The Instigator
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
ournamestoolong
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Pick your own debate - 1C

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,592 times Debate No: 7971
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (8)

 

TheSkeptic

Pro

If you have participated or read any of these types of debates before, then this one should be no different. However, for those who haven't:

ROUND 1: This obviously includes my opening introduction and rules. For my opponent, he/she will post 3 topics he wishes to debate, and then post his/her position on each of the topics. Please try to add a mix of subject. Have some deal with religion, others with politics, others with art, others with social issues, etc.

ROUND 2-4: I will start my case by supporting or attacking one of three positions my opponent proposed. It should follow throughout as a normal 3-Round debate.

*NOTE* - I realize that politics are almost undoubtedly tangled with social issues, but a somewhat cut between the two would be fine. By politics, I imagine topics such as what is the best political system, what role does the government play, economics, taxes, so on and so forth. By social issues, I imagine topics such as gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, so on and so forth.

*NOTE* - The "1C" notation is for purely for browsing purposes.

If there's any concerns or questions, leave it at the comments sections.
ournamestoolong

Con

This is my first debate in a while so bear with me if I'm rusty. I realized that this is only a three round debate and not four like you planned, but it will go the same way.

RESOLVED: "There has never been a good war or a bad peace" I am PRO
-Benjamin Franklin

RESOLVED: The Electoral college should be replaced with another system I am PRO

RESOLVED: The beatles were the greatest rock band in history I am PRO
Debate Round No. 1
TheSkeptic

Pro

I apologize for not making 4 rounds when I stated so in my first round - I totally forgot :(. For further notice, simple notify me in the comment sections so I can change it before you accept. Anyway, for this debate, I will choose the first topic: RESOLVED: "There has never been a good war or a bad peace". Since my opponent is PRO, then I am obviously CON. Therefore, if I can prove that there has been "bad peace" or a "good war", then I have won this debate.

[Word - War]
[Source - http://www.merriam-webster.com...]
[Definition - (1): a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2): a period of such armed conflict]

*NOTE*: I won't define peace because my argument, as con, is that there is a good war in history.

====================
Context specific problems with the word "good"
====================

What exactly does my opponent, and Benjamin Franklin, mean by the phrase "good"? Without the context being suppled, "good" can mean a lot of things, and it turns out that this entire debate hinges on it's meaning. For example, I can argue that a war is good for those who like to kill, thus fulfilling my burden. This, of course, is viewed as simple semantics and my opponnet should rest assured as I will not take this path. Instead, I will define good as "moral", or "justified". I'm almost positive this is what my opponent means by the phrase"good".

However, the next problem is evalutationg whether or not a war is good. How do we tell, or how can we judge, a war in ethical terms? I hereby argue that to determine whether or not a war is justified is to A) look at the intentions of the instigators+participants and B) look at how they carried out their acts of war.

Now onto my examples:

====================
Examplle: Barbary Wars
====================

In this particular conflict, the Americans were first harassed by the Barbary States to pay them some tributes in exchange for them to stop attacking American ships. However, demands rose and soon the United States refused to pay up - resulting in the Barbary states attacking them. Eventually, however, America was able to push them back and a treaty was signed[1].

How was this war justified? Because America did nothing wrong in this situation. They were the victims all the way, from the moment their ships were being atacked, to when they agreed to pay up, until they finally set their foot down and defended themselves. This is a justified war because America did not partake in immoral policies, while the Barbary states did.

====================
Conclusion
====================

By offering at least one example of a justified war, I have held my burden. It just depends on what point of view one takes to decide whether or not a war was justified.

---References---
1. http://www.globalsecurity.org...
ournamestoolong

Con

Thank you for a thorough response.

I agree with all definitions given.

"What exactly does my opponent, and Benjamin Franklin, mean by the phrase "good"? Without the context being supplied, "good" can mean a lot of things, and it turns out that this entire debate hinges on it's meaning. For example, I can argue that a war is good for those who like to kill, thus fulfilling my burden. This, of course, is viewed as simple semantics and my opponent should rest assured as I will not take this path. Instead, I will define good as "moral", or "justified". I'm almost positive this is what my opponent means by the phrase"good"."

I do not believe it could always mean justified. Killing someone may be justified, but that does not make it good. Rather, I take it to mean moral.

"How was this war justified? Because America did nothing wrong in this situation. They were the victims all the way, from the moment their ships were being attacked, to when they agreed to pay up, until they finally set their foot down and defended themselves. This is a justified war because America did not partake in immoral policies, while the Barbary states did."

The Barbary States DID take part in unjust acts, and they were part of the war, this did, in fact, make the war unjust. I do not think that, in this conflict, it was necessary for 35 people to be killed due to the actions of the Barbary States. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) Every war starts with a unjust action, making the war, in its entirety, unjust. People should not have to die because of a unjust action.
Debate Round No. 2
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for his quick response.

{quote}I do not believe it could always mean justified. Killing someone may be justified, but that does not make it good. Rather, I take it to mean moral.{endquote}

----> How is justified not mean good? Justified is defined[1] as "[demonstrating] or [proving] to be just, right, or valid", which obviously is synonymous with good. If I can justify a war, then I can show that it is a "good" war. Remember, giving a reason for something is not the same as justifying something.

====================
Examples of justified wars
====================

My opponent states that because the Barbary pirates were the ones who committed the unjust acts of war, then the Barbary war overall is unjust, or "not good". For the sake of arguments, lets concede this argument. Let's suppose that BOTH of the motives of warring parties should be considered - sure. To be honest, I only used the Barbary wars as a stepping stone for my argument, and I will now give reveal my "trump card", if you will:

To evaluate whether or not a war is good, I argue that we must look at it from a utilitarian perspective. As any historian does, we need to observe how the war has changed history, and to what extent. If the results of a war bring a greater amount of good than it took to go through it, then I argue that the war is a GOOD war. A justifiable war.

My example is the American Revolutionary War. While blood was shed, and tears were drawn, it resulted in the formation of the United States of America. Despite the controversies and wars during it's history, as any countries history would have, the USA -- I would argue -- is overall a benefit to mankind, to the world. One war brought upon the formation of a great nation, how "good" can that get?!

My opponent may respond in several ways. He may say that from the colonists persepctive, it wasn't justifiable at the time (or Britons, whatever way you go). However, this is steering away from the point. It doesn't matter what their reason was originally in the war - instead, we should look at the world from an objective and timeless perspective. No matter what the reason was that caused it, it resulted in greater good for the world overall. For example, let's say a man planned to murder someone who killed his brother - an act of revenge. He confronts him, gives some Hollywood-esque lines, and blows the suckers brain apart. A definitely horrible situation, right? However, we find out that the murder victim is actually a GANG LORD BOSS! OF THE YAKUZA! THE HIGHEST RANKING OFFICIAL! This man's revenge has actually saved the lives of potentially thousands of people - this, we would call a great situation. A great murder, one can say. Even though his reasons were wrong, the situation came out favorably. So while wars may be caused for the wrong reasons, the situation (as seen in the American Revolutionary War) came out favorably.

====================
Final counterargument
====================

Yes, my argument basically boils down into a utilitarian argument. While it may be the twist, it certainly doesn't steal the debate from my opponent. He can still refute it in his last round, and he has a whole yummy 3 days to do it. My argument should be clear to understand - the overall benefits of a war deem it as "good", or as "favorable", or as "justified". Whether or not the original parties involved had evil intentions, the consequences are good.

One last foreseeable argument my opponent may use is to say that the categorical imperative is superior. Of course, it is his burden to show why this would be so. For example, if a murderer came to your house and asked for the location of your mother, you would have to tell him. According to Kant, you can't lie. Now this isn't too pleasant, is it?

====================
Conclusion
====================

Once again, I am sorry for my short and lackluster response. I really could've expanded on the criticism of Kant and such, but I am really running out of time (due to personal reasons). Thanks for the debate ournamestoolong, it was an interesting topic ;D

Anyways, VOTE PRO.

---References---
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
ournamestoolong

Con

I thank my opponent for a interesting debate.

"How is justified not mean good? Justified is defined[1] as "[demonstrating] or [proving] to be just, right, or valid", which obviously is synonymous with good. If I can justify a war, then I can show that it is a "good" war. Remember, giving a reason for something is not the same as justifying something."

If a war is justified, but the end result is bad, that makes it a bad war.

"To evaluate whether or not a war is good, I argue that we must look at it from a utilitarian perspective. As any historian does, we need to observe how the war has changed history, and to what extent. If the results of a war bring a greater amount of good than it took to go through it, then I argue that the war is a GOOD war. A justifiable war."

We also need to look at another thing. Could the same result be achieved through a peaceful approach? This would make the war pointless, and therefore, bad.

"My example is the American Revolutionary War. While blood was shed, and tears were drawn, it resulted in the formation of the United States of America. Despite the controversies and wars during it's history, as any countries history would have, the USA -- I would argue -- is overall a benefit to mankind, to the world. One war brought upon the formation of a great nation, how "good" can that get?!"

The United States of America could have been formed peacefully. My proof? Canada. Canada was owned by Britain and gained the right to self government in 1849 without war. The result could have been the same for the USA, and lives would have been saved. (http://www.infoplease.com...)

"For example, let's say a man planned to murder someone who killed his brother - an act of revenge. He confronts him, gives some Hollywood-esque lines, and blows the suckers brain apart. A definitely horrible situation, right? However, we find out that the murder victim is actually a GANG LORD BOSS! OF THE YAKUZA! THE HIGHEST RANKING OFFICIAL! This man's revenge has actually saved the lives of potentially thousands of people - this, we would call a great situation"

Say the police were already planning to arrest the man. Would the situation still be immensely good? Someone still killed another person in cold blood.

I thank my opponent for a interesting debate.

VOTE PRO
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Good debate nonetheless, sorry I couldn't put in 100% effort :(
Posted by ournamestoolong 8 years ago
ournamestoolong
A good debate, but I honestly think I lost.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Ugh sorry, but I will have to postpone till tomorrow X_X.

Hope I make it...
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Sorry for the short response in my second round and the delay for my last round. I've been busy with work but procrastinating at the same time :/

But don't worry - expect a lengthy response by tonight!
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Epicism
"The problem with WWII was that America was kind of asking for it heh. There was horrible American-Japanese relationships. Because of our restrictions on their oil, they basically had to attack us."

True true. I just like the clash it would make, lots of arguments for both sides.
Posted by ournamestoolong 8 years ago
ournamestoolong
THANK YOU, for not arguing semantics.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
"I would use WWII :D"

The problem with WWII was that America was kind of asking for it heh. There was horrible American-Japanese relationships. Because of our restrictions on their oil, they basically had to attack us.
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Epicism
I would use WWII :D

But I like your Barbary wars too..
Posted by I-am-a-panda 8 years ago
I-am-a-panda
CON has a tough job, what if the American revolution, French revolution, etc. had never been fought.
Posted by ournamestoolong 8 years ago
ournamestoolong
I would honestly think the Skeptic would make the last one into a good debate, but that seems more like something Brian would do.
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