The Instigator
Jlconservative
Pro (for)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
Korezaan
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points

Waterboarding

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,163 times Debate No: 2328
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (39)
Votes (24)

 

Jlconservative

Pro

Waterboarding creates no physical pain, does no bodily harm and results in no lasting damage. It simulates drowning. It is frightening. Will we next be prohibited from jumping out of a closet and shouting, "Boo"? Victory against Islamic terrorism will be achieved not on the battle field but by information gathered, and then counter intelligence acting on the information gathered. Waterboarding is a necessary evil when facing an opponent such as Islamic terrorists. It has saved American lives and we should not cripple ourselves.
Korezaan

Con

I negate; "Waterboarding".

TORTURE is defined by the United Nations as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

JUSTICE is defined as giving each their due. I will provide warrants for why this is true if it is contested; this is the generally accepted definition in debate.

WATERBOARDING is demonstrated here:
And here (you have to be over 18):

I believe that the above videos prove that it is NOT just "scaring people".

I will negate using the following syllogism:
-Torture is unjust.
-Waterboarding is torture.
If I prove both prongs, then the logical conclusion reached is waterboarding is unjust and therefore you negate.

We all have certain rights that are unalienable from ourselves, and among those (according to the Declaration of Independence) are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our autonomy and ability to make decisions is where our worth as human beings is derived from. We don't punish squirrels or tornadoes for their actions because they don't know right from wrong and aren't aware of the moral implications of the effects. However, when one of us does something wrong, there is a demand to bring that person to justice. Since the basis of all justice arises from the acknowledgment that we are autonomous agents capable of making our own decisions, If I can prove that the Pro violates human worth, then it is necessarily unjust and you vote CON.

TORTURE IS UNJUST

A) One of everyone's inherent rights is the right to sanctity of body and mind. This is true because of a few reasons: First, people can only make rational decisions when they are safe. If someone is not safe, their first priority would be to save their own lives and get out of that situation. People tend to worry about themselves and their security before worrying about others, as you cannot help someone if you are dead. Second, if right to sanctity of body and mind did not exist, then we would not care or bring any charges against the person that caused a victim to have half his leg cut off. Sanctity of mind can clearly be shown in high school and cases of domestic abuse: There are severe consequences in schools for spreading rumors, and there are shelters for abused women and children (and sometimes men) and extreme charges can be placed upon the aggressor. What torture does is specifically the opposite: It seeks to take away a person's homeostasis so the victims, or "patients" as some people call those HUMANS, homeostasis and sense of security, and therefore reduces the person on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, resulting in that person eventually resort to giving the torturer what he wants.

B) The acceptance of torture brutalizes society. The MOMENT that a society or government of any nation decides that it's okay to torture this person or group of people BECAUSE they are ‘a threat to national security', that justifies the government doing it to every citizen that they have.
B1- DEHUMANIZATION: Since torture includes people that are merely suspects of doing something, they have not violated anyone's rights yet. This means, that in the context of this topic and resolution, we are sometimes using torture on suspects to extract information that they do not have. This is unjust for two reasons.
B1A-- It rewards those that do have information while kills the ones that don't. Knowledge is not the determiner of which people are worth more and which people are worth less, so if we're going to torture people for information, we're basically telling the people who don't have it, "You're not human anymore, so I get to kill you."
B1B-- This places the rights of ours above the rights of theirs. Since the people that are tortured have not violated anyone's rights yet and we have no proof that they did, they have as much right to habeas corpus, life, liberty, sanctity of mind and body, etc, as we do. By us saying we're able to torture them for national security is just dehumanizing them because we wouldn't be torturing them if we felt they were our equals, ONLY if we feel that they are less then we are.
B2- BRUTALIZATION: By the government torturing random people for information for national security, this sends an image to the people that torture is just in some instances. The moment that we get to that point, we'll see people torturing each other claiming it's for national security and the government CAN'T do anything about it because they are using the exact procedure themselves.

Because torture violates a person's inherent rights, it is unjust, therefore torture is unjust. This proves the first prong.

WATERBOARDING IS TORTURE.

A) I look for "waterboarding" on google and I see two things: Torture, and Interrogation.

B) Waterboarding is a form of torture for several reasons:
1 – It reduces people to the state that they believe they're going to die. John Sifton of the Human Rights Watch agrees; "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law."
2 – It is almost killing them, as an "accident" during waterboarding WILL result in death. All forms of torture do this.
3 – It fits exactly the definition of torture provided by the United Nations, and since my opponent did not define any terms in R1, the UN def will be the def of torture for the debate.

SINCE I HAVE PROVED BOTH PRONGS OF MY SYLLOGISM
Waterboarding is unjust and therefore you already negate.

Now, onto the PRO case.

My opponent has provided two levels to affirm:
-It is not immoral because it just scares people.
-It is necessary for national security.

I have already proven that torture dehumanizes because it does not respect human worth. Not respecting human worth is also a direct link into morality because human worth is also the entire basis for morality: It wouldn't be immoral if a banged a toaster on my kitchen counter, but it would be immoral if I did the same thing to a person's head. The only reason why banging a toaster on a kitchen counter isn't immoral is because we value human worth. Taking that into consideration, things that devalue human worth are also immoral.

And I have already proven that Torture devalues human worth.
Therefore, you cannot look to his first argument.

To his second, I would argue that it isn't necessary for national security.

Since he didn't provide definitions, I define necessary as "needed in order to maintain".

A) He has burden of proof because he made that claim, he doesn't show why, so don't believe in him.
B) It's not necessary because we didn't use it until recently and we've been able to keep national security without it in the past, it's not like we've been at a state of war until we started using waterboarding.
C) The ends don't justify the means. Maj. Richard Anderson agrees, "if the United States is going to be the champion of human rights and dignity, as our national security policy suggests, it is crucial that we do not violate the rights of others in the process."

I will expand on that next round. Ran out of space.
Debate Round No. 1
Jlconservative

Pro

Look the problem is Americans simply are losing their ability to distinguish right from wrong.

I don't know how else to put it. Up is down, day is night, left is right and right is wrong.
A good illustration of my thesis is the growing political consensus around the idea that the U.S. should stop using any effective interrogation techniques that make our terrorist enemies uncomfortable -- even those terrorists who were involved in planning acts of mass destruction and annihilation. For instance, armchair generals increasingly are referring to waterboarding as torture and saying it must be stopped in all cases.have no doubt that waterboarding is a very unpleasant experience. It must be so because it is considered 100 percent effective and usually induces cooperation within 30 seconds.
The technique of waterboarding involves pouring water on the head of a prisoner with the purpose of triggering a gag reflex and the panic of imminent drowning.

It was used successfully to learn about terrorist operations planned by two of al-Qaida's top operatives: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, involved in the planning of the Sept. 11 attacks, and Abu Zubaida, another leader of the terrorist organization.

Apparently both of these mass killers endured many hours of coercive interrogations without talking. But they sang like canaries after a few seconds of waterboarding.
In both cases, there is reason to believe planned terrorist attacks were foiled as a result of this technique.

Nevertheless, there is a growing chorus of opposition against any further use of waterboarding in similar or even direr scenarios.

Let's use our heads for a minute. Imagine American law enforcement or military authorities have captured a terrorist mastermind who has knowledge about an imminent nuclear detonation in an unknown American city. He knows the time, the location and the details about the warhead. The bomb could be going off at any minute. It could kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Would you really want waterboarding to be banned under all circumstances? What alternatives would you suggest for quick results? Should we call in top negotiators from the State Department? Should we play loud rap music? Should we force the prisoner to listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton speeches? While I also find those experiences unpleasant, I don't think they would produce the needed results in time to defuse the bomb.

Let's not tie the hands of future Jack Bauers who will need to do what they have to do to save lives.

I personally think Mohammed and Zubaida got off way too easy with waterboarding. I would have performed far more unpleasant procedures on them without a twinge of guilt in my conscience. Real torture techniques would have been appropriate in both cases.
Here's why waterboarding is not torture:

Do you know the U.S. military waterboards hundreds of our own soldiers every year? It is part of the conditioning Special Forces troops undergo to prepare for battle and the possibility of capture by the enemy. In other words, it's OK for us to do this to America's best and brightest, but it's too horrible for our worst enemies? Does this make sense to anyone?

Many Americans are simply confused about the real definition of torture. Because so little sacrifice is required of most Americans today and because so few have experienced combat, they equate momentary discomfort or fear with torture. They are not the same.
My definition of torture is simple: It involves physical or mental abuse that leaves lasting scars. Cutting off fingers, toes, limbs -- that would be torture. Forcing prisoners to play Russian roulette -- that would be torture. Sticking hot pokers in the eyes of prisoners -- that would be torture.

We need to wake up and realize we are killing ourselves normal POW's should have rights. However these are the men that strap explosives to down syndrome women and explode them in a crowded street, these are the men who are responsible for the acts of 9/11 which killed thousands of American citizens, these are the men that want to see the world burn. I think shoving a hose down there throat to save the lives of Americans and Iraqi's is laughably justifiable.
Korezaan

Con

"A good illustration of my thesis..."

---Yes, that's exactly what my case says. Dehumanization should NEVER be done.

"It must be so because..."

---Alright, I'll agree with the 30 seconds part because from what I've read, that seems to be the case, and I know that personally, I'd surrender before they begin. But here's the thing - Since people put under those circumstances are reduced to a lower level on Maslow's Pyramid, that means they'll surrender: But not necessarily what the US Government wants. No, how torture works is - THEY'LL TELL YOU WHATEVER YOU WANT TO HEAR. You want to hear that the Easter Bunny was the reason for the Holocaust? They'll tell you that. You want to hear that Chuck Norris falling over was the reason for 9/11? They'll tell you that. They'll tell you ANYTHING you want to hear. They want out, and they'll do anything to get to it. (Drive-Reduction theory) Therefore, inaccurate information.

"The technique of waterboarding..."

---So how close is this to "jumping out of a closet"? If it triggers the gag reflex, causes the thought of imminent death and induces the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in some people, how is it just a "scare tactic"?

"It was used successfully..."

---That's fine, and also nonresponsive to my point.

"In both cases..."

---No, there isn't. Refer to Drive-Reduction theory. If we want to hear that they have a million ways to terrorize the US, they'll tell us that. I'm pretty d@mned sure that your source didn't show a video of exactly what they did during that 'interrogation'? More likely than not, the 'interrogators' were using questions such as "Are you planning to attack the US?"

"Imagine American law enforcement or military authorities have captured a terrorist mastermind..."

---Alright, here's one of the arguments I said I was going to make: HOW DO YOU KNOW HE'S A MASTERMIND? HOW DO YOU KNOW HE'S "THE ONE"? HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE EVEN IS A "ONE"? You've never specified ANYWHERE in your case how we know we're going to ONLY be using torture ONLY on terrorists, so even before you look at ANY of my dehumanization arguments, you'll first have to get past how you're going to NOT be using this torture technique, NOT A "SCARE TACTIC", on innocent people that are only 'suspects'. Since you HAVEN'T provided ANY way in which you solve for that problem, you already lose since waterboarding is going to be used on civilians who have not done anything wrong.

AND EVEN THEN, EVEN IF he's a mastermind, even if we for some reason, maybe we're blessed by a higher power with this information or something, even if we KNOW that he's a mastermind, why does that mean we have to resort to crude and inhumane methods such as waterboarding? Just because they've done horrible crimes doesn't suddenly justify us in committing those horrible crimes the same way - the only difference is that we claim to be on the side of authority and justice, and that for some reason justifies the use of methods that we condone anyone else using. I don't believe that. I have more than just my opinions though: I have some warrants to support my claim. It's in my R1.

"Should we force the prisoner to listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton speeches?"

---HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm sorry, I just had to give a line to this.

"I don't think they would produce the needed results in time to defuse the bomb."

---So uhh what's the time limit on this bomb thingy? This seems like a really arbitrarily set up situation to me.

YESSS you finally got to my case.

"Here's why waterboarding is not torture..."

---If I defeat his argument against my second prong, then my whole case as a syllogism still stands true, and THAT means that torture causes dehumanization and dehumanization is unjust, and does not value human worth and therefore it is unjust and therefore you NEGATE (Vote Con)

So, here's my response.

1) Wow, I DIDN'T know that. My case says Waterboarding is torture and torture should not be used, period, so that means we shouldn't be using it on our own soldiers either. Doesn't affect the topic or my position in any way.
2) I never supported waterboarding use on America's best and brightest.
2B) I never said they were our best and brightest.
3) Straw Man Fallacy - If my case said "we should not use waterboarding on our worst enemies but we should use it on our own citizens", then sure, we affirm. But since I didn't mention that anywhere and I don't support the position you destroyed, it doesn't matter at all in terms of this debate.

"My definition of torture is simple: It involves physical or mental abuse that leaves lasting scars."

---I have several responses.

1) You could've did this in R1. This topic is on WATERBOARDING, and you KNOW FOR A FACT that one of the positions that oppose you are going to say that WATERBOARDING = TORTURE. But you chose not to. So we go with my definition.
2) Your definition is arbitrary. Mine is from the UN.
3) Waterboarding causes mental abuse that leaves lasting scars. Here's my evidence for it - http://www.newyorker.com... - That source also supports my use of Drive-Reduction theory and Maslow's Pyramid.
4) It causes PTSD. http://intelligence.senate.gov...

So, we reject your definition of Torture because I've provided a better one, but EVEN IF we accept it, it still allows me to link directly into my case, therefore proving that waterboarding is torture.

Basically, my opponent's main argument is that National Security and Saving Lives should be the highest value in this debate. My case, which he DIDN'T RESPOND TO AT ALL, says that Human Worth precedes both of those. Lives wouldn't matter if they weren't human, and national security is exactly the same: It's all based on the idea that humans are worth something. He has never responded to my argument that Human Worth is the basis of all morality and justice, and since in debate silence is consent, that means he agrees to that idea.

His only argument then, is that saving American lives outweighs dehumanizing and torturing people that just want to terrorize people. I don't agree with this argument on several levels.

First of all, the truth runs in the other direction; dehumanization outweighs death because dehumanization leads to more death: If you say it's justified to use dehume in X and Y instances, you're justifying the use of it everywhere, and WITH YOUR MINDSET, AND I QUOTE, "I think shoving a hose down there throat to save the lives of Americans and Iraqi's is laughably justifiable" We MIGHT AS WELL be killing them anyways, so the impact is nonunique.

EVEN IF that's not true, that doesn't suddenly mean we are justified in using horrific methods to extract information from people. Refer to p2 of my response to "mastermind".

EVEN IF that's not true, You can't be sure who's a terrorist and who isn't. We all know how poor quality our intelligence is. Refer to p1 of my response to "mastermind".

EVEN IF that's not true, his use of waterboarding to "save lives" justifies the use of it everywhere as long as it gives the effect of saving lives. Cross apply my B2 point.

EVEN IF that's not true, he's not valuing human worth at all, and he agreed that human worth is the basis of all morality and justice. If we're going to dehumanize for a rational reason that's as unstable as who's a terrorist and what protects national security, he can justifiably use it ANYWHERE and that doesn't protect the lives of Americans AT ALL.

EVEN IF ALL OF MY ARGUMENTS AGAINST HIS CASE ARE FALSE

My case and the syllogistic format I presented it in has still stood true, therefore the logical conclusion reached is that since waterboarding is unjustified, you vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
Jlconservative

Pro

Jlconservative forfeited this round.
Korezaan

Con

Since I have proved that the benefits he claims from affirming comes at the cost of brutalizing society, dehumanization, AND that I have prove that waterboarding is torture and he NEVER disproves or disagrees with that, AND because I have proved both prongs of my syllogism which together state that waterboarding is unjust, you vote CON.

(I'm lazy. For more reasons, read the debate.)
Debate Round No. 3
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Korezaan 8 years ago
Korezaan
Nah, I don't feel like writing a case.
Posted by MoonDragon613 8 years ago
MoonDragon613
(of course you would have to challenge me since the resolution to ban water boarding would be against the status quo)
Posted by MoonDragon613 8 years ago
MoonDragon613
short attention span. And I'm sure you don't need all 7800 characters right? Being pithy is a virtue. Pretend this is an oral debate and you're a slow speaker.
Posted by Korezaan 8 years ago
Korezaan
Uh... why? I like using all my ~7800 characters.

And "high level of organization" is very subjective.
Posted by MoonDragon613 8 years ago
MoonDragon613
Korezaan, interested in debating this with me? I promise there will be a ... new ... perspective on this topic but please limit yourself to 4k characters and a high level of organization.
Posted by writofmandamus 9 years ago
writofmandamus
it is torture.

"those who would sacrifice liberty for security will get none and deserve neither"

-Benjamin Franklin
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
What exactly does that mean? Your congrats are a few years too late.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
you're hilarious. congratulations on getting married.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Okay do you know me ?????? You seem to think you do. You are the one who said it is okay to kill them , I said I would be okay with water boarding if it stops terrorism or if it saves people I love. I value innocent lives over terrorists anyday. I would prefer to not hurt anyone but if you are a criminal and planning an attack and water boarding could save thousands then oh well they can suffer for a minute , you're the one who says better to kill them. Looks like you are the one who doesn't value human life.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
"Your values of human life and of human life value are repugnant to anyone who loves life, liberty and freedom. You choose to belittle others to make yourself look better than you are."

I sincerely believe that I am better in valuing human life than kels1123. I don't support waterboarding merely because a family member would be saved by it. I don't support waterboarding at ALL because of the reasons I've given above in the debate, and from what I see under her reasoning, she wouldn't give a D@MN about people that are being waterboarded if it wasn't american troops/citizens.

If you still think my values of human life are repugnant,

I'm sorry. I don't.
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