The Instigator
swayzie
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
merciless
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

interveening in human rights abuses

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
merciless
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/11/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 883 times Debate No: 33594
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)

 

swayzie

Pro

I affirm resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.
Justified means permissible. For example, I am justified in drinking a bottle of water after I run because I am thirsty, but it doesn"t mean I have an obligation to do so. Also, justified concerns the specifics of situations because different things are justified in different circumstances. For instance it"s justified for my dad to have a hammer in his toolbox even though hammers aren"t useful in all situations. The resolution isn"t a categorical statement that all political interference to stop human rights violations are good, but rather that it is permissible in certain circumstances like a tool in the toolbox.

For the neg to win, my opponent must prove that the action of the resolution is not permissible at all.

For the sake of clarification in this debate, I would like to define the following terms from
An online Dictionary:
Human Rights meaning inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.
And intervening meaning to Come between so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events.
I value equality
My value criterion is normative standard because it is the best tool with which to measure if my value is being upheld in this debate. Normative Standard is the idea that the ultimate goal of a value or action can be shown to be moral if it universally applies to all people in all situations.
CONTENTION One
Moral Responsibility to Protect Human Rights
Luke Glanville says The "responsibility to protect" encompasses two broad propositions. The first proposition is that states have a responsibility to protect their own populations from mass atrocities The second proposition of the "responsibility to protect" concept is that bystander states or the "international community" have not simply a right but a collective responsibility to assist host states in protecting their populations and to act to protect these populations in situations where the host state is manifestly failing to do so.
What is important here is the process by which Shue arrives at what is to be considered a basic right, which in itself suggests a prioritization of basics rights. The most basic, of course, is the right to life, which is embodied by both security and subsistence rights, violations of which often result in death. Any international treatment of an individual that permanently places him or her in a condition whereby he or she cannot in the future hope to enjoy any other right is therefore a violation of a basic right. Death is such a condition. Other "less permanent" but conceivably perpetual conditions include enslavement, impairment from physical abuse, and forcible Expulsion, the aim of which is to destroy the victim by treating him or her as entirely disposable. Violations of basic rights, then, are the most serious violations of human rights.
AND
The responsibility to protect human rights does not change because people live in a different
country This more specific moral thesis: that our global institutional order is to be assessed and reformed principally by reference to its relative impact on human rights fulfillment. This is one way of saying that human rights in our time have global normative reach: A person's human rights entail not merely moral claims on the institutional
order of her own society, which are claims against her fellow citizens, but also analogous moral claims on the global institutional order, which are claims against her fellow human beings. Our responsibilities entailed by human rights are engaged by our participation in any coercively imposed institutional order in which some persons avoidably lack secure access to the objects of their human rights, and these (negative) responsibilities are extended, then, through the emergence of a global institutional order in whose coercive imposition we collaborate.
CONTENTION TWO
Allowing intervention urges an ethic of international cooperation

If we appreciated the full force of the principle of common humanity underlying humanitarian intervention and integrated it into the normal pattern of interstatal relations, we would see states as both autonomous and part of a wider community, bounded yet open, both self-determining and accountable to mankind, and having obligations both to their own citizens and to their moral kith and kin outside. We would then appreciate the moral need to share our material, political, ethical and cultural resources with the rest of mankind, and to cooperate in creating a just, peaceful and relaxed world in which many of the causes that generate the need for humanitarian intervention would disappear. Injustices, inequalities and mutual suspicions and fears, however,
are not the only causes of grave civil disorder, and the human capacity for brutality does not always follow the laws of political rationality. States may become a living hell, and the outside world may then need to intervene. We therefore need what J.S. Mill called "some rule or criterion" to decide when humanitarian intervention is justified and in what form.
In conclusion, having supported my value of equality, I urge a affirmation of the resolution that The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.
merciless

Con

Before I begin, I would like to address my opponent's definitions.
'Justified' does not mean permissible. By my opponent's definition, officials at Guantameno Bay are justified in penetrating men, women, and children with sharp objects as long as the American public doesn't create a stir. I believe that justification is independent of the whims of any society, so I will offer another definition. According to Google definitions, 'justified' means 'marked by a good or legitimate reason.' Con therefore has to prove only that the US has no good or legitimate reason to intervene, while Pro has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the reasons are good or legitimate.

I will show how my opponent's own definitions and standards make his position untenable. Since all my arguments will be interconnected, I will not organize them in contentions, but they will address three main issues:
- the hypocrisy entailed when the US intervenes for human rights
- the effectiveness of US intervention
- who has the responsibility to intervene in international human rights abuses

"The first proposition is that states have a responsibility to protect their own populations from mass atrocities," states my opponent. The US has failed to do this in the areas of public education and urban development. According to Jonathan Kozol, author of "Savage Inequalities", the poor districts of New Jersey have school in an abandoned and decaying roller rink, with 1000 people crammed into a space worthy of 700. The poor districts of East St. Louis have lead levels of 10,000 parts per million in the soil. These poor districts often border wealthy districts with schools that have the luxury of building three or four football fields, and where any detectable trace of lead could lead to a lawsuit. Pennsylvania Law defines abuse as the 'intentional injury of.' The disparity in the fundamental rights of educational opportunity and livelihood between the rich and the poor may not be intentional, but it is certainly not unintentional, as one case to redistribute school funds in Texas has not reached a conclusion after 23 years. The wealthy continue to vote down any effort to redistribute funds. The US certainly has no cause to intervene in human rights abuses elsewhere when it has problems of the same nature. As Mark Twain once said: "It is no use to travel 5 miles to fish when you can count on being just as unsuccessful near home."

If we were to intervene, how effective would we be? We've been somewhat successful at maintaining order while we keep a military presence, but historically once we retreat our military all of our effort in that foreign nation collapses. We can certainly keep a military presence, but how long would the patience of the US public last? To make intervention meaningful, there would need to be fundamental change in the ideology that caused the abuse in the first place. We haven't succeeded in selling the concept of equality to our own citizens. How are we to sell humanitarian beliefs to foreigners? Changing traditional beliefs of a society is already a challenge. Our inequality at home only exacerbates the difficulty.

Indeed, are we even the people who are responsible for selling these beliefs to the international community? The US leads the West, but does that make intervention its responsibility? International human rights abuses demand an international response. Due to our state of inequality, whether the US should lead the international effort is questionable. Though intervention done right can create international cooperation, intervention led by a nation that violates the very principles the intervention supports could debase international relationships.

Therefore, I challenge my opponent to provide a good or legitimate reason why the US, of all nations, should intervene in international human rights abuses.
Debate Round No. 1
swayzie

Pro

swayzie forfeited this round.
merciless

Con

I'll allow my opponent to respond.
Debate Round No. 2
swayzie

Pro

swayzie forfeited this round.
merciless

Con

Why do my opponents keep forfeiting? I guess I'm just that good.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
swayziemercilessTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF