The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
21 Points

On balance, Europe has a moral obligation to take in refugees from Iraq and Syria.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/9/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,320 times Debate No: 84785
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (30)
Votes (4)




Welcome to Ben2974vsEverlastingMoment's round 2 debate of Hayd's December 2015 Beginner's Tournament. Congratulations to those who've made it to round 2, and to all of those who've participated thus far and have helped make this experience an enlightening one. Thanks again Hayd.

In this round, Everlast and I will be debating the European migrant refugee crisis. It's in the news practically every day and has been ongoing for years, making it one of the most salient issues of the decade. As the title says, we'll be debating whether or not, on balance, Europe has a moral obligation to take in refugees from Iraq and Syria. I will be pro, and Everlast will be con.


Moral Obligation: An obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong.
Europe: The continent and all its countries comprised.

Burden of proof is shared.


1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. Both debaters accept the definitions of the defined terms
7. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. Violation of any of these rules means the conduct point should be given to the opponent


Round 1: acceptance (no arguments)
Round 2: arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: rebuttals for the arguments in round 2
Round 4: defenses for the rebuttals in round 3 (absolutely no new arguments)



I accept all the terms and look forward to an interesting round two!
Debate Round No. 1


In life, we are guided by our morality because it is a means to an end. That end is a lasting livelihood that is secure, free, exhilarating, and shared. We wish for such an end because our nature demands it. We want to be free. We want to have choice. We want to have goods and services (a quality of life) and we want to share these qualities with those we love. This human nature explains why we do certain good things for others, and by the same token, why we do bad things. In today’s western democratic societies, the policies a country makes are, for better or worse, a reflection of its national morality. Below, I will examine two expansive arguments that support the resolution.

1. The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

This rule is a fundamental moral rule that is shared across virtually all cultures and religions. Over four million refugees have taken refuge in parts of the Middle East, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. (1). For Europe: “More than 1m migrants have reached Europe this year …” (2) Naturally, Europeans’ moral impulses kicked in. Europe’s economies have been stagnant ever since the Great Recession in 2009. PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) are struggling to survive in the Euro and some of these countries have crippling debts. Elsewhere, like in France and England, a decades long collision between Judeo-Christian and Muslims cultures has begun national political debates dividing nations and causing social disarray. Despite the struggling economies and identity politics, many of these European countries are still taking in these refugees. Why? Because it’s what you would have wanted had you been on the other side of the equation. Quite simply, it’s the right thing to do. Otherwise, you’d be dishonest; you’d be the worst kind of hypocrite. It is immoral not to accept refugees on the basis of the golden rule.

To be clear, I am not justifying using the golden rule to pander to any and all circumstances. There are obviously varying degrees of moral culpability when it comes to this rule. Yet, the scenario that demands such application the most, on a macro level, is the issue of refugees. Nowhere to go, nothing to eat, and no place to sleep, millions of people, who are just like you and I, are staring death in the eye every day. On top of that, they are innocent people forced into such predicaments by a war they have nothing to do with. To deny any refugees entry into your country, even for temporary asylum, is an affront to your dignity and a sign of monumental hypocrisy.

There is the old adage “what goes around comes around.” This maxim is basically the explanatory version of the golden rule. The principal at play here is examined as a cause-effect relationship. If you do something disrespectful or insensible to another, expect the person to mirror your actions in response. On the other hand, although never guaranteed, you can likely expect the same benefits bestowed upon you in the form of respect, hospitality, and more, if you treat the other person well. Ultimately, this means you have a vested interested in maintaining good relationships with your peers, and in this case, with nations. Stronger international relations will lead to a more secure livelihood. If my application of the golden rule to international relations is contended, I will expand this case as a rebuttal in round 4 (word limit).

2. Economics and the demographic dividend

Most, if not all, of Europe’s major economies are suffering from a declining birthrate and thus a smaller workforce. “The demographic dividend is the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older.” (3) Why does this happen? Developed economies are most affected by the issue of an aging population because there is a fundamental difference in the perception of children when a country is in its undeveloped stage versus its developed stage. The theory is simple: in under-developed and developing countries children are viewed more as investments rather than “consumption goods.” In underdeveloped countries, children are seen as more of a tool to help keep the family afloat through labor – or added income to the family. In other words, children are born and raised primarily to support the family. The other reason is that the mortality rate is higher in underdeveloped countries, requiring families to produce more children due to less children surviving to adulthood. On the other hand, in developed countries like those in Europe, children are viewed as consumption goods. In the developed country, children are no longer needed to A) help sustain the family’s finances and B) their mortality rate is much lower, meaning children live longer. There is no longer the same incentive to “invest” in children in such a way; rather, families in high-income economies can afford to have children for personal enrichment or fulfillment. Assuredly, the more children such a family has, the harder it will be to provide for those children.

It is well known that immigration is a key method in curtailing such demographic dips. The greatest example available is that of the United States. One of the main reasons why issues of fertility are not prevalent in the United States, as opposed to countries like France, Germany, and Japan, is that the U.S, over the course of the last century, has received far more immigrants than all others. (4) In fact, the U.S receives the most immigrants in the world. You can check in source 5 the U.S tops the list for decades. (5)

So we now know that Immigration is a great, surefire antidote to an aging population. But why is that good? As explained above, those in the workforce are those in between the ages of 15 and 64. The vast majority of immigrants are young adults ready to work. This essentially means that practically all the immigrants are leaving for their host country to find work in search of a better life. If you have more people in the country producing for the economy, there will be a higher volume of money circulating in the economy, resulting in increased consumption. If you are unaware of how consumption affects the economy, please refer to my previous debate on homeschooling (i.e., Y = C + I + G + Nx). This idea ties in well with the statistics available, knowing that the U.S is considered “the land of opportunity” it only makes sense to see people from all over the world wanting to live and work in the U.S. Most immigrants end up helping the economy because they fill jobs nobody wants to take – usually the minimum-wage jobs. All of this applies to European countries as all economies have their share of minimum-wage jobs, middle-income families, etc. Again, European economic GDP has been relatively flat for half a decade now and their populations are stagnant. Immigrants – in this case Syrian refugees – will provide an economic boost necessary to reboot, or at least add fuel to, European economies. Helping to boost the economy will help enrich the quality of Europeans’ lives. If a stronger economy helps provide a better quality of life for both the host country and the refugees, accepting said refugees and putting them to work will act as a means to the end I laid out in my introduction.

I have laid out my main arguments to their fullest given the 8,000 character limit. I now await Con’s arguments!









I'd like to thank Hayd for starting this tournament and I wish good luck, on this topic, I will presenting my case for the opposition based on the numerous facts against it overall. And without further ado, I shall begin.

Contention 1 - It is worsening Europe's economic situation

The situation faced by Europe is a troubling one, and one of the worst cases comes with it's economic detriments. We are dealing with the biggest wave of refugees since the Second World War, and it is evident that despite the promising opportunities for refugees that settle in European countries, it proves too much of a burden. Greece, for example, is faced with an already collapsing economy even prior to the Arab Spring beginning, and they have been one of the worst hit countries from the influx of refugees due to the hundreds of thousands that travel through the sea route used to get there. [A] It is quite possible that Greece will fall even further due to the massive amounts of political instability, social unrest, costs faced with refugee camps inside the country and having to deal with thousands more arriving everyday unexpected. [B] If Greece is to cling on staying in the European Union, it has to receive substantual financial aid or aid through others taking the refugees off them. And so far, only Germany has done something of this scale, but it's financial contribution to Greece only worsens it's debt, and the situation in the EU in general. Not only that, but openly accepting more refugees will encourage EVEN MORE to make the hard journey across, most of which could die trying the journey or make the economic situation even worse. And this situation simply won't improve as most european countries will continue to refuse to accept refugees, which will now bring me to my second contention.

Contention 2 - There is simply too much opposition to it

If we are talking about moral obligations, we need to consider the viewpoint of the general public themselves, and consider then what is right or wrong for their country to move forward. Angela Merkel, one of the most notable leaders to have contributed greatly to the refugee crisis, they have already taken in 950,000 refugees by 2016, and Merkel's support has drastically fallen as opposition groups have formed in germany causing civil unrest, and this drop in support could even prevent her from winning another election as Chancellor. What we must understand is it is because of this opposition that presents Europe with a different perspective of what is considered morally right. [C] [D]

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Based on this graph above, I can already present to you today exactly how clear a margin Germany has shown to accept pledges for refugees compared to virtually every other nation in the EU. So based on this, exactly how can we expect any government to take in a moral obligation to accept refugees when there is clear opposition by the public? Fears of terrorism, fears of cultural conflict, all of these play a part in the fears of the people which will prevent them from ever wanting to accept refugees into their society. So there is simply no way it is any european government's duty to accept more refugees based on a obligation for the refugees alone. [E]

Contention 3 - It will lead to higher crime rates

Crime is one of the most evident problems faced by the refugee crisis, even more so as refugees are going virtually unchecked across the EU because of the vast quantity that are moving across, with the most notable 2015 Paris Attacks, it is clear that refugees pose a very real threat to national security. Because not just the case of terrorism has come up because of fears that terrorists may be hiding among the refugee population, but the refugee crisis has led to a very real increase in the rape epidemic across Europe. Especially in Germany, most rape cases on a single person are committed by adult males from Iraq and Syria. [F] Based on statistics like this alone, there should be a strong enough case to challenge whether the best course of action under a obligation is accepting more refugees, because with the very real crime rate, the government has it's own obligation to protect the citizens of it's country and to prevent further attacks from being carried out, and one measure to prevent that would be having their own obligation not to accept more refugees.

Contention 4 - It should not have to be Europe's burden to have such an obligation

It is very clear to all of us that Europe is situated very close to the Middle East, and serves as the primary reason why refugees are fleeing to Europe. But let's get something very clear, refugees are fleeing to Germany because of the prospect of being in a developed nation where the chances of getting better health care and opportunities are increased compared to others, but based on this information, why isn't it the moral obligation of all developed countries in general to accept more refugees? In the US, 31 states, more than half of the total number of states are opposed to accepting refugees. [G] And merely because of the fact of USA's location compared to that of Europe, why should it still not be their moral obligation as much as Europe's to accept more refugees based on the morality of not allowing refugees to starve or die making long and dangerous journeys? It is very clear that many developed countries outside Europe are accepting minimal refugees in comparison to Europe, who is forced to deal with them passing their borders, and this is a very known fact, but based on this, it should not be seen as a morally right thing to do for nations aiming to promote international cooperation with each other to throw the burden to one group of nations. With such a problem, this burden should be placed on the UN in general and specifically, UNHCR to deal with this issue accordingly, and equally weighing out the burden between all the states involved in resolving the refugee crisis.

Overall, I have started out by presenting many key problems faced with this current crisis and explaining them acceptably enough to make them very valid arguments, and it is based on these issues that make it outweigh the pros of accepting more refugees under a moral basis, and I will eagerly wait the affirmative's response for round three as he tackles these problems I have presented, in which then I hope to further elaborate them accordingly and prove as to why Europe should NOT have a moral obligation to accept more refugees from Iraq and Syria.

Over to you, pro.

Sources -

[A] -

[B] -

[C] -

[D] -

[E] -

[F] -

[G] -
Debate Round No. 2


Round 3: I will summarize each contention raised using bullet-points and then I will follow with an analysis of the arguments, detailing why the arguments are flawed and misinformed.

C1 Summary:
* Europe is suffering from economic crises.
1. Specifically, Greece has been on the verge of economic collapse. They've been the worst hit by the refugees out of all of Europe.
2. Greece would require substantial financial aid if it were to accept refugees
* Only Germany seems to have helped Greece with the refugee crisis
* Accepting refugees will lead to a positive feedback loop, encouraging more refugees to come, making the situation worse

There is no doubt that Europeans for the most part are still trying to get out of the Great Recession. Nonetheless, this is no excuse to refuse refugees into these countries. Con argues that Europe is in an economic disaster but has failed to illustrate the magnitude and its consequence on Europe"s ability to take in refugees. Con does not take into account the fact that Europe consists of several countries whose powerful economies could support weaker Euro countries in taking in refugees, nor does Con realize that the European refugee crisis is a globally funded effort.
To begin, we should recognize that smaller economies (entailing countries with smaller populations and geographic size) only need to take in proportional amounts. As it turns out, most of these smaller countries barely accept any refugees anyway. Germany (most powerful Euro economy) takes in the gargantuan majority while countries like France and the UK have accepted much less, even though their economies are relatively strong. I would argue that the refugee crisis would be much easier to deal with if every country"s GDP and population were taken into account. (1) Germany"s short-term burden would be fairly distributed among the countries.
Above all, Con"s main argument that Greece and other economically burdened economies will not be able to handle the refugees is debunked by a simple fact: these countries are barely paying for their troubles. Departures to mainland Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Austria " among others " between the months of October 2015 and December 2015 have been relatively stable at around 8,000 to 10,000 refugees. (2) This regulation and maintenance of the migratory process is obviously expensive; however, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, most of these countries, particularly Greece, have received enormous voluntary funding from countries such as the UK, USA, the EU, and more. (3) The UNHCR (Refugee Agency) requires Greece to put out ~$17.3million for the refugee crisis. Amazingly, 89% of those funds have been met ($15.4mill) - all of it came in the form of donations outside of Greece. (3) Other weaker/more vulnerable countries have similar stories: Bosnia and Herzegovina have 87% of their required funds paid for. Serbia ~60%. Macedonia 88%. More effort is needed, but the major premise that Europe cannot afford to take in refugees (note: obviously it has no moral obligation to take in ALL refugees) is patently false.
Finally, Con"s final point of a positive feedback loop is uninformed considering the fact that there is a limit to the population of Syrian refugees. Not only this, but I mentioned that Europe does not have an obligation to take in all refugees. The resolution only requires that refugees are accepted. It does not say all. We know this to be self-evident by the fact that, as mentioned in my arguments in round 2, over four million refugees have taken refuge in other parts of the Middle East.

C2 Summary:
* As a result of steadfast support for the refugees, Merkel has lost a good deal of German favorability. Merkel"s actions have caused civil unrest.
* Citizenry hold fears of terrorism, cultural conflict, etc.

Con commits a basic bandwagon fallacy. He is essentially arguing that, because a majority is scared of refugees, Germany has no moral obligation to take in refugees. Just because a majority shares an opinion, does not make such an opinion correct. On the eve of the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of Jews tried escaping imminent despair at the hands of the new German Order. The refusal by the Western world (not just the US) to take in the Jewish refugees was caused by the same agitations of today: economic hardship as well as political and social fears. (4) The result: their extermination numbering in the millions. Although the historical comparison does not share magnitude or probability, the principle is the same. You are able to lend a hand, and you don"t - you are partly complicit in the group"s ultimate demise. This ties in well with the golden rule as a general moral principle.

C3 Summary:
* Paris attacks example of repercussions of excessive migration
* Cases of rape showing up
* Government has a responsibility to secure its citizens and so should refuse to accept more refugees

From the outset, I will establish that crime rates have increased absolutely, but not relatively. "The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) announced that crimes committed by refugees stood at the same level as those committed by native Germans. These findings are the result of an initial evaluation conducted by the BKA in cooperation with all federal states and commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior." (5) Crimes increased in total simply because of the increase in population size due to the past year"s record immigration levels for Germany. The articles continues to cite that less than 1% of all refugee crimes were sex crimes, while homicide was about .1% The fact that such crime rates are so low for the country that has taken in virtually all of Europe"s refugees is very telling of the security threat posed by these refugees.
Con mentions the Paris attacks that happened November 2015. I would argue that the refugee crisis has little to do with the Paris attacks. France has had a rising Muslim population (currently 10%) independent of the refugee crisis that is experiencing a grueling clash of cultures. To associate the Paris attacks directly with the refugees is to deliberately perpetuate xenophobia. There have been, and will be, numerous fatal attacks that have more to do with French-Muslim relations than they have to do with the current refugee crisis. The French have to address these issues independently for the most part.

C4 summary:
* Refugees flee to Europe for prospect of better life
* Moral obligation for all developed countries to take in refugees

I have sprinkled points regarding this contention throughout my round 2 arguments and in this rebuttal round. Con is misinformed for the most part regarding this contention. As stated earlier in my arguments round, over 4million refugees have already settled in other parts of the Middle East (by the way, these countries are nowhere near as prosperous as Germany). Europe is NOT bearing the whole burden. And even then, it is misleading to say that Europe as a whole carries a burden since the majority of the refugees is staying in Germany. Germany is not Europe.
The other point I tried to make throughout this round is that the resolution does not require that all refugees be accepted into Europe. Fundamentally, I do not disagree with Con's C4. It definitely should not have to be Europe"s burden alone. The thing is that it isn"t, and it never was.


Note: I'm going to repost my sources in the comments due to space and pasting issues...

Your turn, Con!


The facts have been laid down, and I thank my opponent for his response, but now, I shall proceed to break down the substantives he has put forward and show exactly how blatantly false they are, and why this does not weigh even close to the arguments I have put forward.

The Case For - The "Golden" Rule and the Economics behind it

When it came down to morality, I expected such a thought-provoking argument of the humanitarian argument to come up, but imagine the disappointment instead this comes up, and finding out how poorly this has tried to convince all of us here today that in the grand scheme of things this actually should still apply, why not? Let me explain.

Quite simply, pro has dramatized the golden rule, essentially trying to state that we have a moral code to run by which strictly states we must 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you' is what makes up the reasons for why most countries in the EU accepted refugees in the first place, partially true, however, they accepted it under a humanitarian perspective, and not under the wording of how this golden rule has apparently been carried out. Why?

It's irrelevant."Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" does not take into account of any of the values or interests of either the Europeans or the refugees themselves, how Germany decides to treat a refugee may not be how that refugee may want to be treated, and hence it is potentially dangerous in itself.
Furthermore, it is too general. The refugee crisis is a very sensitive and troubling issue that has been facing the world and no such principle does even have an impact or should have an impact on the moral obligations a country should take, each and every society has it's own idea of what morality is and it is in no way restricted to this definition at all.

It's not the only factor we should base decisions on. Pro brought up two substantives, the second being the economics argument being centered on immigration which I will nullify in due course. Simply put, compared to the issue of crime or the impact on the European economy, the golden rule doesn't consider any of these issues when pro put it forward as his major argument, which is why as I stated before, the golden rule is extremely flawed. With Germany having the biggest economy in Europe and suffering greatly from the crisis, [A] European countries are going to base morality over what is right for their country, and simply not what is 'the right thing to do' in a humane point of view.

So, moving on to the economics. Here's where pro really invested most of his time trying to prove his case, but no matter how many words he wrote or how he tried to exert his knowledge on the economics of the refugee crisis, (which also partially led to why he criticized most of my arguments as 'misinformed') he still ended up coming up with numerous assumptions and simple factual errors. Let's summarize this case,

'Replacement migration is good.' - Basic sum up.

This is essentially what pro has argued, he has pointed out that European countries are experiencing an aging population and a fall in birth rates, which is true. But he has tried to link immigration to the mix, which doesn't work out. Why? Because firstly, there is nothing inherently wrong with a declining population. [B] Europe's economy can still easily be maintained with the population at hand, and I invite pro to dispute this if he so wishes, without the involvement of more refugees. Granted, it may hurt the economy, but there is no case showing that, (even in the very long term) that it cannot still be controlled by the governments of Europe, and a lot of other factors play into the economics of this, and we can already experience 'increased' consumption as it is with refugee populations Europe already has right now, but there is no 'moral' grounds to accept more because magically more increased consumption = better economy off the bat. And if pro does argue that it has a better effect, where is the example, look at Germany, look at Turkey, what has increased levels of migrants done to their countries? Refugees are holding the economies back, neither has seen any sort of improvement or positive effect from accepting so many apart from the fact that it makes them 'look like the good guys.' Instead of increased consumption resulting in a lot of money circulating the economy, all this money has instead been redirected to keep the shelters and camps inside the country active as hardly any refugees are actually working. Why is this? Because they have simply not been allowed to, and there is nothing morally wrong with that, because this is my next point in addressing pros economic argument.

It still houses illegal immigration.

It somehow became pro's job to try and emphasize for far too long that immigration was simply a good thing that Europe needed. Yet this never answered the question of illegal immigration at all, unless quite obviously, pro didn't consider it. [C] Illegal immigration is still present as hundreds of thousands of refugees are running past European borders without being properly checked up on beforehand which constitutes illegal immigration, and that plays a significant role in pulling the economy back, and not pushing it forward. What comes from illegal immigration is a increase in crime, cultural conflict, religious conflict, rape epidemics and corruption to that economies system. As I explained in my opening arguments, such acts that pro did not deny were happening, play detrimental roles which puts a huge hole in pros argument, that more or less resembled a lecture on how economics works rather than directly focusing on Europe itself. So pro has simply tried to bypass this, talk simply about how great immigration is and bloated on about how terrible the Europe's economies will be without this, yet he has never proved this and is yet to prove this. And once again, I invite him to.

Being there is a significant word limit restraint at this point, as it is generally hard to address both pro's cases and my own arguments, I will provide a general defence which will be significantly expanded upon in round 4.

I had provided most of my points in my rebuttal, but I will address the points brought up that come under incredible factual inaccuracies. Now, if pro is going to argue that the refugee crisis is a globally funded effort, that's one thing, but suddenly saying we should direct the funds to helping more immigrate into Europe will put a huge question as to how effective this is going to be. There are simply far too many, at this time for Europe, to accept simply through that funding effort, and what should have been done, was have this funding effort directed to helping the situation IN the Middle East so that no more have to emigrate out of the Middle East and to Europe which pro stated will benefit Europe, but will not help the Middle East at all.

As I stated before, societies have their own view on morality, and in no instance will there ever be a 'proportional' amount of refugees in each state.
Furthermore, a majority DOES have a share in saying what they believe is morally correct for their society, society is based upon the ideals of the population itself.

Also, what has come as most amusing is that despite pro saying I've been well misinformed, he keeps blurting the '4 million refugee statistic' in the Middle East, unsourced mind you, as an example for developed countries to accept more. But then look at Lebanon's example, they took in so many refugees that it ended up costing their government $4.5 billion ANNUALY. [D] But pro did misintepret that contention, so I will repeat it briefly, I was referring to the situation in the US and Australia for example, that have not accepted nearly as many despite having the ability to help out, which pro did not directly address.

As I have now hit the max limit, I leave it over to pro to present his defence and I will sort mine in the final round properly.

Sources in comments.
Debate Round No. 3


Round 4

In this final round of mine, I will assess Con’s main points that target my arguments on the golden rule and the benefits of immigration. I will do this by expanding the arguments I made in round 2 in order to help better capture the strengths of my arguments.

It’s Irrelevant?

The golden rule in its rawest form can be responsible for many decisions made at the international level. Economics is a way of thinking; thinking like an economist means finding ways to maximize efficiency and produce the strongest results. As a general rule, people perform their best when they are well incentivized: you will work harder knowing that if you do, you will be paid more (i.e., do your part and you will get what you deserve). As abstract as it is, incentive-based decision making is at the heart of the golden rule. In other words, it is generally in your best interest to help others when they need your help. This is because, when the tables are turned, YOU will want their help, and they will feel no obligation to help you if you had never helped them. In addition, at other times, those you’ve helped in the past may be more predisposed to doing you favors over time, feeding into a positive feedback cycle of mutual interest. This feedback loop is more or less dependent on continued application of the golden rule as it becomes more of an expectation than an act of grace.

Speaking of incentives, take the example of foreign aid. It is well-known that developed economies have no immediate need for healthy diplomatic ties between them and poor third world economies. Poor countries have virtually nothing of immediate economic value to the developed economy, but we give aid for several reasons nonetheless. One reason is that helping to create newer, stronger economies can create a future market for business; if the developed country helps raise the economic prospects of a third world economy, they can expect a “return on investment” in the form of extra foreign markets/preference for the developed economy’s goods and services, thereby increasing GDP. There are political interests as well, since foreign relations can turn “hot” and “cold,” stimulating or stagnating economies depending on the political climate. The most obvious examples include some present day examples like Russia’s meddling in the Ukraine, or the lifting of sanctions in Iran. These cases have more intertwining complexities than simply following fundamental incentive-based decisions processes, including the refugee crisis. Nevertheless, the case for Syrian refugees stands:

Many countries in Europe are having existential crises. France and Britain, for example, have thriving, growing Muslim communities that will have more representation in these democracies over time. These countries have seen and continue to see clashes between these groups of people; this existential crisis bears its roots from the colonial era. Although there are some fundamental differences in the cultures at play (which is largely responsible for much of the violence and demonstrations that have occurred over time in Europe), much of the rationale behind these events comes from a perceived indifference on the part of the native Europeans to understand and accommodate the Muslim community. There is the widely held belief that Westerners are domineering, egocentric racists – to paraphrase. (1 & 2) Thus, these Euro countries have a moral incentive to accept the refugees because it would signal to the Arab states and Muslims in general that Europeans DO care about the plight of Muslims and that their lives are worthy of respect and protection. One can easily assume the response of European Muslims had the European nations completely ignored the refugee crisis and sent them all back to their war-ravaged countries. Taking in refugees can help (if only even temporarily) defuse the social unrest in these countries, creating a safer and inclusive environment for all to live and prosper.

Issues with a declining population…

Citing an article from The Economist, Con blatantly states that there is nothing inherently wrong with a declining population. I proceeded to read the article and I find nothing written about immigration. Nor did I find any graph that could even allude to populations and the impacts on economics. Then Con invites me to dispute the veracity of my claim and the subsequent effects of a declining population. While I have previously given a lengthy discussion on the effects of immigration and the demographic dividend, Con responds with no substantial rebuttal to my claims.

In this debate, I presented two expansive arguments in support of the resolution. Those two arguments are the golden rule and the economics of immigration and the demographic dividend. I managed to single out all of Con’s main arguments, dismantling each one in full with contradictory evidence, both quantitative and qualitative. I believe I have illustrated broadly the issues with my opponent’s rebuttals to my arguments. The golden rule was expanded to illustrate incentives, mutual interests and their application to international relations and the particular present day issue of Europe’s clash of cultures. The rest is history. Vote Pro!

Ending note:

I find it worth mentioning to the readers and voters that Con broke the debate structure that was given and agreed to in round 1. Round 3 is for rebuttals to round 2, but my opponent devoted a section of his round 3 rebuttals to attacking my round 3 rebuttals. The obvious reason for such a rule to the debate is that only one person can take advantage of reading the opponent's rebuttals in round 3 and compiling a response that challenges both round 2 arguments and round 3 rebuttals. I hope that those who vote in this debate will take this breach of the rules into consideration when choosing a winner.




I want to start by expressing my disappointment at pro for using a vague rule to try and twist support in his favor, and even though he could argue to some extent I did break a rule, I will acknowledge on to a certain level I did play out of hand but considering the situation I would have hoped he'd discussed with me further about it, either way, I leave it up to the voters to decide whether I was in the wrong or not.

I wish to point out very quickly that pro has also committed a rule violation as well, introducing TWO new arguments in his final round, that being the political interests argument that he suddenly brings up in the final round and the return of interest argument that was a part of the 'foreign aid to improve international relations' contention. (International relations was only mentioned and never expanded in the second round, and he should have no right to use the last round to expand on it where I have no chance to rebut it at all.)
I want to keep the voters in mind of this when voting as well.

The Defence - The economic crisis

Pro has argued that the refugee crisis is a 'globally funded effort' and hence it should help Europe's economic situation, but this is simply too vague, first of all, there is absolutely NO indication whatsoever that even a decent proportion of this funding is actually going to the EU to help the respective nations tackle their refugee population, the majority of the funding is sent to humanitarian aid in poorer middle eastern countries, where even still, they lack $15 billion USD to fulfill the relief effort. [A] [B]
Hence, there is no significant funding effort to help the EU situation, and even if such an event happened, it wouldn't be for the best. Funding refugee intake in such gigantic proportions will, as I mentioned before have serious consequences in the long run for those governments that take them in with the crime situation and the bulk of money spent to accommodating these refugees instead of getting them to start up helping the economy.

The rest of his rebuttal goes along stating how Greece is being well funded and how they can easily manage it and they are having a easy time as other countries pay for their situation, bypassing many of my other points. Pro fails to address how the funding they have receive will prevent the political and social unrest and how the increasing costs from refugee camps will actually be worthwhile in the long run. Literally the only thing pro has tried to state is that they are being funded and left it at that, and that despite some effort to help Greece out, some level of funding does not help them as they are still draining. Macedonia shut it's borders with Greece further preventing the already gigantic proportions of refugee intake in Greece, over 40,000 already, from recovering by sending them to other countries. [C]
Furthermore, pro tries to introduce a counter policy of distributing refugees by the GDP percentage across Europe to "even" it out, a simply ridiculous statement. It does not take anyone much time to figure out how distant people's views can get when they live far apart from each other. A left-wing approach from a country such as Germany is going to differ greatly from a stronger right-wing approach in a country such as Ukraine. Trying to evenly distribute them is never going to happen and the situation in Germany is a mere slap-in-the-face example of how other countries aren't going to accept as much simply because their GDP is high.

The Defence - The opposition

Pro has tried to dispute that what is considered moral cannot be decided by the population, or at least, a majority, as pro has accepted. And honestly, there is nothing simply more wrong than saying people cannot have a say in what can be justified, since it's the people who make up the country itself. I don't understand what pro defines as 'correct' since he takes no time to elaborate on that, why is this? Simple, because there is no universally correct idea of how things should be done. If the death penalty is illegal in the UK, that suddenly doesn't mean it's okay to have it illegal in other countries such as Brunei, as people may feel the death penalty may be better. Similar to a crisis, if the majority is against it, then it is justifiable that they can consider it moral not to accept them. Talking about the Jews doesn't help pros case, this is an example from back in the time where communication wasn't as advanced, and it wasn't as simple to simply turn on your TV and find out what was happening to the Jews just like what was happening during the refugee crisis, a majority of the US population wasn't aware of the horrors faced by the Jews under Nazi occupation, so it's immoral to simply put the blame on them for not accepting them.

The Defence - The Crime Issue

Pro is getting confused with what I have been trying to express, the Paris Attacks does not share a direct link with the refugees fleeing themselves, but it does share a link with the Islamic State as they are using the situation to their advantage. [D] Syrian passports were found at the scene, and although they were obviously fake, it presents a significant breach in security as perpetrators are using the refugees to their advantage, if it be connected to the Islamic State or otherwise, which also threatens the refugees themselves. But when pro states France has to 'independently' deal with these issues, it further proves my earlier point that a EU obligation to accept refugees should not stand and it should be moral enough to let France decide if they don't want more.
The crime rate increased 65% in Germany, the rape statistic in Germany being lower than other countries, but that's because pro did not take into account the massive increase in theft crime from 9421 to 16066 incidents, attacks with bodily injuries, from 5172 to 8994 incidents, and an increase in overall crime from 32,495 crimes in 2013 to 53,890 crimes in 2014. [E]

The Defence - Europe's Burden

Pro simply denies that it was never Europe's burden to accept refugees alone, yet the irony is that if this resolution is affirmed by the voters, then it suddenly becomes Europe's burden over every other state in the world. Why? Because many developed nations choose not to accept this burden, and in no way can pro simply claim countries like Australia are accepting the burden Europe is, because it simply is not. The only case pro backs up that it would never be Europe's burden is the case in the Middle East, where nearly 2 million of pro's unsourced '4 million refugees' reside in Turkey, [F] a burden that Turkey accepted on their own, not through political pressure, while most countries like Saudi Arabia never accepted any refugees at all, being developed as well. So pro never answered the question, if the Middle East is taking up the burden willingly, why should we affirm the resolution and not have other developed countries take it as well? Why shouldn't it be 'Developed countries have a moral obligation' and not just Europe? That is why this contention still stands strong, as pro NEVER addressed this.

Conclusion -

Here are the points that I've proved throughout this debate in bullet points -

* Europe's economic situation does not improve despite the immigration because of -
*Social unrest
*Difficulties managing the refugees

* Europe's crime rate increases at a damaging rate.

* Developed countries should all have the burden, not just Europe.

* The majority has the right to define what is legally moral in their state.

* Four major arguments compared to pro's two shows that my case is stronger overall.

And like I said before, pro himself has committed a rule violation of introducing new arguments in the final round, and using the round designing for defending against rebuttals to elaborate on arguments he should have done earlier, and I'd like voters to keep that in mind as well, but overall, it was a great debate, and I thank pro either way for the interesting run!

Sources in Comments
Debate Round No. 4
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by EverlastingMoment 4 months ago
@Tej Thanks for the vote. Didn't honestly think anyone else would do that on a debate after this long, I appreciate that you took the time to do this while you were free.

Posted by tejretics 4 months ago
The reasoning really relies on my interpretation of the debate, because I could (1) evaluate the debate on cost-benefit analysis since the debaters seem to implicitly agree on that, or (2) I could ignore the cost-benefit analysis and vote on moral issues that both debaters actually justify. I'm going with the first one because I tend to *default* to cost-benefit analysis on an impact calculus - since the debaters agree to that within the debate, I'll go with that.

Con's case on crime is under-explained, and Pro's argument that crime rates in countries that don't take in refugees are similar to countries that do is compelling, but lacks a warrant itself (i.e. I'm looking for a source). Con's "rape epidemic" claim seems to lack a clear warrant too. I didn't like the clash on this argument, and all I can buy is a small crime impact from Con, which is mitigated to an extent. I'm not liking Con's argument on popular opinion either, since the crux of Pro's response -- that popular opinion is not just -- is missed for a less-relevant response ("a majority of the US population wasn't aware of the horrors faced by the Jews under Nazi occupation, so it's immoral to simply put the blame on them for not accepting them."). Con's argument that Europe alone shouldn't bear the burden of the refugees mostly lacks a proper link story, because the actor here is "Europe" and Pro doesn't advocate for Europe alone taking the burden. Really, the only proper clash is on economic issues, where I have from Pro long-term positive effects from diversity (which Con could have easily responded to by arguing that diversity lacks any quantifiable benefit) and short-term economic harms via a collapse. So all I have from Pro is the effects from diversity which aren't quantifiable, versus short-term economic harms which are quantifiable to an extent and a small crime impact, both of which grant the debate to Con. The golden rule isn't relevant because of impact calculus interpretation. Vote: Con.
Posted by Citizen_of_the_Web 8 months ago
Wow, what a great debate! One of the few debates with no forfeitures.
Posted by ben2974 8 months ago
Correct me if i'm wrong, but I believe the purpose of my first paragraph in R2 was set to establish a framework with which to assess the resolution by (i.e., "lasting livelihood that is secure, free, exhilarating, and shared"). I knew coming into this that debating the morality behind the crisis was going to be hard to do without ending up arguing over what constitutes morality. In essence, I didn't want the debate to veer in to the abstract. In stead, I wanted to focus on issues posed by the crisis and argue the benefits in support of the resolution.

To paraphrase: I didn't want the debate to be about whether or not achieving a "lasting livelihood that is secure, free, exhilarating, and shared" is worth pursuing. I wanted to argue the case for the refugees assuming a lasting livelihood etc. IS worth pursuing...

If what I said is paraphrasing the sentiment already established by the voters, then how was a "moral framework" supposed to unfold in a debate like this?
Posted by whiteflame 8 months ago
>Reported vote: YYW// Mod action: NOT Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: The focus here is whether Europe has a moral obligation to accommodate Iraqi and Syrian refugees. PRO argued that Europe does because of the golden rule, and because of certain economic reasons. CON negated the economic reasons, and offered many reasons which PRO was unable to overcome, regarding the harms that would befall Europe if such refugees were accommodated (increased crime, social unrest, etc.). CON's argument Europe alone should not bear the burden is non-topical, but if both Europe and the refugees would be worse off if accommodated in Europe, as CON more or less established, PRO cannot reasonably show that Europe has a moral obligation to do something that will hurt both Europe and the refugees. CON's argument that only a majority of Europeans have the right to define what is moral for their country is also non-topical. Alas, CON wins, and PRO loses, because CON established that both Europe and the refugees are worse off in PRO's world. Narrow, but objective win for CON.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter clearly explains their decision within the context of the arguments given by each side.
Posted by YYW 8 months ago

It's not just a "moral obligation." It's "a moral obligation to take in refugees from Iraq and Syria" that is the focus of this debate.

Neither side had a coherent moral framework, and both sides used utilitarian arguments, defaulting the framework to a utilitarian evaluation, which is not necessarily inconsistent with the "golden rule" or whatever.

That's why voting, as some did, on the debater's moral frameworks is not correct here.
Posted by EverlastingMoment 8 months ago

I can understand you can be critical of what voters might have to say, (maybe due to the fact that you are Ben's mentor, maybe it's not) but since there seems to be some debate in the chat here over it, let me just take a moment to explain a few things.

1) My justification came with the example of Merkel's fall in popularity polls during the period where Germany accepted massive amounts of refugees, due to the nation's opposition to accepting as many as they did. That led me to justify that a country's first duty IS to it's citizens, as without taking into consideration the majority's opinion, that particular nation's government could fall.

2) I did contest it, the definition accepted for this debate was that a moral obligation was a 'obligation out of considerations of right and wrong'. And may I please highlight the word 'considerations' as that played a big part in my rebuttal, my argument stated how outdated the 'golden rule' was, and that the moral code of the golden rule does not apply in the first place.

3) Pro's sources never stated the issues with the population declining, only that with an increase in 'immigration' there would be increases in net productivity, not that if the population declines net productivity will substantially decrease. Which is why I countered with the fact that running under the assumption that all immigration was good was detrimental, because it doesn't take into account illegal immigration. I clearly showed the example of illegal immigration in my third source, pro stated he never found anything about immigration in the SECOND source, which may have been a misunderstanding.

The debate was argued about whether there was a moral obligation to accept more refugees, and I addressed the practicality of the situation considering that this debate was concurrent with the actual crisis, the fact that pro used an ordinary analysis should not outweigh my practical argument about morality on face value alone.
Posted by tejretics 8 months ago
Also, the debate is about "moral obligations." Neither side actually argues a utilitarian framework for morality, but they both bring utilitarian points about burdens of Europe, economic benefits, et cetera. All these points are, to some extent, irrelevant. The resolution is about "moral obligations," and your RFD doesn't actually give much weight to moral obligations. The debate isn't about impact calculus so much as "ought," and on that, your RFD's conclusion doesn't actually justify a vote.
Posted by tejretics 8 months ago

(1) Nowhere does Con actually *justify* that a government's moral duty is first towards its citizens. He just asserts it, without actually justifying it. You can't simply vote on that.

(2) Your RFD doesn't explain why Con's rebuttal of the golden rule is sufficient. Con just says "the golden rule is too generic to apply in foreign policy." (a) He didn't explain how the rule was "too generic," nor does he explain how foreign policy application outweighs moral obligation, especially since the debate is about moral obligations. (b) He doesn't even contest the moral application of the golden rule, and the debate's topicality is about moral obligations.

(3) Your dismissal of the economy point is too quick. Pro clearly shows that Europe actually has a *lack* in population and birth-rate, which is harmful to the economy; he explains that net productivity is increased by immigration. Your RFD doesn't even mention the word "productivity." Con's argument against the economy is that declining populations aren't harmful, but Pro has multiple sources that suggest otherwise, and Con's source isn't even *about* populations.

The debate has the word "on balance," which means that arguments have to be weighed against each other in deciding what a moral obligation is. Con's arguments are more about practicality than morality, while Pro has both (1) a utilitarian analysis of morality, and (2) an ordinary analysis of morality. Your RFD lacks a lot of that.
Posted by ben2974 8 months ago
This is interesting. We'll need a tie-breaker . . .
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 8 months ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: The focus here is whether Europe has a moral obligation to accommodate Iraqi and Syrian refugees. PRO argued that Europe does because of the golden rule, and because of certain economic reasons. CON negated the economic reasons, and offered many reasons which PRO was unable to overcome, regarding the harms that would befall Europe if such refugees were accommodated (increased crime, social unrest, etc.). CON's argument Europe alone should not bear the burden is non-topical, but if both Europe and the refugees would be worse off if accommodated in Europe, as CON more or less established, PRO cannot reasonably show that Europe has a moral obligation to do something that will hurt both Europe and the refugees. CON's argument that only a majority of Europeans have the right to define what is moral for their country is also non-topical. Alas, CON wins, and PRO loses, because CON established that both Europe and the refugees are worse off in PRO's world. Narrow, but objective win for CON.
Vote Placed by Raisor 8 months ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Posted in forum:
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 8 months ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD IN COMMENTS - This is a vote out of the Voter's Union, if you want your debate voted on send it to either me, Whiteflame, or Donald.Keller and it will receive votes. If either side has any issue with this vote feel free to let me know.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 8 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Given here: