The Instigator
og1764
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Should conscription be introduced into Australia

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,996 times Debate No: 24316
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (3)

 

og1764

Pro

This first round will be for stating arguments and other generalised actions. No elaborations on arguments past summarising sentences or rebuttals.
"Should conscription be introduced into Australia"
The definitions of the terms is as follows:
Conscription - Compulsory enlistment for state service, typically into the military. [1]

I am not arguing that we should start conscripting now, however that a law should be passed legalising it, and therefore becoming effective whenever the government decides. i.e, If the government believes the nation is under threat or Australia comes under direct attack, not if we attack another nation.

The outline for my arguments:
1. Isolation. The fact that Australia is so isolated it would take too long for allied forces such as the US or the Commonwealth to arrive before a potential invasion.

2. AESAN Alliance. An alliance between the South-East Asian countries. For the purposes of this debate I will be referring to the AESAN Alliance as an alliance between Singapore, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

3. Differences in manpower. The sheer differences in manpower between our alliances and the AESAN alliance.

I wish the best of luck to the Negative side of the argument, may the best arguments win.

Sources.
[1] http://www.google.com.au...
(Definition shown at top of page)

My spelling is Australian english.
(I apologise for lack of structure, this is my first debate)
socialpinko

Con

I would like to first thank my opponent for allowing me to debate the topic with him. The resolution when not put in the form of a question (major pet peeve of mine) can be stated as follows: Conscription should be introduced in Australia. My opponent as Pro will defend the resolution while I as Con will argue against it.


===Definitions===


I accept my opponent's definition of conscription, however I feel as though the term should in the resolution needs to be defined and so I will take the opportunity to do so here.

Should will mean "Used to express obligation or duty".[1]


===Arguments===


Contention I. Self ownership. Being forced to participate in the military is akin to slavery in that one is forced to perform labor or services which one would not do if one were given a choice. This violates the principle that people are the sole owners of their own bodies.


Contention II. Political and religious freedom. Conscription violates the political freedom of those who hold anti-war political sentiments i.e. pacifists or anarchists. In the same vein, conscription violates the religious principles of those who take their religion to also imply pacifism i.e. Jainists, Christian pacifists[2], Quakers, etc.


Contention III. Moral nihilism. Since there are no objective moral truths or facts, the term should in conjunction with expressing legitimate duty is rendered incoherent. Therefore it is a falsehood that anyone should do or not do anything.


As per my opponent's rules, I will not introduce either substantive arguments (these are mere summaries) or rebut the arguments my opponent has brought so far. I wish my opponent the best of luck in this debate and turn the debate back over to him.


===Sources===


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
og1764

Pro

I agree with Con's new definition of conscription, understanding mutually that it is in terms of the military.

Isolation is a major reason why conscription in Australia should be introduced, or at least seriously considered. The closest nation to Australia that isn't part of the Commonwealth is Indonesia. Australia has varying relations with Indonesia, depending on wool and livestock trading. It is inevitable that Indonesia may consider an attack on Australian territory. The population of Indonesia is crammed into a small space, and Australia would be the ideal place to gain new territory to solve some of the overpopulation problems.
If an attack was to occur, the Australian armed forces would probably be able to withstand an initial attack, but later attacks may prove too strong. The time that it would take for a substantial amount of US forces to fly here would take a week. That may prove to be too long if the entire AESAN Alliance (or even just a few of them) made a full scale attack on the Australian mainland. Even if only China launched a full scale attack on Australia, an invasion could occur within three days. Without conscription, how could we ever even attempt to fight a Chinese invasion force?
Australian population: 21 million.
Chinese Military: 300 million.
Perhaps with conscription an initial force could be taken care of, until some backup arrives.
Although an invasion of such scale would mean inevitable defeat, conscription would provide better odds.
socialpinko

Con

===Refutation of Pro's Case===


Isolation. This point does not prove all that my opponent must prove in order to uphold the resolution. This is because he has failed to support the presupposition that a full scale invasion of Australia would be over in three days. No link to a credible source projecting the outcome of an invasion was provided by my opponent, we're simply supposed to take his word for it. This is unacceptable though. If credible evidence is not provided for my opponent's conception of how quickly an invasion would take place (or how long it would take for a substantial response by Australia's allies would take), then his entire point of Australia's isolation from the rest of the world is moot.


AESAN Alliance. My opponent has also failed to provide sound reasoning for why the AESAN alliance would even want to invade Australia. While it is certainly true that Australia would provide a place to temporarily alleviate present population problems, my opponent overlooks the negative incentives inherent in an invasion of Australia. The first and most obvious being that if the AESAN Alliance is to take over and maintain their takeover of Australia, they will inevitably have to deal with Australia's allies. One of these Allies is the United States, home of the world's largest military. Australia was a party to ANZUS, binding themselves and the U.S. in defensive matters.


If Indonesia were to maintain their control of Australia, they would need to be able to stand up to the U.S.' attacks, however this seems unlikely in that the U.S. accounts for 41% of world military expenditures with China accounting for 8.2%[1]. In fact, all of Asia and Oceania only account for 20% of overall military spending in the world with the U.S. alone almost doubling that[1]. Couple this with the fact that China is currently just as dependent on trade with the U.S. as the U.S. is with China and it becomes clear that an invasion of Australia would not be profitable under any Indonesian cost-benefit analysis.


Manpower. My opponent's last point is that sheer manpower of the Chinese army. Based on the (unsourced) figures my opponent provides, the Chinese military employs almost 15x as many people as the entire population of Australia. It would appear my opponent has just made a point in my favor though. Even if the Australian were to conscript every single member of the country, Australia would still be outnumbered 15 to 1. My opponent even admits that "an invasion of such scale would mean inevitable defeat". With such a bleak outlook as this it escapes me why my opponent would support such an inhumane practice if its effects would only be marginal.


===Con Case===


Contention I. Self Ownership.


Conscription clearly violates the generally held principle of self ownership. Under self-ownership, the only legitimate owner of a person's body is that person themselves. This same argument is the reason why slavery now appears abhorrent to the majority of civilized peoples[2]. The idea of owning another human being goes against our deeply held convictions and the only reason that conscription appears acceptable to any is because the government is generally divorced from the standards which we apply to everyone else. Why though? The government is merely an institution made up of regular people. If it would not be permissible for me to go to my neighbor's house and conscript him to do my laundry, one exhibits wild inconsistency in thinking it permissible for a government to do essentially the same thing.


Contention II. Political and Religious Liberty.


The second point I would like to make is in regards to the freedom that many in the civilized world enjoy of being able to hold political and religious beliefs on their own without normally being forced to break those beliefs by the government. Obviously minor exceptions do exist. However, it would be going against the very concept of free thought entirely to conscript people against their religious or political beliefs. Consider the anarchist, someone who opposes all government war irrespective of cause. To conscript him would be to deny him his right to political conscious and by extension would deny all Australians the right to political conscience. The Australian government in employing conscription would basically be saying that only political or religious views of one kind (those which support war) are acceptable.


Contention III. Moral Nihilism.


The third, final, and (I think) most substantial argument against the resolution is the incoherence of the term should. The resolution properly read says that there exists a moral obligation or duty to impose conscription in Australia. However, this term presuppose the existence of objective morality, the existence of objective obligation or duty. However, there is much reason to believe that such a thing does not exist. The impossible gap between determining how a State of affairs ought to be from how it merely is[3] and the seemingly definitional fact that values are inherently subjective all give one reason to think that morality is a mere figment and not objectively binding. If this is true then the term should in the context of the resolution is incoherent and the resolution is unaffirmable.


===Sources===


[1] http://www.globalissues.org...
[2] http://www.fff.org...
[3] http://personal.bellevuecollege.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
og1764

Pro

-------------Clarification---------------

Firstly, my mentioning of the AESAN Alliance was to provide a link between this round and the previous one.
I apologise for sources.
Information regarding Chinese military: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Information regarding time for reinforcements: None found. Heard from fellow debater about the same topic.
However for a significant force to arrive it would take time, although no exact figures could be found.
Indonesia is being the main front. For example, Chinese troops would be located on Indonesia territory, thus I'm referring to Indonesia as it and whatever troops are on it's territory.

-----------Rebuttal-------------------
If the US and China were to become involved, China could force the US to pay its debt, ruling them bankrupt and unable to participate in the war. Military expenditures account for nothing if the chinese armed forces [1] has three times as many men as the american armed forces [2].

In the constitution, conscription is legal. It's not slavery for it to be legal for the government to conscript. If you don't like it, then why are you a citizen of that nation? Toughen up. Its legal, and being a citizen, you have agreed to abide by all laws, and if you don't, punishments can occur.

Not necessarily, as I stated earlier, "i.e, If the government believes the nation is under threat or Australia comes under direct attack, not if we attack another nation." This does not mean that Australians are discriminating against those that do not support war. Conscription was in my definition as being passed, but then only enforced when under direct attack. How is defending oneself discriminatory?

In regards to your third argument, there is therefore no reason to debate, am I correct? A debate is the argument between two peoples differing opinion. If these things were objective, then there would be no need for debate, as it would be like arguing if 1+1=2, or if 1+1=5.

--------------------Main arguments----------------------------
The AESAN Alliance is a major threat to Australia. If one of them were to attack, then Australia would be initially overwhelmed. There are many reasons why they would want to attack.
1. They can easily neutralise the Americans by forcing them to pay their debts to China.
2. Australia has everything. Mining resources, wool, livestock, good economy. Why not attack us?
3. Most of our (Australia's) exports are to Indonesia. If they took it, they wouldn't have to pay anything, it would just be theirs.

Manpower is another crucial point.
Australian males available for military service - 4,999,988 males, age 16–49 (2009 est.[3]),
Indonesian males fit for military service52,000,000 males, age 18–49 (2008 est.[4]),

Do I make myself clear? Australia cannot survive! Indonesia will roll Australia, and if China forces America to pay their debts, then there is no way Australians can defend.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
socialpinko

Con

Pro Argument: ASEAN Alliance.


In defense of his case, my opponent begins by arguing that the U.S. would not be a match for a Chinese invasion, since (A) the U.S. is hugely indebted to China and (B) the Chinese army has such a larger amount of manpower in their army. Now I believe that my opponent is wrong in his argument that the American military would not be able to successfully stand against the Chinese, but I believe I have found a more interesting point in regards to this argument. The point is that regardless of the answer, this does not help my opponent's case. If even the U.S. which is the largest and arguably the most powerful country in the world could not stand up to the force of the Chinese military, then I implore my opponent to answer as to why the drafting of a few million unwilling conscripts would make any different whatsoever? If on the other hand the U.S. military would be sufficient in its making Chinese holding of Australia unattainable then my point goes across again in that conscripts would be unnecessary for this to occur. My opponent has spent so much time arguing up China's threat that he has made conscription functionally useless against stopping the Chinese if they do ever plan to attack.


===Defense of the Con Case===


Contention I. Self Ownership.


In his attempted refutation of my point, my opponent makes a rather queer rebuttal. He argues that conscription could not be slavery because the government (unspecified which one) has it legal. Now I don't want to look like an idiot for pointing out the obvious but the U.S. government functioned for almost a century with slavery being legal. I assume my opponent does not think that slavery wasn't slavery when it was legal. Self ownership, also being a concept that exists prior to man-made government institutions is usually conceived to trump positivist laws. Self ownership is seen as a truth about the world and of people which is valid regardless of governmental recognition or even opposition.


Contention II. Political and Religious Liberty.


My opponent argues that his plan only applies if the Australian government is in a defensive war and thus this would not apply to pacifistic objectors. I will refer my opponent to the definition of pacifism is basically defined as "a commitment to peace and opposition to war." [http://plato.stanford.edu...]. This means all war, regardless of its intent or the conditions under which it began. A Jainist is against war, killing, or violence even in self-defense. This is what distinguishes pacifism from most people's conception of justified violence. Seeing as this is the case, my opponent's point does not refute my argument that conscription forcefully discriminates against citizens based on their religious or political beliefs.


Contention III. Moral Nihilism.


My opponent not only misinterprets and misrepresents my third contention, but he never actually argues against it. First, my opponent has mistook moral nihilism (the view that there are no objective moral truths) with epistemological nihilism (the view that we can never know anything). I am not in this debate arguing that knowledge is impossible. I am only arguing that moral claims do not have objective truths to them and that in regards to the resolution, should is thus incoherent. This is because should being defined, refers to obligation or duty which are intrinsically moral terms. If objective morality does not exist though then neither does obligation or duty. Hence no one should or should not do anything, hence the resolution is impossible to affirm.
Debate Round No. 3
og1764

Pro

I believe I have lost this argument, firstly because I miscomprehended my opponents argument, and also effectively worked for him.

It has been a pleasure debating against you.

I am debating this same topic tomorrow as a third speaker, so I thank you for your help in the matter.
socialpinko

Con

I definitely enjoyed this debate and thank Pro for the opportunity. Since gracious concessions are rare, I implore voters to give my opponent the conduct vote. But give me arguments please!
Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
@Kinesis

That's right on the money and exactly my perspective on the matter.
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
@000ike

I feel like the reason SP changes positions all the time isn't because he always thinks he's finally found the One True Answer, but to explore the validity of different viewpoints by adopting them temporarily and considering how other viewpoints would impact on them.
Posted by 000ike 4 years ago
000ike
I don't mean this in an accusatory tone, but you seem to change opinions almost every week. What makes you think you'll be right this time around?
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
@Kinesis- I'm undecided and waivering as usual.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
I didn't utilize it here. Like always I'm waivering on them atm. I definitely think acting irrationally is never justified but the very fabric of logic is coming under doubt for me. See my thread in the philosophy forum.
Posted by 000ike 4 years ago
000ike
what happened to argumentation ethics?
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Moral nihilism entails the falsehood of any categorical imperative. You can't say anyone SHOULD do anything or not do anything.
Posted by og1764 4 years ago
og1764
Don't worry 000ike, it mind****ed me too when i first read it.
Posted by 000ike 4 years ago
000ike
" Moral nihilism. Since there are no objective moral truths or facts, the term should in conjunction with expressing legitimate duty is rendered incoherent. Therefore it is a falsehood that anyone should do or not do anything."

?
Posted by og1764 4 years ago
og1764
So if i phrased it outlandishly, such as:
"If the Australian Government introduced conscription, it would have a positive socio-economic effect."
We could argue that, couldn't we?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
og1764socialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Following Socialpinko's wants. Also, as with TheOrator, I do enjoy real voluntary admissions of defeat, not forced computer forfeits.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
og1764socialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and Arguments for concession. I'd like to add that it's refreshing to see someone bow out respectfully when they see they can't win.
Vote Placed by Hardcore.Pwnography 4 years ago
Hardcore.Pwnography
og1764socialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF