The Instigator
LincolnDouglas123
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
jzonda415
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

National Security over Freedom of the Press

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
jzonda415
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/7/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,894 times Debate No: 35376
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

LincolnDouglas123

Con

"Resolved: That national security should be valued over freedom of the press." This is a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. The first round will be used for finding an opponent. When you accept the debate, you may use this to state your case (as the affirmative has first speaking in all Lincoln-Douglas style debates). We will proceed from there. I'm looking forward to it. :)
jzonda415

Pro

I would like to just start out by thanking my opponent LincolnDouglas123 for this debate. This being my first Lincoln-Douglas debate, I look forward to it.

Per the rules of Lincoln-Douglas debates, I, being the affirmative, will present my arguments.

Definitions:

As my opponent did not offer up any definitions, I shall.

National Security: the protection or the safety of a country's secrets and its citizens [1]

Freedom of the Press: the right of newspapers to freely publish stories and articles [2]

Valued: highly regarded or esteemed [3]

With these terms defined, I will now move onto our arguments.

Freedom and Safety:

My case here is terse:

Keeping our society safe must be our first priority. Without safety and security from foreign powers, terrorism and violence, our citizen's livelihoods would be negatively affected. If we don't value our safety, we will allow harm to fall upon our citizens. Freedom, whether it be of the press or any other type, is important for a civilization to flourish, but we shouldn't favor or value it more than safety. Why? Because it's hard to be free when you're dead.

Let me give an example:

Let us say there is a terrorist and the government has secret plans relating to national security that will stop him. Now, let us say that there is a newspaper who plans to publish these secrets. What should we do? If we place more value on freedom of the press, we would allow the press to publish these secrets, making the aforementioned terrorist aware of these plans. This would have obvious negative consequences and is unsound. However, If we put safety first, these plans would never become public and the terrorist would likely be captured.

Here is another example: Say there was a country that posed a threat to us and we had plans to strike it. Also say there was a newspaper who prepared to publish these plans. If we valued freedom of the press more than national security, we would allow this paper to publish these plans and let the enemy know about these plans. This bring obvious negative consequences. However, if we valued national security more and we don't allow this paper to publish these plans, then the enemy would not be aware of it and our country would be safer.

There are many more examples like this, but my opponent can clearly see my point.

Basically, national security keeps people safe and to value it less than freedom of the press or of any kind really is to put people's lives at risk.

Objection: If safety is so important, then why don't we all just surrender all of our rights to the government?

There must of course be a balance between national security and freedom of the press. We wouldn't go as far as to ban newspapers, but we also wouldn't allow them to publish every single government document. We should make it so safety comes before freedom of the press; thus, our nation's secrets and plans to fight violence would be protected, but our freedom would still be preserved.

The Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court has traditionally said the same things I have said in this debate: National Security comes before and is more valuable than Freedom of the Press.

An example of this comes from a landmark decision in Near v. Minnesota, a decision that has never been overturned. The Supreme Court ruled that the Court held that the government could not prohibit the publication of a newspaper for carrying stories that were scandalous or scurrilous. However, the court expanded on this and said that there were exceptions for prior restraint one of which being, that's right you guessed it, national security:

"The objection has also been made that the principle as to immunity from previous restraint is stated too broadly, if every such restraint is deemed to be prohibited. That is undoubtedly true; the protection even as to previous restraint is not absolutely unlimited. But the limitation has been recognized only in exceptional cases. 'When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.' (Schenck v. United States). No one would question but that a government might prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting service or the publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops." [4]

Objection: But what about New York Times Co. v. United States? In that they ruled for freedom of press over national security!
False. In New York Times Co. v. United States, The Court found that the government had not proved an overriding governmental interest, or an extreme danger to national security if the material were to be published. [5] If it doesn't pose a threat to national security, then let it be published.

Conclusion:

I have shown why national security takes precedence and holds more value than freedom of the press and how the Supreme Court concurs with my stance.

The resolution is affirmed.

I look forward to my opponents arguments.

Sources:

1. http://www.macmillandictionary.com...
2. http://www.macmillandictionary.com...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
LincolnDouglas123

Con

I would like to begin also with a thank you to my opponent for accepting the challenge. I'm very pleased to have a willing victim. ;) With the pleasantries out of the way, let's get to it.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (1) These words of Benjamin Franklin idealize precisely what the negative case shall entail. While national security is certainly a responsibility of government to keep, it should never be valued above any personal freedom, including freedom of the press.

Definitions:
Before we get onto the meat of the round, I would like to clarify exactly what is meant by the definitions above. National Security and Valued are fine as they are, but Freedom of the Press needs clarification. Since nearly everyone has the ability to publish stories and articles (not simply newspapers), Freedom of the Press is far more extensive than commonly thought. As the negative, I believe it is vital to note that Freedom of the Press extends past newspapers and industries to civilians, as anyone is capable of publishing articles and stories.

With those clarifications out of the way, I will now present the main philosophy of the negative case. While keeping society safe is a high priority, they can never be valued above any personal freedoms, including freedom of the press. Therefore, my value is Freedom of the Press, the value I believed that must be held highest in this debate round. The reason that is show will be presented in three main points, or contentions.

Contention 1: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Value
Intrinsic values are categorized as a non-derivative value of a certain, generally moral kind. This means they are valuable not because of any results they bring, but they are valuable because they are, well, valuable. They cannot be derived. Liberty (including freedom of the press) is an intrinsic value. (2) Extrinsic values are categorized as derived values of a certain kind. They are valuable because they are derived from an intrinsic value. National security is an extrinsic value. The reason why national security is valuable is because it is derived from another value, which in the opinion of the affirmative is life. So, what does this have to do with the presented resolution? This will be further illuminated in my second contention.

Contention 2: Intrinsic Value Must Be Valued above Extrinsic Value
As we have already established, that which is intrinsically good is non-derivatively good. It is good for its own sake. That which is extrinsically good is good because it is a derivative from something intrinsically good. Therefore, intrinsic value must have a priority over extrinsic value, the latter is derivative from or reflective of the former and is to be explained in terms of the former. Philosophers have understood this for centuries. With this clarified, let's move onto my final contention.

Contention 3: Therefore, Freedom of the Press Must Be Valued Over National Security
This is the conclusion of the first two premises. Since intrinsic value must be naturally valued above extrinsic value, and since freedom of the press is an intrinsic value while national security is an extrinsic value, freedom of the press must be naturally valued above national security. With the negative case explained, I will now move on to refute the affirmative's points. I will do so by grouping the relative arguments chronologically, then addressing them through refutation contentions.

Chronology of arguments:
-National Security is highest priority.
-Without National Security, harm will fall on the citizens.
-Reason for valuing: It's hard to be free when you're dead (I completely agree.).
-There must be a balance, but we must restrict freedom through national security.
-Supreme court statement

Refutation Contention 1: National Security Is NOT the Highest Priority
The Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." (3) The implication behind this is that the responsibility of the government is NOT to contain national security, but to uphold life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. This leads back to the intrinsic vs. extrinsic value argument. Life is an intrinsic value; national security is extrinsic. The responsibility of government is not to uphold national security, but to uphold the three mentioned values above. This leads into my second refutation contention.

Refutation Contention 2: Life Does Not Equal National Security
My opponent seems to mistake life with national security, as he said, "It's hard to be free when your dead." The problem behind this is that a lack of national security does not mean Life will not exist. Much Life may be lost, but that is not a guarantee. What he is actually valuing is life over liberty, which is a much better argument, but not the one the resolution implies. Thus, he has not proven the affirmative case true. He did provide some examples upon a violation of national security through an extensive freedom of the press, but I can refute this in my next point.

Refutation Contention 3: Examples and Results Do Not Prove
While it is unfortunate that freedom of the press has caused a loss of national security in specific examples, this does not prove that it must be valued lower. Results do not prove what should be valued above another, because results vary from situation to situation. Freedom of the Press does not absolutely harm national security, and therefore gives no warrant for national security to be valued over freedom of the press.

Refutation Contention 4: Restriction Does Not Equate to Valuing Above
Ask yourselves this, do you value freedom or laws more? I am certain most of you would proclaim freedom. Do we use laws to restrict freedom? Yes, in fact, we use it to protect freedom. Does this mean we value laws above freedom? Of course not, we value freedom above laws, though laws restrict freedom. Similarly, using national security to restrict freedom of the press does not mean we value (highly regard or esteem) it above freedom of the press. The impact is that we can use national security to restrict freedom of the press without valuing it above it. Therefore, the affirmative fails to prove the resolution true. Restriction does not equate to valuing above.

Refutation Contention 5: Supreme Court Is Not Absolute Truth
Although the Supreme Court does not withhold what is absolutely true and what is not. Their opinion does not determine what should be valued higher in this debate round. Again, intrinsic value must always be valued above extrinsic value, because extrinsic value is derived from intrinsic value. Under this natural law of philosophy, while national security is important, freedom of the press must always be valued above it. He who does deserves neither.

Thank you, and it is for all these reasons I encourage you all to vote negative. I stand ready for my opponent's next response.

Sources:
1. http://en.wikiquote.org...
2. http://plato.stanford.edu...
3. http://www.archives.gov...
jzonda415

Pro

Many thanks for my opponent's response.

I will now reaffirm my case and also refute my opponents.

Opponent's Case:

The majority of my opponent's arguments relies on his first contention, which is being that National Security is not an intrinsic value and Freedom of the Press is. This ties in with his other contentions and is at the heart of his argument.

My opponent is false in saying that National Security is not an intrinsic value. Safety (which includes National Security) is an intrinsic value. I'll expand on this: An example of an intrinsic value might be happiness, for being happy is good just because it's good to be happy, not because being happy leads to anything else [1]. This is the same for Safety, it's good to be safe just because it's good to be safe, it doesn't necessarily lead to anything else. So safety (which includes National Security) is an intrinsic value and this refutes this contention and the following two contentions of my opponent's case.

My Case:

"The implication behind this is that the responsibility of the government is NOT to contain national security, but to uphold life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness"

How does the government uphold these though? By protecting these from threats that comes from terrorists or foreign powers through national security. These values are protected safety and national security. We won't be able to live out or uphold these values if they are vulnerable and constantly at threat, which is where they'll be when we start to not value National Security.

"The problem behind this is that a lack of national security does not mean Life will not exist. Much Life may be lost, but that is not a guarantee."

We shouldn't even take the risk. There is no guarantee you will be killed by a tornado but you still take shelter because both you and the government should rather be safe than sorry.

"Freedom of the Press does not absolutely harm national security, and therefore gives no warrant for national security to be valued over freedom of the press"

Not exactly accurate. Most of the time, when Freedom of the Press and National Security conflict, the government, Supreme Court and people choose what is more valuable, National Security. As said by the Supreme Court in Near v. Minnesota: "No one would question but that a government might prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting service or the publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops." [Source 4 in last debate]. Basically, when they conflict, Freedom of the Press harms National Security.

"Do we use laws to restrict freedom? Yes, in fact, we use it to protect freedom. Does this mean we value laws above freedom? Of course not, we value freedom above laws, though laws restrict freedom."

We value the laws that preserve our freedom over our freedom for without the laws there would likely be no freedom.

"Similarly, using national security to restrict freedom of the press does not mean we value (highly regard or esteem) it above freedom of the press. The impact is that we can use national security to restrict freedom of the press without valuing it above it. Therefore, the affirmative fails to prove the resolution true. Restriction does not equate to valuing above."

This is false. My father restricts my freedom of riding a bicycle when I'm being unsafe because he values my safety over my freedom. Restriction does equate to valuing above.

"Although the Supreme Court does not withhold what is absolutely true and what is not. Their opinion does not determine what should be valued higher in this debate round. Again, intrinsic value must always be valued above extrinsic value, because extrinsic value is derived from intrinsic value."

The Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law. You cite The Declaration of Independence to support your case, a document which by the way has no legal bearing. But I cite decisions made by the highest court in the land whose opinions are law and you write off their opinions because they don't "withhold what is absolutely true and what is not?"

The resolution stands affirmed.

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal.

Sources:

1. http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
LincolnDouglas123

Con

LincolnDouglas123 forfeited this round.
jzonda415

Pro

Arguments Extended. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
LincolnDouglas123

Con

LincolnDouglas123 forfeited this round.
jzonda415

Pro

Arguments Extended. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
LincolnDouglas123

Con

Forgive me of my forfeits. I have had some unforeseen preoccupations to which I had to tend for this past week or so. I look forward to getting back into this debate. In this final argument post, I will refute my opponents claims and show you why the negative stands in today's debate round through key voting issues.

1. National Security Is Extrinsic
I'd like to begin by refuting the very first point of his rebuttal. He claims National Security, or Safety, is an intrinsic value. He said Safety is good, because it is good to be safe. Wrong. Safety is good, because when you're safe, you have life, liberty, happiness, etc. Safety still promotes intrinsic values, and thus, it's value is extrinsic.

2. Purpose of National Security
My opponent had stated that when National Security and Freedom of the Press conflict, National Security is valued higher. But, why is National Security valued higher? By restricting Freedom of the press, we protect other people's freedom. We are still valuing freedom! We can use National Security to Freedom of the Press, but that doesn't mean we necessarily value it more. In fact, the whole purpose we use National Security as a means to restrict freedom is to protect it! We are still valuing freedom above all others! We can still value National Security, but its value exists solely because it protects life, liberty, etc. We still value freedom of National Security because National Security is simply used as a means to protect it.

3. Restriction Does Not Equate to Valuing Above
My opponent had stated, "We value laws that preserve our freedom over our freedom for without the laws there would likely be no freedom." What is he actually valuing? He stated that we value laws because we need them to preserve freedom! Even if he tries to value laws above freedom, he still values freedom over the law, because the entire reason he values the law is because it protects freedom! It's entirely circular. No matter what he states, the root reason he values national security or laws over freedom is for the sake of freedom. Therefore, he truly is valuing freedom at the core. There's no escape from that.

4. The Father Example Remains Irrelevant
The father does not restrict bicycle-riding freedoms because he values your "safety" over your freedom. He does so because he values your health, life, happiness, etc. that are promoted BY safety. Again, the entire reason he values your safety is because it protects your life, health, happiness, freedom, etc. It still circles back to the core reason of valuing your safety; it promotes intrinsic values.

5. Supreme Court Does Not Determine Truth
Just because the supreme court interprets that National Security must be valued over Freedom, this does not dictate that it should be done. But, let's say that it does. Why does the supreme court value National Security? Because it protects intrinsic values. The same principle is applied in this instance as well! There's no escape. Furthermore, I only used the Declaration of Independence as a reference to the understanding of why governments protect the people. I know it doesn't have any legal or moral authority; it just illustrates that our founders new the reason of government's existence.

In conclusion, I think it has been made clear that the value of National Security exists solely because it upholds Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Under this principle, no matter how much we value National Security (an extrinsic value), we will always value Liberty more. For this reason, I ask you to vote negative. I rest my case.
jzonda415

Pro


Many thanks for my opponent's response.

"Safety is good, because when you're safe, you have life, liberty, happiness, etc. Safety still promotes intrinsic values, and thus, it's value is extrinsic."

You are saying that any value that promotes or protects an intrinsic value is automatically extrinsic. By your reasoning in this, liberty (which includes Freedom of the Press) would be an extrinsic value. For liberty certainly promotes happiness, which is intrinsic and therefore, by your definition, liberty is extrinsic.

"By restricting Freedom of the press, we protect other people's freedom. We are still valuing freedom! We can use National Security to Freedom of the Press, but that doesn't mean we necessarily value it more...We still value freedom of National Security because National Security is simply used as a means to protect it."

My opponent in this is false. Let us look at a gun, or another device that protects one's life. Now say there was a threat, like a criminal. This gun is protecting one's life from this threat. Without this gun, this threat would take one's life. We should value the things that protect lives more for without them, there would be no life in the first place.

"He stated that we value laws because we need them to preserve freedom! Even if he tries to value laws above freedom, he still values freedom over the law, because the entire reason he values the law is because it protects freedom! It's entirely circular. No matter what he states, the root reason he values national security or laws over freedom is for the sake of freedom. Therefore, he truly is valuing freedom at the core."

I turn you back to the gun example. Safety is more valuable for it protects it. There is nothing to value if it is lost to a threat.

"The father does not restrict bicycle-riding freedoms because he values your "safety" over your freedom. He does so because he values your health, life, happiness, etc. that are promoted BY safety. Again, the entire reason he values your safety is because it protects your life, health, happiness, freedom, etc. It still circles back to the core reason of valuing your safety; it promotes intrinsic values."

False. Safety protects intrinsic values. Why must protection be more important? Because, like I have stated before: There is nothing to value if it is lost to a threat.

"Just because the supreme court interprets that National Security must be valued over Freedom, this does not dictate that it should be done."

What? This is exactly what the Supreme Court does. They interpret various things and situations and dictate what should be done.

"Why does the supreme court value National Security? Because it protects intrinsic values. The same principle is applied in this instance as well!"

We are repeating ourselves many times. My opponent says it here, it protects intrinsic values. Without such protection, or with such protection valued less, intrinsic values would be vulnerable and/or non-existent.

Conclusion:

I do not advocate for a total police state nor do I advocate for anarchy (Well, I don't know bout this yet). Like I said in the first round, there must be a balance between security and freedom. I treasure them both. However, like I have said in this round and always, with safety valued less, it makes freedom more vulnerable and worse. With safety valued more, it makes freedom less vulnerable and better.

The resolution stands affirmed.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
It would be extremely helpful and for both me and our debate if you could hold off on posting your arguments until the last possible second. I am going camping as I have said before and I am not getting back until Sunday. If you could hold off until the last second, I will be able to respond.
Please and thank you.
Posted by LincolnDouglas123 3 years ago
LincolnDouglas123
It appears that I cannot edit it, since it began. With that being said, the fourth round and fifth round shall consist of rebuttals in the same order.
Posted by LincolnDouglas123 3 years ago
LincolnDouglas123
Not a problem. I had meant to put in three rounds. The first round will consist of a affirmative constructive. The second shall consist of a negative constructive and the first affirmative rebuttal. The final round shall consist of a negative rebuttal and the second affirmative rebuttal (the final speech).
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
But could you lay out for me what we do in each round? Looking at the rules for Lincoln-Douglas, 5 rounds looks like too much.
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
Going to post my arguments as close to the deadline as possible. I'm going on a camping trip on Thursday and need the time.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
LincolnDouglas123jzonda415Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited and Pro used more sources than him.