The Instigator
pmagyar
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Johnicle
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons is Just (full resolution in 1st argument)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,009 times Debate No: 3777
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (10)

 

pmagyar

Pro

The resolution doesn't fit in the title, so here it is: It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat

Observation 1: The resolution presupposes no specific context about US policy making. There is no definition of which nation is acquiring nuclear weapons, so thus the resolution should be treated as an abstract principle about whether or not an action could be Just.

Observation 2: The resolution demands no action from the agent of action, the United States, to actually prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons, merely that it is a just policy option. This has two implications. 1. the resolution does not presuppose that the US would have to act unilaterally in order to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Because of the vast array of ways the US could employ military force there is no way to predict the outcome. 2. any argument that relies on the outcome of US intervention is extra topical because there is no actual action taken in the resolution.

Framework
The affirmative advocacy functions as an acceptance of the ideals of the resolution. The Random House dictionary defines "affirm" as To express agreement with or commitment to. This is the best definition for 4 reasons. 1. There is no bright line for when a resolution has been proved true or false. One debate round does not negate the truth-value of a statement. 2. It is possible for me to make tons of false arguments and win the round if I effectively extend and weigh them, thus truth cannot be the standard to uphold the AC and the NC. 3. Both sides must have an equal ability to win; so making the AC prove an unknown term is unfair because there is never a clear establishment of where the affirmative's ground is. 4. Because the affirmative argues first, and the multiplicity of possible negative arguments the affirmative gets to set ground for the debate for the negative to clash with.

While conceptions of justice differ, the one constant among them is that all conceptions of justice require some form of respect for humanity. This is because if there are no humans, then there can be no conception of justice. Justice must be contextualized then around preventing the dehumanization of individuals. Craig Haney (Professor of Psychology, Stanford Law Review, LOL July 1997 pg 1454) explains, "Social psychologists have recognized that dehumanization is one of the most powerful cognitive processes that can distance people from the moral implications of their actions…it is an especially powerful force in weakening moral prohibitions against violence because of its capacity to deprive [individuals] both victim and victimizer of identity and community--the two things that individually and collectively bind us."

This is the best conception of justice for 2 reasons.

1.Dehumanization destroys the freedom of will and justifies a follower mentality that enslaves the oppressed. Slavery cannot be a part of justice because all conceptions of justice rely upon individuals having the capacity to think autonomously. Paulo Freire writes "The "fear of freedom" which afflicts the oppressed…bind them to the role of oppressed…One of the basic elements of the relationship between oppressor and oppressed is prescription. Every prescription represents the imposition of one individual's choice upon another, transforming the consciousness of the person prescribed to into one that conforms with the prescriber's consciousness. Thus, the behavior of the oppressed is a prescribed behavior, following as it does the guidelines of the oppressor"

2.Dehumanization denies the ability of humans to feel guilt and thus denies our ability to understand our own moral framework, destroying our ability for self-reflection and respect for others. Gregory Kavka writes: "Where, and to what degree, we feel guilt identifies for us, is a signal for us, of what we really feel about the various matters of morality. (This is one reason why we can even feel guilty over "not feeling guilty" or "not feeling guilty enough.) If we record, or someone records for us, that our feeling guilt is only pretence, the genuineness of our concern over the wrong done, or perhaps over the person or persons who have suffered at our expense, is called into question. A review of the panorama of the kinds of moral misdemeanors over which we fail to feel guilt can be embarrassingly revealing about the nature of our moral personality" He continues "the feeling of guilt is intimately tied to respect and sympathy…an individual who unwarrantedly offends another person and experiences no guilt over this behavior has little if any respect or sympathy for that person…an individual who never experiences guilt over the offenses he commits against others must be lacking in respect and sympathy for human beings in general. In other words, we believe that our capacity to feel guilt reveals our humanity. Our capacity to feel guilt is also intimately tied, not only to respect for others, but also for self-respect: Self-respect, in the presence of moral transgression, yields self-disapprobation, which self-disapprobation, as a feeling, is felt as guilt. In other words, the feeling of guilt is genuinely moral to the extent to which it is self-reflexive."

The affirmative then has the burden to show that nuclear weapons themselves are dehumanizing because if nuclear weapons are dehumanizing then it would be just for the United States to prevent their acquisition.

The affirmative's thesis and sole contention is that nuclear weapons are more destructive than any conceivable conventional attack, making their very nature dehumanizing.

Polebaum (NY Law Review 1984) writes, "The atomic bombs exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki incinerated thousands of persons in the initial explosion. More died of radiation-inflicted diseases, and the psychological maladies resulting from the devastation disabled many more than the death toll reflects
Since that time, the dangers of nuclear warfare have been magnified by the increasing sophistication of nuclear technology…today's armaments threaten the survival of all life…First, the blast "drives air away from the site of the explosion, producing sudden changes in air pressure (called static overpressure) that can crush objects, and high winds (called dynamic pressure) that can move them suddenly or knock them down." Persons within this initial blast zone will die, either by the pressure and wind or by being crushed under collapsing debris. Those who survive the initial blast will be promptly annihilated by direct nuclear radiation, burns produced by thermal radiation, and fires directly ignited by the intense heat and indirectly ignited by the impact of objects on electrical lines and gas heaters. The zone of danger widens considerably when the fallout -- irradiated matter produced by the blast -- begins its descent to earth. A surface blast produces a huge crater whose irradiated contents are thrust upward."

Nuclear weapons power create a system of dehumanization because of their totalizing power. Nuclear weapons desensitize humanity to its own destruction and demand that we live with their power because they maintain peace. David Kreiger writes: "At its core, nuclearism is the belief that nuclear weapons and nuclear power are essential forms of progress that in the right hands will protect the peace and further the human condition. Nuclearism is dangerous…"the right hands" have generally been synonymous with one's own country, and "to further the human condition" has generally been synonymous with benefit to oneself, one's country or one's corporation."

Thus, nuclear weapons serve as a distance between one society and the "other" that legitimizes violence in society that always deny respect for individual worth and thus dehumanize the individual.
Johnicle

Con

"No one deserves trouble, no one deserves illness, no one deserves death… (and depression)... The cruelty is that, whatever we DO deserve, we rarely achieve it."… because I agree with this quote from William Nelson, I must disagree with the resolution…

-Resolved- It is just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat.

-For clarification of the round, I offer the following definitions

1. Acquisition- The act of becoming the owner of certain property.
-Black's Law dictionary----------- (1979, pg. 23)

2. Just- Consistent with what is morally right.
-From American Heritage Dictionary; 2006; Downloaded January 2nd, 2008; www.dictionary.com

-I reserve the right to define any terms of controversy throughout this round-

I.My Value of Just Deserts.
-Just deserts is defined by American Heritage Dictionary as being just in giving, "something that is deserved or merited, especially a punishment."
- (American Heritage Dictionary, 2006; www.dictionary.com; Downloaded February 19, 2008)
-When looking at the affirmative side, you must accept military force as being AT LEAST capable of killing people. However, what you must ask yourself is, What is the crime or action worthy of a just desert of death? The answer affirmative is offering is merely a "crime" of acquisition. What you first have to see is that an unjust act stopping an unjust act is still an unjust act. In America, we don't give deserts of death to past felony offenders for trying to acquire a gun UNLESS they use it. Furthermore, you have to see that military force affects the wrong people. For example, the people who are committing this so called "crime", (such as the government of the opposing nation) are not the people who will be affected by this unjust action (such as solders, families of solders, nuclear plant workers, random innocent people on the streets, or even just tax payers.) In the end, military force gives improper just deserts to the wrong people.

II.My Criterion of Pacifism
Pacifism is defined from American Heritage Dictionary (2006, www.dictionary.com; Downloaded February 13, 2008) as, "The belief that disputes between nations should and can be settled peacefully." What you have to see is that by invading another nation before they have even ACQUIRED nuclear weapons is anti-pacifistic and unjust. Military force ought to be reserved for ONLY a moment of DIRE NEED… something that is impossible to have when you are invading a nation for something they DO NOT HAVE. Especially when nuclear weapons are something that takes decades to obtain and decades to learn how to use, such as situations in Iran where they have been trying to acquire nuclear weapons for nearly 50 years. After my value and criterion contentions, you have to see that military force is not pacifistic in giving improper just deserts to the wrong people to prevent a mere capability of nuclear acquisition, all of which proves military force as unjust.

III.Military Force may provoke a revengeful attack.
-From- Anthony H. Cordesman and Khalid R. Al-Rodhan; Investigative Authors; Iran's Weapons of Mass Destruction; The Real and Potential Threat; 2006; page 9
Quote- "Israel has argued that Iran must not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons… (but has also argued that the problem is an international, not an Israeli, problem)… The election in 2005 of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency in Iran and his statements about wiping Israel off the map, however, make Iran's nuclear program an existential threat to Israel. Iran has also made its position clear: an attack by Israel on Iranian nuclear facilities will be met with total retaliation. Iran's minister of defense… (General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar)… had been quoted as saying, "Any attack against Iran's peaceful nuclear facilities will meet a swift and crushing response from the armed forces." Iran's foreign minister… (Manouchehr Mottaki) expressed a similar sentiment, asserting that Iran would respond to such an attack "by all means" at its disposal." END QUOTE
-Why is it that when we try to keep pacifism, that we usually end up going overboard by actually increasing the violence. The truth is that by using military force, you merely double the amount of potential danger, therefore making the violence, all the more likely and the death, all the more conceivable.

IV.Military force on affirmative has too many uncertainties to be just.
-What most people don't realize when they look at the affirmative side of this resolution, is how many uncertainties there are… For example, we don't know… If nuclear weapons will be acquired… (if acquired), if they will be used…. (if they are used) how effective they will be …(if they are used)… why we deserved them… If the people that pose a threat, ACTUALLY ARE a threat… If this military threat will EVER become any sort of military ACTION… how many people from the nation that pose a military threat or the United States (for that matter) will be killed when military force is used… Who will get their TRUE just deserts… If military force will provoke a revengeful attack with weapons of mass destruction or just their own military force… If military force will be successful in removing the nuclear weapons... (and if successful) how long the military forced deterrence will last………. (and finally)… if the people that die from military force got their TRUE just deserts.
-With all of these uncertainties, how do you know if you are truly just? My definition of just simply asks for two things, consistency and morality. My question is how can you be morally consistent when you have so many uncertainties especially when dealing with death…? I simply can not call this action… "just."

Onto my opponent's case…

Observation 1: This observation isn't that big of a deal. My perception of it is that we are debating if the attempt of the action is just or not.

Observation 2: The second observation is similar… I agree that we are simply debating if military force is a JUST option.

Framework: The framework he offers neither proves nor disproves the resolution. I really don't see how this has ANYTHING to do with this round.

1.--> Cross-apply his observations. There is no action that needs to be done to prove or disprove the resolution. Therefore we must see that we are only debating removing the acquisition and SMALL possibility of nuclear weapon use. A nuclear weapon has never been used on a civilization (Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons are worse). With Mutually Assured Destruction backing up this world, the chance that nuclear weapons will be used are slim to none. Since we do not know if any nuclear weapon use is being prevented (if we were to use military force) then it is not CONSISTENT or MORALLY RIGHT let alone both (which is how I defined just as).

2.--> In argument 2, my opponent offers a relatively long quote, but never offers how this pertains to the round. As of now, all I see is a quote about dehumanization but if you look to his observations we can not debate any certain cases. WE DON'T KNOW if any nuclear weapons will be used or not until they happen. Therefore, military force is NOT consistent with what is morally right.

>>>If I have a gun, am I dehumanizing if I don't kill someone? OR, am I dehumanizing if I do kill someone? The point I'm trying to make is that having a bad thing is only bad when it's used. I can take any object and kill a guy with it, but that doesn't mean we should try to prevent its acquisition. I could hurt more people with a pen in my pocket than someone with a nuclear weapon, BUT it only depends on how we use it. We don't know how these weapons will be used, therefore it is unjust to use military force to prevent a possibility.

Therefore I urge voters to vote CON...

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 1
pmagyar

Pro

The definition of Justice is horribly vague about what it means for something to be "morally right." We ought to go with the affirmative conception of Justice. The one constant to all conceptions of Justice is that they all require some form of respect for humanity. We must contextualize Justice around preventing the dehumanization of individuals. You can extend the Haney analysis, about how dehumanization is an extremely powerful cognitive process that can distance people from the moral implications of their actions. Also extend the two justifications for this conception of Justice, as my opponent does not attack these as y they dont support my conception of justice. First, dehumanization destroys the freedom of will and justifies a follower mentality that enslaves the oppressed. And second, dehumanization denies individuals the ability to feel guilt and understand our own moral framework. Without that, there is little to identify us as humans, for the ability to feel guilt is intimately tied to our humanity.

Opp Case

Off I. 1. There is no justification for why this is the best way to evaluate the round. 2. Taken to the logical conclusion of applying this concept to international relations, any war for any reason is unjustified and does not give "Just desserts." For example, even war with Hitler's Germany would be unjust because the war would kill civilians and individuals fighting in the army who are only fighting to defend their country. Applying this idea of "Just desserts" to international relations makes it impossible to combat the atrocities committed around the world, no one could respond to genocide or tyrannical leaders. A conception of Justice that would allow massive injustice to occur is a horribly UNJUST conception of justice. 3. There is a fundamental difference between acquiring a gun and acquiring nuclear weapons. There are a variety of ways to use a gun that are no threat to other individuals. Target practice, collectors item, and hunting are all examples. This isn't so with nuclear weapons. They have only one purpose, the destruction of humanity. They have no peaceful purpose. THERE IS NO WAY TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS THAT IS NOT DESTRUCTIVE. 4. While it is possible that individuals who are not directly responsible for the nuclear program could be harmed by the use of military force, given the effectiveness and accuracy of US smart weapons the collateral damage will be limited, and given the threat that nuclear weapons present this is Just. 5. If Justice is to be defined and argued that any action that kills anyone who has not themselves killed anyone, this conception of Justice either (A) falls prey to the result of my 2nd response or (B) nations will always be engaging in unjust actions and the very idea of Justice will be meaningless. A conception of Justice that makes Justice meaningless is an absurd way to define the term, and we ought adopt the AC conception of Justice.

Off II. 1. This is an abusive and unfair criterion because there is no possible way for the affirmative to ever meet it. The resolution requires the affirmative to be, at least to some small extent, non-pacifist. That makes it impossible for me to make any argument that shows how military force is pacifist. That alone is reason enough to reject the criterion, as it is supposed to be a mechanism by which we can evaluate who wins the debate, and both sides need to have access to being able to win the debate for it to be fair. 2. Pacifism, while sometimes effective, if followed in all situations will only lead to greater injustice. See my second argument on the last point and apply it here. Pacifism is not an effective tool in the international community, telling other nations that all we will do is sit back and protest while they build the tools of humanities destruction will do nothing. 3. There is no link to the value of just deserts, for that not only includes not harming those who have done nothing wrong, but also that those who DO propagate injustice and harm receive the punishment that they deserve. If we are as pacifist as possible, then we can take no action to deal with individuals and leaders who insist on oppression, violence, and genocide as ways to control their population. 4. If you wait for a "moment of dire need" you have waited too long, for the way my opponent argues that would only occur after the nations have acquired nuclear weapons. At that point it is far more risky to attack the nation to take away their nuclear weapons, and you risk far more harm then would occur had we stopped the nation before they acquired nuclear weapons. The US conventional military is unmatched by any in the world, but it is still no match for a war that goes nuclear, in that conflict all lose. 5. Iran may have taken a long time to build their weapons program, but that doesn't not mean that one cannot be created much faster. For example, North Korea. 6. It is easier to take a program out closer to its beginning, the longer you wait the more it grows and the more likely an attack may miss important components.

Off III. 1. TURN: Cross-apply the second argument from above. 2. This evidence only shows that Iran would attack Israel if Israel attacked their nuclear program. THIS SAYS NOTHING about how they would respond to a US attack. 3. TURN: If we accept Iran's intentions, then we must equally accept their claim that they will wipe Israel off the map. The possible violence that could occur by an attack on Iran now would only be the threat of conventional weapons, if we wait and allow them to acquire nuclear weapons and they attack Israel with them, the US will be drawn into a nuclear exchange, causing far more destruction than anything that could conceivably happen by attacking Iran. 4. This puts the negative in a double-bind, either we accept what Iran says and they will attack Israel with nuclear weapons, or we do not accept what Iran says and there is no longer any warrant for this argument. 5. Apply observation 2, any outcome of US intervention is extra-topical. My opponent accepts this, and you throw out this argument because it relies on the outcome of US intervention.

Off IV: 1. There is no warrant in this argument, it is simply a collection of claims that are backed up by NOTHING. 2. There are uncertainties in any action taken, the existence of uncertainty is not enough if a reason to say something is unjust, otherwise it is impossible to say anything is just ever.

Framework: This sets up how the round is to be evaluated. Extend the framework, affirm is to express agreement with or commitment to. The affirmative accepts the ideals of the resolution. This, along with the aff conception of Justice, sets up the burden to show that nuclear weapons themselves are dehumanizing. If I do that, it would be just to prevent their acquisition and you vote PRO.

Response to attack on 1: 1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki certainly were nuclear weapons, and if you want to make that claim you need to back that up. 2. There is no warrant that MAD will continue to work if we allow more and more nations to join the nuclear club, especially as the nations attempting to acquire them are more dictatorial regimes who are far more likely to use them.

Response to attack on 2: This is to justify my conception of Justice.

Guns: 1. Refer to response 3 to the Value.

Extend the Polebaum evidence, Nuclear weapons power create a system of dehumanization because of their totalizing power. Nuclear weapons desensitize humanity to its own destruction and demand that we live with their power. This meets the affirmative burden to show that nuclear weapons are dehumanizing, and you vote PRO based on that alone.

Extend the Kreiger evidence, nuclear weapons serve as a distance between one society and the "other" that legitimizes violence in society that always deny respect for individual worth and thus dehumanize the individual. This meets the burden, and you vote PRO.
Johnicle

Con

DEFINITIONS: The great thing about this resolution is that I can prove that the use of military force by either definition. It isn't morally right because you are creating unnecessary violence, AND nuclear weapons don't cause the dehumanization of humans unless they are used which is a HUGE uncertainty. But by using military force, you CREATE the dehumanization of humans by invading a nation (and as my case said) risk the provoking of a revengeful attack. Therefore, military force is proven unjust by BOTH definitions.

I. VALUE OF JUST DESERTS: This is the best way to weigh this round. If you want to see who dehumanizes more humans, use just deserts. Whoever gets their just desert was not dehumanized, therefore, by HIS definition, we must use just deserts. Furthermore, you must see that negative gets more just deserts because I don't GUARENTEE the dehumanization of humans. My opponent seems to be debating that we are preventing the use of nuclear weapons but that isn't true. What IS true is that we are preventing the acquisition… no more no less. When we prevent the acquisition we don't know if we prevent any dehumanization but what I DO know is that military force dehumanizes humans AND military force may provoke a revengeful attack. When he says, "THERE IS NO WAY TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS THAT IS NOT DESTRUCTIVE", he must re-read the resolution, we are ONLY preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons AND there is a way to use nuclear weapons that is not destructive, and that is not using them at all. But when you use military force, you simply push the idea of using nuclear weapons. Thus, using military force actually has a greater chance of having a nuclear weapons used.

II. CRITERION OF PACIFISM: This criterion is not abusive whatsoever. It truly puts the round into perspective. The more pacifism that you get, the more people that get their just deserts, thus the more just you are. BUT, when you use military force, you lessen the amount of pacifism there is and therefore are less just. He continues by saying that if we keep pacifism then SOMETIMES it leads to a greater injustice. I agree with this but I also agree that you can't see when these are going to happen. We can't use the ends to make the means just or unjust. SO, if we look to where the time in this resolution is, it's in the MEANS that we must determine what is just and unjust and what we see is the simple action of acquisition of nuclear weapons (not use)… Therefore, it is UNJUST to go against the idea of pacifism by preventing a mere capability. Furthermore, if we are pacifist, we give more people their just deserts (at least the ones in the hands of the United States)… Also, you have to see that the "dire moment of time" may not be what is smart… but the resolution does NOT ask us what is smart but rather what is just, and what is just is using military force when you KNOW you are doing good rather than just a guess. Therefore, pacifism must be upheld in order to meet up with either one of our definitions.

III. REVENGEFUL ATTACK: His first argument against this is pretty funny. He says that the U.S. and Israel are two different countries and that they would react TO them differently. It's sort of like if person A and B punch person C… Do you really think that person C would react much differently to the two punches? It just doesn't make any sense. He then goes on to say that Iran is a major threat. But what you have to see is that he is calling military force use just ONLY after Iran is a major threat (when they have already acquired nuclear weapons)… but that is not what we are debating, instead, we are trying to prevent nuclear weapon acquisition which hints that the use of military force is BEFORE they can even be this "major threat"… Onto the "4" argument, I'll take the first one where I believe what Iran is saying… BUT as I've previously stated, Iran can't attack us with nuclear weapons UNTIL they have them. Not to mention that the evidence only says that Iran will attack us when 1) We attack them (which affirmatives doing only) AND 2) Iran GETS nuclear weapons (which they currently do not have and if you don't believe me I'll bring evidence up in next round but even if they don't it doesn't matter because they have already acquired nuclear weapons thus not making them a part of this resolution)… Finally, onto "5", what you have to see is that I only agreed to the observations so that we can debate what CAN happen rather than what will happen (since we don't know for sure what will happen). This evidence thus can still be accepted as it points to a good chance that this can happen.

IV. UNCERTAINTIES: When you are dealing with peoples LIVES, you simply should not have this many uncertainties (just too quickly not that these uncertainties are ONLY on the affirmative side)… It's not like being uncertain on a question on your math test… this is people's lives. It is unjust to put people's lives in risk when you are so uncertain about if you are doing anything. He says that these aren't backed up by anything, but you have no backing up that these nuclear weapons will ever be acquired (if they are when) AND if they will EVER be used in ANY form whatsoever. In the end, these uncertainties are upheld at the end of this round…

FRAMEWORK: My opponent has yet to show HOW nuclear weapons are dehumanizing AND if it is just to use military force to prevent this dehumanization. Furthermore, my argument here is that nuclear weapons ARE dehumanizing but ONLY when they are used which is a huge assumption, and a stretch, and a MAJOR uncertainty, but what isn't an uncertainty is that military force is dehumanizing. This debate comes down to an unjust action (military force) TRYING to stop a POSSIBILITY of an unjust action (nuclear weapon acquisition/use (use is the unjust part)).

1: Fine, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear weapons (as far as this debate goes but they are nothing when compared to the nuclear weapons of the current age)… but when this claim is made, then you have to see that since the they were the ONLY nuclear weapons ever used, then the more countries that get nuclear weapons, the stronger M.A.D. is… No one would dare nuke anyone else with nukes because there would inevitably be a revengeful attack of nuclear weapons by the country itself OR EVEN an allied country. Therefore, the more nuclear weapons, the LESS likely that nuclear weapons will ever be used "again."

POLEBAUM EVIDENCE: Again, nuclear weapons are only bad when they are used.

KREIGER EVIDENCE: Nuclear weapons don't legitimize violence, they actually lessen it. Again, cross-apply my Israel/Iran evidence which shows that Israel wouldn't dare go near Iran if they knew that nuclear weapons could eventually be used. People begin to get scared when nuclear weapons are in the picture, so violence is actually minimized. Therefore, nuclear weapons are not dehumanizing and it is certainly unjust to use military force (an unjust action in and of itself) to prevent this acquisition. Therefore, you should vote CON.

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 2
pmagyar

Pro

Definitions: "morally right" is still as vague as it was when 1st presented, there is no discussion about what that means. Only the Pro provides any meaning to Justice, we must contextualize Justice around preventing the dehumanization of individuals, as justified in the last 2 rounds.

Off I: 1. Extend my second response, the idea of "Just Deserts" cannot apply to international relations because it would never allow us to combat atrocities because innocents might be harmed. A conception of Justice that would allow massive injustice to occur is a horribly UNJUST conception of justice, and you throw it out. 2. My opponent misinterprets my advocacy, it is not that we prevent dehumanization by preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons(while that would affirm the resolution, the second observation says we are not debating outcomes). Im arguing that nuclear weapons themselves are dehumanizing, which makes it is just to prevent their acquisition. 3. The fact that the only possible way nuclear weapons are not destructive is by not using them shows they have no purpose other than destruction, for no one creates something for its non-use, even if they haven't used it yet, it was still created because of how it can be used, and that is only in a horribly destructive way. 4. TURN: The argument that you increase the use of nuclear weapons with military force is unwarranted and doesn't make sense, showing the US will respond to nations who try to acquire nukes pushes that acquiring nukes will lead to US attacks on your country, decreasing the likelihood nations will use them. 5. Extend my 5th argument, If Justice is to be defined and argued that any action that kills anyone who has not themselves killed anyone, this conception of Justice either (A) falls prey to the result of my 2nd response or (B) nations will always be engaging in unjust actions and the very idea of Justice will be meaningless. this conception of Justice makes justice meaningless, and any way to define the term that makes it meaningless is a horrible definition.

Off II: 1. This criterion is EXTREMELY abusive, the con side will always be more pacifist because the resolution requires the Pro be non-pacifist. A criterion is a mechanism to evaluate the round fairly, whoever better achieves it wins, but one makes it impossible for one side to win is an ABUSIVE criterion and shouldn't be used for that reason alone, we must use a mechanism that allows both sides the opportunity to win. 2. There is no reason why pacifism will give Just desserts, see the second argument against the first point, pacifism would not allow us to ever give despots and tyrants their just deserts. 3. It is pretty easy to see when pacifism will lead to greater injustice, when the threat is from a tyrannical leader of a foreign nation pacifism will allow for greater injustice. Pacifism is effective sometimes in domestic disputes, against oppressive policies by non-tyrannical states. A tyrannical state would simple kill those protesting peacefully. PACIFISM DOES NOT WORK IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. 4 If we can never use military force unless we know for sure we will do good we will never be able to use it, even in situations that it is essential for their use, such as fighting oppressive tyrants. 5. extend my 6th argument, it is far easier and safer to eliminate a program at its beginning, so it is far safer and will cause less harm to do it them than to wait, as the con would have the US do.

Off III: 1. Yea, they would respond to the punches very differently if person C is closely matched in strength to person A, and vastly overpowered by person B. You may fight A, but if youre smart you will not fight B because you would be crushed. 2. My argument is that if we dont prevent them from acquiring nukes they will eliminate Israel because that is what they have said they will do. Con said he will believe what Iran says. Iran has said it wants to wipe Israel off the map regardless if they are attacked by Israel first. Either we risk the response of Iran's conventional weapons, or we wait for them to acquire nukes and attack Israel, and given we are allied with Israel we will be drawn into a nuclear war. A nuclear war would be far worse than any conventional attack Iran can muster. 3. This is based on outcomes, making it extra-topical and you throw it out.

Off IV: 1. It is irrelevant if the pro shows that nuclear weapons will be acquired or used, if they themselves are dehumanizing I have met my burden. 2. The ability to name a number of uncertainties that are BACKED UP BY NOTHING is not a reason not to engage in an action. The uncertainties have to actually be shown to have merit. My opponent has not produced any reason any of his uncertainties have merit. 3. Any reasons provided that these uncertainties are valid in the last round should be disregarded because I have not had a chance to respond to his justifications, which is unfair.

Off 1: 1. There are several reasons that a nation with nukes would use them. If they have powerful first strike weapons that can eliminate the enemies nukes before they can be launched. Or if the nation has an effective defense system that can shoot nukes down. Or if they have a powerful air force and air defense system, and the enemy nation only has their nukes in the form of bombs. And MAD relies on a nations leaders being logical, leaders of nations such as iran could ignore logic and be overcome by religious or ethnic hatred, and the more leaders who can use nukes the more likely one comes to power who chooses to use them.

So here's why you vote PRO. I've given multiple reasons showing why using my opponents framework, his value and criterion, are a bad way to evaluate the debate. My opponents only attack on my framework is that I don't meet it, not that it's a bad way to evaluate the round. Extend my framework, affirm is to express agreement with or commitment to. The affirmative accepts the ideals of the resolution. This, along with the aff conception of Justice, sets up the burden to show that nuclear weapons themselves are dehumanizing. If I do that, it would be just to prevent their acquisition and you vote PRO. That shows agreement with the ideals of the resolution.

Re-extend the Polebaum evidence. Nuclear weapons desensitize humanity to its own destruction and demand that we live with their power. My opponents own arguments that we ought to accept such massively destructive weapons because they will supposedly bring us peace shows this as well, it causes us to view them as just another aspect of our civilization, which desensitizes us to their destructive power. Desensitizing individuals is a dehumanizing practice, which makes nuclear weapons themselves dehumanizing. That meets the burden and you vote PRO.

Re-extend the Kreiger evidence. The very fear that nuclear weapons create and my opponent talks about is dehumanizing itself. It creates an us vs them mentality, where anyone who is not on our side is the other whose nuclear weapons we must be afraid of. This us vs them mentality is created by the nuclear weapons themselves, and that mentality is a dehumanizing one.

Finally, ALL OF CON'S ARGUMENTS THAT RELY ON THE OUTCOME OF THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE ARE EXTRA-TOPICAL AND MUST BE THROWN OUT, this was agreed to in the 2nd observation without, without any qualifications placed on that acceptance. The observation was very specific "any argument that relies on the outcome of US intervention is extra topical." Also, the so called "evidence" is about one country claiming they will attack the US, hardly strong evidence.

Even if you did look to outcomes, you still vote PRO. 1. US responding with force decreases the likelihood nations will use nukes. 2. Pacifism in international relations is UNUST, it doesn't allow the US to respond to threats. 3. Allowing other nations to acquire nuclear weapons leads to nuclear war, see III above.

Vote Pro
Johnicle

Con

For my final round, I am just going to summarize the round by crystallizing the most important arguments… If I was going to go line by line it would be unnecessary repetition of arguments that don't really matter. However, in my summarization, I will be arguing based off of important arguments made in my opponent's last round. My burden of proof is showing that using military force to prevent nuclear acquisition is NOT just which can be done by proving that it is unjust, not completely just, or an uncertainty of either.

1) Analysis upon both definitions of just.

a) Pro's definition: In this round, pro insists that his definition is the one to be used… But what he doesn't realize is that his military force doesn't meet his own definition. He says that nuclear weapons are dehumanizing… but that is not what he has to prove… I ask the judges to analyze the resolution and see how it says that, "it is just for the United States to use MILITARY FORCE"… Therefore, you have to prove it is just to prevent this so called "dehumanization" rather than what you're preventing. If we used military force to stop 1 million deaths… then the 1 million deaths would be unjust BUT so would using military force. Furthermore, you have to see that nuclear weapons are NOT dehumanizing. If I have a nuke in my back yard, how many people does it kill? That answer depends ONLY on its use. When you use military force you risk destroying people's just desert in an unnecessary manner. It doesn't matter if you actually prevent the use in the long run… but it's that risk that is unjust…

b) Con's definition: For my definition, I win the round as pro ignores it. He says that it gives no link to justice, but it gives a link better than his definition ever does. Doing what is "just" is doing what is right, therefore doing what is consistent with what is morally right is an applicable definition of "just." And yet, he COMPLETELY ignores taking on this definition. But my definition must be weighed within this round and creating unnecessary violence is not morally right (military force). The resolution specifies that we are preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons… Look to all the nations that have acquired nuclear weapons in the past 40 years, now, how many people has that acquisition killed? NONE… Which leads me back to this dehumanization definition that he has given, but the only thing that has been creating dehumanization is MILITARY FORCE… He claims that nuclear weapons have no benefits, but as a response you have to see that it has 2 benefits… 1) energy benefits… 2) equal playing ground for all nations in negotiations (smaller countries taken more seriously)… Therefore, by using military force, you create unnecessary violence AND destroy national sovereignty by denying nations right to energy and equal playing ground… Thus military force is unjust no matter what definition you use.

2) Value- Just Deserts: The value of just deserts is the way to weigh this round and when you look to who creates the most "dehumanization" you have to see PRO as the person doing that. By using his observation, we don't have to actually put anything into action, but we MUST determine what is "just" and what is just is not causing the unnecessary violence that military force is. You deny nations their right to sovereignty and inevitably kill many innocent people in the attempt of preventing nuclear acquisition (which is not use and by his observations we can never look to if they would be used or not). Therefore the side that provides the most just deserts is CON. As a judge, you have no other way of determining what is just unless you look to either the definitions or the value of just deserts and CON wins all three of these…

3) Criterion- Pacifism: The way in which Pro achieves more just deserts (thus being just) is by being pacifist. I'm not claiming that NEVER using military force is a good idea (good ideas are not in the resolution) what I claim is that when you use that military force, you are unjust. BUT, when you use military force in order to prevent nuclear acquisition, you may provoke a revengeful attack AND there are many uncertainties… which only proves more that military force is unjust. By risking more violence (by failing pacifism) you decrease the amount of just deserts which is truly the goal of justice. Therefore, you are unjust.

In the end, Pro is simply unjust in too many places. He is not consistent with what is morally right AND he pushes more dehumanization (when military force is used) AND he fails pacifism THUS he gives fewer just deserts (which fails justice)… Military force comes with multiple uncertainties and may actually provoke a revengeful attack (even possibly a nuclear attack from another nation)… therefore, it is NOT just for the United States to use military force to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by nations that pose a military threat.

So please vote CON…

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by m1a2abramsJames 8 years ago
m1a2abramsJames
On the MAD concept. One problem is that religious extremists is that they don't care about MAD and are willing to sacrifice their lives. In addition one overlooked fact about Ahmadinejad is that he has been involved in the secret Hojjiteh society along with his mentor Ayatollah Yazdi which one of his students passed a fatwa that justified the use of nuclear weapons. The Hojjiteh believes that by spreading chaos the Mahdi or the Islamic savior will come.
Posted by m1a2abramsJames 8 years ago
m1a2abramsJames
Ahmadinejad did in fact call for Israel to be wiped off the map. Preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons is just. For example if it wasn't for Israel destroying Iraq's nuclear reactor in Osirak in 1981, then Iraq could have had nuclear weapons by the 1990's. However when we try to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons it must be against nations who are trying to get nuclear weapons and not on false intelligence like in Iraq.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
Just to clarify one of Con's Round 1 assertions:

"The election in 2005 of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency in Iran and his statements about wiping Israel off the map, however, make Iran's nuclear program an existential threat to Israel."

There is no doubt that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a bellicose and potentially dangerous leader, but his comment about wiping Israel off the map was badly translated and, thus, widely misinterpreted.

What he actually meant by that statement was the he would like to see the word "Israel" deleted from maps and atlases, implying only that the territory should be returned to the Palestinians.
Posted by pmagyar 8 years ago
pmagyar
theLwerd: yea it was said and responded to below, and i see no reason why it is "wacktacular" to argue for a way to interpret a resolution in a certain way, especially as that interpretation is also up for debate.

It is not that the policy may never be implemented, but the resolution as it is written says NOTHING about who the threat is, what degree the threat is, or how the US uses military force. Without any of that information, it is impossible to debate the implementation of the policy.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
However I would love to take this on strictly pertaining to the resolution...
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
I didn't read all the comments yet so I'm not sure if this has already been said, but...

This debate is wacktacular. I would take it on (and I might) except you made way too many restrictions in your first argument. For instance, "The resolution demands no action from the agent of action, the United States, to actually prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons, merely that it is a just policy option." What the Hell is the point of arguing this debate then? If it's not the actual action we're debating then why fight over a POLICY that may never be implemented? How can your opponent win? This debate is interesting but too restrictive for Con. I do see some loopholes but it's not worth it. I don't want to make a mockery out of the subject and/or turn this debate into a different direction than intended... hmm.
Posted by pmagyar 8 years ago
pmagyar
How is it not a real affirmation? If you want to challenge that you ought to begin by challenging the definition of affirm and the justifications provided. Furthermore, why does the wording of the resolution dictate that your interpretation fits more with the framers intent? Furthermore, even if you could show it does, why should we be pigeonholed to debate a resolution only in the way that those writing the resolution intended it. The great thing about debate is that how you debate and approach a topic is also up for debate.
Posted by pmagyar 8 years ago
pmagyar
In response to zakkuchan's post.

While a country attempting to acquire nuclear weapons is a real possibility(as some certainly have) the resolution itself provides no context for a situation other than saying its a nation acquiring them and the US response is military force. The various degrees that any country could be pursuing nuclear weapons, as well as the numerous nations that could acquire nuclear weapons, AND all of the possible ways that the US could use military force means it is impossible to treat the resolution as evaluating a certain situation, it can only be debated as a more abstracted question.

The observation about unilateral action is mostly just a pre-empt to negative arguments that unilateral action is bad, and that means you negate. And i would disagree that it is probable, while Bush acted for the most part unilaterally(technically no but considering who was part of the "coalition of the willing" it pretty much was), it is a very real possibility that one of the two democratic candidates could be elected and would not act unilaterally, if you want to contextualize to current US politics.

There is a difference between evaluating if something is a "just policy option"(my wording) and a "valid public policy decision"(your wording). A public policy decision is something made in response to a specific situation, where you know the situation. We don't the situation in the resolution, so we can only evaluate if its a just policy option. Arguing that one possible outcome of one way the US could use military force is unjust doesn't address the resolutional question. And because we cannot know how and against who military force is being used, it is impossible to know the outcomes. Yes, congress may lower taxes to stimulate the economy, but in that example congress knows vastly more about the situation to judge whether or not that is a realistic outcome, and even then they still dont know that will happen.
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
if this isn't taken by tomorrow I'll probably take it but be ready for some value/criterion action!
Posted by GaryBacon 8 years ago
GaryBacon
I would take this debate, but I just have too much going on right now.
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