The Instigator
lorca
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Resolved: Military Conscription is unjust.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,812 times Debate No: 4857
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

lorca

Pro

Military Conscription is unjust.

Military conscription my modern terms is synonymous with a draft. I will show through this debate that military conscription is unjust because it does not allow for basic deontological rights for the individuals that are forced to offer their service to their government.

For my value in this debate I offer Kant's categorical imperative, which according to Kant is to "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." I will also establish that the criterion for use in this debate to uphold the categorical imperative as free will and equality.

For argumentation in this debate, I offer the following contentions

1: Military conscription inhibits an individual's ability to perform the categorical imperative

2: Any action that is not in and of itself universally right or moral should not be allowed by action of law

3: A government's actions, in order to uphold justice, must value all members of their society at equal stature.

For sake of time, I will conclude this round and await responses from my opponent.
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

Just to quickly roadmap, I will be starting of course with my case, then rebutting my opponent's.

I would first like to accept my opponent's definition for military conscription.

My value for this debate is of course justice, as it is inherent in the resolution, through use of the word "just."

It then follows that my criterion is Locke's social contract. This is the appropriate criterion, as Locke's contract is a litmus test for any government action, as a legitimate government must uphold the contract, and do its job by protecting the rights of the people.

I will only present one contention: Military conscription will sometimes be necessary in order to uphold the social contract. To prove this, I will present a scenario. If the United States is faced with an enemy with a much stronger military that is posing a serious threat to the security of the American people, then we must do whatever we can in order to protect the American people. That means we need all the men and women on the field that we can get. This means that we will have to conscript. As military conscription in this scenario is necessary in order to uphold my criterion, it is just, and therefore, military conscription is NOT unjust, and Neg wins.

Moving on to my opponent's case, I will begin with his value. My opponent has not given you any justification for his value at all, and because of this right from the get-go you reject it, and take my value. Furthermore, Kant's categorical imperative is self-contradictory, and impossible to uphold. Under this imperative, we cannot break a promise, but we also cannot kill. So if for whatever reason, we must kill in order to keep a promise, we are forced to be immoral. Also, the CI is unreasonable, since under it, all killing is bad, and therefore, all war is immoral, meaning that if the US had followed the CI during WWII, the Nazis would be ruling the world.

Next, my opponent's criterion also lacks justification, meaning you reject it as well, end of story.

For his first contention, all I have to say is that I have refuted his value, and discredited the CI, so it fails.

For his second contention, I would like to point out that it is not linked back to his criterion, nor to his value, meaning it is irrelevant, and I have already shown that military conscription is not universally immoral, nor unjust.

For his third contention, I'll point out that military conscription does not violate this. Everyone is equally picked (at least in most countries, in the US, only men are picked, but it is otherwise equal). Everyone who could join the military is enrolled in the draft, it does not break the parameter my opponent has set.

In short, I have refuted my opponent's value and criterion, and rebutted his contentions, so clearly, you vote for me.
Debate Round No. 1
lorca

Pro

To lay out my objective, I will first show why the negative does not negate the resolution "Military conscription is unjust", then show why my opponents arguments against my case should not be carried through the debate, and finally I will re-affirm why the resolution should be upheld.

Initially, my opponent uses a value of justice to uphold his case. However, he does not qualify which type of justice ought to be used to show why military conscription is just. In return, I offer a definition of justice as "referring to the development of a system of laws and procedures that do not discriminate against any members of society." Under this definition of justice, strict egalitarian justice would not discriminate and would in fact support my value of the categorical imperative. It could easily be considered a maxim that a system of government acting this could be universal law. Thus, since my opponent did not clarify the type of justice he wishes to use to negate the resolution, I in turn prove that justice supports the categorical imperative.

The negative's position of Locke's social contract does not uphold the fact that it is doing its job by protecting the people. Locke's social contract theory does in fact support the affirmative, since a social contract theory must uphold the rights of the members and in fact, under Locke, is unjust if it does not duly uphold inalienable rights of the citizens. Further more, why would protecting people require military conscription? A military may be necessary, but not a draft. The fact of the matter is that the United States is capable of having a military that does protect its boarders from other countries. The U.S. uses a completely voluntary military. A social contract theory only assures that a government must provide for the safety of those in a society, not that it forces it's members to provide that safety.

The negative's only contention uses the United States as an example. The fact of the matter is the United States uses a voluntary military. The US does not use conscription to provide these means. It does not allow for justice because it is considered unjust by terms of retributive, egalitarian, and distributive means of justice. It does not provide for a universally acceptable moral means that would equate into a moral law. Treating people unethically is not in the realm of any social contract theory. Rather, it is unjust to treat people unequally or punishing them with conscription. This is not just. Therefore, military conscription is unjust.

There is justification for the value of the categorical imperative. It is simply that "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." If society does not act in this matter, it is unjust and immoral. Military conscription does not act in a way that should become universal law, therefore is not good or moral. The categorical imperative is achievable if a society uses the categorical imperative as a maxim to determine morals.

The categorical imperative provides for more justice and better application under the resolution. Killing is justified under Kant's categorical imperative, such as in cases of self defense. The United States could have been justified under Kant's philosophy since they acted in self-defense.

Free will and equality directly relate to upholding the affirmative's stance of the resolution. If each person has free will and equality, it is unjust to force them to serve in the military. Since the neg. uses justice, this upholds distributive justice as egalitarianism, and each person should have the same rights and it would be unjust to force conscription.

In rebutting my 1st contention, I think I have clearly shown that the value of the categorical imperative applies, so the contention still applies.

2nd contention directly relates to my value of CI, as it is the application of the definition I provided for the CI, therefore the contention still stands. Regardless, it needs not have direct relation to anything else. If the negative cannot disprove a point, points still stand.

For the arguments against the 3rd contention, the neg. clearly points out the flaws in his argumentation. Conscription is forced, voluntary is not. Egalitarianism as justice clearly points that we should treat everyone with the same regard, regardless of social stature or position. Military conscription does in fact not allow for justice and equality, since not all members of society are not treated equally.

In this debate, my opponent has stated that I have no justification. This is clearly invalid. Simply stating that the affirmative has no justification does NOT concede a point to the neg. Instead, it clearly shows the lack of argument and defense of the neg. All points that stated that points should simply be carried without justification are just that, statements without justification. All points without substantial argumentation stay with the affirmative.

In summary, I have shown why the negative points actually fall under the aff, shown how the aff. Points are still upheld, and shown why the argumentation that the neg gave against the aff case is invalid. This carries all points for the aff, and shows why the resolution should be upheld and why the aff will win this debate.
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

To roadmap, I will go down the aff case first, then I will by defending my case and conclude with voters, and I will signpost when I get there.

My opponent's justification for the CI is that if we did not follow it, we would be immoral. He does not show why this makes us unjust and immoral, he just says it does. This is by no means justification.I still win this point. He then tries to defend the CI from my attacks by saying I'm wrong, Kant allowed for us lie to the criminal, and for us to kill in self-defense. In Kant's essay, "On a Supposed Right to Lie" he rebukes this, and says that just as ALL killing is wrong, ALL lying is wrong. So no lorca, killing in self-defense, and lying to murderer's is in fact WRONG. This means that the CI is WRONG. I win the value debate.

My opponent's criterion of free will and equality has nothing to do with his value anyways, the CI does not mandate either, in fact, Kant is one of the major opponents of a man's right to free will. He says basically that we do not have self-ownership, more or less arguing against my opponent's criterion, so his criterion is irrelevant and is lost to my criterion of the social contract.

For his first contention, he claims he has shown something he has never shown, his 1st contention is an unsupported sentence, he never, in any of his argumentation shows how conscription is unable to be made into a universal maxim. I clearly win this point.

For the second contention, he says it comes from an application of the definition of his value. What doesn't follow is how military conscription is not universally right. He acts as if that it is an established fact, which is not true at all, nor is it supported.

Military conscription forces people, yes, but it is blind. It forces everybody equally. In Israel, EVERYBODY is forced EQUALLY to serve for two years in the military. Just because it is forced does not mean it is unequal. Conscription affects everyone, for example, Elvis Presley was drafted during the Vietnam War. regardless of stature, everybody is conscripted.

My opponent's final point is that lack of justification does not concede points to neg, which is false. In debate, everything must be justified, there are no assumptions. All I have to do to win a point is to show that it is false, irrelevant, or an assumption. My opponent makes many assumptions, for example, he assumes the correctness of the CI, that equality and free will link back to the CI, and that conscription violates equality. All of these are unjustified claims, and furthermore are false. Assumptions must be treated as false.

Moving on to my own case...

First, my opponent says that I have not provided a definition of justice, and he provides an egalitarian definition. He then says this supports the CI, his value, which is not true, which I have already shown.

He then says that the social contract helps the aff because the government needs to uphold the rights of the citizens. My defense is that the government can not uphold the rights of its citizens if it is taken over by the Nazis. My opponent tries to preempt this and says that conscription is not necessary. He provides the example the US's voluntary military. He says that this is sufficient protection. To rebut this, I bring to light the example of Israel, which faces much larger enemies and is surrounded by them on all sides, as well as facing internal terrorism. In their case an all-voluntary army is too small and insufficient to defend Israel, so, Israel uses conscription to protect its people who would otherwise be oppressed by foreign rulers.

Next my opponent attacks my first contention by saying that the US uses a voluntary military. According to the Oxford Companion in American Military history, the draft was used first in the US during the revolution where it was instrumental in winning our freedom. In short, without it, we would not have a just government, and would have been oppressed. It was also used during WWII, and Vietnam, and was made dormant in 1973. You still must sign up at age eighteen, so that, in times of need, such as the situation I provided, you can be drafted.

Next my opponent says that the draft is unjust in terms of retributive, distributive, and egalitarian justice. First off, my opponent is making an assumption, and furthermore, retributive and distributive justice don't matter, as my opponent has limited debate to egalitarian. Anyways, I have already showed that the draft is egalitarian, everyone can be drafted. Even conscientious objectors have to serve, although not on the battle field.

Next my opponent assumes that conscription does not follow the CI, which I have already shown to be false, and furthermore, I have discredited the CI. My opponent then says that unethical treatment is not in the realm of Locke, which although true, is irrelevant, because conscription is not unethical, as I have shown. He again claims that military conscription is not done equally, which I have shown time after time to be false.

Onto voters.

First, the aff world allows nations to have weak armies, and be unable to defend themselves from foreign threats, which fails to uphold my criterion.

Second, the aff case is supported only by numerous false assumption, which is right there a vote for neg

Finally, military conscription is equal, and under aff's definition of justice, anything that is equal, is just, so you vote neg because something that is just is not unjust.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 2
lorca

Pro

lorca forfeited this round.
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Con

Well, I guess you just extend all my points then. I'm disappointed that my opponent did not have the opportunity to make a closing argument.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Geek.Rachel 7 years ago
Geek.Rachel
Other than the unfortunate forfeit on the aff side, there were very strong arguments on this case. Congratulations to both of you for this.

The only problem I saw what the aff's case. There was little to no explanation of why his contentions and value/vc were preferable. While this was nicely upheld in the following rebuttal, it would have been a better idea to start out with these things. There needs to be support for contentions right off the bat, otherwise the opponent can argue them as presumptive and lacking in justification.

Just a suggestion. :)
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I don't know if this is in the rules, but are we doing this like real LD, where Neg only does his constructive and one Neeg rebuttal, or do I get to go R3?
Posted by lorca 8 years ago
lorca
At this point I think it's up to the tournament organizers if they wish to follow the rules exactly. I'll go ahead and post a response. Did you ever post a link to the debate per tournament rules?
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Well, according to rule three, I forfeited, but, I looked on the page, and it didn't say I lost, so I don't know. I don't actually have a facebook (lame I know), so I don't how to contact the administrators of the thingy, so, yeah. What do you want to do?
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Well, I'm back. I hope its not too late.
Posted by lorca 8 years ago
lorca
I'm not sure if the tournament will allow us to postpone the debate for a week. Since this is part of the tournament, You'll probably have to ask the organizers on the facebook site.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I've got a problem, I am leaving for vacation tommorrow, so I can't really start this debate. Is it possible for us to postpone this one week?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Geek.Rachel 7 years ago
Geek.Rachel
lorcaLR4N6FTW4EVATied
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Vote Placed by lorca 8 years ago
lorca
lorcaLR4N6FTW4EVATied
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
lorcaLR4N6FTW4EVATied
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Vote Placed by Katie01 8 years ago
Katie01
lorcaLR4N6FTW4EVATied
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