The Instigator
Angelina_S1496
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Telanian
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Targeted Killing is a Morally Permissable Foreign Policy Tool

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,943 times Debate No: 21777
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Angelina_S1496

Pro

This is a LD Debate

Aff Case:

I affirm the resolution that "Targeted Killing Is a Morally Permissible Foreign Policy Tool." In order to more clarify and solidify my case, I offer the following definitions.
1.Moral- According to moral means or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.
a. Right- being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper
b. Wrong- an injurious, unfair, or unjust act
4.Permissible- According to permissible is something that may be permitted. It is acceptable.
5.Targeted Killing: Targeted killings are used by governments to eliminate individuals they a. view as a threat.
6.Policy- a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions
7.Tool- something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession
8.Value- what you hold most dear
9.An eye for an eye- a person who has injured another person receives the same injury in compensation.
10.Justice- the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
My Value in this case is Justice. Justice is when you do the right thing for the right reasons. Now, if we killed a terrorist then they would no longer be a threat to society. Now, my opponent may try to say we can "lock them up for good." "Throw away the key." Or whatever. But I think we need to realize what might happen if we do that. The terrorist may escape and cause even more trouble, or the country they belong in may try to rescue him, making it even worse for us as they may come back to haunt us…. We should just stop the problem at its source once and for all! We need to kill the terrorists and save the multiple millions of lives whom are at risk by these horrible people!!!!

My Criteria in this case is Utilitarianism. I will start with a discussion topic from The Religious Studies Website, "If the rightness of an action is evaluated according to the amount of pleasure it produces, is it morally just to torture one person to find the whereabouts of another person being held captive, if it will save their life? What about if torturing one person will save 10 lives, or 50 lives, or even 100 lives? What if these 100 lives were those of young children?" is that something to think about. By this I think we should replace torture with killing a person in our thought process. By killing someone who has done multiple killings (e.g. Adolf Hitler) we are saving yet more lives, according to Utilitarianism. We need to think about it this way; as my example said, what if the 100 lives being saved were those of young children, not able to defend themselves? Wouldn't we want to make sure that they didn't get killed? By killing a single terrorist we are saving multiple millions!

So, I affirm the resolution that "Targeted Killing Is a Morally Permissible Policy Tool" for the following four contentions;
1.It gets rid of bad people
2.An eye for an eye
3.Justice
Now, to address my contentions, Contention one, it gets rid of really bad people. So, let's go back to my previous example of Adolf Hitler. If we had known about all the murders he was responsible for, which was 11 million before WW2 and over 50 million after World War Two, then all these lives would have been rescued and they wouldn't have had to die. We could have stopped him before he was responsible for all the deaths that he was responsible for!. People don't think killing is right either way, but is we had killed Adolf Hitler; we would have been saving multiple millions of lives!
Now, on to my second contention, I feel an eye for an eye is good, mainly because if someone does something to you, you should definitely get your revenge. And no, I am not saying if someone killed your family member you should kill them, I am just saying if someone did something to your countries citizen, then wouldn't you want to take revenge? This is an eye for an eye. Wouldn't we want to cause the same damage done? An eye for an eye is the right way to go. Now, my opponent may say otherwise, but I believe it is the right thing to do.

Now, let's look at my fifth and final contention, Justice. Let's take Bin Laden's case for an example here. Bin Laden was, according to the NYT article published May 1st, 2011, killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan. Mr. Barack Obama declared "Justice has been done" as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who had eluded them for nearly a decade! American officials said that Bin Laden had resisted, and was shot in the head. Now, if you had never heard of this man, or if you had, but he hadn't done all the horrible things he did, you might be sympathetic for him, correct? But what he did was unforgivable, especially to those directly involved, including families of the lost loved ones whom he was responsible for the deaths of on September 11th, 2001. He needed to be killed, and he was!

According to all my info you MUST vote for the affirmative.

Thank-you.
Telanian

Con

Firstly, let me take this opportunity to thank my opponent for what I hope will be an extremely interesting and informative debate.

In modern democratic societies, we have something that makes us different from certain other countries, such as Syria, North Korea, and China (to name but a few.) Moreover, this 'something' not only makes us different - it makes us better. It makes our own countries freer and fairer places to live, places where people can go about their business, free from the oppressive tyranny of the power of the State.

This something is the Rule of Law.

What is the Rule of Law? It can be a rather slippery concept to define, much like democracy or human rights. Many distinguished legal minds have attempted it, but I rather prefer the definition of the Oxford Professor of English Law Albert Dicey, who wrote in 1867, "We mean [by the Rule of Law] that no man is punishable or can lawfully be made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land." Dicey further went on to say: "We mean in the second place [of the Rule of Law] that with us no man is above the law, but that here every man...is subject to the ordinary law of the realm."

The language is slightly archaic now, but the meaning is clear. All men (and women) are equal before the law, and no person should be subjected to State punishment unless they have broken the law, and can be proven to have done so in a court of law.

From these principles, we can derive other fundamental concepts of legal theory, much of which are now enshrined in works such the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and which are so fundamental that many people often take them for granted. Sadly, my opponent appears to be one of those people. It is my case that she fails to understand that the powers that she proposes to give to states are so grossly contrary to the rule of law, that if given they would lead to a terrible erosion of the freedoms that we all enjoy today, and a re-emergence of the tyranny that so rightly appalls us in certain other countries of this world. And if that is not immoral, then nothing is.

My opponent supports her case by appealing to three contentions, namely:

1. It gets rid of bad people
2. An eye for an eye
3. Justice

Let me start by addressing 2 and 3. Notice that these are mutually contradictory, and that my opponent is trying to have her cake and eat it. You cannot simultaneously argue in favour of justice and the doctrine of 'an eye of an eye' - you have to come down in favour of one or the other. And my opponent actually seems to understand this, despite not admitting it. Notice how she says: "And no, I am not saying if someone killed your family member you should kill them." But wait, she defined the aforementioned doctrine to mean: "a person who has injured another person receives the same injury in compensation." By this doctrine, if someone kills your family member, then going and killing them is precisely what you should do! But yet she clearly draws back from supporting this action, thereby undermining her entire position. And of course, the reason she draws back is that she knows, like I do, and like I'm sure most people reading this also know, that while murderers of course deserve justice, going out and arbitrarily murdering them yourself is not justice, and that is not the way to respond to their crimes.

So 'eye for an eye' has been discredited as a valid reason. What about justice? Is it just to allow states to kill any foreign national who they perceive to be a threat (which is how my opponent defined targeted killing.) The best way to answer this is to look at the first contention, where my opponent claims that such a policy would 'get rid of bad people.' Indeed, such a policy might indeed rid the world of bad people, and I for one am not going to argue for one second that Bin Laden was anything other than a vile mass-murderer - although I would point out that the US Attorney General Eric Holder explicitly denied that the raid that killed Bin Laden was an assassinate mission [1]

However, does my opponent really see nothing wrong or dangerous in giving states the arbitrary power to decide whether or not a given foreign national is a threat, and thus deserving of assassination. Consider for instance the UK businessman Christopher Tappin, who was recently extradited to the US to face charges of selling batteries for Iranian missiles. [2] Now, Mr Tappin may or may not be guilty of the offences for which he is charged, but nevertheless it is absurd to argue that if guilty, his actions would merit execution. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that the US authorities currently believe him to be a threat. Does my opponent really think that the US has the moral right to assassinate Mr Tappin, simply because they view him as a threat - because that is what her resolution implies! The truth is that if given this power, States will not confine it to simply the 'blatantly obvious' cases, such as Bin Laden, and it is naive to assume that they will.

Furthermore, Mr Tappin might not even be guilty. Just because the state views someone as a threat, that does not necessarily imply that that person is actually a threat. People are fallible and can make mistakes, or be swayed by dubious vested interests. The reason why we have the rule of law is precisely to ensure that, as far as reasonably possible, only the guilty, and not the innocent, are punished. By giving the state the power to kill anyone it perceives to be a threat, my opponent is seeking to remove this most basic of protections. How would she feel if a member of her own family were killed by forces acting on behalf of the British government, who genuinely (but incorrectly) believed that they were involved in terrorism?

In response to all of this, my opponent might argue that I've missed the point, and that with regard to people like Bin Laden, their guilt is so obvious that there can be no realistic prospect of their innocence. My response is that if their guilt is really that obvious, then we should have no trouble at all putting them on trial, convicting them of their crimes through the judicial process and imposing on them an appropriate sentence for their crimes - which could, if necessary, include the death penalty, if prescribed by law. This to me is the most sensible and pragmatic option, which preserves freedom, justice and the Rule of Law.

[1] = http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[2] = http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
Angelina_S1496

Pro

Angelina_S1496 forfeited this round.
Telanian

Con

I find it very disappointing that my opponent has made no response to my arguments. If she has no answer to the points I've made, then I would at least appreciate if she were to post and say that she concedes, in order to save time.
Debate Round No. 2
Angelina_S1496

Pro

Angelina_S1496 forfeited this round.
Telanian

Con

Oh dear, this is going to be very boring. Why set up a five-round debate if you're not going to see it through? I continue to affirm all of my previous arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
Angelina_S1496

Pro

Angelina_S1496 forfeited this round.
Telanian

Con

I continue to affirm...
Debate Round No. 4
Angelina_S1496

Pro

Angelina_S1496 forfeited this round.
Telanian

Con

And I affirm yet again. What a complete waste of time!
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Telanian 5 years ago
Telanian
Wow. My opponent gives up and runs away in light of my vastly superior arguments (even if I say so myself), and no-one can be bothered even to vote! What an absolute joke!
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