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Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,542 times Debate No: 52305
Debate Rounds (3)
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This debate will be done in Lincoln Douglass format.
Round 1
Affirmative Constructive (affirmative case)
Negative Constructive (negative presents case, attacks affirmative's case)
Round 2
Affirmative Rebuttal 1 (affirmative attacks opponents case, rebuilds their own)
Negative Rebuttal (negative attacks opponents case, rebuilds their own, presents voting issues)
Round 3
Affirmative Rebuttal 2 (affirmative attacks opponent's voting issues, presents their own)
NOTE: For the negative's last speech my opponent can either type in "the end" to follow the traditional LD speech order, of if they would prefer, they can save presenting their voters for the end.

I agree with Lynn Pascoe, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, when she stated “These are human beings that need the food. It's not the political system. This shouldn't be argued in a political way." Therefore, I stand in firm affirmation of the resolution which states resolved: Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust.

For the clarification of today’s round, I offer the following definitions:

Political Conditions- The criteria which are applied to a specific situation regarding the behavior of the government (Summarized from the SDC).

Humanitarian Aid- aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies

Unjust- not behaving according to what is morally right and fair (Oxford Dictionary)

The highest value for today’s round is justice. Justice, defined by Oxford Dictionaries is “the quality of being fair and reasonable.” This value is important because, as the resolution implies, we are debating whether political conditions on humanitarian aid is just or unjust.

The criterion which best supports my value is preserving human dignity. Preserving human dignity is vital because humans are worthy of fundamental respect and have inherent worth. This criterion best achieves my value because we can achieve fair and reasonable treatment of citizens in foreign countries through the preservation of human dignity. This is only achieved on the affirmative because human’s dignity is only preserved through the provision of humanitarian aid without treating humans like bargaining chips.

I offer the following contentions to support my value and criterion:

Contention 1: Political conditions placed on humanitarian aid are often ineffective, making them unjust.

Point A: Many foreign countries do not accept political conditions.
Political conditions can result in aid being completely denied to those who need it most. This is very obvious in the case of North Korea. Various political conditions have been placed on the aid which have lead absolutely no humanitarian assistance for the country. In 2010, when North Korea declared they would not abandon their nuclear weapons program, countries began to deny aid. (CNN, Tom Evans) (1) Again, in 2012, the United States became reluctant to provide North Korea with aid due certain political conditions being rejected. (Congressional Research Service) (2) The citizens of North Korea are essentially being punished for the decisions of their government. North Korea is not the only country to undergo problems with political conditionality. Countries with similar amounts of corruption (Corruption Perceptions Index) (3) such as Haiti and Afghanistan have suffered due to political conditions placed on humanitarian aid; these issues will be discussed later in the contention.

Point B: Many foreign countries do not follow political conditions.
The ineffectiveness of political conditions can have very disastrous effects for foreign countries. African Online Journals (4) states, “Despite conditions not having been met in the past, Western aid to Africa has been kept running, which renders conditionality ineffective.” In this case the countries were fortunate to not have their aid completely cut off. Gordon Crawford (5) emphasizes that 18 out of every 29 country cases (62 percent) are unable to actually meet political conditions donors place on aid. In many of these cases, aid is either reduced, or suspended. In Haiti’s devastating earthquake of 2010, Haiti suffered from aid suspensions and reductions because conditions were not met. The National Academy of Public Administration (6) notes, “Aid suspensions or deep reductions to force accountability were highly problematic in Haiti.” Afghanistan also dealt with this issue. Aid was denied to Afghanistan due to the choices of the Taliban. Curtis (7) said, “The net impact has been the restriction of the right to humanitarian assistance and the inability of the international assistance community to adequately address short-term life saving needs.”

The impact of these two points is that corruption results in citizens in the recipient countries either getting no aid at all, or aid suspensions and reductions. Justice is not achieved in scenarios such as these because it is unfair and unreasonable to deny citizens aid due to their corrupt government’s decisions. In order to preserve human dignity, aid must be provided without political conditions attached.

Contention 2: Political conditions cause more harm than good for the donor country.

When looking to whether political conditions on humanitarian aid are just or unjust, the wellbeing of the donor country must be taken into consideration. Smith of Beyond Intractability (8) states, “Conditionality is often resented as an invasion of sovereignty, and can backfire on the sender.” Even if the political conditions are set with good intentions, they can seriously cause problems for the donor. In the case of North Korea mentioned earlier, tensions between North Korea and the United States became significantly worse once the aid was refused because North Korea believed that the political conditions were infringing on their autonomy. Oxfam (9) notes that “work that has primarily political or military objectives should not be designated as ‘humanitarian’, because of the risk that one side of a conflict will see it, and potentially all other relief, as part of a military strategy, and take action against it.” When humanitarian aid is combined with political objectives, conflict arises which negatively impacts not just the recipient, but also the donor. Mold (10) states “Donors insisting on policy conditions may soon find themselves sidelined - many developing countries are finding alternative official and private sources of finance that come with fewer strings attached.” Here it is obvious that political conditions will result in loss of credibility for the donor.

The impact of this is that removing political conditions from humanitarian aid is important because it will positively impact the donor. Justice is achieved because the citizens of the donor country are being treated fairly and reasonably because they will not suffer the repercussions of their country’s government invading another country’s sovereignty. The country’s dignity is preserved because the donor will not suffer from a loss of credibility.

Contention 3: The quality of aid is improved when political conditions are removed.

OECD Secretary Gerald Donald Johnston (11) states, “Untying aid, by restoring the choice to impoverished recipient countries would increase the value of the aid, remove a distortion to world commerce and enhance the dignity of the aid process that has been sullied by the mercantilist attitudes of some in the developed world.” Even if the recipient country successfully follows the political conditions, it must be taken into account that the quality of the aid is being put in jeopardy through the political conditions. Several political conditions force the recipient country to only buy products from the donor country. The recipient country is now required to purchase pricey imports from the donor country instead of using cheaper options to obtain products; as IPS (12) states, the value of the aid can be cut by 25 to 40 percent. In addition to this issue, Alastair (13) states, “The amount of aid given and to whom it is given are both consistent with the decisions expected from political leaders who are motivated to enhance their political survival.” Essentially, with political conditions, the aid is based on political survival and not what would actually be successful.

The impact of this is that political conditions must be removed from humanitarian aid in order for the aid to live up to its full potential. The citizens receiving the aid will be positively impacted by receiving the highest quality of aid possible, achieving justice and preserving human dignity.


Their imagination of a better world is a continuation of the ascetic ideal. This association of all that is good as not of this world expresses a hatred for the only one we’ve got—turns case. Fantasizing about a world without suffering produces creative impotence---only our relationship to life can escape this paradox of resentment. Turanli

(“Nietzsche and the Later Wittgenstein” Journal of Nietzsche Studies 26 p. 55-63)

to imagine another, more valuable world is an expression of hatred for a world that makes one sufferEscaping from this world because there is grief in it results in asceticismPaying respect to the ascetic ideal is longing for the world that is pure and denaturalized. Craving for frictionless surfaces, for a transcendental, pure, true, ideal, perfect world, is the result of the ressentiment of metaphysicans who suffer in this world. philosophercontinues to repeat, "'My kingdom is not of this world'" This is a longing for another world in which one does not suffer. It is to escape from this world; to create another illusory, fictitious, false world. This longing for "the truth" of a world in which one does not suffer is the desire for a world of constancy. Thisquest for another world, is the result of unproductive thinking. … "the impotence of the will to create … Metaphysicianstry to discover the true, transcendental world that is already there rather than creating a world for themselves. The way out of the circle created by the ressentiment of metaphysicians is the will to life rather than the will to truth. The will to truth can be overcome only through a Dionysian relationship to existence. This is the way to a new philosophy, whichaims "to show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle"

Suffering is inevitable-the drive to abolish it holds life in contempt. The tension of the should in misfortune is what cultivates human greatness. Nietzsche

(Beyond Good and Evil P.153-154)

modes of thinking which measure the worth of things according to PLEASURE and PAIN, … arenaivetes, which every one conscious of CREATIVE powers will look down upon with scorn, … Sympathy for you!--to be sure, that is not sympathy as you understand it: it is not sympathy for social "distress," for "society" with its sick and misfortuned, for the hereditarily vicious and defective who lie on the ground around us; OUR sympathy is a loftier and further-sighted sympathy:--we see how MAN dwarfs himself, how YOU dwarf him! and there are moments when we view YOUR sympathy with an indescribable anguish, when we resist it,-- regard your seriousness as more dangerous than any kind of levity. You want, if possible-- TO DO AWAY WITH SUFFERING; andWE would rather have it increased and made worse than it has ever been! Well-being, as you understand it--is certainly not a goal; it seems to us an END; a condition which at once renders man ludicrous and contemptible--and makes his destruction DESIRABLE! The discipline ofGREAT suffering--know ye not that it is only THIS discipline that has produced all the elevations of humanity hitherto? The tension of soul in misfortune which communicates to it its energy, its shuddering in view of rack and ruin, its inventiveness and bravery inenduring,misfortune, and whatever has been bestowed upon the soul--has it not been bestowed through great suffering? In man CREATURE and CREATOR are united: in man there is not onlyclay, mire, folly, chaos; but there is also thethe sculptor, the hardness of the hammer, … do ye understand this contrast? And that YOUR sympathy for the "creature in man" applies to that which has to be fashioned, bruised, forged, stretched, roasted, annealed, refined--to that which must necessarily SUFFER, and IS MEANT to suffer? And our sympathy--do ye not understand what our REVERSE sympathy applies to, when it resists your sympathy as the worst of all pamperingthere are higher problems than the problems of pleasure and pain and sympathy; and all systems of philosophy which deal only with these are naivetes.”

The ultimate result of this negative orientation toward life is the inability to live life to its fullest. Instead, the affirmative holds life in contempt for its pains, never understanding that life is suffering, starvation, and dying. The desire to seek redemption from life through the creation of a future moral order annihilates life in the present. This is the worst possible danger: our existence becomes a dreary perpetuation of biological life, devoid of meaning, waiting only for passive death. Nietzsche 2

(The Birth of Tragedy. Translated Golffing, 1956. p. 9-11)

the world was made to appear,as an ever new vision projected by that grand sufferer for whom illusion is the only possible mode of redemption.Yet in its essential traits it already prefigured that spirit of deep distrust and defiance which, later on, was to resist to the bitter end any moral interpretation of existence whatsoever. It is here that one could finda pessimism situated “beyond good and evil”;a philosophy which dared place ethics among the “deceptions.” Moralitybecame a mere fabrication for purposes of gulling: at best, an artistic fiction; at worst, an outrageous imposture. Christianity being the most extravagant set of variations ever produced on the theme of ethics. … a doctrine entirely moral in purport, using absolute standards; which relegates all art to the realm of falsehood and in so doing condemns it. … the furious, vindictive hatred of life implicit in that system of … valuesFrom the very first, Christianity spelled life loathing itself, and that loathing was simply disguised, tricked out, with notions of an “other” and “better” life. A hatred of the “worlda curse on the affective urges, a fear of beauty and sensuality, a transcendence rigged up to slander mortal existence, a yearning for extinction, cessation of all effort until the great “Sabbath of Sabbaths”—this whole cluster of distortions, … always struck me as the most dangerous, most sinister form the will to destruction can take;as a sign of profound sickness, moroseness, exhaustion, And since according toabsolute ethics) life will always be in the wrong, it followedthat one must smother it under a load of contempt and constant negation; must view it as an object not only unworthy of our desire but absolutely worthless in itself. As for morality, … could it be anything but a will to deny life, a secret instinct of destruction, … the beginning of the end?—and, for that very reason, the Supreme Danger? “

The affirmative’s embracing of humanity designates an unhuman enemy—endless wars and violence have been carried out in the name of their universal appeal to the human. Rasch

(“Human rights as geopolitics” Cultural Critique 54, Spring. p 135-6)

the liberal and humanitarian attempt to construct a world of universal friendship produces, … by internal necessity, ever new enemies. humanity. By virtue of its universality and abstract normativity, … has no clear distinction betweeninside and outside. Does humanity embrace all humans? Are there no gates to the city and thus no barbarians outside? If not, against whom or what does it wage its wars?Christianity distinguishes between believers and nonbelievers. Since nonbelievers can become believers, they must be of the same category of being. To be human, [End Page 135] then, is the horizon within which the distinction between believers and nonbelievers is made. That is, humanity per se is not part of the distinction, but is that which makes the distinction possible. However, once the term used to describe the horizon of a distinction also becomes that distinction's positive pole, it needs its negative opposite.setting off the inhuman from the human is followed by an even deeper split, the one between the superhuman and the subhuman. In the same way that the human creates the inhuman, so in the history of humanity the superhuman brings about with a dialectical necessity the subhuman as its enemy twin. … political opposition to liberalism is itself deemed illegitimate. liberal pluralism, reduces the political to the social and thereby nullifies all truly political opposition by simply excommunicating its opponents from the High Church of Humanity. After all, only an unregenerate barbarian could fail to recognize the irrefutable benefits of the liberal order.

The alternative is to embrace suffering as something positive and necessary to life. Reject the idea that suffering is something to be avoided. Wrisley

(George, “What Should Our Attitude Towards Suffering Be,” Nietzsche and Suffeirng- A Choice of Attitudes and Ideals, pg 4-5,

“the meaning of our suffering that has been the problem, … The first possibility concerns a religious ethic that, … views suffering as undesirable, but which ultimately uses mendacious and deleterious means to provide a meaning for human suffering. The second possibility concerns the extent to which we can say Nietzsche endorsed the idea of giving meaning to suffering through acknowledging its necessary role in human enhancement and greatness. Since the religious ethic sees suffering as undesirable and thus something ultimately to be avoided … the means it uses to give suffering meaning are ultimately mendacious, … Nietzsche’s positive alternative—one that embraces the necessary role suffering has for the enhancement of human life … our attitude toward suffering that needs to be modified, i.e., we should modify so that we no longer see suffering as something to be avoided. Because of this, the middle position of avoiding suffering when possible and then seeing its positive attributes when it does occur does not recommend itself.”

So to summarize the NC: the affirmative is saying we should get rid of conditions because they cause x, y, and z harms. That reduces suffering, which is bad.

Debate Round No. 1


lincolndouglassdebate forfeited this round.


Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


lincolndouglassdebate forfeited this round.


Aaaaand extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. Basically, an AFF and Neg constructive. I'm not sure if I should judge arguments also.

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