The Instigator
TheDiabolicDebater
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
WriterSelbe
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points

Targeted Killing is a Morally Permissible Foreign Policy Tool.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
TheDiabolicDebater
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,041 times Debate No: 23296
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (6)

 

TheDiabolicDebater

Con

1) Typical LD format
2) The aff will post their case in round 1
3) Voters should be familiar with LD
4) Google docs may be used for posting cases

Questions/concerns may be voiced in the comments
WriterSelbe

Pro

Resolved: Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool.

From the Fifth Amendment:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
The Fifth Amendment gives an example to the presence of due process in international armed conflict and enlightens on the difference between due process offered to civilians and the due process taken during war.
In this round, my value will be justice and my criterion will be due process. Morality is weighed by justice, and justice is fulfilled through due process. Where due process is present and unfailing, morality is present.

Before I begin, I would like to define a few recurring terms that will appear throughout. Morality is conformity to ideals of right human conduct. Justice is the upholding of what is just especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law. Due process is an established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual. Armed conflict is a conflict between two regions where at least twenty-five battle related deaths have occurred.

Contention 1: Due process regarding international affairs and due process regarding the average citizen have different procedure. The procedure for a targeted killing and the standards of one are different from the trial in court that a citizen must be offered.

Firstly, taken from Due Process and Targeted Killing of Terrorists by Richard Murphy and John Radsan: "Law enforcement permits targeted killing where necessary to prevent a person from posing an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others," and, "for [the killing of terrorists who are not of imminent danger to others] to be legal, it must comply with IHL.]"

To explain IHL, one must first explain the human rights model. The human rights model states that a person not in custody may only be killed to prevent them from posing a serious threat of death or serious injury to others. However, IHL may displace the human rights model during armed conflict and permits the killing of opposing combatants or civilians who are directly taking part in hostilities. The killing of civilians is still sharply limited by the law of international armed conflict.

However, to be one who is permitted to kill, a combatant, one must yet fulfill four conditions: (a) they are commanded by responsible authority; (b) they wear a fixed, distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance; (c) they carry their arms openly; and (d) they comport with the laws and customs of war.

Because targeted killing follows the procedures taken in due process regarding international affairs and is thus just, targeted killing is morally permissible.

Contention 2: Regardless of damage, if the intent is moral and the risk of death to innocents ignorant to the executive, the act of targeted killing is moral.

From, ‘Do Targeted Killings Work?' By Daniel Byman, "Israeli officers had first gone to the Palestinian Authority and repeatedly demanded [terrorist Salah Shehada's] arrest. When the PA refused, the Israeli government then sought to apprehend him directly. But they gave up after realizing that Shehada lived in the middle of Gaza City and that any attempt to grab him would probably spark a general melee. [With no other available option, Israeli officials decided to kill Shehada, but] Israel had to call off its first eight attempts because Shehada was always accompanied by his daughter. Only when [Israel's intelligence service] learned that he would be in an apartment building with no innocents nearby did the operation proceed."

While the precautions taken by all means fulfilled due process, Shehada's daughter, it turned out, was still with him, and she as well as other civilians were killed along with her father. However, ignorance is not punishable by law and weighing morality with justice, ignorance and good intent are not immoral. If the knowledge of the presence of his daughter and others was known to Israel, then the attack would not have been made as proven by the eight other prevented attempts.

Contention 3: For targeted killing to be just, violence must be engaged in by another party toward the executive. From Daniel Byman, "Democratic states are committed to the international model in which states respect one another's sovereignty, and thus do not engage in violence unless they are compelled by other acts of violence." Using the United States as only an example, the United States does not assassinate unless armed conflict arises. Examples of this are the deaths of terrorists Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. Both killed a substantial number of people from the United States, Saddam Hussein through suicide bombers and Osama Bin Laden in 9/11.

In summary, due process of international armed conflict is exhibited during sessions where targeted killing is necessary making targeted killing just and thus moral.
Debate Round No. 1
TheDiabolicDebater

Con

My case is in the link below.
https://docs.google.com...


Pro Case

To avoid redundancy, I offer the following objection to which I will commonly refer to through my refutation of pro’s case.

Objection: What is legal is not necessarily moral.

The pro case is centered on a legal framework as opposed to a moral framework. This approach is flawed for several reasons.

First of all, laws are subject to change. Ralph Emerson writes; “The law is only a memorandum. We are superstitious, and esteem the statute somewhat: so much life as it has in the character of living men is its force. The statute stands there to say, Yesterday we agreed so and so, but how feel ye this article to-day? Our statute is a currency which we stamp with our own portrait: it soon becomes unrecognizable, and in process of time will return to the mint.” [1]
Laws may be subject to change, but morality is not.

Furthermore, in a Democracy, the country is theoretically ruled by the people. Thus, it logically follows that those people dictate what is and is not legal. It is a bandwagon fallacy to say that just because the majority wishes something, it is right.

Secondly, laws can be unjust. At one point in time, slavery was legal in America. If legal = moral then that must mean that slavery was moral at that point in time. However, we know that this is not true. Slavery never was, nor has it ever been moral. The idea that something can be considered moral just because it is or was legal clearly fails.

Now, moving on to pro’s actual case.

Value: Justice.

My opponent is valuing justice...which is great, but what does that even mean? Justice for whom? Justice for the victims? Justice for governments? Justice for all? Furthermore, how do we determine the standards of justice? Is there a non-arbitrary way to make a distinction between what is just and unjust? Finally, and most importantly, what does justice have to do with morality? The pro is affirming that targeted killing is morally permissible, but on what grounds can she do that without a moral framework? With no moral framework to go off of, we must resort to the one I have provided: consequentialism.

Value Criterion: Due Process.

The problem with this criterion is that different countries have different legal systems and therefore, different standards for due process. Who’s Due Process are we using? Additionally, this criterion is adequately refuted by my Objection.

Contention 1: Due Process and Human Rights.

"Law enforcement permits targeted killing where necessary to prevent a person from posing an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others...”

Law enforcement may permit targeted killing, but that has absolutely nothing do with morality permitting targeted killing. Where is the connection to morality?


“However, to be one who is permitted to kill, a combatant, one must yet fulfill four conditions: (a) they are commanded by responsible authority; (b) they wear a fixed, distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance; (c) they carry their arms openly; and (d) they comport with the laws and customs of war.”

If they do not meet all four conditions, then they can not be legally targeted and killed. Let’s examine these four conditions closely to see if terrorists fit the bill:

A) This depends on how you define “responsible,” but I will give you this one
B) Terrorists obviously don’t have uniforms. If they did, the war on terrorism probably would have ended a long time ago. Rather, they use covert tactics and attempt to blend into the civilian populace.
C) Refer to B)
D) Terrorists aren’t exactly the most reasonable types of people. They aren’t associated with any sovereign states and they don’t obey laws or customs of war of any sort.

From this we can reasonably deduce that it is not legal to target and kill terrorists. So then who are we even targeting and killing?

Contention 2: Regardless of damage, the intentions are moral.

On what grounds can you say that good intentions make something moral? By looking at the intentions as opposed to the consequences, it seems as if pro is delving into deontology here, but I don’t see how that connects to a legal framework at all. If pro really is a deontologist, then surely they would not be willing to throw Human Rights out the window in the name of fighting terrorism.

Contention 3: Reciprocity

First of all, if we refer back to my opponents argument about the four legal conditions one must meet to be killed, then we can deduce that it is not legal to kill terrorists, and therefore pro’s legal framework can not affirm this resolution.

My objection also applies to this contention.


For these reasons, I strongly urge a con vote.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources
1)http://www.alcott.net...
2) http://www.operationalstudies.com...;
WriterSelbe

Pro

WriterSelbe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheDiabolicDebater

Con

Extend all points. Vote Con.
WriterSelbe

Pro

Forfeit = opponent win. Sorry.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
Ahh okay. That sucks then.
Posted by WriterSelbe 4 years ago
WriterSelbe
It was a school concert. I was performing... It was stupid and wastefullly consumed my life. I wish I could say I went to a cool concert.
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
That's fine. What concerts did you go to?
Posted by WriterSelbe 4 years ago
WriterSelbe
I am soooo sorry. I had a few concerts this weekend, and it just completely slipped my mind.
Posted by WriterSelbe 4 years ago
WriterSelbe
Sounds like a plan. I'm still looking it over, though.
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
It's possible that I forgot to cite something. If you want to know a source that I used but didn't provide, feel free to ask.
Posted by WriterSelbe 4 years ago
WriterSelbe
Yes, IHL is International Humanitarian Law. As for the four conditions:

http://repository.law.ttu.edu...
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
1. Just to clarify, does IHL stand for International Humanitarian Law?
2. What's your source regarding the four conditions a combatant must meet to be killed?

Thanks in advance.
Posted by WriterSelbe 4 years ago
WriterSelbe
For citations, ask.
Posted by TheDiabolicDebater 4 years ago
TheDiabolicDebater
Hmm, should I make it 4 rounds?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
TheDiabolicDebaterWriterSelbeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
TheDiabolicDebaterWriterSelbeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The FF. Another LDer bites the dust.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
TheDiabolicDebaterWriterSelbeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to answer Pro's arguments adequately and adding nothing after the forfeit. Pro's argument was that morality came from due due process. Con's response was sort of an extended, "What does that really mean?" on the moral issue, plus some good but irrelevant arguments on practical issues.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 4 years ago
vmpire321
TheDiabolicDebaterWriterSelbeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Illegalcombatant 4 years ago
Illegalcombatant
TheDiabolicDebaterWriterSelbeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: 3 points to con for the forfeit, 1 point to pro for conceding.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
TheDiabolicDebaterWriterSelbeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF