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Ok to kill Thousands but not millions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 234 times Debate No: 84239
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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II have read up about the British Concentration camps, imprisoning woman and children, during the 2nd Anglo Boer War in South Africa. Conceptualised and established by Lord Kitchener.
I have just read up on German prison camps/labour camps/extermination camps of the 2nd World War.
I have also read up on the USA's Guantanamo Bay "detention" camp.
Completing my read were the details surrounding the Japanese America internment camps in the USA after the attack on Pearl Harbour.
The Russian concentration camps exceed the numbers to those of the Germans and were as cruel. But hey, with Stalin smoking cigars with Churchill and buddy Roosevelt, granted him and the USSR (old name) immunity!!!
So, we single out the Germans for atrocities. Why has the World not taken steps against the British, USA and the USSR (old name) for war crimes? It appears that killing a few, or a few thousand is OK! But heck, killing a few million, now that is overstepping the boundary. The other fact that transpires is that you only become accountable if you lose the war.
My debate is thus: It is ok to have slave/extermination/brutal camps as long as you kill less than a million. This is an acceptable practise and is considered collateral damage.
Killing more than a million becomes - now that is uncalled for..................


I accept your challenge.

I will be arguing against killing as a whole, regardless of the number of people. Also, in order to make my point, I will ask you to answer the question, "Why do we kill?". Best of luck to Pro.

Let's begin:

Ever since the dawn of Man, war has been an important part of a human being's life. Whether they were the victor or the defeated, the casualty or the survivor, the liberator or the conqueror, the result of that war has shaped the foundation of the society we live in today. It's effect has either been positive or negative but there are always more negatives than positives. The positives include the advancement of technology, the creation of jobs and a healthy economy, while the negative out-weight the positives due to the psychological impact it has on the stability of the human mind. So if the negatives are greater and affect us more, then why continue down the path that damages the human mind, i.e. war and intentional slaughter of human beings?

For me, when I read the title of this debate, I asked myself the following questions and I urge you to do the same. What's the purpose behind such a cap over the amount of deaths? Is it international attention that stops from continuing the killing? How does one qualify to be killed? If we kill thousands now, that will eventually add up to millions in the end, so why not kill a million now in one go and get it over with? The answer to all this is simple; we shouldn't kill. Period. But the ultimate question that I ask you to answer is, "why do we even bother to kill in the first place?"
Debate Round No. 1


Dear Con

Your counter argument, beginning with "Why do we kill?" is a perfect starting point because it sets a common baseline for both our arguments. I also fully concur with your opening paragraph, noting the "positives" of war, e.g technology advancement, job creation et al, all contributing to a healthy economy of the warmongering nation, or nation defending itself.

Man kills for political reasons and religious reasons. I'm specifically excluding murder - we are discussing war.
Reading ancient scriptures; it becomes evident for this to be true Quotes: "Religion Causes War - quoted by Tom Price" and "Should Religion and Politics be kept Separate - paper by Rhia Sharma."
In fact, we can add one more; The human race is the only one that kills for pleasure or recreation. Quote: "Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself." James Anthony Froude (British historian, 1818-1894)
Having established the killing motive, or mitigation thereof, we can now agree that it is ok for humans to kill.
We now get to part two of the argument, viz. is killing a few thousand acceptable but killing a million or more is unacceptable. Let's look at the philosophy of reporting news in the world today. First and foremost news agencies base their reporting on shock value. This applies to every facet of our lives. Now days, the most sensational reporting concerns news and events covering wars across the globe. We have become numb and insensitive to most of the killings, especially of civilians caught in the cross fire. I have yet to hear, see or read that a fight was called off because of the probable collateral damage envisaged or the current impact or loss of live to civilians.

News reports confirming a death toll in small numbers go unnoticed. As the numbers increase, so does the sensation and political noise. The question I now pose, relating to the killing dial, is where does green finish, amber finish and red start?

Drawing on history, taking from my mention in Round 1: The British concentration camps established in 1900 (45 of them) , killed over 4 000 women, over 22 00 children under the age of 16, and 1 6 76 men. If you add the numbers and compare that to the whole Boer population in the ZAR at the time - it is genocide. I challenge you to produce one account of where the British had to answer or were taken to task for this war crime!!

How many civilians did the Americans kill during the whole of the Vietnam Campaign........? Carpet bombing, napalm bombing, village destruction, villagers killed ect etc. Thousands I tell you. Have you ever seen a programme on the History Channel or National Geographic, highlighting the plight of the Vietnamese people (not Viet Cong)? No! The numbers , although very high varies between sources from 587 000 - 800 000. So, even a number of nearly a million does not get coverage or is sensationised by The History Channel or National Geographic.
Thus far it would appear that deaths numbering below 500 000 is in the green. Approaching a million, the death meter moves to amber. What about red? The alleged WW2 death counts, laid at the door of the Russians and the Germans each, are in the millions. The world does not have a stomach for this number. It is turned over and over and over at every change. Dramatasised at every opportunity. My interpretation is that the death meter turns red when you hit about 2 000 000 deaths.

So Mr. President and Mr. Politician you must use this meter to manage your post war propaganda.
To summarise, I wish to use an analogy. In the Western world, ask a lady if she believes in free sex. She will reply in a shocked voice no!. You then ask "Well how much do you charge then?" The analogy being that the lady believes in sex. The question is just for how much money?
We believe in killing - the question is how many is too much!


1. "Man kills for political reasons and religious reasons."
I disagree and I agree. I disagree because there is a major difference between a puppet and a puppeteer. It is true that the puppet is the one doing the actions but the person or people behind the scenes are the ones that are ones that are truly responsible. So without the puppet, the puppeteer is nothing and vice versa. Similarly, the man that kills, kills because he was ordered to and in order to keep his family fed and his superiors' trust, he has no choice but to do what he is commanded. Therefore the political reasons and religious reasons he may be killing for, are not necessarily aligned with his own. Then again, all political have been cloaked as religious wars or otherwise. No war has been fought solely on the basis of religion; the crusades are an excellent example of what a political war looks like when masked by religion.
I agree with this statement because it is man does kill in the name of whatever they believe in so there's no running away from that fact.

2. "Religion causes war"
False. Religion never causes war when it explicitly commands us to regard each member of the human race as members of one's own family. On the contrary, it is the constant clashing of man's absurd interpretations, quick judgments and failure of investigation that generates such animosity and eventually war. So in reality it is the man that wages war for personal benefits where as religion teaches to avoid it. War will be totally abolished if man chooses the power of love over the love of power. So you tell me which religious text teaches that war is necessary for the human race. Religion draws the much needed line between man and animal and teaches us that we have capacity to be united if we choose to do so. The important word is "choose". Religion teaches us that God (whether you believe in Him or not) gave us the ability to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong and the consequences each choice holds. This comes back to the title of this debate, "It's OK to kill thousands but not millions"; when Religion gives humanity the necessary tools to create peace then why kill at all for the personal gain of power-hungry people who couldn't give a hoot for the condition of the people fighting for them? I, in no means direct this at you, but if I agreed with this debate I would be no different than the monster within the stories that teaches children what wrong truly is. So I ask you this, with all this guidance that religion gives us, does killing another human being make us any more human?
(Since I established that man is the cause of war and not religion, something to keep in mind: Abdu'l-Baha, the Son of the Prophet of the Baha'i Faith, says in "Foundations of World Unity" that, "Divine religion is not a cause for discord and disagreement. If religion becomes the source of antagonism and strife, the absence of religion is to be preferred. Religion is meant to be the quickening life of the body politic; if it be the cause of death to humanity, its nonexistence would be a blessing and benefit to man. Therefore in this day the divine teachings must be sought, for they are the remedies for the present conditions of the world of humanity." p.22-23)

3. "Should religion and politics be kept separate?"

4. "Humans are the only ones that kill for sport"
Biologically, humans are mammals and mammals are animals. Fortunately, we are not the only ones that kill for sport. Among the animals that exist on this earthly plain, cats, ants, chimps, wolves, and dolphins (believe it or not) kill for the sport of it. Torture is not only limited to humans because scorpions and and snakes are among the species that generate agony in their prey through venom. However, humans are the only ones that interrogate and systematically torture other humans for sensitive information. So basically, there's nothing special there.

5. " is okay for humans to kill"
Still false. Since I established that killing is a useless form of conveying a message, then why would it be still okay? Killing others to prove that killing is wrong, is a hypocritical way to solve a problem that will likely get worse if war was decided to be the "only" solution to a problem. The word "decided" brings us back to the above paragraph of "choice". If we work backwards, we can see that our physical actions are the direct offspring of the verbal decisions that we make between the 2 choices our mind presents us, i.e. right or wrong.
For example, a General is in charge with the well-being of his army and the fate of the enemy, therefore those critical decisions paint the last image someone will see before our eyes close on this world forever. So which one is more logical to see before death: the steel barrel of a rifle that is as cold as the person's heart that wields it, or the faces of family members and loved ones?

6. "World news"
Agreed. However, the title of this debate has nothing to do with what the news agencies show us. If anything, the news agencies you speak about are Western based and generate an indecisive stance on a situation. Other news agencies around the world share a different perspective on events that have occurred so unless we go through the broadcasting style of every news agency, it is unfair to mention them in relation to the title of this debate.

7."History of British Concentration camps, WW2, etc."
I fully understand the statistics of the casualties you have mentioned, however these all happened in the past, so should this be proof enough that killing is wrong? One, Two, Ten, Hundreds, Thousands, Millions, Billions, it makes no difference; when you've killed one, it's as if you've killed the whole of mankind. For example, if you stub your toe, your whole body feels it. Humanity is exactly the same. If you just read that and said to yourself "pfff no it's not" then this is proof that we as humans, need to change our ways because killing for any reason whatsoever, is hypocritical and ridiculous.

In conclusion, as Con to this debate, I in no way promote pacifism, rather sensible and fair justice, even if it means capital punishment. But there is a clear difference between the fair trial and judgment of a criminal that the invasion and genocide of a people that we know nothing about (there's no justice in that). The existence of war is proof that we as humans are not working hard enough to change the way we currently view problem solving. This is a mad world because we choose not to change it. We live in a world where the father has to bury his son and has to pay someone else to bury him. Where's the honor in that? We live in a world where the toughest of men still cry out for their mother's embrace in the height of battle. Where's the respect in that? We live in a world where flags cover more bodies than they fly in the wind. Where's the pride in that? We live in a world where religion is avoided in order to KEEP friendships. Where's the sense in that? We live in a world where we're not allowed to ask why. Where's the the justice in that?
There are still people on this Blue Marble that haven't even seen what the ocean looks like yet and we're killing eachother over lands that some people don't even know exist. The sad thing, is that our Earth soaks up more blood than it does fresh water and the last time I checked, blood and sunlight don't make a flower grow. So my questions to you are, when will humanity learn that unity is all we have in this vast and empty universe? Why is 1% of the world dictating the fate of 99%? What does it mean to be human?
My friend, it should be a crime to bring children into this world, for the womb of the mother is a world where the child only knows one thing, and love. If I agree with killing thousands but not a millions, even after all the lessons history gives us, then I am nowhere near understanding the true functions of a human being.
Debate Round No. 2


Taking stock of both our arguments, we have established that throughout the dawn on time man has been killing, be it spurned on by politics, religion or for pleasure. We have each discussed various arguments for and against the so called benefits that war (killing holds). We have also argued how the debacle of politics and religion is inexorably linked...or not!!??!!

So back to the question: "Ok to kill thousand but not millions."
I'd like to remove the moral obligation, the barbarism and cruelty associated with applying a number to the statement. Because our argument is not that "killing is acceptable/unacceptable". Reason being that we all agree this to be unacceptable in a so called responsible, mature and human rights society.

Sadly I believe my statement remains true; it is ok to kill thousand but not millions.
In short, the world will not bat an eye if the body count remains "relatively" low. Just don't let the world know the exact number. I base this on media, be it Western or Eastern............... both sides muddle the truth for their own propaganda.

If the number is low not much in the news. If the number is high......a bit more sensation on the news. The higher the number things get a bit hotter. If you do kill a few million, the world will sit up, everybody holier than the next one will be citing genocide and what ever human rights violation they can think of. At some point the world will gasp and demand action by the United Nations. (Apologies for this sentence - it is a contradiction in terms :) )

Thus I have demonstrated that killing a few thousand will go unpunished. Killing a million not so easy! Thus acceptable!!!


I would like to point out that Pro has not addressed any of the points that I offered in the previous argument which leads me to believe that I have proved his debate wrong. Pro instead incorrectly summarizes the in-depth analysis that I offered about his arguments.

Let's begin:

(1) "Ok to kill thousands but not millions." vs "killing is acceptable/unacceptable"
These two statements are absolutely linked if not the same. In your debate title you have stated both the acceptable and unacceptable circumstances around the subject of killing therefore these 2 statements cannot be separated.

(2) "killing is unacceptable in a so called responsible, mature and human rights society"
I am sure you'd agree that this above statement is our end goal. To be able to turn into a mature society would mean that we have mastered the art of peace and are willing to but the past behind us and learn from our mistakes. This debate comment does exactly the opposite and instead of solving the problem of senseless killing, be it political or religious, it promotes it but just lowers the cap.

(3) Sadly I believe my statement remains true
Sadly, I believe that you have not read my previous arguments and have drawn a conclusion based on how you may feel regarding this debate title. I will provide you with a summary of my previous arguments: Killing is not a problem solver like it was in the medieval stages. We as a human race have evolved to a stage where killing has become an obsolete form of conveying a message, however it is our fault that we refuse to change our ways because the death of the innocent, profit others. Therefore agreeing with the title of this debate is not a option by any means, regardless of what the past has done.

(4) body count remains "relatively" low
You say that the world will not bat an eye if the the body count remains "relatively" low. This is false beyond belief. First of all, define the word world. I won't assume what you mean by that but I will give you an insight as to why this statement is wrong.
Let me give you an example (bare with me as it will eventually make sense).
Everyone in the whole wide world today, enters a fantasy world when they begin to discuss what it means to live an "American dream"; nice car, big house, freedom, money, good job etc. So instead of working hard to achieve the standard of American success, the world wants everything to be exactly the same as the Americans, without the hard-work factor. They follow trends, fashion, movies, and closely monitor every single move the Americans make in order to mirror them to the point. That's a problem because instead of changing their side of the world to match the success of the Americans, they view America as their world; so if America understands a certain problem, then they say "yep, so do we. And if we have any problems, we can call on them to solve it for us".
I hope you understand why I say this because it is America that announced an international preference to European countries in the past which gave the world an opportunity to mourn Paris through the media in the present and be a part of the American trend. However, not one word of the casualties caused by the terrorist attacks in Lebanon were mentioned. So the mourning of Paris was necessary but was also blown out of proportion compared to the number of deaths that have occurred. Have you ever heard of any middle eastern country coming to anyone's rescue? Any Slavic countries? No! because America has manipulated the people to subconsciously view them as an ally by default. So if they have the power to change people's perspective then why not do it for good?

(5) The higher the number, the more hotter things get
True, but earlier I stated that even killing one is as if you've killed the whole of mankind. So why would killing still be okay? I don't care what happened in the past. The Jewish Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda are lessons to be learned from. Those men and women had their lives taken from them by people who failed to understand the true meaning of humanity and their deaths would be in vain if we turned the title of this debate into a fully functioning law. It is ridiculous to even say it's okay to kill one man let alone a thousand or even millions. Again I say that I'm not pacifist, rather a person who believes in justice through a fair and unbiased trial, even if it means capital punishment.

(6 ) United Nations
There is corruption at the very heart of the UN so they are truly unreliable. Read about Kofi Annan and Benon Sevan for more info.

(7)killing a few thousand will go unpunished. Killing a million not so easy! Thus acceptable!!!
I respectfully say that it's sad how you repeatedly say that killing with a specific cap is acceptable. A murderer kills one, a psycho kills 10, but only a genocidal manic with a addiction for death, kills a few thousand. The fact that you admit that killing a few thousand will go unpunished, is statement to the whole flippin' world that it is time for change, but where is killing acceptable under any circumstances? How does this solve the problem the world is currently in?

In conclusion, it's incredibly easy for a 1000 people to change one man, but it takes courage for a man to change a 100 people. What change are you willing to offer that will benefit the progress of Mankind? Because this is certainly not it...

Your turn :)
Debate Round No. 3


Dear Con

The premise of the debate opened up by stating actual events, supported by notes from the victor, proving that the World (more about the "World" later) only takes note when significant numbers of people are killed. My question remains, why has the world not taken steps against the British, Americans and Russians for war crimes committed. Simply because they emerged as the victors and because the numbers were low. In the case of the Russians the numbers are sky high but the West was politically incapable, nor interested to address. The World rather singled out the German nation because they lost the war and the numbers were high.

I'd like to pick on the comment "defining the World". The World is the collective financial and political powers of the day. Nothing to do with the American dream. (Perhaps another debate could be to discuss the so called American Society, hypocrisy, and war mongering). The World dictates, formulates and govern "free" thinking ....... Thus, the World has done very little for the man in the street. Hence he is expendable when caught in the cross fire of political and religious wars. How many civilians have thus far died in the Syrian conflict. Reports indicate 21 000 plus. How many military soldiers have died? Not published.....and very low!! What is the World doing................. very little. Hitting a few IS strong points is like farting against thunder..............apologies for the analogy. Why because circa 21 000 dead civilians is way below a few million.

My reference to the United Nations was made to use this body as being representative of the "World". No argument with the United Nations being a farce!!!!!

I appreciate your statement (7) but come back to the point. Look at the World today, look at Africa. I can count the stable countries on one hand. How many are killed daily?.............. What is the World doing to stop Bokho Haram in Africa? ............... nothing. Simply because there is no financial gain, or a financial interest to protect. But more importantly, the number of deaths are low.....................

My debate statement is not endeavouring to provide a solution or to resolve any humanitarian issue - I look at facts and facts have shown that if the numbers are low - the aggressor is ok.

To close; "What do we learn from History?".......... that we do not learn from history :)


persianimmortal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Dear Con, my debate opponent, and Readers

To then post my final round, even if one civilian or soldier is killed due to the direct cause of fighting, or being caught in the cross-fire, it should be deplored. Using the Western world's news media as a reference, one cannot watch world news without standing in shock as to how many conflicts are on the go, real time. This being the year 2016, it has no less conflicts than the years before. And so the world will go into 2017 with as many conflicts, if not more.

The majority of these wars are fought internally, trying to settle the power struggle within each country, motivated by Religion and Politics. It has become the norm and people are numb to the numbers being killed. A few hundred are killed here, a few thousand there. We are blaze when it comes to these small numbers. Al long as these conflicts are resolved or fought in somebody else"s back yard - the 1st world countries cannot be bothered. They are only bothered when there is a significant economic impact to them and when a million or so are killed. We then have an outcry and every human rights society wants to be heard.

There are so many examples; Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Syria, Palestine, Ethiopia.....and so on...and so on...... where human rights are violated in the worst ways possible. Where the numbers killed are high but the world turns a blind eye. Oh! The sabre gets rattled and muffled noises are made but nothing comes of it.

Just as a final example; Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe's dictator) during his rise to power and whilst in power, killed a few thousand. Consequences.........nothing! South Africa"s new political regime (ANC) supports Mugabe. And the rest of the world turns a blind eye. Why? There is no economic impact to anybody except the luckless Zimbabwean residents and the dead number below a million""""""""""""".


persianimmortal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by AHidler 9 months ago
Dear Persianimmortal

I'm sure your Varsity obligations took their toll on the time required to complete the debate. Your studies are teh most important thing now so stay focussed!!! I'm in the sunset of my working career - yours i syet to start :)

All teh best and thank you for the banter.
Posted by persianimmortal 9 months ago
My apologies for missing my turn. I was busy with University things. :)
Posted by persianimmortal 10 months ago
Ol'chap, I wish thee the best of luck and fortune in the ensuing debate. :) in other words....let's see watchyu gawt haha but seriously bro, best of luck :);)
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