The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
questionmark
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Military Conscription is Unjust.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,576 times Debate No: 9036
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (3)

 

Danielle

Pro

I. INTRODUCTION

Greetings, DDO. I noticed that debate challenges have been pretty scarce lately, so I decided to post one of my own. This will be a three-round debate, during which I will spend the first round making any necessary clarifications, and using Rounds 2 and 3 to make and conclude my arguments. I acknowledge that as Pro (and more importantly, as the instigator) I have the burden of proof. Thus I ask that my future opponent utilize R1 to either accept or refute my clarifications; I will make my opening arguments in R1. Thank you to whomever accepts this debate, and good luck!

II. CLARIFICATIONS

Military Conscription: A general term for involuntary labor demanded by some established authority. It is most often used in the specific sense of government policies that require citizens (often just males) to serve in the armed forces. It is known by various names — for example, the most recent conscription program in the United States was known colloquially as 'the draft' [Wikipedia].

Unjust: Lacking in justice or fairness [Dictionary]

I also encourage that this debate focus primarily on the United States; that is to say that the resolution actually reads: (Legalized) Military conscription is/would be unjust in the United States. If my opponent disagrees with these parameters, I ask that it be addressed along with reasoning detailing the opposition.
questionmark

Con

Hi, I'm questionmark, and I disagree. I see no unjust-ness in conscription, whatever the name. As an American citizen, you have certain rights that no other country in the world has. However, you also have responsibilities. You cannot be conscripted until you are 18, at which age you are also free to leave to another country where they don't have a draft. So if you don't like it, you don't have to stay, making it your choice. I fail to see how it is unfair.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

III. CONTENTIONS

1. Rights
2. Morality
3. Effectiveness
4. Cost
5. Necessity
6. Impact
7. Responsibility

1. Rights of the Individual

--> Democracies in particular value the individual liberties occupied by its citizens. These rights are not given provided the state, but are rather natural born rights - rights that the government is meant to uphold and maintain. To force a citizen to act against their conscience/will in this example in particular completely violates the very rights that the government is supposed to protect.

--> On that note, this practice is completely hypocritical and contradictory to American values. For instance, those forced into military service would essentially be fighting for freedoms that don't really exist, or that they believe in/deserve.

--> This kind of government control/forcing would turn a nation into a totalitarian state; a fate the United States and many others have fought against throughout history.

--> Slavery is illegal. Forcing a citizen to work against their will with fear of punishment (with the other option being escape/treason) is indeed a form of slavery. It also reminds us of the practice of indentured servitude; an act that has been banished for many years.

--> Through this practice, the government is essentially stealing from the citizens; they are stealing the livelihoods of individuals who are not free to decide their fate. They are stealing students from learning, workers from work, children from parents, parents from children, etc. They are taking away rights without the individual's consent.

2. The Government & Morality

--> The government does not always engage in war for the right reasons. For instance, many feel that the 9/11 attacks were a mere instigation for government propoganda in order to compell Congress to wage war in the Middle East, as specifically a direct objective benefitting solely the Bush Administration.

--> The government as a whole is a corrupt instituion. If it can enter a war for whatever reason - even whilst an overwhelming amount of the population disagrees with it - think of what other rights the government can take away on a whim. It is this kind of control that people have fought against for centuries. This kind of control is immoral and revokes the freedoms granted in documents such as the Constituion of the United States of America.

--> This practice establishes the fact that the government and the government alone determines what endeavors are moral, just, or are worth fighting for. Those sent to fight have no say in their futures.

--> Military conscription has always had a history of bias. For instance, there is a great amount of class bias; working-class men were always drafted in greater quantity than middle-class men. Further, typically it has always been men who had to be drafted in the United States -- what about the women? In a country that embraces equality of the sexes (or is supposed to), this practice seems highly unfair.

--> By drafting people based on chance or as a whole, you are unaware of whether or not each person can handle the stress that military life induces upon the individual. Not everyone is mentally capable of dealing with those kind of restrictive, disciplined and violent environments. TIME magazine just published an article regarding the skyrocketing amount of soldiers now being treated by psychologists for PTSD and other disorders, and who are being prescribed (and often in turn becoming addicted to) medication. This number would only incrase with involuntary enlistments. Again this deals with infringement upon an individual's rights as well.

3. Effectiveness

Are the above violation of rights worth the risk?

--> Some have asserted that this practice would actually HURT the military's performance rather than assist it. It is of common belief that rivalries between those drafted and those who enlisted voluntarily would cause tension and incohesiveness amongst the troops. This inner turmoil would be counterproductive to military goals.

--> Another problem is that those who are not inclined for military training may not perform up to par, and their inability to perform as needed could be detrimental to a platoon's mission(s).

--> One reason why some favor conscription is because they see it as a solution to strengthening our armed forces. However one must keep in mind that those who are forced into the military will most likely not want to continue on that path once they are given the opportunity to leave. Thus this 'solution' would actually not solve any problems, and is therefore not worth the trouble.

4. Cost

If military conscription is ineffective, is it worth the financial burden?

--> If we hired thousands -> millions of new soldiers, that would be a costly feat for our government, ESPECIALLY during a time of war. This practice would harm both our government as a whole and the individual tax payers who would be forced to pay into this monstrosity.

5. Not Necessary

Given all of these negative implications, we must now consider the clear fact that military conscription is unnecessary.

--> So far our current policy of not acting on military conscription (with the exception of registering for the draft) has worked for us. There has not been an attack on U.S. soil in over 40 years, with the exception of 9/11, which could not have been prevented even if we had a mandated militia. Why fix something that isn't broken?

--> Further, even if some deem the armed services something that IS broken (because of lower enlistment numbers), we must keep in mind that there are other ways to solve those problems. For instance, we can offer higher benefit packages to make enlistment more enticing.

--> If there were ever a situation where military enlistment was absolutely needed to protect freedom at home, and this became apparent to the masses, history has shown us that enlistments WILL increase if need-be. For instance, when the United States was attacked during WWII, we experienced a surge in enlistments of eager recruits wanting to fight to protect their freedoms and families at home.

--> In this day and age, technology has become superior to man-power in terms of warfare. Therefore it is knowledge and money and weapons that have become more valuable than soldiers. All-in-all, this process is unnecessary.

6. Social Impact

--> In addition to economic impacts, there will be social repercussions to enacting conscription. Drafts have been known to be divisive amongst society, and cause disruption, riots, protests, etc. Consider the negative impacts of the counter-culture of America in the 1960s. Examples include police brutality, racial divide (The Black Panthers), drug abuse, etc.

7. Responsibility

--> Con's sole argument has been that at age 18, one has the opportunity to leave the U.S. if they do not wish to comply with the current policy of conscription. Note that this does not address the fact that the U.S. should have this policy to begin with (hence the debate). In other words, he has not explained WHY conscription should be a responsibility; he just noted that it is one. This is simple to refute. Under this logic, the people of the U.S. should have to accept any current law or injustice blindly or leave. That is clearly not how a democracy work. Con has failed to explain how the policy of military conscription is democratic. I'll leave my rebuttal at that for now until Con replies.

III. CONCLUSION

Based on my first six contentions, I have proved why military conscription is not only immoral and dangerous, but also ineffective and unnecessary. Why spend all that money and cause so many negative social implications for a process with little to no benefits? Additionally, my seventh point argues against Con's sole contention in favor of the resolution. Thus, on balance, military conscription is unjust.
questionmark

Con

questionmark forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Unfortunately Con was not able to post an argument in rebuttal to Round 2. This is kind of sticky since it's the final round, and Con cannot introduce any new arguments in his rebuttal since I will not have had the opportunity to respond. Thus his lone contention must stand in his offense. I wish Con good luck and thanks for the debate.
questionmark

Con

questionmark forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
It looks like theLwerd will have no problem with this, actually.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Three rounds? Pro as instigator with no opening argument? What?
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
But that's an argument against the idea of an army, not the actual act of compulsory enrollment.

And yes, I see the link; obviously, if the army isn't justified, neither is MC, but still; I've debated the resolution enough times to know that it's not a particularly effective strategy.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
This could become a debate as to whether or not it is justifiable to kill one group to protect a nation... That would be fun to read.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
I kind of want to take it, but I am just not that good of a debater, and I have basically no knowledge of the subject other than what I read about like, Muhammad Ali and stuff, so I dunno. I'm not sure what exactly I'd argue though. Could I argue that the current draft system works well enough?

If someone else wants to take it, go right ahead, because I'm also not very free with regards to time right now.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
* Has been the sole debate in the Challenge section for hours
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Lol since when do you have to agree with something in order to debate it? Anyway, dragon, I'm not sure -- I was intending upon arguing that the draft itself is unjust. I'm surprised that nobody has accepted this debate though; there are like 30 members online and this is the only debate in the Challenge Section... hmm. It's not like this is a hard debate to be CON on either. If nobody wants to be Con, I might re-post this debate as CON so my opponent can be PRO. What say ye? Any takers?
Posted by theCall 7 years ago
theCall
I myself also really agree pro.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Agree with PRO.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
Are you going to argue that the current form the draft takes is unjust? How would the methods of "draft dodging" play into a CON or PRO position?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
DaniellequestionmarkTied
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
DaniellequestionmarkTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
DaniellequestionmarkTied
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