The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
70 Points
The Contender
InfraRedEd
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Missile Defense

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2009 Category: Technology
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,253 times Debate No: 8294
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (10)

 

Danielle

Pro

I feel neither here nor there regarding the issue of Missile Defense, admittedly, but there haven't been a great deal of debates in the Challenge Section recently. Thus, I thought I'd start one up again regarding a topic I've tried to debate in the past, though never really got to finish. Stating the first argument, I'll assume the position of Pro. However, I wouldn't be opposed to debating this from the position of Con in the future. Nevertheless, I wish good luck to my future opponent, whomever that may be.

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Introduction:

The idea concerning the defense of an incoming nuclear attack has been prevalent in the United States since the Cold War era. Today, various systems currently exist and continue to be developed by the U.S. as a pro-active effort to avoid turmoil and destruction. Admittedly, these current systems are essentially useless, as well as a drain on our already staggering economy. As Pro, I am advocating for the development of new, efficient and practical systems designed to serve and protect the United States of America, and/or massive reform to our current missile defense.

Definitions:

Missile Defense -- A system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles [1].

Social Contract Theory -- The view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement between them to form society; It implies that the people give up some rights to a government and/or other authority in order to receive or jointly preserve social order [2].

Contentions:

1. Threat --> The possibility of a nuclear attack is not as far-fetched as one might think. As it stands, America is one of the least popular countries in the world. Other nations see us as arrogant, expensive bullies. Our presence in the Middle East can very well be a catalyst for a strike, or perhaps terrorist-riddled or oppressed nations such as North Korea or Iran will launch an attack on the U.S. for either moral or political gains.

2. The Value of Life --> An incoming nuclear attack could take thousands or even millions of lives. Because we live in a society where life is considered of high moral value, protecting and saving lives should be a major priority.

3. Social Contract --> The Social Contract Theory is one of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory throughout the history of the modern West [2]. It is the concept upon which America was founded and maintained. According to this philosophy, endorsed by thinkers such as Locke and Hobbes, the government should provide protection to its citizens through any feasible means, as citizens should be willing to sacrifice some tax dollars to ensure the protection of the nation and each other. This would certainly be feasible through the elimination of other unnecessary government funded projects, such as Abstinence Only sex education, or possibly even the highly unsuccessful and frankly unconstitutional War on Drugs.

4. Role of Government --> Based on the ideology posited by the Social Contract Theory, the government has both the right and the responsibility to protect its citizens. Failure to do so would speak volumes about our country and change the way we are perceived both domestically and abroad. In the past, the United States has been regarded as a strong and powerful country to be respected and revered. Today, many people doubt, ignore or deny our prestige in terms of politics, the economy and our military. Such a project has the potential to change the world view about our nation, and inspire Americans to achieve further economic growth.

5. Psychological Impact --> We live in a volatile world where many people fear or are preparing for the worst. The Bush regime with overly endorsed fear ongering has finally come to an end, but perhaps the repercussions have not. For Americans, this type of defense can serve as a reminder that for the most part, We Are Safe. There's nothing wrong with embracing freedom rather than fear, so long as we do not remain ignorant or isolated to the world's problems. To clarify, I am not suggesting that we ignore potential threats, but rather improve the quality of our lives by not being hindered by fear of something as catastrophic as a nuclear attack.

6. Technological Advances --> The U.S. does currently have several small-scale nuclear defense systems in place. I propose that seeking to revamp or improve the quality of said systems would lead to technological innovation that could change the world in terms of defense, or possibly other aspects of science. Results have the potential to globally impact the world in a positive way. An example would include technological know-how by automobile mogels Mercedes-Benz, who during World War II created a notable series of aircraft, tank, and submarine engines ... also produced parts for German arms, most notably barrels for the Mauser rifle [3].

7. Global Repercussions --> The assumption that this type of defense would lead to militant opposition by other nations is flawed. Instead, we can assume that our efforts will serve as a useful deterrent, and hinder any inclination to launch an attack on the U.S. After all, if we were equipped to defend our nation, then to attack our country would be illogical as it would only instigate a hostile (and probably violent) response. To leave our country open to an assault would be irresponsible. Further, the fear of any country actually using these weapons (and thus introducing the concept of WWIII, and - as some people say - the end of the world as we know it) may actually increase the notion that PEACE is important and something we should strive for not just because it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling inside, but because we have the power to ultimately destroy humanity. If that doesn't serve as an argument for peace, I don't know what does.

8. Economic Repercussions --> Sure, a massive project such as this would cost the government a great deal of money. However, it would require a large amount of personnel; i.e. the creation of new jobs. In a country where outsourcing is a major threat to the workforce today, this could potentially save many people and families from the undesirable reality of unemployment. The logic behind this thinking is that the many workers and contractors employed to design and maintain these systems will in turn pump some money back into the economy. They will also be able to contribute via taxes, and not deplete economic resources such as Welfare or Unemployment.

Conclusion:

That's all for now, folks.

Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org......
[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu......
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
InfraRedEd

Con

Consumer spending is what stimulates the economy.

No wait it's

We must spend more money and that will help the economy.

Government spending is the answer to everything.

The only thing the government knows how to do is spend money. That takes labor, raw materials and manufacturing capability from the market in competition with the private sector, so it ends up costing money in the long run by using up all those resources and not producing anything of economic value.

So that actually would be economically very costly and hurt the economy enormously.

Also that money has to come from somewhere.

The so-called Economic Stimulus Package, for example, will cost between two and three thousand dollars for every man, woman and child in America.

The current $3.4 trillion dollar budget: Your share: How's your math?

Ten thousand dollars for every man, woman and child in America.

Now if the government came to you, and supposing you had that kind of money and were thinking of loaning it out, the first question you would ask is whatever makes you think I think I will ever see this money again?

Considering of course our already fourteen digit debt. What's your share of that?

Not to mention the moral cost of being already the first and only nation to use WMD ourselves. Let's keep it that way and not become the second as well.

Sure others used them but where do you think they got them?

Iraq was very dishonest in destroying the WMD we gave them so we could find them.

Anyway actual money, though, you won't pay much at all compared to your children.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

My opponent's sole contention is the cost of developing a missile defense system, i.e. an opposition to government spending. In addition to ignoring all of my previous contentions (regarding psychological impact, the Social Contract theory, etc.), Con has failed to prove why the cost of something is of higher value or importance than the other contentions I have provided. In other words, just because something is not cost beneficial does not mean that we shouldn't do it. An example includes spending money to save a life, i.e. a surgery, medication, etc. Another less morbid examples includes spending money on essentially anything. The worst of something is determined by the value we place on it. As I have pointed out on the debate, a missile defense system has the ability to save lives. As a society, the preservation of life is important to us. I have proven that. Additionally, Con's argument went completely off topic by discussing obscene government spending in general. I agree with him to an extent, but not in regard to the resolution: missile defense.
InfraRedEd

Con

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

-- Bejamin Franklin

Don't get me started on the Patriot Act.

If we would quit starting wars all over the place maybe that would ease the situation a bit.

Our domestic policy, and foreign too, is one of economic ruin.

It's bad enough we ruin our own economy which ruins the world's also automatically. We have to take an active part in completely economically subjugating the Third World via the IMF and World Bank.

That is what needs to be changed.

Anyone who wants to be a bad person and carry a gun is welcome in Arizona so you can easily see what that philosophy gets you personally. Countries are no different.

A nuclear attack is mutual suicide.

"The Outlaw Sea" is a good book.

They could just sail a ship into any seaport and blow it up.

Or hand carry it over for that matter.

There simply is no way to cover all possibilities.

So a missile defense system has zero ability to save lives and plenty of ability to blow us all up.

A defensive weapon is one that you point at somebody else.

An offensive weapon is one that somebody else points at you.

I'm sure these antimissile missiles and antiantiantimissile missile missiles etc are all non-nuclear.

We shouldn't need any antiantimissile missiles if we have no missiles to antimissiles against.

The lack of weapons will be a better reminder of peace.

The production of weapons, especially nuclear weapons, is terribly destructive ecologically.

But the real answer is that the arms race is suicidal.

My opponent argues that producing weapons will further the cause of peace, and further declares, "If that doesn't serve as an argument for peace, I don't know what does."

Therefore destroying weapons will further the cause of war, and If that doesn't serve as an argument for keeping all weapons and making more weapons in order to further the cause of peace, my opponent doesn't know what does.

See your local Quaker House.

This wall

http://www.tucsonweekly.com...

is exactly the same xenophobic mentality, and that is where many of my opponent's arguments are coming from.

Our government has a vested interest in xenophobia, racism and hate of all kinds.

That way they can "protect" us from those other guys.

My opponent's next vacation should be to some place people are different from herself.

Hawaii is a million times better than Ft. Lauderdale any day of the year and has more tropical fruits and wildlife and better food than anywhere especially New York and better tailoring and better scenery and more rain and more skin cancer and more different kinds of people from more places too and they have never heard of Jane Austen although it was a matriarchal society at one time including the present except for all the foreigners.

White people are a minority there. This is exactly what my opponent needs.

People come back froom Ft. Lauderdale so how good can it be anyway.

I believe my opponent is arguing that more weapons will increase America's stature and inspire Americans to achieve more economically.

And that the government must protect us from fear or something like that.

Has my opponent noticed where these fearful stories are coming from?

The state has a vested interest in fear.

"Terrorists," Communists. Marxists. Anyone different.

If we didn't have governments we wouldn't have any of the problems my opponent is afraid of, especially fear itself.

Any money spent on arms just expands the power and the evils of the Military-Industrial Complex.

The remainder of my opponent's arguments could as easily be from an anarchist point of view.

The benefits of scientific advancement from going to the Moon or Mars would far outweigh those of studying war if they were not trying to use space for military purposes also.

Of course anyone can easily see the futility of an anti-missile system.

All of her arguments intended to support the arms race, point to the elimination of the state.

She is probably a communist too.

We already know she is an atheist.
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Con states, "So a missile defense system has zero ability to save lives and plenty of ability to blow us all up." He says that this is because there would be other ways for terrorists and other threats to launch an attack, say via ships. While there is some merit to his claim, it does not effectively argue any of my points. Moreover, consider the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. Does that mean that women shouldn't take steps to prevent or treat breast cancer, simply because it is more likely that they will die from heart disease? No. Taking measures to prevent attacks that are large scale and entirely plausible (as I have outlined in Round 1) is both the government's right and responsibility, especially if they have the power to deter an attack and make citizens feel secure. Con has not argued otherwise in a competent and effective way.

Next my opponent has attempted to depict me as a xenophobic communist. He uses the Personal Attack fallacy to falsely present his ideology, even mentioning my beliefs regarding a deity in order to attack my arguments in this debate. A personal attack is committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for evidence when attacking another person's claim or claims. This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because the attack is directed at the person making the claim and not the claim itself. The truth value of a claim is independent of the person making the claim. After all, no matter how repugnant an individual might be, he or she can still make true claims. Thus, claiming that I am intolerant of people unlike myself is not only a blatant lie, but entirely irrelevant to this debate. I've already noted that I could argue this position from either the Pro or the Con side. To me, this debate is rooted in sport and competition - who can make the better arguments - not necessarily what I find to be morally appropriate.

That said, Con continues to say that the government merely tries to instigate fear against anyone different. To an extent, I agree. And furthermore, mentioning the Military Industrial Complex was appropriate on the part of Con. However, merely name-dropping a term without at least defining it, let alone using it to argue against any of my 8 contentions, means that his weak arguments do not stand. You have to defend your claims; Con didn't.

Furthermore, Con went so far as to argue against the existence of government and weapons in general. I strongly oppose the notion that the government should be eliminated (which is apparently his response to my Role of Government argument?) due to my other point: the Social Contract Theory. What's funny is that Con notes, "The remainder of my opponent's arguments could as easily be from an anarchist point of view," when really he is the one making claims such as, "If we didn't have governments we wouldn't have any of the problems my opponent is afraid of, especially fear itself." It seems to me that Con is not making any type of cohesive or consistent arguments whatsoever.

Additionally, Con does not know how to properly form an argument. For instance, he states, "The benefits of scientific advancement from going to the Moon or Mars would far outweigh those of studying war if they were not trying to use space for military purposes also." I can simply say Nay - I negate that - and this claim would have no merit, as it is not backed up by any facts, logic, reasoning or analysis. For this reason (the fact that my opponent has not made any claims and backed them up), plus the fact that he has failed to respond to the various claims that *I* have made, I encourage a vote for the Pro.
InfraRedEd

Con

Oh no not another set of "twins." Well at least give me credit for making the call. Pink is good.

And what is going on with this Mafia Murder Manson. My opponent appears to be the most old involved in that so that is who the cops are going to want to talk to when they bust up this whole whatever is going on here although PoeJoe seems to be the most mature and rational.

Hal didn't do anything particularly disgraceful to my knowledge yet no one will discuss it due obviously to some code of silence. Is the whole site nothing but children acting without parental oversight or even adult supervision except for my opponent of course? Let's discuss the moral implications of that by the way. An educator would say you are utilizing distance technology in the distribution of open courseware. This Internet is important. Use it for what you believe is important.

Why would one person say "our" namestoolong?

Are you "killling" one another or just the rest of us? I'll bet not. Those murder games have become reality. Call it "War Room" and you can kill lots of imaginary people instead of real ones.

How about cooperation games? Plenty of those around too. You are what you play.

What kind of government should we have anyway? Play a government game. We're all already playing one anyway.

Instead of a murder game. We're all already playing enough of those anyway.

"Be the change."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
-- Winston Churchill

And the only thing we have to label is labelling itself. I did not attach any negative value to any of my labels.

In defense of Americans, while most of them think the rest of the world including themselves is composed of filthy animals who cannot think, my opponent is altogether too reasonable and well informed than to imagine more than that "they" including myself merely hate her and want to destroy her wonderful and beautiful country and are otherwise merely offensive and irrelevant.

We don't need missile defense. We need self-esteem pills.

Active-duty suicides are rising and now exceed battle casualties. The Pentagon is completely clueless as to what to do about it. Ask a child.

Why on Earth would anyone bother to destroy us when we are doing such an excellent job of it ourselves.

And this time please give me an answer that does come from the heart.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
You guys piss me off. I'm outta here.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
I have a suspicion that Ed is a sockpuppet account.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Don't forget:
- Solarman
- Sadolite
- Kahn

The first 2 may be before your time...

Kahn was just an as$hole.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
It seems Ed has become the next person everybody has decided to hate.

I like him. He's hilarious.

Former "hot seat" members:
-Josh
-GodSands
-DATCMOTO
We now bring you:
-ED
Posted by Charlie_Danger 8 years ago
Charlie_Danger
Hey Ed, while we are unnessesarily reporting things, lets take a look at this:
"My opponent is probably a lesbian and won't have children anyway."
-Harrasment
-Hate Content
-Insulting other members

:)
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Wow. My argument (posted at 4AM) was riddled with typos. Good thing I'm debating someone incompetent so it probably won't matter.
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
We have to replace our missile system with a foreign policy that doesn't make people want to kill us.

That is the problem.
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
http://www.thenation.com...

New rules. We don't use missiles any more anyway. They are not even a serious threat and they are a big liability. Our wars are economic now. You can't sell anything to a parking lot. Get rid of them all before someone stupidly fires one.
Posted by InfraRedEd 8 years ago
InfraRedEd
But I want to talk about our

http://www.thenation.com...

educational system.

I hope you don't mind much.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Sure, no problem, just commenting on the general topic. It bugs me that in terms of it working, lamebrained scientists keep making pronouncements on an engineering problem. As a debate topic it is perfectly reasonable to debate it on principle.
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pcmbrown
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