For this new topic, I'm a little tired of the utilitarianism and deontology debates. Would it be a good idea to say that the incentives of a nation justify its actions, in that since the United States is trying to prevent nuclear war, even if it fails, the actions (military force) are just?If I'm right in thinking you mean "intentions" instead of "incentives," then you're offering an essentially deontological reading of justice, where intentions or duties, not ends, matter most. You're not going to avoid the old ends-means argument unless your opponent agrees to your criterion.
anonymous 2 writes,
To me it seems like the current resolution wanted [us] to infer Iraq, Iran, North Korea...but I think they're trying to stay away from directly having a topic on Iraq or Iran considering everyone's a little tired of having topics on it... lolYou're absolutely right: this resolution screams "Axis of Evil." The NFL's topical analysis [MS Word] even starts, "Iraq. Iran. North Korea." Zero points for subtlety. At least the previous resolution, plea bargaining, didn't stray too far in that direction--I hope.
LD n00b writes,
1. How can you define and back up justice on an international level? Also, could you argue states only exist for the sake of individuals so giving "each his due" is more important than international law (which is not necessarily just)?To define justice on an international level, you might look to the UN Charter or other similarly cosmopolitan agreements. I see shades of the national sovereignty debate returning. (Hmm... maybe some old LD material will be useful here?)
2. Is it possible, maybe with a definition of "for", to frame the resolution to say "a situation in which the United States intervenes to stop a country posing a military threat from acquiring nuclear weapons is just?" Then, all you would have to do is demonstrate how someone is wronged in the process (especially if you go with individuals being key).I'll admit I'm a little confused here: it appears like the sentence makes the situation to be just, instead of the intervention. Perhaps you could clarify.
3. It is key to define "military action." This is definitly NOT the same as war. (Think Israel's 1984 airstrike on that Iraqi reactor.)Absolutely. As I've mentioned elsewhere, both the Osirak attack and the Cuban missile blockade qualify as "military action."
4. What percentage of the time would military action have to be justified to prove/disprove the resolution?51%. (Why not? The new LD ballot claims debaters have to prove the resolution "generally true," which I'll gratuitously interpret as "in a majority of cases.")
5. Could you argue the action of any state (or at least, any democratic state) is justified? (This worked well for me as a neg in plea bargaining. I said that any definition besides one of "conforming to law" was subjective, so the only remaining one was "conforming to law." I won with it more than I lost, although I don't know if that logic would work with this resolution.)Assume that justice means "conforming to law." Does that automatically justify any state action? No. Sometimes, states act illegally, even under their own laws. (Besides, the laws of a democratic state are "subjective" inasmuch as they are created by the subjects of the law, instead of derived from eternal truths.)
Overall, useful comments. If more people post good thoughts, I'll post my responses.