The Instigator
RossM
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
DebatingMaster
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

This House Believes that Terrorism can be Justified

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
RossM
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,175 times Debate No: 49463
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

RossM

Pro

First Round is acceptance...
I believe that terrorism can be justified if all other peaceful and diplomatic avenues have been taken to stop an oppressive society or regime.
I will define in the second round and wish my opponent luck.
DebatingMaster

Con

Terrorism can never be justified. Terrorism is cruel, cold and heartless, it kills thousands of people, are saying that the death of thousand of people can be justified? What is your excuse for 9/11? This killed at least 3,000 people and was absolutely devastating. This also went on to kill thousands in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan because George Bush declared the "war on terror" and even now people are dying because of terrorist activity, please tell how that can ever be justified.
Debate Round No. 1
RossM

Pro

I thank con for taking this debate.
Terrorism: the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
Justified: having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason. I also say that the terrorist attack would only be justified when fighting back against an oppressive government or regime.

Let us look at the case of Nelson Mandela. The apartheid in South-Africa was cruel. The apartheid in South Africa was heartless. Nelson Mandela admitted to 156 acts of public violence at his trial, and organised many terrorist attacks on key government targets. This, by the definition given, is terrorism. But, as I said, I believe that terrorism is justified in certain situations. I am in no way saying that 9/11 should be commended, or that they were justified in any way for what they did. In the case of Mandela, the ends justify the means. They had tried a diplomatic approach. They had tried a non-violent approach but they were met with violence every time. In the end, the only way that they could actually gain the attention they deserved was through terrorism, which led to blacks and whites being able to discuss and challenge what atrocities were happening.

Secondly, terrorism can always be justified by a certain group of people, as the justification of it is subjective. Again, I would never seek to say that 9/11 was good, and I would condemn it as quickly as the next person, but Al Qaeda would've sincerely thought that their actions were justified. As Gerald Seymour once said:
'One man's terrorist in another man's freedom fighter'

To summarize this particular round:
1) Terrorism can be justified in certain situations when the end justifies the means
2) Terrorism can always be justified by certain groups, no matter what the situation entails
DebatingMaster

Con

It is true that Nelson Mandela is an amazing man, a legend, he is my hero and, in the world's opinion today, he is a freedom fighter but at what cost? At his time people called him a terrorist because his group gave up being peaceful and fought for violence but it does not matter the cause, he probably killed some people and I am saying killing can never be justified as Martin Luther King once said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" if we keep on using violence it will not drive out violence, it will go on in an endless cycle, killing thousands until the world is destroyed by hate.
Debate Round No. 2
RossM

Pro

he probably killed some people and I am saying killing can never be justified
Of course it can. Wars are often viewed as morally correct when all other diplomatic avenues have been taken. It is the right of every individual to express their views and show their discontent, but when the government downright refuses to listen to their POV it loses its legitimacy as a governing body. Furthermore, in the times of Nelson Mandela blacks were being oppressed and abused. If all other diplomatic attempts had failed then the only way that they could have their voices heard was through terrorism. In these cases it can be justified as morally correct.

At his time people called him a terrorist because his group gave up being peaceful and fought for violence but it does not matter the cause
It always matters what the cause is. The only reason we view him as a freedom fighter today is because our modern society realises that the Apartheid was a terrible thing. The blacks were being oppressed and their voices were not heard. Would it not have been morally incorrect to let it happen? No peaceful attempts had worked, so should they have avoided a violent approach and let the atrocities continue?

Con did not argue against the points I provided about the subjectivity of justification. In any situation terrorism can be justified by the terrorists and their supporters. Unless Con can prove that terrorism is repugnant to each and every person then he has failed, and the only logical course of action would be to support Pro.

DebatingMaster

Con

Well done, you managed to find a person, an amazing person, ONE person to justify your argument that the "end justifies the means". However where is he end? When will this end. As I said before (which you did not reply to), if we keep using violence it would just keep on going in an endless cycle. As for saying that terrorism can be justified by the terrorists is true but if that is the case what is the point of the debate? We might as well just say everyone has their own vies on justification and leave it at that. Also, by stating this you are also saying that murder can be justified, so can rape or kidnapping, which connects to terrorism and all can be justified by the person that commits the acts. However, surely the person that commits the act is not right to justify themselves? It's like how we don't let criminals to vote, why do you think that is?
Debate Round No. 3
RossM

Pro

Well done, you managed to find a person, an amazing person, ONE person to justify your argument that the "end justifies the means".

If you would go back to my definition of the debate, you will find that I stated that terrorism can only be justified when fighting back against an oppressive regime or society. Even if we totally discount my second argument (which is still entirely fair and you have actually agreed with), then by the definition terrorism can still be justified in these certain situations because of the pressured and unequal circumstances. This example was to back up my earlier point that in certain situations terrorism can be justified, something which you have not yet argued against or disproved.

if we keep using violence it would just keep on going in an endless cycle

Con does not seem to be getting the point of my arguments. Peaceful protests are all well and good, but sometimes they just aren't enough. Do you think that if America and England had peacefully fought back against Germany in WW2 we would still be in our rich and diverse world today? The harsh fact of life is that violence is needed sometimes, and that violence can be justified when the thing you are attacking is so repugnant that it would be immoral to leave it alone.

However, surely the person that commits the act is not right to justify themselves? It's like how we don't let criminals to vote, why do you think that is?

We don't let criminals vote because they lost that right when they committed the crime. However, this does not mean that their opinion and justification of the crime is any less worthy. Who are we to say what opinion is right and wrong? The fact that Alqueda would support 9/11 is a perfectly reasonable point. You seem to think that this nullifies the debate, but the debate is about whether terrorism can be justified or not, and if you agree then you are conceding that I am correct.

To summarise my side of the arguments:

1) Terrorism can be justified when the thing being fought against is so terrible it would be worse to leave it to happen

2) Terrorism can always be justified by certain people as the justification is entirely subjective
DebatingMaster

Con

DebatingMaster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by RossM 3 years ago
RossM
Sorry. I thought that when the first round is acceptance you don't need to define. My mistake...
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Provide the definitions in the comments. Then we'll talk.
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
@Magic I second this.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
"I will define in the second round"

Yeah, no one will accept with that in there. You need to provide definitions in R1.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
RossMDebatingMasterTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited. Pro wins.