The Instigator
rkmcdaniel
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
TheLibertarian
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Wars have been, and will continue to be, generally necessary; with good results common.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,592 times Debate No: 294
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (9)

 

rkmcdaniel

Pro

Throughout history, cultures and countries have been forced to declare war in order to stop various situations that were immoral and wrong from continuing. Just in recent history, several examples can be found: World War 1, World War 2, Korea, War on Terror, etc. Because of this fact, I affirm that wars have been, and will continue to be, generally necessary; with good results common.
TheLibertarian

Con

You state that all throughout history, and even into the future that "Wars have been, and will continue to be, generally necessary; with good results common." However, I believe that this cannot be farther from the truth, and I am going to break down the question to first prove why war has not always been necessary, and why they do not have "common good results." (For the rest of my argument I am going to use conflict as a synonym for war, as the last "true" war according to American law was WWII.)

While war is certainly a valid diplomatic tool that has had success in the past, it is almost never completely neccesary, which is defined in the Princeton dictionary as "absolutely essential." Ask any politician or foreign advisor, and they will almost all say the same thing, that war as a diplomatic option must only be considered when absolutely EVERYTHING else has been tried and failed. When a conflict is undertaken before other diplomatic options are taken, disaster usually occurs. An example of this was the CONTRA affair, or the Bay of Pigs. Reagan and Kennedy, respectively, felt that war was essential and the best option, and invaded both Nicaragua and Cuba, respectively. These two conflicts ended in disaster which could have been averted if diplomatic efforts were taken before. And while some wars have been ultimately necessary, an example being WWII, there have been at least two wars which would have been averted with diplomacy for every neccesary and just war.

My second point is that wars do not often have, and on the contrary rarely do have, "common good results." One key example that comes to mind is the Vietnam War. America invaded the communist nation, in hopes turning into a capitalistic society. WHat occurred there became forever known as a synonym for a barbaric and atrocious crusade for faux democracy, and for a failed war. Thousands of American deaths occurred there, not to mention the tens of thousands of innocent Vietnamese lives that were lost, and to tell me these were good results would be an utter lie. This occurs in a great deal of wars, and while some of the deaths may be neccesary, a great deal of other effects occur. As earlier stated, many wars are started for improper reasons, with likely ulterior motives, which may not benefit either nation as a whole. To say that many wars have "good results" is not only ignorant, but also completely false.
Debate Round No. 1
rkmcdaniel

Pro

First of all, I musts correct an error on your part: "One key example that comes to mind is the Vietnam War. America invaded the communist nation, in hopes turning into a capitalistic society."

This is a dead wrong claim. The United States went to war with Northern Vietnam, because we were enforcing a foreign policy of containment, which had been established many years before the Vietnam War (in 1947 by Harry S. Truman). The northern half of the country, which was communist, was INVADING the southern half, our allies. The northern half of the country was the aggressor, not the United States; which you claim.

I'd also like to point out that you somewhat take shot at my arguement by pointing out the fact that the last official "war" that the United States had was WW2, I am not reffering to the definition set by a 231 year old country to establish a precedent of war that will encompass EVERY war in history.

You also state: "Ask any politician or foreign advisor, and they will almost all say the same thing, that war as a diplomatic option must only be considered when absolutely EVERYTHING else has been tried and failed." Thank you, you have basically just affirmed my side. All the "pro" side has to do is prove that the times that war has been employed, they were necessary. Not that out of all the diplomatic options that have ever been considered, war is a must. By admiting that politicians and diplomats agree that war is only to be considered after all other options have failed, you affirmed my position that wars are necessary when they have employed. If they were not employed, it is impossible to conclude that they were or were not necessary.

YOua entire arguement rests on 3 examples of "conflicts". The Bay of Pigs, the CONTRA affair, and Vietnam. Your statements about Vietnam are extremely one sided and present little to no facts. This is a historical fact, the North invaded the South, not the other way around.

Here are a few examples of wars that were necessary:

The Revolutionary War (I don't think I need to say why it was necessary)
The War of 1812 (To stop the British invasion of America)
The Civil War (To hold the Union together)
The Gulf War (To stop Saddam from taking over another country)

I am sure if I did more research, I could name more, but I think I hae proved my point: when wars are employed, they are employed because they are necessary.

To affirm my position about the results being generally good, every action strives for a good, even wars.
TheLibertarian

Con

TheLibertarian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
rkmcdaniel

Pro

rkmcdaniel forfeited this round.
TheLibertarian

Con

Ok, so both me and my opponent pretty much stopped debating this, which is all good, but whatever. Anyway, I'll just make some closing comments to finish this up.

While wars, in some cases, may be necessary, on the whole, they are far from it. In many recent cases where military intervention has taken place, diplomacy could have solved the problem much more efficiently, and with a significant decrease in human and economic cost. In addition, they also have not had a great deal of good results on the whole, with a major problem being not only the massive economic and human cost with the war itself, but the victor will have to build all it has destroyed once the war is over, so there is really no incentive in the first place. Thank you very much.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lydie 9 years ago
Lydie
I really believe war is not necessary, but it exists because of human inability to communicate efficiently, and because of human error. Maybe that is something that will never change, but the fact that war exists, may change...

If we have the guts, and the determination to accomplish it.
The problem is also that. If you don´t believe something is possible, and you don´t work to accomplish it, obviously it will never happen.

Two of the leaders I respect most are MLK, and gandhi, both commited to peaceful protest.
Gandhi´s concept of Satiyagraha, or non violent protest is essential to understanding it possibility of society without war. Perhaps it sounds a little dreamy and optomistic. But in a world of Monarchies and dictatorships you can betcha democracy would sound a little dreamy and far fetched too. Progression toward a better and more just world is always far out of reach at some point.

oh and a note, war of 1812 wasnt just to stop the british invading the US, it was also the US invading Canada (totally nesecary I know...)

The fact about war is, it always has innocent victims. always. whether an accident, friendly fire, or a naive soldier. It takes a lot to justify that. I don´t think miscommunication or stupidity does the trick.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
RKMCdaniel, the Gulf war had nothing to do with American benevolence.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
World War II was the last time the US fought a just war.
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
I agree with Libertarian. While I am no pacifist and I certainly dont believe decisions of war are easy ones (especially when we are a world superpower with international responsibilities) there are plenty of wars which have not been "necessary", if by necessary we mean worth the loss involved. To say wars generally promote the common good is wrong, for EVERY WAR IS DIFFERENT
Posted by TheLibertarian 9 years ago
TheLibertarian
wait, my opponent closed his account, does this mean he can't participate any more?
Posted by FormerNavy 9 years ago
FormerNavy
rkmcdaniel--The Bible also commanded Abraham to kill his only son, justifies slavery, and commands stoning people to death for gathering sticks on the weekend (Numbers 15:32,35 RSV). Fortunately I didn't build any campfires last weekend.

I don't think a literal interpretation of the Bible is consonant with any traditional Christian values that are morally permissible in the 21st century. The Bible has to be read for the principles within it to find its truths. And those core principles are found in the 10 Commandments, one of which is "Thou shall not kill."

Even if you do believe that "God" somehow chose the precise words that are used in the Bible (and translated them into English--a language that didn't even exist at the time the Bible was written), "God" chose to tell Moses "thou shall not kill." Not "thou shall not murder."

Your argument essentially boils down to "the ends justify the means," while the core teachings of the Bible show us that evil means cannot justify any ends. To accept your argument, I would have to accept that some people deserve to be killed more than others (even though we are ALL sinful, as you pointed out), and that human beings are the best arbiters of who deserves to be killed and who does not. That sort of arrogance is a sin in itself.
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
IncuranceTeasDOTcom:

First of all, I never said anything about "war like cultures". Don't twist my words to fit your skewed opinion on the subject.

You point out Iraq in order to go against my arguement. I am not surprised frankly, but here is where you are going wrong. Iraq is ONE war in thousands. First of all, if they weren't necessary, then why would they still be occuring? Secondly, please explain to me why you assert that war is not necessary when a war has given you the right to say this in the public forum?

Your second paragraph has absolutely no weight on this debate. Please keep your personal opinions on the reasons behind one war in thousands to yourself. Besides, since when was it wrong to oust a man who was single handedly responsible for testing chemical weapons on his own innocent civilians?

Your third paragraph is a rant, not a logical, sensible arguement. This being so, I will not take the time to argue against it, though I could. Answer this for me, where is all this oil that we are supposed to be seizing?
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
Former Navy:

THere is a difference between killing and murder. God specifically chose "murder" because it is different from killing. Murder is not invloved in war, killing is involved in war. Here is what the Bible says:

"You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). The Hebrew word literally means "the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice." God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3; Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12; 21:15; 22:19; Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances, but rather only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm is by going to war with them.
Posted by FormerNavy 9 years ago
FormerNavy
Marine Corps Conservative--I see on your profile that you support "traditional conservative values" (which I assume includes values of the Christian faith). Am I right to assume that you believe in "the right to life" (including the unborn)? If so, how do you reconcile the belief that all life should be respected (as is written in the Bible) with the belief that it is justifiable to intentionally take life in war?
Posted by InsuranceTeaseDOTcom 9 years ago
InsuranceTeaseDOTcom
Your statement that there have always been wars, and that there will always be wars, and that our war like culture will not change says more about your frame of mind than your arguement. And it does not support your arguement. The fact that there have always been wars does not mean that they are beneficial (i.e. have good results). While this may be the case in some wars, it does not seem to be the case in Iraq.

The war we are in was supported with faulty intelligence, (none of the reasons stated for going to war have been found to be true), we have torn the political system apart and while an arguement could be made that we took down a despot we did so at the expense of the countries stability.

If you claim that the clandestined goals of our govenment's administration, which launched this illegal war for oil, are justified on the basis of acquiring the spOILs of war, then I guess I would have to disagree with you even more. For war should not be entered into on the basis of a lie.

There are those who would dissagree. Soon they will be out of office.
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