The US has a moral obligation to mitigate international conflicts
Debate Rounds (4)
United States: Government, as it is the one with the power.
National Government: "The governing body of persons in a state." -Dictionary.com
Moral Obligation: "relating to the standards of good or bad behavior, fairness, honesty, etc. that each person believes in, rather than to laws:" (Cambridge Dictionary)
Obligation: "A course of action imposed by society, law. Or conscience by which one is bound or restricted." -The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
Value: National Security, "a collective term for the defense and foreign relations of a country, protection of the interests of a country" (Dictionary.com)
Critirion: Mitigation, "to cause to become less harsh or hostile to cause to become less harsh or hostile" (Merriam Webster)
Contention 1: Morality is relative
When examining morality it is no question that each person is pulled by his or her own moral compass. These moral compasses change as time goes on and our world around us advances.
SUB A: Clothes) A simple example of this is that of clothes, we don"t only have to look across time but simply across the world. The most modestly dressed person here could be considered dressed immorally.
SUB B: Slavery) another example that goes along the government is that of slavery. This is a moral issue that has changed through out time, in 1776 it was considered moral to own slaves now fast forward 237 years and our views of this moral question is completely changed.
Our views and ideals change through out history, we are individually aloud are own views but when we look at an entity like the government, it is unable to have views or ideals because of the complex web. All the government can do is look at the laws placed before it and act according to that.
Contention 2: Common Understanding
Since a government cannot have a moral obligation it has to have an obligation of some kind. When the US was first created our founding fathers put forth the constitution, which explains how the government is going to work. Through the constitution it gives rules and structures. The government power is a very impactful thing. If the government did have an ability to have morals and ideals then there would be no control
As long as we have rules or laws there is common understanding. The law gives a government their obligation, one obligation is that of national security. It is the law through out all of the individuals under the US government to protect the people of the US. It doesn"t matter if the individual doesn"t feel morally obligated or not, it is the law. It is the common understanding.
Contention 3: The US has a Legal Obligation
We have seen that the government cannot have moral obligations as it is a power, but a power can be restricted by the rules and regulations. One law that the US government has as one of it"s main obligations is to protect the people of the nation. As my opponent elegantly stated, the government does have a obligation, but as I explained through my points it does not have a legal obligation.
This is the morality I refer to in this debate that the US has as an obligation to do what we decide as the just thing to do. But you might ask why would we risk harm to ourselves while interfering with the sovereignty of others? I would answer this is due to the freedoms we have granted our own citizens as a free people in a Republic. If we are to have a democracy in the form of a Republic then we must guarantee the freedoms granted to them under the laws we govern ourselves under namely the Constitution.
If we are to be a nation that views its citizens as free people then are we to restrict ourselves in that view or can we even have such a narrow targeted view to our citizens and none other? Can we view our own citizens one way and citizens from another place in another? This is not to suggest there should not be different sets of laws as each country is sovereign and should decide for themselves how best to build a society. But as we consider ourselves to be enlightened in the way of humans built of the same stuff whether designed by science or by a divinity we must share with everyone a common wisdom and that is the concept of freedom that includes the body as well as the mind. That no one should impose a will on another that harms them without provocation within standards of accepted behavior.
Such an axiom of freedom is common to us all. We have each felt the knot in our stomach or the glare in our eyes when we have been treated unfairly or unjustly by anyone and the sting is ever more great by a government or a powerful constituency taking advantage of the weaker which further inflames the indignity.
We know these things, we have thought them through and tried them in the highest courts of the land and we continuously challenge and test our conception of a free and just society. In the US we believe we possess as is supported by history a vision of justice, fairness or morality if you want to call it that is universal to all people the world over.
So what is the morality of one who knows of such things as International conflicts and together with the awesome and terrible power of the United States would have us stand idly by when by the arc of history we are witness to atrocities that we clearly see are of a more ancient philosophy of mankind? Are we to stand by and let them go through the evolutionary pains of society we did? Will this be the best for them to evolve slowly, painfully to a just society that we all so much enjoy here? Are we to stand by and let the innocent die and never bother to mention there is a better way, a more humane path to the evolving of a nation?
Is that the morality we want to demonstrate to our citizens that we value freedom unless it is someone else? Will this not seem arbitrary to us as we can never know when and if we are to act? What will think of ourselves if we stand by and watch insane slaughter? Is the person or country who minds their own business shutting their windows and doors when trouble is heard an agent of morality? To turn and hide ourselves and let others work out whatever difficulty they might have? Morality is a difficult concept to define and harder to apply in circumstances like this but we each recognize moral acts when they occur. We might with logic and reason rationalize an act as either moral or not but the real determinate is in the eyes and in the minds of those that witness the act or lack of an act.
I say we have a moral obligation to ourselves to do what is right that falls on the minds of our own citizenry that we do act morally, justly and with fairness. When one does nothing the true justification of morality can never be established. And some acts will be intended one way and be interpreted another but in all cases we need to apply our concepts of freedom to the world, our concepts of morality ever vigilant our concepts of morality carry the weight of a universality of all people.
Would you consider a parent moral who warms you and bathes you yet lets your cousin sleep on the street? Will not your heart yearn for your cousin and why? It is because you imagine yourself there in his shoes shivering under the stars. That is where the idea of morality starts but it is not until you sneak your cousin in the back door that morality is manifested in you as a person. And I say it is the same for a country and particularly so for the United States.
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