Resolved: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in South Korea’s best interest.

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Resolved: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in South Korea’s best interest.

What a strange topic to start off the new season. It’s phrased quite vaguely, so as not to specify if the question is referring specifically to American anti-missile systems which South Korea has delayed deploying this year. If that was the question, then this would be a good targeted debate with lots of clash. Instead, we’re now left to speculate on what is in South Korea’s best interest in a vacuum. Ugh.

Definitions

Anti-missile systems – This is pretty straightforward. There is technology which can defend against missile attacks; anti-missile systems are that technology.

Deployment – Also straightforward. These systems need to be built and deployed.

South Korea’s best interest – This is the crux of your debate. You must construct a framework which allows you to evaluate what is in South Korea’s best interest. In order to do that, you must explain how a government determines what is in it’s country’s best interest.

Pro

1. Security – A nation’s first priority is the security of its people. Security is the primary reason governments and societies are formed, and an anti-missile defense protects the security of the Korean people. North Korea is an active threat, and missile defense helps mitigate that threat.

2. U.S./Korea Relations – It is in a nation’s best interest to maintain strong global allies. The refusal of S. Korea’s new government to deploy a missile defense system has damaged its relationship with the United States, its strongest ally. This directly damages the interests of the Korean people.

Con

1. Security – North Korea is not an active threat. They have not actually made any aggressive moves, and show no indications or possessing actually threatening military power. Consequently, the deployment of anti-missile systems would actually harm the security of the Korean people. It would damage environmental security, as well as expanding U.S. military influence in the country. This is not in the best interest of S. Korea.

2. Sovereignty – South Korea must be able to stand on its own two feet for the sake of its people. The word “deployment” clearly indicates that the anti-missile system would likely be American, rather than being constructed by Korea itself. Instead, S. Korea should construct its own anti-missile defense system. This would avoid the harms to its sovereignty which would occur as a result of it allowing a foreign power to deploy military apparatus within its borders.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory

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Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory

Who’s excited to start off another year? Fortunately, this first topic is a good one. It actually leaves room for some debating and limits the potential for abuse. So let’s dive in.

Definitions

National Service – This refers to a person working for the government in any capacity. Most commonly, national service occurs in the form of military service, but serving a position for the government in any capacity can also count. The key will be building a position that can encompass all national service, and not just military service

Compulsory – Compulsory means required or mandatory. In the case of this resolution, this would mean that everyone, at some point in their lives, would be required by law to carry out some national service

Ought – Simply, ought means should. It implies an obligation. In this case, the agent of action is the government, so the framework of your case will need to revolve around how we determine what governments ought to do

Affirmative

1. Utilitarianism – A simple utilitarian calculus concludes that mandatory national service is a good thing. It offers the opportunity for younger graduates and individuals to gain experience while also contributing to the community/country. It gives us a new division of workers to complete tasks and services that would not otherwise be completed. And it will also likely create a more compassionate and considerate population. It’s a good thing all around.

2. Categorical Imperative – This question passes all three maxims of the categorical imperative. Particularly, we can envision the universalizability of this principle, as well contending that compulsory service strives toward a number of ends in the kingdom of ends.

3. Rights – With rights come corresponding obligations. In order to earn positive rights such as voting, welfare, etc…, one must complete the corresponding obligation to the government and society which affords the person these rights. Such an obligation can be completed in the form of compulsory national service, thus making the rights afforded to citizens less arbitrary.

Negative

1. Constitutionality – One could argue that compulsory national service is unconstitutional and violates the 13th Amendment which prohibits slavery or involuntary servitude.

2. Social Contract/Right to Life – The only right which can be said to be absolutely retained under any social contract is the right to life. Compulsory service is a direct violation of this right. Because it impedes a person liberty/autonomy, it destroys their governance over their own life, thus violating their most inherent and important right.

3. No Compelling Affirmation – The reality is that there is no compelling reason to institute national service. There is no evidence which demonstrates consistent positive outcomes, nor can a theoretical argument be sustained for its advantages. To claim that the government ought to do something despite there being no compelling reason to do so is absurdity.

Hope that helps get you started. Good luck!