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Should conscription be legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/22/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,269 times Debate No: 41073
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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For the federal government to have the audacity to think it has the power to force men ages 18-25 to join the military and deploy to combat is unbelievable. The military should always be voluntary. If it isn't voluntary, then it kind of lessens the notion of heroism and courage to those whom actually did join to serve on their own volition. You will have morale problems, if a big section of your unit was drafted and don't want to be there, let alone scared, you are going to have a hard time getting their loyalty and selfless service. Lastly, this implies that we as individuals do not own ourselves 100%. The government owns part of us. This is the only justification they could possibly have for thinking that they can compel you into involuntary servitude...something that is forbidden by the 13th amendment.


Compulsory enrollment and induction into the military service. Conscription is commonly known as the draft, but the concepts are not exactly the same. Conscription is the compulsory induction of individuals into the Armed Services, whereas the draft is the procedure by which individuals are chosen for conscription. Men within a certain age group must register with the Selective Service for possible conscription, but conscription itself was suspended in 1973.
As we can see by this, it has to be mandatory that the youth from 18yrs and older must apply but it was partially discontinued.
You must think, conscription has been around for many many years longer than the younger generation(25 years and younger), back at probably one of the most well known times the United States found that it was in its best interest to conscript people for an army that most of us know as the 1st continental army and by another well known name the Minute men. Both were using conscription and we can see that without that the US would probably not be the same as it is today.
I want to say thank you for allowing this to be an open debate, I am looking forward to this and I ask that we both have fun!
The top paragraph came from
Debate Round No. 1


Men between 18 and 25 still have to register for the Selective Service, which is still being implemented in case one day WWIII breaks out and since our Reserves and National Guard have already been tapped into for the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Not only is the Selective Service registration discriminatory, but it is compulsory. Men AND women who are older then 25 are just as capable for military duty. The fundamental principle I am arguing here is, you have self-ownership, you and only you have 100% ownership of yourselves. When the government compels you to work for them, they are in a sense saying that they have a part ownership in you, in fact they will take your liberty away in the form of incarceration if you refuse to let them force you into combat . This is very easy for females to support the Selective Service since they have never nor will never be compelled to register, and thus they will never understand what it is like to be shipped off to combat involuntarily. The feeling that the "government" obviously has no problem risking MY life to further their global interests. We rarely see the sons and daughters of our Congress being victims of conscription.


In 1981, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of requiring only men, and not women, to register with the Selective Service (rostker v. goldberg, 453 U.S. 57, 101 S. Ct. 2646, 69 L. Ed. 2d 478). The United States has never conscripted women into military service, nor has it ever instituted universal military service. It has conscripted only individuals meeting certain age, mental, and physical standards. Congress has allowed the deferral of conscription for certain individuals, including those who need to support dependents or are pursuing an education. Among those who have been declared exempt from service are sole surviving sons, conscientious objectors to war, and ministers of religion.

The U.S. government also has the power to conscript property in times of emergency.
From same as earlier round.
Though only the males are required to register for Selective service, we can see that its very rare for the forced in emergency to have to or need to be enacted.
The last time it was enacted the president at that time closed it off after it becoming such a problematic thing in our country, 1 question directly to you and to our viewers WHAT IS THE CHANCE(with factual evidence) THAT THE DRAFT WILL BE RESURECTED? It has always been mandatory that all males for years sign up but there comes a time in each persons life that a sacrifice must be made even if it means signing up for a thing that most likely wont be used again!
Debate Round No. 2


Actually I do agree with you on the notion that a draft is very unlikely to happen again. However, if it is really THAT implausible, then why is registration for Selective Service still occurring? My argument was from the philosophical stand point, that it is fundamentally immoral in a free society to force enlistment ever. Especially when we are at a time where we are supposed to be appearing as the example to the world in our efforts to spread democracy. How does that look, when we are using a military force largely comprised of men forced to put their lives on the line by threat of incarceration. So we're spreading liberty and freedom...but if you don't join us and our forces to impose freedom on other nations, we take away your freedom by throwing you in a cell. One last point, even though the Constitution vaguely eludes to a conscripted militia, in order for the draft to take place legally is if Congress makes a formal declaration of war [US Constitution; Article 1, Section 8]. Our Congress has not made a formal declaration of war since WWII. So in addition to the draft being morally wrong, it has been used illegally and unconstitutionally since no Congressional declaration of war has been made in 70 years, which it clearly states is the only way war is legitimate.


Well the time has come for our debate to be final, I once again say thank you for leaving this debate open for the public of DDO.
Now starting with the entire debate:
My opponent claims that conscription is morally illegal. And they claim this is true by (RND 1) an implication of "we as individuals do not own ourselves 100%. The government owns part of us."
I want to say that it was not till Round 2 that my opponent came out and clearly stated their true "philosophical" stance. Then continued to AGREE with what I had said about the draft is most likely not to happen again. Now if we take a look at what the draft forms say, they clearly say that people who are seeking a higher level of education, sole surviving sons, ministers of the word will not be forced to be "shipped off to combat involuntarily", now I don't understand what the big deal about the draft is, at first I hated the thought of when I turned 18 having to go sign up for the draft(was in high school now I'm in college). What we have to look at is the United states is a very big Utilitarianism form of government, We are asked to sign up for something that will most likely never take place in fact last year when I was in history I asked what the probability of being drafted by Obama was my teacher said that it was 1:100 what he neglected to mention was that only congress can execute orders to have young men drafted but later when I went back to him I asked what the probability would be for congress can you guess what he said? .15:100 that's less than Obama. Sometimes people have to say what will it take to better our country, would it better it off if I was lashing out at the government? No, it would however help if I did some sacrificing just like our troops have done so far. Where is there evidence for the draft being enacted in the last 30 years and where are the statistics of the sons and daughters being "Victims" of conscription? We ALL have a duty to our country, even if the government is a bunch of bull headed enigmas.
How many other countries have a form of the draft? That is a question I would love to be answered by the con in the messages.
Here is exactly what I found in the US constitution A1 sec 8Section 8.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

I once again thank you and now I ask you voters if you will not just judge on what you originally thought but you vote on material here. Thank you and Good night
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Disquisition 3 years ago
That is, if they needed soliders
Posted by Disquisition 3 years ago
Whatever, when America goes to war for whatever reason (good or bad), I won't stand idly by and let her or the people that abide in her to be threatened.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Go Con
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
No one wants to get themselves killed for a cause that they don't truly believe in.
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