The Instigator
Smellyalater
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
condeelmaster
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Terrorism can be justified.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 12 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 426 times Debate No: 86853
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Smellyalater

Pro

Welcome to the debate.

I am pro justification, you will be con.

Format:
Round 1 - Acceptance.

Round 2 - Main arguments.
Round 3 - Rebuttals.
Round 4 - Conclusions.

If you choose to accept, please follow the format and let us have a good debate.

May the best debater win.

Also, please do not waste your time to troll, there is no use in it.
condeelmaster

Con

I accept the challenge. Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Smellyalater

Pro

Thank you for accepting, let us have a good debate.

Terrorism is usually used as a means of expressing ones political cause, in extreme cases, where Democratic and peaceful methods have been exhausted, it is legitimate and justified to resort to terrorism. In a country with an oppressive state, causing suffering for the country's people and with no obvious possibility of international assistance, it is sometimes necessary to resort to violence to defend the people of one's country.

It is the right of every individual or group, even if a minority, to express discontent. The state, as a representative of the people, should facilitate this possibility. furthermore, the state should support the rights of minorities, in order to prevent the will of the majority suppressing the rights of other people with different interests. If this does not happen, the state has failed its purpose and have lost its legitimacy. This, in combination with the growing inequalities and injustices amongst certain groups, justifies committing acts of terror in order to defend these rights, that were denied in the first place.

For instance, Umkhonto we Sizwe, a liberation organization

associated with the African National Congress in South Africa and led by Nelson Mandela, decided in 1961 to turn to violence in order to achieve liberation and the abolishment of Apartheid. The reason they gave was:

“The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. (...) Refusal to resort to force has been interpreted by the government as an invitation to use armed force against the people without any fear of reprisals. The methods of Umkhonto we Sizwe mark a break with that past.”[1]

The definition of terrorism depends very much on the person confronted with it's view upon it - the proposition does not need to defend every atrocity against innocent civilians to argue that terrorism is sometimes justified.

A broad definition of terrorism would say, that the use of violence for political ends by any group which breaks the Geneva Conventions (which govern actions between armies in wartime) or ignores generally accepted human rights. Under this definition, any state and their armed forces could be accused of terrorism. So could many resistance groups in wartime or freedom fighters struggling with a state ruled by a dictator, as well as participants in civil wars. All irregular groups outside the scope of the Geneva Conventions.

A narrower definition would say that terrorism is the use of violence against an innocent population to achieve a political end. This definition would allow freedom fighters and resistance groups to fight back against their oppression, as long as the oppression and their troops were to be the only targets. Yet even this narrow definition is left with grey areas - what if the soldiers and troops were reluctant conscripts? Are civilian settlers in occupied territories legitimate targets as agents of oppression? What about their children? Does it not make a difference whether civilians are armed or unarmed? Do civil servants such as teachers and doctors count as agents of an occupying or oppressive state?

There will always be grey areas to be justified, under the broader definition, most armies in history could be accused of terrorism, the bombings of several cities under the Second World War for instance.

Terrorism can assist in giving voice to a suppressed cause. The hi-jackings of the 1970s and 1980s brought publicity to the Palestinian cause, helping to bring it to the attention of the world.[2] States can use their wealth, media and influence to broadcast their side of the story and the oppressed, with limited resources, may have to resort to an alternative means of expression. In this way, limited and focused use of violence can have a dramatic international impact.

[1]African National Congress. (1961, December 16). Manifesto. Retrieved August 3, 2011, from African National Congress: http://www.anc.org.za...

[2]Tristam, P. (n.d.). The 1970 Palestinian Hijackings of Three Jets to Jordan. Retrieved August 3, 2011, from About.com: http://middleeast.about.com...

condeelmaster

Con

Terrorism is, like Pro already told us, the use of violence for political ends, ignoring the human rights. So basically, terrorist ignores humans rights for the sake of their own benefit.

Human rights are sacred. No one can determine which rights we can have and which we can, because right are natural. Every person that attempts against human rights, no matter the reason, is attempting against human nature, and thus can't be considered human. There's no situation in which ignoring human rights is justified. Human rights are part of the human nature. When we ignore them, we ignore our humanness. Terrorism is not a human action, but a beast's action.

I understand minorities want to express themselves. However, saying terrorism is the only way they can express is lazy, and rather a way of masquerading sadism. Minorities can express in a pacific way. In doing so they would have the opportunity of making their voices sound without having to negate the humanity to people. Someone could say it is not an effective way, but they would be lying. There are several examples throughout history that pacific manifestations are effective. For instance, the movement leaded by Ghandi.


As well as this, terrorism is counterproductive. Terrorist acts don't cause people to rethink their conception of that expressing minority. Instead, they generate more hate and a desire for revenge. If someone throws you a rock, you don't start to listen to what he has to say. You go and return the attack. Is this good? That's debatable, but what no one can refute is that it is the human tendency.

Finally, wars always violate human rights. Wars are damaging and immoral. But at least there's some regulation to them. The Geneva Conventions give wars some sense of fairness, they make wars a bit less bad. But terrorism doesn't even care of this conventions. If wars are unjustifiable, then terrorism is worst than that.

Terrorism is just another way of violating human rights. Anyone who accept and tries to justify terrorism is an immoral, because he/she is accepting the violating of human nature.
Debate Round No. 2
Smellyalater

Pro


Firstly, there were given two definitions of terrorism, one a broad definition and a narrow definition (refer to round 2, main arguments, argument for Pro, line 17-29), as a way of explaining how terrorism can be looked upon.


If one was to refer to the broad definition, terrorism would indeed be ignoring basic human rights, but not only would “terrorists” be accusable, but the states of the world too. This would result in the word “terrorism” losing its ability to point out a group of people causing terror directed against states through the means of violence against innocents, but instead be liable to be used against any country if it were to break any human rights (which surprisingly many countries do.)


If the narrower definition was used, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and IS would stand to be accountable for acts of terrorism, whilst freedom fighters targeting their state and not the innocent people of their country, would not be put into the same ranks as what then some would describe as “real terrorist groups”.


Secondly, human rights may be a right to most citizens of the world, but some states still suppress their citizens and take away their rights. In these countries, if all other means of peaceful negotiation or of the sort were to be dismissed and ignored, what other means would the citizens of the country be left with? These are extreme cases and rightly so, violence is never a good choice, but it may sometimes be the only choice that is left.


Minorities in most countries are heard and terrorism is by far not the only option they have to be heard, terrorism was to be the last resort under a rule actively suppressing them for the benefit of the majority. As said above terrorism, or rather violence against the state using the narrow definition was to only be used in the most extreme cases where all peaceful choices were deemed futile. Indeed terrorism may be a lazy method of expression, but if it is the only method to get an international voice to call for assistance, it is a method better than giving in and accepting being suppressed.


It is true that terrorism can spark hate among people and cause attention being put onto it, but have it then not done what it was supposed to do? Resistance and freedom fighters are not trying to tell the system that they are doing it wrong, it is well beyond that at that point. Their goal is international attention, as states have the influence and power to manipulate the citizens and cover up so the rest of the world cannot follow alongside what is happening, freedom fighters must resort to, once again, the extreme choice of terrorism, although preferably using the narrow definition, violence.


Wars are never a good option; it is well beyond terrorism, as most states commits acts of war during wartime could be considered acts of terrorism as well, using the broad definition. Today’s wars are not so much wars as they used to, but rather special undercover operations, such as Operation Neptune Spear, the operation that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden. It is true that these Operations are regulated, but with Neptune Spear it does not seem as much as an act of war, except if you deem the United States’ war on terrorism a “real” war.


Anyways the discussion, though very enjoyable, was not about wars and beginning to define wars too would be pointless as the debate is about terrorism. Thank you.


condeelmaster

Con

"If one was to refer to the broad definition, terrorism would indeed be ignoring basic human rights, but not only would “terrorists” be accusable, but the states of the world too. "

That's true. But we are not discussing if governments perform terrorist acts. As a matter of fact, governments do perform terrorist acts, it's called state terrorism.



"If the narrower definition was used, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and IS would stand to be accountable for acts of terrorism, whilst freedom fighters targeting their state and not the innocent people of their country, would not be put into the same ranks as what then some would describe as “real terrorist groups”."

Resistance movements, or "freedom" fighters, don't just target the state but also the innocent population. Look at IRA, the Talibans, the Al-Shabaab, the Tupamaros, and so on. They all targeted civil population too.



"Minorities in most countries are heard and terrorism is by far not the only option they have to be heard, terrorism was to be the last resort (...) terrorism (...) was to only be used in the most extreme cases where all peaceful choices were deemed futile. Indeed terrorism may be a lazy method of expression..."


Pro accepted that there are other viable ways to express discontent and that terrorism is a lazy method. He contended that terrorism should only be used when peaceful choices were deemed futile. Obviously, this parts from the assumption that peaceful methods are futile. But as Ghandi, Mathin Luther King, and many others showed to us, expressing peacefully can be as effective as violently.



"It is true that terrorism can spark hate among people and cause attention being put onto it, but have it then not done what it was supposed to do?"

No, they achieve the opposite of what they want. Freedom fighters want to complain about the state and to get support for that complainant. But what they achieve is hate and a depreciation of their cause. Look at the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Palestinians have a noble cause, but their terrorist methods caused a bad impression on people internationally, and now people think the Palestinian cause is wrong.


Our human rights are natural and inalienable. There's no justification to take away the right of people. Even saying is justifiable because it defends the rights of minorities is contradictory: you defend the right of some violating the rights of some others. Terrorism can never be justified.
Debate Round No. 3
Smellyalater

Pro


To conclude this great debate, here is a list of arguments Pro justification of terrorism, so that readers can have an overview and be able to decide for themselves which side they choose to vote for, all arguments stated can be found with a more detailed explanation under Main arguments – round 2.


I will encourage Con to do the same in his conclusion, although he may decide to conclude it in another fashion.


Terrorism is justified as an extreme, where no peaceful solution can be met.(Main arguments – round 2, lines 2 – 16.)


Terrorism is relative (Main arguments – round 2, lines 17 – 31.)


Terrorism can bring attention to a cause (Main arguments – round 2, lines 32 – 34.)



This debate has been very successful and I am very grateful for getting such a dedicated debater to take the role as Con. I have seen some of the debates on here and quite frankly was a little scared that the debate might fail. Luckily it did not, quite the contrary, actually.


Thank you and may the best debater win the votes.


condeelmaster

Con

For the final round let's make a sort of summary and an ending conclusion...



There's no justification to violate human rights. Ignoring human rights is like taking away humanity from people, but leaving your own humanity at the same time. Rights are part of the human nature, ignoring them is ignoring humanness.


There's always a peacefully way. There are plenty of historical examples that show this, you can have a revolution peacefully.


Violating the rights of others in order to defend your own rights is illogical end selfish. The old rule of thumb: do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.


Every definition of terrorism denotes the same problems I pointed out.


Terrorism brings only bad attention. Terrorism creates hate and a desire for revenge within the population. People see terrorist as killers and bastards and ignore their cause.



Thanks for this debate. Yeah some people here are not up to a true debate, but Pro showed reason in his arguments. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Lisen2Reason 1 year ago
Lisen2Reason
You guys understand that terrorism is different from rebellion terrorism is the use of random acts of murder and destruction to spread fear while rebels are people trying to overthrow and oppressive gov't to defend their people. And terrorists don't limit themselves to their country just look at ISIS and Al quada they attack every country and use fear and destruction to destabilize the countries and spread their sadistic believes
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