The Instigator
Pricetag
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DrAlexander
Con (against)
Winning
23 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: 6,141 times Debate No: 4856
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (6)

 

Pricetag

Pro

Greetings and good luck to my opponent. I hope the best debater wins.

The title seems to be straightforward; however, I will use some definitions to clarify it:

Military
1. Of or pertaining to soldiers, to arms, or to war; belonging to, engaged in, or appropriate to, the affairs of war; as, a military parade; military discipline; military bravery; military conduct; military renown. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

con�scrip�tion
–noun 1. compulsory enrollment of persons for military or naval service; draft. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

un�just
–adjective 1. not just; lacking in justice or fairness: unjust criticism; an unjust ruler. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

I believe that military conscription is unjust in many ways. First and foremost because it contradicts the beliefs and principles set down by our founding fathers:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of Happiness." - United States Declaration of Independence

As you can see in this declaration of our unalienable Rights the founding fathers wanted us to be free men. Free men with the choice to follow their leaders into battle or to sit on the sidelines as anywhere between 35-45% of the citizens of the young revolution did.

"Historians have estimated that approximately 40-45% of the colonists actively supported the rebellion while 15-20% of the population of the thirteen colonies remained loyal to the British Crown. The remaining 35-45% attempted to remain neutral." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Not until the civil war did our nation see a military conscription. Military Conscription was not the view of our founding fathers or our early leaders and while they don't have the only voice on the matter it is relevant to take their views into consideration as our civilization and our entire way of life is still based upon their beliefs and ideals.

However besides the fact that Military Conscription is contradictory to the ideals of our founding fathers it has historically been unfair to minorities and impoverished people. The wealthy and well-connected (those who typically start the wars) are allowed to let their children escape the horrors of war by way of student deferments. Allowing their children to sit in such preposterous posts as the Air National Guard or if they are good enough they can just dodge altogether with no consequences. This fact puts the burden of fighting the war on the minorities and poorer folks. This validates the old Jean Paul-Satre quote that states "When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die."

One can only conclude from this evidence that military conscription is unjust not only in that it violates our sacred right to liberty of choice, but in that it also unfairly targets the minorities and those in the lower class and allows those who wish to wage war to avoid it.
DrAlexander

Con

Greetings voters, opponent, and judges, today you will [hopefully] learn more about the pushing issues regarding Military Conscription.

I have acclaimed the negative position as granted by tournament director, Luke Cumbee, with that said, I negate the resolution which reads, "Resolved: Military Conscription is unjust"

Definitions:

The definition of military conscription is, "a general term for involuntary labor demanded by some established authority. It is most often used in the specific sense of government policies that require citizens (often just males) to serve in the armed forces. It is known by various names — for example, the most recent conscription program in the United States was known colloquially as 'the draft' (http://en.wikipedia.org...)."

Military Conscription is a term of art, as implied by the resolution, therefore we ought to look my definition as it is the most topical and provides more clash. One must also observe that term "Military Conscription", by definition, is not specific to the United States.

Unjust shall be defined as lacking the qualities of justice.

Justice shall be defined as the quality of being just.

and Just shall be defined as guided by truth and reason in accordance with standards or requirements; proper or right.

All of the above definitions can be found in http://dictionary.reference.com... , with the exception of military conscription.

Because the resolution asks us the determine whether or not an action is just and because the only way we can determine this is by the effect an action has on society, justice and societal welfare are the most applicable values for the round. My opponent does not offer a value, therefore you ought to accept these.

Since, the value of societal welfare insinuates that we ought to look to the ends of an action, the concept of utilitarianism is the most applicable values justification or value criterion.

Hence, the value criterion will be "adherence to utilitarian principles".

I shall only offer a mini-case, because my main intention is to dismiss my opponent's case in it's entirety, so that you can default the negative position.

_____________________________________________

Negative Case:

V: Justice and Societal Welfare

VC: Adherence to utilitarian principles

Contention: Military Conscription provides safety

Because Military Conscription only occurs in the most desperate of cases, the intention of it is solely to protect it's citizens. This is a maneuver used to preserve the nation's sovereignty, this is shown by the very definition of "Military Conscription" because the conscription phase would only occur whenever the government needs it most. As proven in the past, "drafts" only occur as means of self-defense and are typically successful, thus, the end result of military conscription is protection, though a few may die or get injured, that is not enough to deem it as unjust.

This links back to the values because it is the proper and just action for the government to preserve itself, this is also consistant with societal welfare because it would protect society.

The majority of the civilians would be protected through this action, thus it is consistent with utilitarian principles of, "the greatest good, for the greatest number."
______________________________________________

My opponent believes that the primary grounds for affirmation is that Military Conscription is inconsistent with U.S. principles, he quotes the U.S. declaration of independence as well as recognizing our individual unalienable rights offered to us by our founding fathers. He articulates the very notion that our founding father's would disagree with the act of military conscription.

This is a summary of 5 out of 7 paragraphs in my opponent case, therefore he intentionally, or unintentionally, makes this founding fathers argument the most important issue for this debate.

I contend that very analysis.

Though the founding fathers are respectable figures here in America, they are not the arbitors of what is or is not just, both here in the US and internationally.

The resolution ought to be taken as an internationally, one that applies to all, not just the United States, but the rest of the world as well. My opponent has established his own burden, now, he must prove to you that the US founding fathers are of such international influence that they, this group of all-white, primarily British old men, represent the ideas of the people internationally. The second burden that my opponent has is to prove that these men have the capacity to be the arbiters of what is or is not just, in that such a notion is utterly absurd, essentially, my opponent has lost the debate already, through his own words.

I ask you to recall the terminology of the resolution, in that it does not specify a nation, we must refer to military conscription in principle, and not specific to any location.

This is enough to dismiss my opponent's case, as he is not proving anything in his case until he establishes the fact that our founding fathers speak on behalf of the present-day international community.

______________________________________________

My opponent then offers another reason to affirm, his reason is that the minorities and the poor will suffer. He states that since the wealthy and well-connected have the capability to allow there children "escape the horrors of war", the minorities and poor will suffer.

I would argue that,

FIRST: My opponent is assuming that minorities are poor, which is not only empirically denied (Oprah WInfrey, Will Smith, Tyra Banks, Condoleezza Rice), but is also quite racist, I'm not saying that my opponent is racist, but, it is degrading to assume that minorities cannot be wealthy and well-connected. Also, look to South Africa, the Afrikaners are a minority population in South Africa, yet, they are primarily wealthy and extremely powerful.

SECOND: I would argue that, this doesn't necessarily mean the minorities and poor would suffer, rather, if we look at it in a different, more logical light, the few rich and very well-connected would "dodge the draft", my opponent has yet to prove that because some, extremely few, wealthy people can "dodge the draft", Military Conscription is unjust.

I await my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 1
Pricetag

Pro

Pricetag forfeited this round.
DrAlexander

Con

Admittedly, though my arguments are not the best arguments in the world, you ought to extend them and vote in my favor.

Thanks judges and Pricetag, please make a response.
Debate Round No. 2
Pricetag

Pro

Sorry, life has gotten busy and I therefore forfeit this debate. Good luck in the next debates DrAlexander.
DrAlexander

Con

Thanks for having good sportsmanship. I understand, if your busy, maybe we should debate again some other time!

Good luck with whatever your busy doing.
Debate Round No. 3
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6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by jose_barahona 7 years ago
jose_barahona
PricetagDrAlexanderTied
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Vote Placed by pakipride 8 years ago
pakipride
PricetagDrAlexanderTied
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Vote Placed by MuadDib 8 years ago
MuadDib
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Vote Placed by james_y 8 years ago
james_y
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Vote Placed by JakeRoss 8 years ago
JakeRoss
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Vote Placed by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
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