiled linen to perform.

Then, as and when wounded troops are admitted into the hospital, the doctors will examine their new patients and any human organs that may be required to save those brave soldiers' lives can be harvested from the CO's staying in the nearby compound.

That way, the CO's will have made good on their word that they are prepared to die for their country and their families can give them an honourable burial, proud in the knowledge that, just like soldiers killed in battle, their relatives made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of their country.

Thank you.
Danielle

Con

Pro proposes that as part of a rigorous interview to apply for CO (conscientious objector) status, an applicant must be asked whether or not they are prepared to die for their country. He says that if their answer is no, their request should be rejected and sent to fight.

1. The entire purpose of answering "no" to that question is why the CO option exists in the first place. It represents a category of individuals who don't want to fight, even if it's for their "country." If you're going to reject everyone who says no, then there's no point in having the CO section to begin with.

2. One shouldn't have to apply for this status anyway. If you don't want to fight, you shouldn't be forced to fight. There is no such thing as fighting for your country; your country (land) doesn't have any ideals. Individuals don't collectively make up a cohesive ideology. We all have our own opinions and values. It is the perpetuation of your values that is of utmost importance. That is why it is okay to sacrifice your own life for something that you extremely value or believe in; however, it would be a disgrace to your own humanity to die for something you don't. If something meant enough to you, you would die for it. If it doesn't, you shouldn't have to.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

With many thanks as always to theLwerd for her thoughtful contributions, I should like to respond as follows:

1 – My opponent has made the mistake of stereotyping CO's as cowards. Perhaps most are, but just because they are not prepared to fight doesn't necessarily mean they aren't prepared to sacrifice their lives for their country. In some cases, it may be possible that CO's have a genuine moral or religious objection to inflicting suffering on their fellow human beings.

2 – If my opponent is correct in her assertion that an individual has no responsibility to protect his country then it therefore follows that his country has no responsibility to protect him. So, for example, if a CO's house is bombed by an invading army and catches fire with him still in it, why should firemen risk their lives to save him? Furthermore, if CO's don't recognise the law of the land why should they have any recourse to it?

Finally, since my opponent failed to refer to my proposal that military doctors should be required to murder then butcher conscientious objectors for their body parts, we must assume that she has objection the scheme.

Thank you.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Brian, for the debate.

1. Pro begins by pointing out that I have stated CO's to be cowards. You'll notice that this is a complete fabrication; nowhere in the debate have I ever said or implied such a thing. This is a completely straw manned argument. What I said in my first point was that Pro's proposition of sending all CO's to fight completely negates the entire point of claiming CO status in the first place. The very reason people do so, I noted, is because they don't want to fight; they have a strong moral or religious objection against it. So, therefore Pro's assertion that we send them to fight is a bad suggestion. Instead of (a) defending that position or (b) making a new one, Pro responds simply by clarifying that CO's have a genuine moral or religious objection to inflicting suffering on their fellow human beings. I completely agree, and that's why Pro's suggestion (and resolution) is bad. Thus this random argument put forth by Pro in the last round is completely useless and does absolutely nothing to defend his position or combat mine.

2. Pro begins his refutation of this point with, "If my opponent is correct in her assertion that an individual has no responsibility to protect his country, then it therefore follows that his country has no responsibility to protect him." First of all, "his country" cannot protect him. His country can be considered (a) a piece of land or (b) a set of ideals, i.e. democracy. Neither land or democracy can protect an individual. Therefore this argument fails on the ground that it does not logically flow.

Perhaps what Pro meant by "his country" are the men and women who fight in the name of that land or those ideals. In that case, then yes, I completely stand by that statement -- the men and women who fight in the armed forces have no inherent responsibility to protect anyone else. As I said in the last round, we all have our own opinions and values. It is the perpetuation of your values that is of utmost importance. That is why it is okay to sacrifice your own life for something that you extremely value or believe in; however, it would be a disgrace to your own humanity to die for something you don't. If something meant enough to you, you would die for it. If it doesn't, you shouldn't have to.

To continue this point, Pro asks, "So, for example, if a CO's house is bombed by an invading army and catches fire with him still in it, why should firemen risk their lives to save him?" The answer is that they don't have to. However, if they accepted a paid job as a firefighter, then they should fulfill their obligation to do the job that they signed up to do. The obvious difference here is that people choose jobs as firefighters, therefore they choose to risk their lives for other people. Conscientious objectors do the exact opposite.

Pro adds, "Furthermore, if CO's don't recognise the law of the land, why should they have any recourse to it?" Well, first of all, conscription is against the law, and not upholding the rights of CO's is against the law. Second, what benefits are CO's receiving? Pro never expanded on this. Third, if the recourse Pro is talking about is military safety and protection, then the answer to that question is quite obvious -- the people who sign up for the military CHOOSE to protect those people; everyone in the country including CO's. If the people fighting didn't want to protect those people, then they wouldn't fight. That is the choice they get to make, and as I said, the perpetuation of their furthermost values are what's important to an individual's livelihood.

Finally, regarding Pro's point that military doctors should be required to murder then butcher conscientious objectors for their body parts, I had assumed that my objection to CO's being used for any sacrifice they morally oppose to was to be considered across the board. In other words, not only should CO's not be expected to fight, but they should also not be expected to help in any way (including for their body parts). This is because it's not just the fighting itself (violence) that they object to but the cause itself.

For instance, Catholics have a thing called the Just War Theory. There are checkpoints that must be adhered to in order for the Church to deem a war just (morally acceptable). The war in Iraq failed to meet those standards, and the Pope made that clear to Bush [1]. Thus it's not just the fighting itself but the implications and reasoning behind a war that make it unacceptable or against certain religious standards. Therefore one should not be expected or required to contribute in any way - violent or not - especially in a way that infringes upon their right to life and right to perpetuate their own values.

Thanks Brian,

-- L

[1] http://www.americancatholic.org...
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
First off, I have to say, Pro's plan for harvesting organs from COs is unexpected and absolutely hilarious and made for an enjoyable debate. With that said, I believe that Con effectively countered all of Pro's arguments. Since the burden of proof is on Pro, I'll have to vote Con on the arguments. Conduct: Pro as he was more humorous and laid back while Con took it very seriously, maybe too seriously. No spelling and grammar errors on either side and neither side used any sources that actually corroborated their argument.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
No, more subtle - Stalin just has dissenters shot!
Posted by MikeLoviN 7 years ago
MikeLoviN
Well done brian. Spoken like a true communist :P
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
TheLwerd! Ha-ha! Giving me a chance to win one back are you? How kind!

There's no argument against this one - my case is absolutely watertight!
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Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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