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Round 3: serbsta vs souls - "Disaster Relief"

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posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 07:49 PM
The topic for this debate is "When a country endures a terrible tragedy, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, developed nations have an inherent responsibility to support them through their recovery. ”

"serbsta" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"souls" will be arguing the "Con" position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

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[edit on 1-18-2010 by chissler]

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 04:08 AM
I'll be taking my 24 hour extension now because I know I won't be able to post my opening statement in time... but after tomorrow it should be smooth sailing.

posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 06:49 AM
Opening statement; debating Pro side of: "When a country endures a terrible tragedy, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, developed nations have an inherent responsibility to support them through their recovery. ”

Thankyou chissler for setting up this debate. Good luck to my opponent, souls, in the following debate.

Many social and ethical issues arise when discussing this issue, such as aspects of the 'human condition', societal expectations, economic and military strength, government relations and above all, human compassion. I thought it would be wise to set some foundations for this debate in order to be able to more structurally and thoroughly attack the issue at hand.

What is a 'developed' nation?

A country with a relatively high standard of living, achieved primarily through social, economic, and technological infrastructure.


What is a 'developing' nation?

A country with a low standard of living, generally indicated by severe poverty, low income and education levels, high birth rate, and poorly developed social, economic, and technological infrastructure.


Of course our topic is not only concentrating on a national tragedy occurring in a developing nation, but any nation. But the distinction needs to be made between what constitutes a 'developed nation'. They are economically, technologically and socially more developed than countries which, fundamentally, are unable to make any progress purely due on economic reasons.

So on what basis is a developed nation inherently 'obliged', if you will, to help out another nation, whether it be developed or developing, when a natural disaster strikes, or any tragedy for that matter?

1. Global image: If a developed nation were to NOT send aid to a nation which has been struck with a national tragedy, especially if they're in close proximity, they would be held accountable in front of the whole globe.

2. Human compassion: Whether you take this as a sappy excuse or not, human compassion still exists, and in many cases the charity works of a developed nation when providing aid for another nation in strife, is done purely out of good will for fellow man. It is in our nature to help, and national leaders aren't always the ones that need to take action.

3. International relations: Providing economic aid and/or security for a nation which has suffered a national tragedy also helps government relations between the two nations. By one developed nation guiding another nation through the recovery process, close diplomatic ties can be established or further strengthened.

4. Future recognition: A developed nation has an obligation to itself to help another nation in distress because it one day may require the same response. A strengthening of national ties is fundamental in allowing for the feeling of security.

5. Responsibility: Developed nations hold this responsibility to supply aid and support because their presence is economically effecting the globe, especially nations in close proximity to them. They hold economic power which diminishes the power of other nations, they therefore gain the responsibility of supplying aid when the time calls.

... These and other reasons are why a developed nation is obliged to support another nation through a time of crisis. What is clear is that a developed nation has nothing to gain by offering no support and developing a position of isolationism during a time where aid is most needed. It only has negatives to attach to its national identity. This is one argument that my opponent can in no way refute.

I will address these and other issues throughout the debate, making use of scenarios and exemplifying real life situations which have occurred in order to further my argument. But already it is clear that a developed nation is obliged to help another nation in times of national strife, because it has nothing to gain by doing the contrary.


posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 10:27 AM
It is impossible for any nation to have an inherent responsibility to another, including at times of great disaster. Even in the geopolitics of today, the governments of all nations are responsible for ensuring that its own people are prepared for these situations of great disaster, and that all sectors of society will function properly, even at minimal efficiency but only to themselves. This is their only inherent responsibility, to ensure themselves, its people and no one else. If a nation fails in this aspect, then its people have failed as well. When a nation has declared itself a nation, it has freed itself from the shackles that bound it. Or so we are lead to believe, but that is neither here nor there. In most examples, history has shown that nations became nations after freeing themselves from the rule, the oppression of a master, a controller. The people within, at a certain point have decided for independence. To some, it was at the price of blood, to others, simple political reform, but never the less, the desire for self sustained development was a necessity. A developed nation must respect this, other wise they risk becoming an oppressor to any given nation.

Throughout this debate I will show that a developed nation does not have the inherent responsibility to any other nation in its recovery from a great tragedy because different aspects within support for this are not logical, and may even risk being oppressive. I will also show that the support for this is based on the false idea that said developed nation has the necessary funds to aid in another nation's recovery. The debt inherited from such a relief effort would most likely be allocated to the international debt of maybe even both countries in participation, and for a country like Haiti, this could mean much further debt, and much less quality of life. Finally, I will differentiate an inherent responsibility, to an ethical responsibility, as this issue will definitely blend the two and will confuse the debate as my opponent has already done. The recent 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the nation of Haiti is tragic, most definitely, but there is no nation inherently responsible for its recovery from this. The sad truth with reality is that, the corruption within high levels of governments prevents any people from truly being independent from oppression. If Haiti was not prepared for this, and its people were not prepared for this, it is because of this corruption, as all of the negative elements of this disaster stem from it. Human compassion is not an inherent quality of a nation as a whole. Human compassion only exists in some individuals and will not translate into the entire nation.

These events of chaos can happen within developed nations, like is the case with the disaster of hurricane Katrina in the United States. The failure to act swiftly was in part from the government of the United States, and the people directly affected by the disaster. Many lives could have been saved if the people were prepared for a situation like this, but the government failed in educating its people and preventing such extensive damage to begin with. The people failed themselves in all regards. Different factors determine what exactly a developed nation actually means, and I will agree with the definition my opponent has proposed even though it may need to include other determining factors. Regardless, I do not believe that Japan, Russia, or even France have an inherent responsibility in helping the United States in its recovery from the disaster left by hurricane Katrina. The United States is not an permanent, inseparable element of these nations, as Haiti is not an inseparable, permanent element of the United States of America. When one considers the macro social aspects of geopolitics, it is easy to see that they are just a reflection of the micro social aspects of day to day issues of individuals all over the world, and with this sense, we are not inherently responsible for one another in times of great disaster, but ourselves.

posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 12:26 PM
To begin. We must first establish what exactly the definition of inherent is. My opponent has cleverly mixed the meaning of inherent with obligation and this is not the same. When something is inherent to another, it is a natural, inseparable part of the other. When doing a quick look at the definition provided by, an on line dictionary, one can see that it clearly states what I have defined.


existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute


something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc.

the act of binding or obliging oneself by a promise, contract, etc.

An obligation is clearly something that one has to do, whether it is legal, or ethical because that said entity has agreed to. Similar to a contract. As it can easily be seen, inherent is not the same as obligation. If a nation feels obligated in helping with the recovery of a nation after a disaster, than that is due to past dealings between countries, contracts, or even compassion. This obligation is not a natural, or an permanent, and inseparable element of a nation. To further assert this point, one can see the list of Synonyms listed below the definition of inherent. These synonyms further reinforce the definition of inherent and exclude obligation as a part of it. Something that is natural is not an obligation, but it is innate, native, inbred or ingrained.

Due to this simple definition, one can clearly see that it is impossible for any nation, whether they are developed or not, to be inherent of another. This is because the definition of a nation is one where its people have reached a level of independence. And for a nation to be independent, it clearly means that this nation does not want to be sheltered, oppressed, controlled by another. With this simple logic, one can clearly see, that being inherently responsible is not logical. If a nation does indeed provide aid in the recovery of a nation, it can only mean several things.

One it means that this nation may have diplomatic ties with this nation in need. This may actually be an obligation, as my opponent has expressed, but not inherent. Two, the people within this nation have pressured its representatives into providing this aid, or themselves have made efforts to provide aid. This is more in tune with the human compassion element, but it is still not inherent of a nation, as not everyone in this nation cares for the recovery of another. Third and last, sometimes, nations help in the recovery of another due to financial aspects, and profits. This is definitely not an inherent part of a nation.

My opponent has listed several reasons as to why he confirms that a nation has an inherent responsibility to another. These elements evolve after a nation has been established, but initially, and even further on, they may be discarded because of the inherent responsibility that a nation has to itself, and its people. A global image is only important to that nation, aid in a recovery may help in a nations image, but it is not evidence that a nation is inherently responsible for another. As I have explained before. Human compassion does not exist in all of us, thus the nation. In times of great chaos, and desperate survival, people throw this compassion out the window, and only look after themselves. What have we seen happen in Haiti? People are killing each other in order to survive. Where is their human compassion if they are the most affected? This is clearly not evidence of an inherent responsibility of one nation to another nation. There will always be humans willing to help, but at the same time, these same humans can easily overlook this catastrophe, if it meant their own survival.

International relations are essential parts of nations. There are different resources that can only be obtained due to this. But in today's world, international relations are not always necessarily for the good of both nations. There is more than enough evidence to show this. Developed nations have, and will continue raping another nations economy, resources, and its people in order to advance itself. Even with honest international relations, a nation can end this without a warning as this is not an inherent responsibility to these other nations if it needs to. It is not an inseparable element of this nation. The same can be said in regards the future recognition of a nations efforts in the recovery of another nation. If a notion helps, in order to be helped, than it is for self interest, and nothing more. Self interest, and an inherent responsibility are not the same. Finally, responsibility, as my opponent describes. I can agree that a more developed nation may feel responsible for aiding another in a recovery. The responsibility my opponent describes is not the same as an inherent responsibility. Even with this, a nation should not feel responsible for other nations just because it is a greater economic power and makes others less powerful. This is not inherent of any nation, as even developing nations do not feel any inherent responsibility for lesser developed nations.

My opponent is correct in that I can not refute that a nation will probably gain a negative image in geopolitics if it takes a stance of isolationism. But this is not the debate. A negative image, has nothing to do with the inherent responsibility of a nation. The only inherent responsibility of a nation is to itself and its people because this is the only thing that is an inseparable, natural part of that nation. Another, independent nation, is just that, a nation that does not depend on any other. Haiti's inherent responsibility should have been to prepare its population for disasters such as this, but unfortunately, they were not, and this is why we see this tragedy. This is true for any independent nation.

Question 1: In a time of a global catastrophe where several developed nations have experienced millions of casualties, and great catastrophe. Do you believe that the nation that suffered less damage, should be inherently responsible for all the others?

posted on Jan, 28 2010 @ 03:01 PM
serbsta has been forced to forfeit this debate.

souls moves to the next round.

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