The Instigator
blackhawk1331
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
bossyburrito
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

Resolution: You should only defend yourself when it is a sure win

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
blackhawk1331
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,509 times Debate No: 30574
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

blackhawk1331

Con

I will be debating bossyburrito on the resolution "You should only defend yourself when it's a sure win". I will be taking the position that you should defend yourself no matter what. Bossy will be taking the position that you should only defend yourself when it's a sure win.

R1: Acceptance
R2: Opening arguments
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Closing arguments

*******NOTE: This debate is refering to groups of armed people fighting each other, not one person attacking another.**********
bossyburrito

Pro

I accept.

Definitions:
Defend: To ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually followed by from or against ) {1}

Sure: free from doubt as to the reliability, character, action, etc., of something. {2}

Win: to gain the victory; overcome an adversary. {3}

{1} http://dictionary.reference.com...
{2}http://dictionary.reference.com...
{3}http://dictionary.reference.com...

GL;HF
Debate Round No. 1
blackhawk1331

Con

I believe that a nation should defend itself regardless of it's chances of winning the fight. To support my position, I will draw on one war and two nations. The war is World War Two and the nations are France and the USSR.

In World War 2, Germany rolled into France and secured its hold on the nation. France had no chance at breaking free without assisstance. They had no assisstance at the beginning since Great Britain was fighting to maintain its own sovereignty and the US wasn't officially involved. Did France roll over and die? No. The French resistance formed. They fought back against the Germans as best they could despite the fact that their chances of winning were almost 0. They fought back, and became a key piece in Germany's defeat. If not for the French Resistance, D-Day wouldn't have happened. Without D-Day, it would have been much longer before the allies hit the mainland of Europe, if they ever hit it. If France, and all its citizens, had quit because "it wasn't a sure win", then World War Two would have turned out much differently.

The USSR is another great example. Germany pounded them for a large portion of the war, and almost broke them. The army of the USSR never quit. They kept fighting to defend their nation despite the fact that "it wasn't a sure win." They eventually were able to score a few great wins over the Germans and turn the war around. They ended the war as a super power. That wouldn't have happened if they'd quit.

I await my opponent's arguments.
bossyburrito

Pro

I will be defending the idea that nations should not defend themselves if they are not guarenteed to suceed.

Point 1: Chicken
For my first point, I will draw upon the popular Chicken game {1} from Game Theory. The scenario is simple: Two cars are speeding towards each other on a highway. Right before they hit, they have to do decide if they want to swerve out of the way. The worst outcome is one in which neither of them swerve. They both die/suffer heavy casualties. However, if one of them swerves, the other is able to keep riding along the highway. Therefor, the person who doesn't swerve is better off than the one who does. One must realize that even though one is better off, they don't both die. If one nation does not defend itself, it does not risk heavy casualties. It does not matter that they might still win. It would not be worth the risk of mutually-assured destruction.

Point 2: Casualties from defense
Before deciding to defend, you have to think of the outcomes. Is it worth it? For example, in the Battle of Stalingrad, up to 2,000,000 casulties were reported{2}. If Russia had given up the city, they would have avoided thousands upon thousands of deaths. Another example would be the Second Battle of the Marne, in which there were over 200,000 casualties and captures. {3}

{1} http://en.wikipedia.org...(game)
{2} http://en.wikipedia.org...
{3} http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
blackhawk1331

Con

Rebuttals

Point 1: Chicken
The point made of the two cars driving towards each other is invalid because, as stated in my round one post, this debate refers to groups of armed people fighting each other, not individuals. Two cars speeding towards each other on the road are not two armed groups, but rather they are each an individual force.

Point 2: Casualties from defense
While there were anywhere from 1.5 million to 2.5 million casualties reported in the Battle of Stalingrad {1}, the worth, for the Russians, was well worth the cost. The Battle of Stalingrad is considered to be the turning point in the war on the Eastern Front {2}. After the battle, the German army was in full retreat. {3} For the Russians, it was a choice between 1 million casualties (less than half dying {2}) and the war. Had they given up Stalingrad, Hitler would have likely take over the oil fields in that area, his main target {2}. Had he taken those fields, not only would it have hindered the Soviet war effort by deriving them of precious oil, but it would have bolstered the German effort by giving them that oil. That change could quite possibly have led to the capture of Moscow, the end of the war on the Eastern front followed by the Western front, Africa, and the Pacific, and then the deaths of millions more innocents targeted by Hitler. So when deciding whether or not to defend themselves, Russia was looking at a few hundred thousand lives saved for the time being or potentially millions of lives later on. While they weren't guaranteed to win, they fought, proceeded to win, and possibly saved millions of lives. As Spock said in the Wrath of Khan, "logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." {4}
The Second Battle of the Marne was another battle of great significance. It was the last major German offensive of the First World War. At it's conclusion, the German command was beginning to see that the war was lost {5}. So, while there were a great many casualties in the battle, if the allies had given in and lost land, rather than fighting and taking land, it is quite possible that the Germans could have turned a victory in this battle into a victory in the war.

Sources
{1} http://www.russia-ukraine-travel.com...
{2} http://militaryhistory.about.com...
{3} http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...
{4} http://www.imdb.com...
{5} http://www.firstworldwar.com...

bossyburrito

Pro

I concede. Con has changed my mind on the matter.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
blackhawk1331

Con

I guess that settles it. Not much point of making a closing statement. Thanks for reading!
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
blackhawk1331bossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Good arguments and conduct on both sides. Pro concedes. I've decided to award Pro the conduct point as I agree it was a graceful and justified concession.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
blackhawk1331bossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Very good argument from blackhawk. Bossyburrito deserves much respect for his intellectual honesty rather than continuing to defend a position he no longer holds.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
blackhawk1331bossyburritoTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Honorable FF