The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Do wealthy nations have an obligation to give developmental assistance to other nations?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 7,654 times Debate No: 104680
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According to the World Health Organization, 5 and a half million children die every year, strictly under the age of 5. That"s about 15,000 a day, 600 an hour, and 10 or so a minute. That means that before I reach the end of this sentence, some child very likely will die in pain and agony. Suffering on a such a scope and scale is unacceptable and morally abhorrent. By extension, I affirm the resolution. Wealthy nations have an obligation to provide developmental assistance to other nations.

For the purposes of this debate, wealthy nations will be defined as first world nations, such as the US, the UK, Sweden, Canada, and Denmark. Developmental assistance will be defined as assistance given by foreign nations administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective. Other nations will be defined as third world nations, such as Ethiopia, Haiti, and Afghanistan.

I will defend 3 main contentions, large amounts of human suffering exist, nations with the means to help stop suffering should in fact do so, and developmental assistance helps end suffering

Contention 1: Unnecessary human suffering exists
This contention is beyond obvious, and it is patently absurd to suggest otherwise. Unnecessary human suffering exists. No reasonable person denies that there is genuine unnecessary human suffering. This contention is in effect unchallengeable.

Contention 2: Nations with the means to help end suffering should in fact do so
1.Suffering is harmful to human well being
First off, suffering is harmful to human well being. If morality has any true meaning to it, a world with less suffering is inherently better than one with more. Virtually everyone agrees with this. By extension, it is our responsibility to attempt to alleviate suffering. Our country, along with others, have the means to help the less fortunate. According to philosopher and princeton graduate Peter Singer, " if it is within our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it. " It makes no moral difference whether the person I can help is a neighbor's child ten yards from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, ten thousand miles away,"

2.Golden Rule
Second off, imagine yourself in the same situation, where people suffer, and die, far too often. Wouldn"t you wish for aid for your own starving children. This idea of the golden rule, doing unto others as you would have them do to you, is the basis of morals.

To quote the New World Encyclopedia, "The Golden Rule is a cross-cultural ethical precept found in virtually all the religions of the world." To quote from the three major monotheisms, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," Leviticus 19:18. "do unto others as you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:12 None of you believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself. Number 13 of "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths. If we can get all major religions agree on this idea, it might be a good.

3.People need basic human rights to appreciate other rights
Third off, according to senior Oxford research fellow and philosopher Professor Henry Shue, people need basic rights like food, shelter, and health care so that they can appreciate their other rights like freedom of speech.

Imagine any right, whether it be free speech or free press. Whatever right you chose, you can"t appreciate that right when you"re dead. People need basic rights like food, shelter, and healthcare, so that they can use their other rights. In places where these basic rights aren"t guaranteed, the mere threat of these rights being taken away is substantial. All other rights like free speech and democracy are otherwise pointless if people don"t have basic rights.

When our forefathers founded this great nation, Thomas Jefferson, drawing on philosopher John Locke, wrote that all men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and I think we have good reason to agree with him.

The right to life is vital to all other rights, and by extension we need to protect those rights.

Overall, this shows how first world nations have an obligation to help end suffering in other nations.

Contention 3: Developmental assistance helps end suffering
1.Causes an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in child mortality in developing countries
A 2014 Stanford School of Medicine study examined 140 countries for a 36 year period, found that developmental assistance led to significant increase in life expectancy and a decrease in child mortality in developing countries. Contrary to popular belief, developmental assistance isn't widdled all away, and rather causes a major impact.

In rough conclusion, human suffering is odious and horrendous. Pain is everywhere in the world, and it is our responsibility to end it. For these reasons I strongly support an affirmative vote.


I thank my BrettBoelkens for hosting this debate and am excited to engage in a competitive and intellectual discussion until the end. I wish my opponent the best of luck!

No nation should partake in an obligation that, as a result, jeopardizes its best individual interests.
The principal advocacy in the side of the opposition is the principle individualism; to uphold the general welfare of a nation as an individual body. Under this framework, a nation"s interest ought to be ethically paramount, its rights, liberty, and wellness at first priority. Therefore, a nation should protect and preserve itself, which is to say its people, government, and property, and abolish matters detrimental to its growth and stability. Consequently, if a nation aims to provide support but inflicts damage to another, directly or otherwise, hurting the latter"s welfare and the former"s interests, the framework is violated.

In lending developmental assistance (DA), individualism is strongly violated. I have two main arguments:
1. DA is an impediment to a nation"s growth.
2. DA inflicts immorality to its recipients.


I. DA is an impediment to a nation"s growth.

First World Nations (FWN) may lead the world in terms of business, education, and economy, but their burdens are of the same magnitude. Other than being robust and powerful, FWNs are also among the countries who lead in:

A. Leaders in Counter Terrorism
The U.S. outpaces all other nations in military expenditures. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of the total.
U.S. military spending dwarfs the budget of the #2 country " China. For every dollar China spends on its military, the U.S. spends $2.77.[1]
In fiscal year 2015, military spending is projected to account for 54 percent of all federal discretionary spending, a total of $598.5 billion. Military spending includes international military assistance. [2]
The US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) now counts 62 countries among its members, together with UK and Canada. [3]
The Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism"s mission is to promote U.S. national security by taking a leading role in developing coordinated strategies and approaches to defeat terrorism abroad and securing the counterterrorism cooperation of international partners.[4]

B. Most Dangerous Prisons
The Criminal Justice Degree Hub lists ten of the most violent and dangerous security facilities in the world and six out of ten of these prisons are located in America. [5]

C. Drug and Alcohol Addiction

United Kingdom
It is estimated that 1.6 million people in England are alcohol dependent. However, what is more terrifying is that only 6.4% of this number will actually receive treatment for substance abuse. To exacerbate the problem, alcohol is now 40% more affordable in the UK compared to the 80s. Incidentally, 52% of men and 53% of women in the UK drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol at least once during the average week. Also, the country is reportedly a major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine.

According to Drug War Facts, prevalence of marijuana use among Canadians age 15 and older was 10.2% in 2012. Similarly, the total direct social costs associated with combined illicit drugs in Canada amounts to $3.5 billion.

United States
Reportedly, 7 out of 10 Americans have been on at least one prescription painkiller in their lifetime. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 52 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs in the US. CNN reported that 47,055 people died from drug overdoses in 2014. In addition, 61% of all drug overdose deaths are attributed to opioid abuse. However, a more alarming statistic comes from SAMHSA administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, who states that almost 5,500 people start to misuse prescription painkillers every day. [9]

These are countries which are under constant threat. America alone loses billions of dollars in an attempt to send assistance to less developed countries (LDC) due to the receiving country"s misuse and corruption [7]. The assistance should be better allocated to bolster America"s law enforcement, healthcare and medication, education, governmental action, safety and security of the people among others. FWNs carry the burden of solving these issues and if they fail to address looming crises and contain its danger, no lesser nation can combat the magnitude that wreaks havoc even to FWNs. If a nation struggles with its own burden and helps others in vain, its best interests are not ethically paramount. Moreover, if a nation struggles with the world"s greatest threats, it is ethically paramount for the individual nation to address it, even if it means not helping other nations, since it pursues a greater moral mission.

II. DA inflicts immorality to its recipients.
Foreign aid is counter-intuitive, hurting the poor.
Deaton, an economist at Princeton University who studied poverty in India and South Africa and spent decades working at the World Bank, won his prize for studying how the poor decide to save or spend money. According to Deaton, and the economists who agree with him, much of the $135 billion that the world"s most developed countries spent on official aid in 2014 may not have ended up helping the poor [6]
Corruption is estimated to increase the cost of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation by US $48 billion.
An estimated US $800 million of public funds are lost each year due to tax evasion in Palestine.
TI helped address the situation in Palestine where more than 6000 civil servants were using Government cars, costing over US $18 million in fuel, maintenance and licensing alone. Many were being used for personal journeys.
Councillors in Zimbabwe work with housing officials to buy up property and sell it on at exorbitant prices " sometimes at up to 10 times its market value " to families desperate for a home.
In Bangladesh 84% of the households who had interacted with one or more of different public and private service sectors or institutions have been victims of corruption in 2010. 33% of these people experienced corruption in corruption-resources-corruption-resources-healthcare services.
Findings from a seven-country study in Africa " Ghana Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda " showed that 44 per cent of the parents surveyed had paid illegal fees for schools that were legally free for their children.[7]
The low level income families are suffering from inflation. Their monthly income is not sufficient now because they hosted their relatives fleeing the drought," said Ahmed Abdi, a university student who earning a degree in economics.

Most of the agencies deal with contractors who buy the needed supply. In turn, those contractors routinely sell the goods for a 'made-up' price [8]
It is clear that DA creates the opportunity and prolongs the rampant practice of corruption. It only benefits the rich companies and their employers, leaving the proletariat unattended. Basic commodity prices become higher in the market which is caused by large businesses" greed for more money. This exacerbates the living conditions of poverty-stricken families. Thus, DA misses its target. If a nation desires to help and ends up destroying the lives of the low class, hurting the recipient"s over-all welfare, and wasting its purest efforts to send assistance, its interests are not ethically paramount, also violating the sacred morality to which the effort carries greatly.
Wealthy nations have no moral obligation in lending developmental assistance when (a) the assistance that should have been more beneficial to its growth is sent to its recipient in vain, and (b) its purest desires to lend support is transformed to immoral actions such as corruption and greed.

I negate.
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1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Nuevo 2 years ago
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