'Terrorism' tends to refer to violent acts by non-state actors. In a world where states tend to have the monopoly on violence, the overwhelming majority of violence is actually state-sponsored. If you agree that violence is the problem, it follows that a great focus on terrorism is a red herring. This was exemplified before the First World War, when there was a great moral panic about terrorism, before states butchered hundreds of thousands of people. Discuss!
My opponent is arguing that terrorism is an unhelpful concept, but I disagree. Pro contends that acts of violence by the state are more violent than any other cause of violence but this is completely irrelevant. When people feel the need to refer to acts of terror, they may use the term terrorism. I fail to see how this is unhelpful in any way.
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Thanks! Terrorism is an unhelpful concept because it carries within it the implication that non-state violence is always the same as terror-inducing violence. In reality these are two separate axes. Some non-state acts of violence are aimed at creating civilian terror, and some are not. Equally some state acts of violence of are aimed at creating civilian terror, and some are not. Thinking along these two axes discretely is essential. 'Terrorism' is an unhelpful term as it conflates the two.
My opponent's second sentence is a bare assertion. Unless Pro can back this up, I maintain that it is false. The concept of terrorism refers to an act of terror, it implies nothing about the arguments that my opponent is spouting. The fact is, it is irrelevant whether terrorism is perceived incorrectly or not. Since Pro is making the assertion, he bears the BOP. This BOP is not being fulfilled, as he has not yet proved that the concept of terrorism is unhelpful in any way.
'Spouting' suggests resort to ad hominem approach.
Is it a bare assertion that the term terrorism is always used to refer to the action of non-state actors? As this is a clearly falisifiable claim, BOP is with con. In plain words, we can only disprove this by finding an example of state-sponsored terror being called terrorism. (see the Wason selection test)..
I will concede is that 'unhelpful' is a subjective word. 'Terrorism' is a very helpful concept for states - but not for citizens.
My opponent is arguing that "Terrorism is an unhelpful concept because it carries within it the implication that non-state violence is always the same as terror-inducing violence." However, my opponent has not offered any evidence that this implication exists. In the last argument, my opponent tries to defend my accusation that his claim is baseless by transforming it into a completely different statement, removing the implication part of it to move his burden to me. Pro's BOP is not met. I win.