The Instigator
cantstop128
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Nickc92
Con (against)
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The usage of child suicide bombers by the Taliban is not morally excused by any moral relativism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 534 times Debate No: 53841
Debate Rounds (4)
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cantstop128

Pro

Moral relativism claims that there is no universal good because different cultures view good differently
Even members of the Afghanistan and Muslim cultures view child suicide bombings as wrong
Thus, Child suicide bombing cannot be justified by a moral relativist position

The moral relativism theory states that what is good is really just based on what a specific society deems normal. Because people in different cultures are raised to believe different things are good or bad, then according to moral relativism, there's no such thing as a universal good.
I don't believe this argument holds up logically for the instance of child suicide bombings because it is not that Afghan and Muslim cultures see child suicide bombings as good, and that we as Americans have a difference of opinion, even within the Afghan and Muslim communities the vast majority of the population find child suicide bombings not only immoral, but inexcusable.
Nickc92

Con

A "society" is an organization of people who live with a sense of community.
The Taliban is a society within the Muslim society.
Moral relativism claims that different societies hold different moral values.
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Therefore, it is in fact possible that the Taliban has a different set of moral values than the rest of the Muslim population.

I want to begin my argument with saying that, personally, I do not believe in, nor do I condone the use of child suicide bombers (or suicide bombers of any situation). This argument is based off of objective facts surrounding the concepts of moral relativism and/or absolutism.

My opponent has made the argument that this cannot be an issue of moral relativism a large portion of the Muslim population does not agree with the use of child suicide bombers. However, he fails to recognize the fact that the group of people do do agree with it, and condone it, are in fact a society all their own; the Taliban. Dictionary.com defines a society as, "an organized group of persons associated together for religious, cultural, political, patriotic, or other purposes." This is what the Taliban is. It is a society within the larger society (the larger society being Middle Eastern Muslims). It is because of this that an argument for moral relativism is indeed logical here. The Taliban holds its own moral code, which is not in every way consistent with that of the rest of the Muslim population. Therefore, it is its own society with its own moral code. Comparing it to the moral codes of other parts of the world suggests the concept of moral absolutism (that there is one single moral code that should be followed by all), which is not the case. It is entirely possible for certain societies to have different morals codes.
Debate Round No. 1
cantstop128

Pro

The issue we are examining is the Taliban's use of children as their means of carrying out suicide bombing attacks. Even if you make the claim that the Taliban are are a subset community of a larger society, we must also examine the children themselves. As evidenced in the video, it is obvious that the children have little idea what's really going on. The children are told that the bomb won't kill them because they are misinformed as to the laws of physics, or told lies on what they're carrying. Some of the attacks the children simply sit by, believing they're holding on to secret documents, then when an American convoy passes a Taliban superior flips the switch from a safe spot. Based on this clear deception, I don't think you can call the children a part of the Taliban culture using the aforementioned definition, as the children aren't there for the same political reasons. Even using a moral relativist theory, if the children- not being Taliban because they have different beliefs and understandings- are of a different society, then they must be by default part of the Pakistani culture, in which the murdering of children is still wrong.
Nickc92

Con

I can agree with the fact that in many cases the children are lied to, as well as simply misinformed as to what is really going on. This was clearly seen in the video. However, assuming that in all cases the children must be part of the Pakistani culture and not hold the same beliefs as the Taliban, can't be the case. Likely not in all situations, but in some, It is certainly possible for some of the children to hold Taliban beliefs. Because this is something that would impossible to truly know for sure, assuming that it can't be true is not reasonable. There has to be some openness to understand that it is possible to be the case that some children are in fact Taliban believers.

On to the next point; The idea that the children are of a different society is irrelevant to the main point of the debate. The debate is whether the usage of the child suicide bombers by the Taliban is morally excusable by the theory of moral relativism. Pointing out the moral codes of the children, assuming that they are in fact different than the Taliban's, does not have any bearing on the moral code of the Taliban itself. It is still possible that the Taliban's system of morals allows for this behavior because that group itself is a sub-community of the general Muslim society. The children, according to the last counter argument, are part of the general Muslim society that the Taliban is a sub-community of. Still two separate societies, therefore it is still possible for them to have two separate moral codes.
Debate Round No. 2
cantstop128

Pro

cantstop128 forfeited this round.
Nickc92

Con

My argument still stands. We will pick up in the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
cantstop128

Pro

One of the ways the Taliban justifies their actions is by citing the Koran. Can it really be a moral action if you are twisting the words of your source? The Quran is composed of one hundred and fourteen chapters, of which only five verses discuss when killing is acceptable, namely as a means of defense. The Taliban have perverted a small excerpt and warped its context while it ignores the more major tenets where the Quran strictly forbids the killing of innocents and even suicide. This would be similar to if I attempted to use the United States Constitution to try to justify owning a slave. Just because I twist some of the lines, it doesn't change that the source was clearly intended and meant to be used for the opposite use.
Appealing to moral relativism also dismisses the idea of an intrinsic good. While we both acknowledge you don't condone their tactics, but even on an objective level, how would the Taliban reconcile the fact that a child is now dead and nothing is gained? where is the moral component of that dynamic?
Nickc92

Con

The Taliban interprets the meaning of the Quran to justify its actions, there is no doubt of that. But couldn't even that action be deemed acceptable by means of moral relativism?
Lets look at it this way" You feel that child suicide bombing is wrong. I also feel that its wrong. You feel that its wrong to distort a text such as the Quran to fit such a heinous act. I also believe that.
However" whose to say that the Taliban's moral code doesn't deem this behavior acceptable? My main point in this debate is that, unless one is actually a true member of the Taliban, the inner workings of such a complex sub-community could never be fully understood. This being the case, it would be illogical to rule anything out. Unless you are a member of the Taliban, which I am fairly certain you're not, then how could you tell me what the society sees as acceptable based on its moral code?
All I am saying is that one has to keep the mind open to understand that it is certainly possible for the Taliban to view different things as acceptable than what we, and the rest of the majority of the world do. This is why moral relativism would make the most sense to use in this case. The Taliban, being a society all its own, has the capacity to possess a set of morals that is different from that of the rest.
Debate Round No. 4
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