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Mar./Apr. LD topic

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 848 times Debate No: 23423
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I'm bored. Value LD please.


My case is below, since we agreed in the comments I could post my case in a google document.
Debate Round No. 1


My Case:

Since the resolution asks to evaluate if an action can be allowed under a moral framework, the value is morality. Because it is inherently immoral to kill someone who has done nothing wrong, and all individuals have an intrinsic right to life until their right to life is taken away due to overwhelmingly just cause, the value criterion is innocent protection.

Contention 1: TK harms innocent civilians

In the long-standing conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, the Second Intifada
has been characterized by the increased use of suicide attacks by the Palestinians and an
increased number of Israeli targeted killings of Palestinian leaders. Nearly half of the over
1,000 Israeli fatalities in the Second Intifada have been caused by suicide attacks, while about
8 percent of more than 4,100 Palestinian fatalities have occurred during targeted killings. Of
these, nearly 40 percent were not the targeted individual(s). [1]

Indeed, targeted killings in Pakistan may even be causing more problems than they solve. As Daniel Byman notes, "U.S. strikes on Pakistani soil are deeply unpopular.… No political leader wants to line up publicly with Washington."[21] The killing of bin Laden and others, including many innocent collateral victims, has heightened political tension between Washington and Islamabad and inflamed the resentful Pakistani population. [2]

So because targeted killings have been shown to harm the innocent and create tension on the international level, there is no justification in using them.

Sources: 1.;

His Case:

First observation: "This means I just have to show there is no injunction against targeted killing."

Not much of a distinction between this and his second observation, which I will get to. I'll assume that he's taking "injunction" to be under a moral framework rather than a legal one.

Second Observation: "The negative must defend a prohibition otherwise targeted killing is permissible and you affirm apriori. If there are no normative qualities then something is permissible."

Flow across. It's logical, but I'm already giving you a normative quality to look at the debate through (innocent protection).

Mutual value of morality. No clash there.

"Transcendental empiricism says we must not ground our ethic in abstract nor purely physical qualities. Rather we must deal in the moment of experience and always creating."

I actually don't know what this means, hopefully my opponent can explain, but it doesn't really matter because the right to life is paramount.

"The standard is consistency with transcendental empiricism. The framework establishes that 1) we must look to the question of how we create abstractions given the physical world we are thrust into and 2) we must reject ideologies of representation in favor of one of creating new concepts and new ways to approach ethics and call something ethical. My contention is that under transcendental empiricism everything is permissible thus targeted killing is permissible."

Cross apply above to 1 and 2, but he's advocating that everything is permissible in his contention, which is fundamentally untrue (refuted by my vc, or the Holocaust if you're so inclined), but he doesn't warrant this anyway, so whatever.

"Second: Ethics becomes not something overreaching and transcendent but rather something the agent decides and is created in relation to the agent. This means we affirm everything is permissible under a theory of immanence."

Once again, a morally relative idea is insufficient due to the right to life, and even if you believe in the moral framework being relative to the actor himself, not all peoples value killing at all, so we don't know where he's affirming or negating.

"A) Targeted killing doesn’t intend a harm. We are saving ourselves not harming the enemy."

No warrants for the doctrine of double effect, and even though self-defense may be permissible in general, the tool itself isn't allowed because we harm the innocent in the process. Secondly, the utilitarian benefit of self-defense isn't inherent due to increased tensions on the international level, as shown through my sole contention.

"B) Targeted killing doesn’t violate international law. UN Charter calls for targeted killings."

Moral frameworks rather than legal frameworks should be used in this debate. However, targeted killings violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was also adopted by the UN.

"C) Targeted killing is permissible under state sovereignty because a state must be able to defend themselves against threats."

Self-defense is fine, but if an agressor provokes me, it isn't permissible for me to kill him and another guy who hasn't done anything wrong.


I'll defend first, then refute his case.

Let it just go down for the record that he concedes to my first and second observation. Thus, if I can prove that targeted killing is either a) normatively good or b) has no normative qualities, then it's an automatic pro vote. I don't have to do both, either one is sufficient to win.

"I actually don't know what this means,..."

Allow me to explain then. Transcendental empricism is talking about how our world is constantly evolving and constantly changing, and how as the days pass and time moves on, we as human beings need to re-evaluate standards and redefine our world. We are always creating and we will always be experiencing new things. This applies nicely to your standard, but I'll get to that later.

"he's advocating that everything is permissible...which is fundamentally untrue...but he doesn't warrant this anyway..."

Notice two things from this statement:
1. He doesn't actually challenge the warrants for this statement that I present in my contentional arguments.
2. He doesn't actually warrant why everything isn't permissible, just asserts that it is with no supporting evidence.

He concedes my first sub-point as the warrant for transcendental empiricism, which consists of Bryant and Bryant 2. You can extend that across the flow. This is a game-over error on my opponent's part. My first sub-point says that our traditional ethics make assumptions that we must call into question and redefine so that we can continue to re-create different experiences and encounters. Conceding this means that we CAN re-create and redefine things in our lives, which absolutely demolishes his standard, as we can then simply redefine the value we place in a human life so that we can continue to encounter new experiences. Don't let him come back in the next round and try to refute this, as he already conceded it. He should've at least attempted to refute it, but since he didn't, it's game over for his case.

"a morally relative idea is insufficient due to the right to life..."

Cross apply my first contention, which he conceded in his last round, which nullifies this argument, as we can and ought to simply redefine the value we place in a human life as to encounter new experiences.

"not all people value killing at all, so we don't know where he's affirming or negating."

This argument literally makes no sense. My case isn't saying "people value this" or that "we have value in that". My case talks about the way in which we perceive our interactions with the outside world, and how we must redefine concepts in order to constantly encounter new experiences. Drop this argument and extend my second sub-point warrant for transcendental empiricism.

He also drops the third sub-point warrant for transcendental empiricism. Extend that. This is also going to mean that I'm best achieving the value of morality, as it talks about how metaphysics is the starting point for all ethical thinking. This means that if transcendental empiricism is true, then I have the best link into the value of morality, which is a place where you can easily affirm.

From here, he literally drops every contentional argument. So you can extend both my first and second contention, which do a few things for me and ultimately spell doom for my opponent:
1. They provide the warrants as to why everything is permissible. As he concedes this, I'm meeting the burden that my opponent and I agreed upon of proving that everything is permissible. This is a prima-facie affirmative vote.
2. It's prevents the negative from actually being able to prove a prohibition, as he agreed to do by conceding to the second observation (this is coming specifically from my first contentional argument). This means that even if he's winning 100% of his case, you still can't negate, as it would then preclude the possibility of ethics and prevent him from achieving his value of morality.

I'll concede the B-point and C-point of the underview, as they will have little impact on the debate (as an underview are argument specifically adressed to counter common points brought up by an opponent). However, I will talk about the A-point, as it will matter a great deal in this debate.

"No warrants for the doctrine of doube effect..."

Yet you don't even adress the McIntyre evidence, which IS the warrant for the doctrine of double effect.

"the tool itself isn't allowed because we harm the innocent in the process."

This is specifically what the DoDE speaks to. As long as we aren't intending the harming of innocents (i.e. if we don't intend to blow up innocent civilians while taking out a terrorist leader) then the action is still permissible. Thus, targeted killing would still be justified under the doctrine of double effect.

So you can extend the A-point out. This links into my opponent's contention arguments, since as long as we don't intend the negative effects, then the action is still permissible. This means that the "rise in international tensions" and "innocent deaths" my opponent talks about still don't prevent it from being permissible, as it's not our intention to cause those ends, but rather unwanted side-effects of the good outcome (that being the death of a terrorist/High Value Target).

So since I'm starting to get low on characters, let's go to my opponent's case.

There's a few problems with his framework (or rather lack of one).

He has no ethical system under which to achieve his value of morality. Since I'm the only one providing an ethical system, evaluate the round under transcendental empiricism. This means that a) the value in "innocent" civilians is something that can be adjusted and changed, making it not that important and b) gives you reason to prefer my standard of maintaining consistency with transcendental empiricism.

His contention follows the same route. Cross apply my framework (we must re-evaluate the concepts in our life) as well as the A-point in the underview (as long as we don't intend the bad effects, the action is still permissible). This means his contention proves nothing, and you can drop it thusly.

So with that all being said, my opponent is still really far behind in the debate. This is how the round broke down:

1. He conceded over 2/3 of my framework and I refuted his arguments against the other 1/3.
2. He entirely dropped my contention arguments, which support my burden. If everything is permissible, then the action is thusly normatively good, which means I fulfill my burdens. This is an instant affirmative vote.
3. The DoDE still applies well in this situation and refutes his contention.
4. His framework is refuted via conceding to key points in my framework.

Again, don't let my opponent come back in the next round and put arguments against the parts of my case he conceded. He should've refuted them, but it's his fault that he didn't.

Overall, I urge a very simple, easy affirmative vote.
Debate Round No. 2


Give him the ballot. I don't even care. Disregard my warrants for protecting innocents. Disregard him saying that everything is permissible and then contradicting himself and using the DoDE to determine what is moral (at least be consistent). Disregard that his entire case looks like it was organized by a five-year old. Disregard that he didn't have the common courtesy to point out where his contentions were so I could effectively refute. Disregard that I very clearly warrant why we should protect lives at the top of my case (he maintains that I did not). Disregard that under his framework, Hitler was a pretty sweet guy and the Jews were on a diminished moral highground. Disregard that it makes no logical sense to value morality, and then say "wait it doesn't exist."

Give him the ballot. Even if you were as confused as I am.


So, even though I'll go through my opponent's grievances and adress them, they should all just be read as "I concede. Vote pro."

Disregard my warrants for protecting innocents

Just because your case has warrants, it doesn't mean you automatically win. You have to be able to argue those warrants.

Disregard him saying that everything is permissible and contradicting himself...

False, there's no contradiction. It's linking into your case, not mine. If it were linking into my case, you may have a legitimate gripe, but then couldn't you just use this as an argument and stop whining?

Disregard that his entire case looks like it was organized by a five year old

Looking past the blatant ad hom, it's actually pretty easily organized.

You have observations -> Value/Framework -> Warrants for the framework (what you thought were my contentions -> Criterion -> Contentions -> Underview. Learn 2 read.

Disregard that he didn't have the common courtesy...

Bollucks, now you're just butt-hurt.

Ignoring the fact that I clearly said in the comments to look for where I say MY COTNENTION IS (which is probably a good hint my contentions are about to start), they're pretty clearly labeled in my case, if you had read it that is.

Disregard that I very clearly warrant why we should protect lives at the top of my case...

Again, warrants don't mean you auto-win. You actually have to argue (shocker, I know!)

(he maintains that I did not)

Whoa! Hold the f*ck up. Where did I say you never warranted protecting innocents?

Disregard that under his framework Hitler-

Why does everyone use the bad Holocaust argument against theories of relative morality?
No, my case doesn't justify the Holocaust. Relative morality means that we just have to call into question what makes something moral or immoral on a personal level. This doesn't mean that the Holocaust was moral (I can still relatively believe that it was immoral), but it does prove that anything can be PERMISSIBLE. Permissibility and Morality are two entirely seperate concepts.

Disregard that it makes no logical sense to value morality and say "wait it doesn't exist"

That awkward moment where I never said that anywhere...

So in the end, I apologize that my opponent is butt-hurt and is raging unnecessarily, but for real, grow up. Argue it out like an adult instead of pouting like a 4 year old.

With that, I urge an affirmative vote due to the fact that he conceded.
Debate Round No. 3


mmaherbexley forfeited this round.


And of course he takes it off the main page -.-
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by mmaherbexley 4 years ago
Why am I even wasting my time? I'm using most of it looking for arguments rather than refuting.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Where my contentions begin? I dunno, but "my contention is" would be a good place to start looking. And an underview still serves a multitude of purposes, so why not?
Posted by mmaherbexley 4 years ago
I could barely read the carded philosophy you gave me . He's basically saying that because the world is changing, we don't have a normative weighing standard. I don't even see how those things are related with an appeal to logic. I can't even challenge your contentions because:

1) I don't know where one begins and the other ends
2) I don't see the relevance in most of those cards

If you're going to give me "Transcendental empiricism" or transcendentalwhateverthehell, why even give me the underview?
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Sorry it's taken me forever. I'll have my case up in a minute.
Posted by mmaherbexley 4 years ago
That's fine
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Can I post my case in a google document?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Whiny concession.