Challenge Match: semperfortis vs chissler - "Honor, death & war!"

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posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 06:29 AM
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The topic for this debate is "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

"semperfortis" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"chissler" will be arguing the "Con" position.

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posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 06:39 AM
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"The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

Semper’s Opening:

Salutation:

Let me first extend a heartfelt thank you to my opponent Chissler for offering to debate this topic and 12m8keall2c for setting it up for us.

Let’s face it, tournaments are sure fun, but there is nothing like going Head to Head with a respected opponent on a topic that is agreed upon.

Now let us get right to it.

Topic:

"The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country"

Break:

I would like to go ahead and stipulate here at the beginning that Chissler and myself have agreed that, as in common verbiage, the word “man” is to be considered asexual.

Opening:

Honor

While many would possibly begin a debate such as this with a dry and predictable definition, I must forego that approach. The reason is simple; Honor is a many faceted concept and often means different things to different people. However due to the nature of this debate, I will concentrate on the honor a man feels in serving his country; or any higher purpose for that matter.

For honor is not just a feeling, it is a perception; that which is perceived to be associated with the individual.
An Honorable Man
A Man of Honor

Many other visceral concepts can be associated with Honor: Faithfulness, Trust, Dependability, Honesty, Courage and Character to name a few. The weight that each of us may place on these associations is entirely dependant upon the individual and the societal influences that have effected that person.

I would submit to you all that Honor is the single most valuable commodity a man can possess.

In this debate we will examine extremes. We will explore what exactly “The Greatest” means and how there is only one way of achieving that particular designation. How all other achievements fall short of “The Greatest”.

We are also going to look closely at the phenomenon called, “Survivors Guilt” and how that particular psychological condition comes about and what, exactly, it means to the individual. How Survivors Guilt can translate itself into other psychological conditions to include PTSD and Clinical Depression.

All of this and more will show, very clearly, that “The Greatest Honor a Man Can Achieve is to Die for Their Country.”

“Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death”
{Miyamoto Musashi}

Now I have no illusions to being capable of changing the concepts that have been ingrained in your lives since birth. That death is the ultimate action to fight against; to never go quietly into the dark; etc etc. What I do hope to do here in this intellectual forum, is to present to you another “point of view” as it were, one in which death is but an event that we all must experience, and the only thing we can influence is the manner in which we face that death.
Do we make it count for something, or do we remain so afraid of death that when it comes, and it will come, we go out of this world the same way we came into it; screaming like a baby.

While undoubtedly we all achieve some honor within our lifetimes, it is rare now to see a true man of honor. Perhaps it has gone out of style, perhaps it is simply too difficult to remain honorable, or more likely it is simply not respected in today’s society and has come to mean less and less.

“Honor is like an island, rugged and without shores; once we have left it, we can never return” {Nicholas Boileau}

I will at times during this journey ask that you consider this: How do we know when we have achieved the “greatest” of anything? Not the best we can do, not 100% or 110% as some coaches are fond of saying, but the “greatest”. I will present to you my idea of exactly what “the greatest” means.

I intend on showing you why the honor of serving one’s country is arguably the greatest “type” of honor a man can experience. I will say at the beginning here that I do consider this to be equal to the honor of remaining faithful to an oath such as the oath we take when married. Yet the service to the one’s country is set apart in the mind, especially for the patriot. It is as old as time and as difficult to explain as gravity.

““A warrior takes responsibility for his acts, for the most trivial of acts. An average man acts out his thoughts, and never takes responsibility for what he does.””
{Carlos Castaneda}

““A warrior thinks of death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit.””
{Carlos Castaneda}

So what is the ultimate expression of one’s honor? The “greatest” honor a man can attain?

That is what we will endeavor to answer in the coming pages.

All else falls short my friends, for:

“The Greatest Honor a Man Can Achieve is to Die for Their Country.”

Thank you

Semper

Note: All quotes are from Warrior Quotes



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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I welcome one and all for reading this debate and I also thank my opponent and those behind the scenes who are lending their time to allow this to take place.

 
 


"The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

This is what we're here to discuss over the next few days.

There are several ways to approach this topic and I believe my approach of openness and honesty to the subject will prove to be superior. Allow me to break down this subject for us to illustrate where I believe the emphasis should lie.

"The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country."

This is a general statement being made. We're not talking about the beaches or Normandy or the troops on the front-line in Afghanistan after 9/11. We're talking any soldier, any death, at any point in history. We're saying that a soldier who gave their life for their country is the greatest honor a man can achieve. The greatest!

I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement.

As much time as I spend showing our readers that there are far greater honors in our lifetime than to die for your country, I will also address just that.. the death of our soldiers on the battlefield. This is a mindset that the system attempts to instill in their soldiers. That in death that you are achieving a status that nobody can match or take away. Convincing young men and women of this would make it a bit easier to put a gun in their hand, ship them across the world, point them in the right direction and tell them to kill! You would think more elected officials who are sending these men and women off to war would be enlisting their own children to go. So that their own children could have the ability to attain this level of honor. But they don't because they know that the greatest honor they can achieve is going to be in some form of live and not death.

Considering this is the greatest honor, surely there would never be the need for a draft and force citizens to enlist against their will.

I will expand on this more in future posts, but to put it simply.. the greatest honor a man can achieve in life is likely surrounded by life and love. Not death. And what my opponent supports is that in death we are achieving the greatest. Not in life, not in love... but in death. I disagree.

 
 


1. Since WWI, in an estimation, how many American soldiers have been killed in friendly fire?
2. If the greatest honor is to die for your country, is it safe to say the troops returning home to their mothers and fathers have achieved less honor in their fight?
3. Let's assume for a second I am a member of the FDNY on September 12th, 2001. Please explain to me how my efforts yesterday pulling men, women and children from the burning buildings is less honorable than a soldier who died in Iraq or Vietnam.

 
 


None of us can really say what is the greatest. My opponent states that he can and he is telling us what that is. I'm not. I'm simply saying that there are many feats in life that are equally as honorable as a man or woman dying for their country. And if there are equals to this, than a man dying for their country is not the greatest honor a man can achieve.

Thank you.



posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:38 AM
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"The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

Semper's Post #1


My valued opponent has indeed taken me to task and I must say his opening is thought provoking, let us get to disassembling it, shall we?

Rebuttal:


We’re not talking about the beaches or Normandy or the troops on the front-line in Afghanistan after 9/11.


Yet we are.

We are discussing ALL soldiers that have stood to defend that which pulls at the true patriots heart strings. Home and Country.

From the simplest pay clerk, to the front line Major, all place their lives on the line to defend the homeland for those that can not or will not step up. All are ready, willing and prepared to die in that service; thus making the ultimate sacrifice and obtaining the ultimate honor.


We're saying that a soldier who gave their life for their country is the greatest honor a man can achieve. The greatest!


Simply looking at the “Mathematics” of this subject, when faced with several possibilties, lining them up in order of least to most, one will be left with one that is greater than all others.

Simple logic dictates that this is true.


that there are far greater honors in our lifetime than to die for your country


As I stated in my opening, there are many different honors, they vary as radically as the colors of the rainbow. However none are so great as to willingly give your life for your country.

Socratic Question #1

“What greater honor can a man achieve than to throw his body on a grenade and save the life of his comrades; all in the name of cause and country?”



That in death that you are achieving a status that nobody can match or take away


There is no way to “take away” such honor. Match? Yes. Many have died for their country and “matched” that same honor. I salute them every day.


Convincing young men and women of this would make it a bit easier to put a gun in their hand, ship them across the world, point them in the right direction and tell them to kill!


How is this wrong?

While many may wish for a time when there are no more wars, perhaps you are one my friend; sadly that time is not now nor anywhere in the near future. We still need those men and women to stand up and go fight so that those that can not, will not, remain free. This has been the way since time began and I will submit that it will not change in our lifetimes.

War is an ugly nasty business and that is the right way of things. Without it being as horrible as it is, we may find ourselves in many more than we do. Still there must be young men and young women that take up arms in defense of what they love. If it is the honor they may achieve that enables them to do such, how in anyway can this be wrong?


But they don't because they know that the greatest honor they can achieve is going to be in some form of live and not death.


Perhaps for some this is true, but we are not talking individual abilities here. Over all the greatest honor a person can achieve is to give the ultimate sacrifice.

Aside:

Ultimate Sacrifice:

This is really what we are discussing here is it not? Look at that statement carefully.

ULTIMATE

SACRIFICE


Ultimate

–adjective
1.
last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats.
2.
maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.
3.
highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life.

Dictionary


Sacrifice

the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.


Dictionary

Look closely at these words:

furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate

conclusive

That would be the debate topic in a nutshell would it not?

Back to Rebuttal:


Considering this is the greatest honor, surely there would never be the need for a draft and force citizens to enlist against their will.


While we don’t currently have a draft and that being said, would prove my point on this particular subject, I will present this.

Sometimes the conflict is such that no matter how many stand up and seek the ultimate honor and obtain that particular honor, more are needed. There must be those that shuffle the papers, cook the food and keep track of the beans and bullets.

Answers to my opponent’s Socratic Questions


1. Since WWI, in an estimation, how many American soldiers have been killed in friendly fire?


I really have no idea.

Accidents happen especially in a combat situation. The confusion and turmoil is impossible to describe.

Yet, we must understand this. Not everyone that dies in combat, dies honorably. This is an entire different topic.


2. If the greatest honor is to die for your country, is it safe to say the troops returning home to their mothers and fathers have achieved less honor in their fight?


Yes

They have indeed achieved honor assuredly, but they will also most likely suffer from survivors guilt. The end result of trying to reach that ultimate honor and not succeeding.

More on that later.


3. Let's assume for a second I am a member of the FDNY on September 12th, 2001. Please explain to me how my efforts yesterday pulling men, women and children from the burning buildings is less honorable than a soldier who died in Iraq or Vietnam.


If you died while performing this action, you died for your country…

Exactly as the debate topic suggests…

The debate topic does not specify only soldiers my friend.

Rebuttal again


None of us can really say what is the greatest. My opponent states that he can and he is telling us what that is. I'm not. I'm simply saying that there are many feats in life that are equally as honorable as a man or woman dying for their country.


Socratic Question #2

“How can any sacrifice be as great, or greater than that which costs one’s life?”

Socratic Question #3

“What would you describe as an action as intense as performing something that you know will kill you, but you do it to save others. Ie. For Country?”

More:


For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are grateful that such men and women were among us. For those who continue to serve, we honor their commitment. For those who return to civilian life, we honor their service.
{Steve Buyer}

Quotes

Ultimate Sacrifice!!!

We see this word again and again in quotes, movies and new reports. Ultimate…

Socratic Question #4

“How is the word “Ultimate” dissimilar to the word “Greatest”

Ladies and gentlemen:

"The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

Again; there are all kinds of honor a person can achieve, yet the Ultimate Honor, the Greatest Honor, is to lay down your life for the land you love.

Next we will examine the phenomenon of “Survivors Guilt” and how this plays into the very human desire to achieve that ultimate of honors.

Thank you

Semper



posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 11:43 AM
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I'll begin with a rebuttal of the recent post by my opponent, answering his Socratic questions and then I'll continue with my own platform.

Away we go.

 
 


I made the comment that we are not talking about the beaches of Normandy or the front-line troops in Afghanistan. While those were my words, it wasn't my intent. What I intended to say is that this is not all we are talking about. The lives lost on the beach on that eventful day or the lives lost in the wake of September 11th are usually ones that are quickly met with honor. It's an easy sell. My intent was to emphasize that we are talking about any and all soldiers that lost their life for their country. So a wording issue on my end.

I'm now going to address the manipulation of soldiers in order to convince them to go to war. There are some that likely don't need that push and live to serve. But as history indicates, the need exists for further measures to push people to enlist. My opponent sees no issue with the manipulation of young minds in order to send them off to war. He doesn't understand how this is wrong. Those enlisting the young minds are like used car salesmen selling the notion of some great honor and distinction if they sacrifice their life on the battle field. What they don't tell them is that dead is dead and this honor hinges on those left behind remembering them. True honor is something I carry with me in life and then through death I pass this honor onto my loved ones to carry forward. In death on a battle field, I am not achieving this honor. I've provided this honor to my family to carry forward and the vast majority of these families see it as more of a burden than an honor. I'll touch on this fact later in the debate.

"Ultimate", "Greatest"...

The buzz word in my opponent's most recent post was certainly "ultimate". He's citing a few definitions, a few quotes and trying to connect the dots for you the reader. The point he makes is valid. A valid point in the minds of those who agree with it. The fact of this debate is that we are dealing with a subjective topic. The matter really boils down to what your own personal belief is on sacrifice, honor, war, live, love and any other variable in life where honor exists.

"The greatest honor history can bestow is that of peacemaker." -Richard Nixon

 
 


I'm now going to respond to the answers provided by my opponent to my previous Socratic questions.

1. I'm disappointed that my opponent didn't make much of an effort to provide some numbers. I had asked for an estimation. A very broad estimation would have sufficed. I didn't assume he would have this number off the top of his head but surely with a few key words thrown into Google some statistics would be turned up. He did say this though...



Not everyone that dies in combat, dies honorably.


My son and your son go to war. Your son is killed by the enemy and my son is killed in a friendly fire accident. So in your words, my son did not die an honorable death and is less honorable than your son. Both died fighting for their country, yet yours is "more" honorable. It's like Animal Farm all over again. All pigs are created equal, but some pigs are created more equal than others.

2. I asked my opponent if soldiers returning home are less honorable than those who died. He responded with a concise "yes" and then something about survivors guilt.

Honor is bestowed on those for who they are, not for what they do. It's more important how they do it. Once my son and your son depart on that mission, both are men of honor. And if both men do the best they can and fight the hardest they can, the manner in which they died does not make one of them less honorable. I'm shocked to hear you say this. It's as if what I do in life doesn't matter.. but if I die by the hand of my enemy, then I've met the greatest honor one could meet. Again, honor is what you are.. not who you are. It is how you do it.. not what you do.

3. And those that didn't die on September 11th, they are less honorable? The fire fighters that escaped the buildings on that day are less honorable than those that died. Or so you've said.

 
 


I'll now answer the questions of my opponent.



“What greater honor can a man achieve than to throw his body on a grenade and save the life of his comrades; all in the name of cause and country?”


1. To live his life to the fullest with honesty and integrity. To be faithful to those he loves and those that love him. If at some point they become a parent, to honor their child and be the best mother or father that child deserves. To serve those that served him and those that depend. Service is service! Whether I am serving my country, my parents, or my children.. it is all the greatest honor a man can achieve. It is not achieved through death for your country. It is achieved through servicing what you believe. To serve your children is no less honorable than to serve your country.



How can any sacrifice be as great, or greater than that which costs one’s life?


2. When it comes to sacrifice, I can not think of a greater sacrifice than that of our life. However, sacrifice and honor are not synonymous. We're not debating the greatest sacrifice, we're debating the greatest honor. Let's see where you take this one.



What would you describe as an action as intense as performing something that you know will kill you, but you do it to save others. Ie. For Country?


3. I've never done anything that I knew would kill me. So I don't see how I could answer that question. And I don't see how you did anything that you knew would kill you. Maybe the possibility existed, but it obviously wasn't an absolute or we wouldn't be having this debate.



How is the word “Ultimate” dissimilar to the word “Greatest


4. I see them as similar.

 
 


My opponent asserts that the greatest honor we can achieve is through death. Not only death but death in service of our country. Not family, country. Not servicing your country, just death. Only by dying can you attain this great accolade. So a young man or woman who was sent off to war against their will, who possibly did not support the war in the first place, and was killed in the line of duty, they're more honorable than someone we're about to discuss. Let's see.

  • Oskar Schindler - (1908-1974)

    Oskar Schindler protected almost 1,200 Jews during World War II. He operated a factory that was intended to produce ammunition for the Nazi soldiers. In the years this facility was in operation, they failed to produce a single bullet that was useful for the Nazi soldiers. Schindler, a very wealthy business man, bankrupted himself and spent his entire fortune on bribes to protect Schindler's Jews. 1,200 lives were spared during WWII due to the selfless actions of this man. He put the lives of his own, his wife and others at risk to protect complete strangers. But he did what he felt was right. Honorable. After the war Schindler remained bankrupt and poor with several other failed business opportunities. While he did not actually sacrifice his life, he put it at risk every moment of every day and then gave up his quality of life for over 30 years.

    For his actions, Oskar Schindler is deserving of the greatest honor than we can bestow on him.

    So is the greatest honor a man can achieve restricted through death for their country? Again I say no.

    I acknowledge that it is a great honor to die for your country. I salute our troops and the sacrifice they make. But there are other choices we can make in life that share in this honor.

     
     


    I will now present my own Socratic questions.

    1. Explain to me, as if I was one of the 1,200 Schindler's Jews, that what Oskar Schindler did for me is less honorable than a Nazi soldier who died for Germany?
    2. Do you believe it is not what you do but how you do it?
    3. Are Nazi soldiers just as honorable as American, Canadian & British soldiers?

     
     



  • posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 11:34 AM
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    I will need my extension

    Should have my post up tonight however.



    posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 11:58 PM
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    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Semper’s Post #2

    Rebuttal:


    In death on a battle field, I am not achieving this honor.


    This is a common misconception of those that have not served. I must assume my valued opponent never served, or he would never make that comment.


    "The greatest honor history can bestow is that of peacemaker." -Richard Nixon


    I have no problem with that. As I clearly stated previously, there are all kinds of Honor; I am simply stating that the greatest Honor a person can achieved is to die for their country.


    My son and your son go to war. Your son is killed by the enemy and my son is killed in a friendly fire accident. So in your words, my son did not die an honorable death and is less honorable than your son.


    Never said that. Nor did I imply it in anyway.

    My point was that like in life, there are cowards in the military as well. Being killed while running away is not an honorable death.


    Honor is bestowed on those for who they are, not for what they do.


    That is so very wrong on so many levels. One is not born into honor. Honor is a result of our actions, no more, no less.


    Once my son and your son depart on that mission, both are men of honor.


    I clearly stated that there are many levels of honor.


    It is achieved through servicing what you believe. To serve your children is no less honorable than to serve your country.


    Not even close…

    Honorable yes, equally so? No


    We're not debating the greatest sacrifice, we're debating the greatest honor.


    And yet, what could be more honorable than to give that ultimate sacrifice?

    Your words:


    When it comes to sacrifice, I can not think of a greater sacrifice than that of our life.


    So how can you argue that this sacrifice does not also equate to the greatest honor?


    And I don't see how you did anything that you knew would kill you. Maybe the possibility existed, but it obviously wasn't an absolute or we wouldn't be having this debate.


    I have. There is no accounting for luck or providence or Angels. Yet I have undertaken quests that at the time, I was sure would cause my death.


    Not family, country. Not servicing your country, just death. Only by dying can you attain this great accolade.


    Actually I assert that death is the greatest SERVICE one can give to their country.


    Oskar Schindler protected almost 1,200 Jews during World War II


    Yes, he is deserving of honor and as I have stated numerous times, there are many levels and kinds of honor.

    Answering Socratic Questions:


    1. Explain to me, as if I was one of the 1,200 Schindler's Jews, that what Oskar Schindler did for me is less honorable than a Nazi soldier who died for Germany?


    Obviously as one reads the title of this debate, one can see it is not absolute. Not every countries battles are honorable battles and thus no honor can be achieved in fighting for that cause.

    The extermination of a race of peoples could not possibly be honorable and so no deaths tied to those actions would be honorable.

    I see that as perfectly clear.


    2. Do you believe it is not what you do but how you do it?


    No

    They are NOT mutually exclusive. It is not only how you do it, but also what you do that matters. It is in the combination, not the exception.


    3. Are Nazi soldiers just as honorable as American, Canadian & British soldiers?


    Asked and answered.

    No

    Continuing:

    It is the cause that makes the battle honorable. If the cause is not one of honor, then no honor can be garnered from the battle or the sacrifices made.

    Survivors Guilt:

    Anyone that is familiar with the movie, “We Were Soldiers” is familiar with the scene near the end in which Col. Moore is found crying. When asked about it, his comments is that “he failed his Troopers”, when questioned further he comments that he did not die with them.

    This is a very common reaction after the extremes experienced in combat. While still being studied, it is my opinion that this phenomenon is due to a regret for not being able to share in the honor that is felt towards those that did in fact give the ultimate sacrifice.


    Survivor, survivor's, or survivors guilt or syndrome is a mental condition that occurs when a person perceives himself or herself to have done wrong by surviving a traumatic event.


    Survivors

    No matter what anyone will tell you that contradicts this, every soldier, every true soldier, down somewhere in their heart longs for an honorable death; one in combat. Surviving combat only guarantees long years of regrets and thoughts that perhaps they could have done more. Perhaps more could have been saved had they been able to give the ultimate sacrifice.

    Yes, that is truly the contradiction here.

    The true soldier wants to save his team members, his team members want to save him; that is the struggle and honor can and is achieved through these efforts. Yet not the ultimate honor; that is reserved for the ultimate sacrifice.

    “"To die for the Emperor is to live forever."
    - Japanese Army Slogan

    Who can argue that the Japanese are perhaps the most honorable people on earth?

    I suppose that one also must have a finality attitude about life and death. Death is the one journey we all know that we are going to take; without exception. Why fear it?
    Embrace it and accept your place in the great adventure.

    Socratic Question #1

    “Imagine yourself a soldier. At what point can you KNOW you have given the utmost?”

    Socratic Question #2

    “If you could give your life to ensure the continuation of your country, your way of life, would you not do so willingly?”

    Some things we need to key on here:

    1. There are several different, no numerous different kinds of honor, we are discussing that honor obtained when one dies for their country.

    2. There are many, many levels of honor.

    3. Only by making the ultimate sacrifice can one achieve the ultimate honor.

    4. The ultimate sacrifice is in giving your life so that your country, with all of it’s people, can continue.

    It is very clear

    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 12:34 PM
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    As I did previously, I'll begin with a rebuttal of my opponent's recent reply, answering his Socratic questions and then moving forward with my own reply.

     


    To begin, my opponent is quoting my words out of context. It's a nice way to throw the reader off as most aren't going to back and read what the actual context was, so readers are merely left with my opponent's assertion of what I said. In my previous post I stated that it is who you are, not what you do; as quoted by my opponent. In saying this, I'm not saying that by the name that you're given at birth is some sort of honor. What I'm saying is that the way I live my life.. that is who I am. The way I carry myself in life is what defines me, not the other way around. So who I am is how I do things. And it is in this that gives me honor. Titles do not bring honor. A doctor is not honorable because he is a doctor. A soldier is not honorable because he is a soldier. A president is not honorable because he is a soldier. It is what he or she does in that position that makes them honorable. I do believe my opponent will agree with this, although I won't speak for him. This is what I was saying in my last post, not what was quoted out of context.

    My opponent continues to quote that "the greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country". Understandable, it is the title of our debate. But he repeats it over and over in order to bury it into the mind of our readers. Another debating tactic in hopes of getting the upper hand. But nowhere in any of this does he separate what soldiers or what country are we talking about. He also stated early in the debate:


    Originally posted by semperfortis
    We are discussing ALL soldiers that have stood to defend that which pulls at the true patriots heart strings. Home and Country.


    All soldiers!

    So when I bring up the Nazi soldiers that fought for Germany in World War II, suddenly we're not speaking in absolutes anymore.

    The fact is, a lot of people die for their country and it is not honorable. A lot of people die for a lot of things and some of them are honorable, others are not. But just as everything else in life, there are no absolutes here.

    Sacrifice, Honor...

  • Sacrifice
    - forfeit: the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.
    - sell at a loss

  • Honor
    - award: a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
    - respect: show respect towards

    Sacrifice and honor are not synonymous. They are completely separate concepts that people try to blur when talking about sacrifice. People justify sacrifice by saying it is honorable. I can sacrifice my job to care for my children. That alone is not honorable. It is what I do with my free time for my children that is honorable. My opponent continues to try to blur the lines on these concepts but I hope our readers see them for what they really are. Sacrifice is much more socially acceptable when we sugar coat it with a lining of honor.

     
     


    I'll now answer my opponent's Socratic questions.



    “Imagine yourself a soldier. At what point can you KNOW you have given the utmost?”


    1. Each and every day. I haven't given the utmost in death, I've given the utmost if I gave it 100% each and every day.


    “If you could give your life to ensure the continuation of your country, your way of life, would you not do so willingly?”


    2. There is absolutely no connection between my death and our continuation of life. There is a connection in my doing battle, my fighting or my standing up for a cause. But my death is separate. So no, I would not willingly give up my life. But I would stand and I would spend every waking moment servicing what was needed. I'm also not naive enough to think that the continuation of our way of life is only found through battle and death.

     
     


    My opponent is a military man. I am not. My opponent believes that the greatest honor a man can achieve is through dying for his country. I do not. I believe that the greatest honor a man can achieve is attained through life and the way we live it. A single parent who puts their kids needs before her own. The mom or dad who gets up each and every morning to make sure a warm meal is on the table as their kids get up and get ready for school. The one who has supper on the table when they get home each evening and then sits down and helps them with their homework. The parent who works two and three jobs so they can put a bit of money aside each week so that their child can have a chance at going to university. All of these people are deserving of the greatest honor. This greatest honor is singular. It is a singular level that sits at the top of the mountain. But this is a level that is attained by more than one. No other honor is greater than this, but this honor is not reserved for one person. We are all capable of earning the greatest honor possible and we can all have a different route in achieving this honor.

  • Altruism -- Regard for others, both natural and moral; devotion to the interests of others; brotherly kindness; – opposed to egoism or selfishness.

    Is this not honorable? Many of these traits are found within our soldiers that go to battle to defend our nations. They carry it proudly. But this is not a characteristic that is reserved for soldiers. It is found in the cashier who works at the local depot store, it is found in the kind stranger who holds the door for us at the grocery store and it is found in the janitor who cleans the school that our children go to. Are any of these people single handedly changing the world? No. Is it guaranteed that any of these people are worthy of honor? No. But is it possible? Yes! Any of these people are capable of living a life and being worthy of the greatest honor any of us can attain. Every man or woman that walks this earth is capable.

     
     


    Socratic Questions.

    1. What line of work are you in?
    2. If a soldier believes in the fight they are fighting for their country, are they men of honor?
    3. If a parent jumps in front of a bullet to save the life of their child, is this less honorable than a soldier who jumps on a grenade?

    Thank you.



  • posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 03:45 PM
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    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Semper’s Reply #3

    Rebuttal:


    This is what I was saying in my last post, not what was quoted out of context.


    I quoted you directly

    You really need to stand by what you say or perhaps be more clear.


    So when I bring up the Nazi soldiers that fought for Germany in World War II, suddenly we're not speaking in absolutes anymore.


    If you check closely, the Topic is..

    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Not… ALL Soldiers that die for their country do so honorably.

    Your attempt to confuse the issue is showing a weakness my friend.

    It also does NOT state ALL Soldiers..

    In fact.. It does not say SOLDIER at all..

    Socratic Question #1

    “In your opinion can a Police Officer die for his country?”


    Sacrifice and honor are not synonymous.


    Of course not, but they are amalgamated in the verbiage we are using up to this point. One can have or perform one without the other, but there is no denying that under the circumstances I have previously outlined, to give great sacrifice is to achieve great honor. The greatest of course is to die in service to one’s country.


    I can sacrifice my job to care for my children. That alone is not honorable. It is what I do with my free time for my children that is honorable. My opponent continues to try to blur the lines on these concepts


    It is you who is now exposed for “blurring the lines” to use your verbiage. For when you sacrificed your job for your children, you achieved honor. Not when you took them to the park for Frisbee practice.


    Sacrifice is much more socially acceptable when we sugar coat it with a lining of honor.


    At what point have we devolved as a species so much that sacrifice need be “Sugar Coated”?!!!!??? Where has our values gone when sacrifice is just not enough? Sacrifice is what we who serve do, it is all we have. We have given up the pursuit of money, success and time with our loved ones in order to continue to serve. Ridiculous…

    Socratic Question #2

    “In the context you have outlined above, at what time is personal sacrifice NOT socially acceptable?”


    1. Each and every day. I haven't given the utmost in death, I've given the utmost if I gave it 100% each and every day.


    That is simply not true and an answer I would expect from someone that has never needed to give their all. There is only one measure to account for “giving all you have” and that measure is death.

    If you live through it, you will/should always wonder if you could have given more.

    I was in a run at the last quarter of Boot Camp and finished 3rd. My Drill Instructor came over and asked me why I finished third. I stated “I gave it all I had” and he looked at me and said this:

    “When you cross the line and fall over dead you will then know you have given all you have; you will have taken 100% of your life and used it for this one thing. Until then, everything else is less than that.”

    He was a wise man.


    2. There is absolutely no connection between my death and our continuation of life.


    So you don’t believe that in a conflict there can be one person that makes the ultimate sacrifice and turns the tide? One man or woman that makes all the difference?


    I'm also not naive enough to think that the continuation of our way of life is only found through battle and death.


    And yet you are naïve enough to not know that at times it is.


    We are all capable of earning the greatest honor possible and we can all have a different route in achieving this honor.


    I only quoted the last sentence you wrote for brevity, but my reply is to the entire post.

    Everything you wrote about is wonderful, no more than that, it is cozy and a nice read; but it in no way in Hades compares to the Marine charging the machine gun nest so that a particular hill can be taken. It is not even close to the helicopter pilot that dies in a crash attempting to evacuate wounded men.

    There is a reason the Congressional Medal of Honor is ALMOST always given posthumously. And yes, to answer your next question; some men have attained the CMH and lived; but as you have so clearly stated we are not talking in absolutes so I expect you to live up to your own post.


    Is this not honorable?


    Yes. There is also honor in stopping your car to move a turtle out of the highway. Yet this does not compare to the Firefighter that loses his life rescuing children from a burning building, or the Police Officer that is killed while trying to apprehend the rapist, or the Ranger shot and killed while on patrol in Iraq.

    Answers to Socratic Questions:


    1. What line of work are you in?
    2. If a soldier believes in the fight they are fighting for their country, are they men of honor?
    3. If a parent jumps in front of a bullet to save the life of their child, is this less honorable than a soldier who jumps on a grenade?


    1: I am a career Law Enforcement Officer.

    2. That depends on the nature of the fight; some are, some are not.

    There is right and wrong in this world, honor can never be wrong.

    3. Yes. The parent is being heroic in the need to carry on the blood line, the Soldier is completely altruistic in love for country.

    First, while I understand why, my opponent seems fixated on the military. There are many professions that men engage in that “serve their country”

    Firefighters and Law Enforcement are two; in my humble opinion.

    Second, it would appear my opponent equates feeding his family to dieing in combat. Ludicrous at best, at least delusional.

    While my opponents question in reference to my line of work is transparent, I will expound on that somewhat.

    Yes, I am a Law Enforcement Officer and a Combat Vet. I was also sadly unable to obtain that greatest of honors and die for my country. Now before any of you start thinking I’m suicidal..
    All that means is I live wondering if I could have given more, maybe enough that more of my comrades could have come home. That maybe in many ways I robbed this great nation of some great people by not dieing in their stead. Perhaps a great composer or great orator.

    I continue each day serving and yet find the years passing and me advancing in rank so that there is less and less chance for that honor. At this point, it appears the Lord has other plans for me. Which is alright as I was able to and continue to honor those men and women that have given the ultimate and achieved the greatest of honors. Those that have died in service to their country.

    So whether I convince you or not, I have never doubted for a minute that:

    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 10:04 PM
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    Glad to see us picking up some steam. Same trend as my other posts. I'll respond to my opponent to begin and then look at recent Socratic question and answers. I'll conclude this post with a continuation of my position on how they are more ways than my opponent asserts to achieve this level of honor we're speaking to.

    Away we go.

     


    Before I get into the thick of it, let us begin by acknowledging the teeth my opponent showed in the last post. When in doubt, get aggressive! Very interesting.


    Of course not, but they are amalgamated in the verbiage we are using up to this point. One can have or perform one without the other, but there is no denying that under the circumstances I have previously outlined, to give great sacrifice is to achieve great honor.


    Only in re-reading this paragraph did I really grasp how much was fit into this short snip. A lot to address here. First, no they are not amalgamated in anything we have said so far. And yes I do agree that you can perform one without the other. And what you've stated at the end here is your opinion, not fact. I disagree wholeheartedly that to give great sacrifice is to achieve great honor. It is my opponent who has combined these two and it is I who has been keeping them separate. As I've said, and will continue to say, that people blur the lines on these two in order to justify sacrifice. I'll touch on this again later.


    For when you sacrificed your job for your children, you achieved honor. Not when you took them to the park for Frisbee practice.


    I am so in awe of your position on this.

    Quitting your job is not honorable in this situation. If I quit my job and begin to abuse alcohol and drugs, rather than caring for my child, how is it honorable? In your example, regardless what I do with my spare time, the act was an act of honor. But that is not the case. It is most certainly what you do afterwards that is met with honor. The sacrifice was the job, the honor was the act of caring for my child. Completely separate.

    My opponent's latter section of his post also leaves me in awe. My opponent and I are good friends. We chat frequently off the boards and in all honesty, I'd consider him a friend. He has disclosed some personal information to me in our chats and I know some places he's been and some things he is done. My opponent is absolutely worthy of the greatest honor that a man can achieve in this lifetime. Why? Because he's the epitome of what I've described up until this point. The guy who busts his ass each and every day to service what he believes in. Whether it is his country, his family or a group of anonymous people on a message board somewhere on the internet. He gives his all to the services he believes in. Honorable. And what's more is that in all of his accomplishments, he wishes he could do more. This is the honor that I've spoken to. I'd gladly bestow the same honor to my opponent as I would to Oskar Schindler. Without blinking an eye.

    Why?

    Because we're discussing two men who knew what they believed in. We're discussing two men who knew what they needed to do and they did it. They knew it was right, they knew it was necessary and they did it to the best of their ability. We could not ask for more. Not the marine, not the cop, not the moderator.. but the man.

    This is what I've attempted to illustrate throughout this debate. Each and every one of us are capable and each of us can travel the route in front of us to achieve this honor. In my opinion, from what I know of my opponent, he has. (Even if he doesn't, I bet his wife would!)

    This man doesn't need to take a bullet or jump on a grenade to attain this honor we speak of. He's already there based on his actions each and every day.

     
     


    Socratic Questions.


    “In your opinion can a Police Officer die for his country?”


    1. Police officers serve communities, towns, cities, etc. Not countries. So no, I don't believe a police officer dies for their country.


    “In the context you have outlined above, at what time is personal sacrifice NOT socially acceptable?”


    2. It's not that sacrifice is socially unacceptable. It's that people are easier accepting of sacrifice when we sugar it up with the ideology of honor. I believe them to be separate.

     


    I'm now going to respond to the answers my opponent provided to my recent Socratic questions.

    I asked the following.

    If a parent jumps in front of a bullet to save the life of their child, is this less honorable than a soldier who jumps on a grenade?


    Yes. The parent is being heroic in the need to carry on the blood line, the Soldier is completely altruistic in love for country.


    I just can not accept this answer and I also have a tough time believing you actually believe what you've said. You reserved the term altruistic for the soldier and not the parent? Honestly, I'm just in awe of your position on this.

     
     


    Positions have been clearly established and we have each clearly put our foot down where we stand on certain examples of sacrifice and honor. In the opinion of my opponent, there is a singular level of honor that is reserved for a specific population of citizens and it can only be achieved through death in defense of your country. A very specific and restricted route to honor. In my opinion, everyone is capable of achieving this honor and their route to it is determined by their own choices in life. Whether it is being a good parent, a good citizen or just a good person, we all have different approaches in how we can be honorable. But not only honorable, we are all capable of attaining the greatest level of honor achievable.


    “When you cross the line and fall over dead you will then know you have given all you have; you will have taken 100% of your life and used it for this one thing. Until then, everything else is less than that.”


    There is a difference in taking things literally and then words that are used to motivate us. Clearly the quotation above was nothing more than a motivational technique to have soldiers push themselves. Something like this should not be taken literally.

     
     


    Socratic Questions to my opponent.

    1. In battle or as a police officer, have you ever saved a life?
    2. Do you contribute time &/or money to charity?
    3. Are you thankful that you returned home safely able to live and share a life with those that you love?

     



    posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 12:32 AM
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    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Semper’s Closing:

    I must have read my opponent’s post ten times and I still have no real idea how to respond. I have considered him a close friend for a long time now, but had no idea he felt as he does about me.

    I am humbled.

    I also hate to lose, so I will continue.

    But first let me say this:

    Chissler, thank you for being my friend.

    Rebuttal:


    Police officers serve communities, towns, cities, etc. Not countries. So no, I don't believe a police officer dies for their country.


    Is not the very core of a country the communities, towns and cities? As a country is made up of the people within, how does the location they live in differentiate them from the country as a whole?

    I am sorry but I just can’t fathom the difference..


    You reserved the term altruistic for the soldier and not the parent? Honestly, I'm just in awe of your position on this.


    As you know, I am also a parent and yes, I do feel this way. I guess it is a combination of my experience as a parent and soldier and police officer.

    As I have stated several times throughout this debate, there are several different kinds of honor and several different levels, but the greatest is of course reserved for the greatest of sacrifices.


    There is a difference in taking things literally and then words that are used to motivate us. Clearly the quotation above was nothing more than a motivational technique to have soldiers push themselves. Something like this should not be taken literally.

    Something like this should not be taken literally.


    Socratic Question #1

    “Why Not?”

    Answers to my opponent’s Socratic Questions:



    1. In battle or as a police officer, have you ever saved a life?
    2. Do you contribute time &/or money to charity?
    3. Are you thankful that you returned home safely able to live and share a life with those that you love?


    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes it is my greatest regret. I know this is not the definitive answer you were looking for, but it is honest.

    Closing:

    This topic was very personal to me and I have wanted to debate this issue for a long time and wanted this particular opponent to debate it with. I am very familiar with and appreciate his viewpoint often to the exclusion of even my own.

    This is not going to be a typical closing as I am done attacking the topic and just want to ramble some, if I may.

    I think that in many ways, I was looking for the answers my opponent has given in this debate more than I was looking to win. (Although I would love to win)

    See I struggle with these issues on a continuous basis and at times it is fairly overwhelming. To illicit and obtain such a clear viewpoint as my opponent has provided us here, to me is priceless.

    While I think I have more than proven my side of this debate, there is no discounting the passion and conviction my opponent clearly has shown us and for this, I again thank him. I have much to ponder now.

    In the end, I still think:


    "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Apr, 13 2010 @ 06:03 AM
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    As I am in most debates that I've participated in, I am disappointed to see this one end. It's been a great experience and I enjoy the back and forth exchange that comes in our debate forum.

    I'll be responding to my opponent's closing post and then wrapping up my position with a few more words of my own.

    Allow me to say now, before I begin, that I thank anyone who has taken the time to read this debate. I can only hope that you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

     
     


    I responded in my previous reply that I do not believe that police officers die for their countries. My opponent responded with the following:


    Is not the very core of a country the communities, towns and cities? As a country is made up of the people within, how does the location they live in differentiate them from the country as a whole?


    I began playing hockey as a child at the age of 5. I continued playing until I was 18. I also played baseball every summer for the same years and even still play a bit of baseball to this day. I represent my community in this team as the name of our team is the name of our town. I'm not playing for my country. I see the point my opponent is attempting to make and if this is what he believes, I certainly understand it. But I personally don't connect the dots. If you represent your community, than you're not representing every community in your country. And if you're not representing every community in your country, then you're not representing your country. Thus, in my opinion, police officers do not die for their country.

     


    I'm now going to look at the answers my opponent gave to my recent Socratic questions.

    I asked my opponent if he has ever saved a life as a marine/police officer and if he donates time and/or money to charity. He has responded yes to both of these questions. I'm not surprised. These are all feats of honor that my opponent should carry proudly. If a soldier goes to battle and dies, his life stops there. The next week he can't go out and save the life of a comrade. He can't go home to his family and tuck his kids in at night. He can't go down to the local homeless shelter and spend some time helping those that are less fortunate. He's not able to write a cheque for a few dollars to help the local food bank give a warm meal to a single parent family over the holiday season.

    The greatest honor that we've spoken of so much in this debate exists in all walks of life.

    Before I move on from this section, I would just like to acknowledge my opponent's Socratic question in his closing statement. The rules do state that there are to be no Socratic questions in any closing post. With that said, I would still like to respond to it as I intended to speak to the topic.

    My opponent quoted a motivational technique from a previous drill instructor of his. When I stated that this should not be taken literally, my opponent posted the following Socratic question.


    “Why Not?”


    The quote again:


    “When you cross the line and fall over dead you will then know you have given all you have; you will have taken 100% of your life and used it for this one thing. Until then, everything else is less than that.”


    Why should this post not be taken literally?

    "Fall over dead!

    As it has been your position through this debate that you've only achieved 100% in death. If you're still breathing, than you've not reached 100%. And I believe the above quote has truly influenced you well beyond the training of your younger days. In life, you can give it your all, you can give it 100% without having to actually die. I don't see this as any well kept secret either.

    So the above quote should not be taken literally and it should be taken as it was likely intended to serve, a general statement intended to motivate.

     
     


    As a reader of this debate, I think you have to ask yourself the following question.

  • What do you believe?

    Do you believe that the highest honor one can achieve is restricted for the very few who have an opportunity in life to say they've represented their country? And of those that were able to represent their country, it is only bestowed upon those that die. And, as my opponent agrees, even those that die are not worthy of it.

    This is a pretty select group that we're dealing with, as presented by my opponent.

    OR

    Do you believe as I've stated? And that is that everyone is capable!

    As a reader of this debate, think of a role that you fulfill each day. Is it something to do with family? Is it something to do with your job? Maybe some charitable position you hold. Only you can speak for yourself.

    "We're here for a good time, not a long time!"

    We have but one life to live. And in this one life, I only hope that each of us live it to the fullest. Help yourself, help your fellow man, help your community. Do what you can do. The simple truth in this equation is that some can do more than others. We're not all equals when it comes to physical and mental capacity. But are we going to say that a young man born with Down's Syndrome is not capable of the greatest honor? Are we naive enough to think that a genetic disorder a man or woman is born with is going to restrict them from the honor we've discussed?

    As I've said, we all have a different route to this pinnacle of honor. My journey may be shorter or longer than yours. It may have a few detours along the way. But the one truth that we can not turn our backs to is that you, I and everyone reading this has a path in front of you that can take you on this journey.

    You do not have to serve your country, you do not have to go to war and you do not have to die in order to achieve this accolade.

     
     


    So with that, I'm done!

    This has been a great experience and I'm glad I was able to discuss this topic with this opponent. We've talked about it for awhile and it was every bit of what I hoped it would be and then some.

    Thank you!



  • posted on Apr, 15 2010 @ 06:37 AM
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    The results are in and the victory goes to chissler.


    semper & chissler, this was an amazing debate!! You both came out of the gates full bore, and fought valiantly to the very last. I must admit that I'm in awe of you two. I've not seen a debate quite like this yet. As a frequent reader of the debate forum, I'm pleased to see the level of passion being expressed by the debaters, as well as the moderators that participate themselves. It's commendable. That being said, I would now like to get to the part that I've been called to do...

    semper,

    You came out right away, defining what you expected the topic to cover, and set up a very hard to defeat position. I found this approach very reassuring, as it sets you up for future posts.

    However, as the debate went on, there were a few points which you seemed to have an issue with. Namely, you maintained that giving your life for your country was the single most honorable thing that anyone could do. I feel that I should ask a rhetorical question here though... What about giving my life for a complete stranger, or group of strangers? Does this not equate to the same level as dying for one's country?

    The whole concept of dying for one's country seems predicated upon the notion that we're dying for our own, and nothing more. This would seem synonymous with chissler's analogy of dying for a child vs dying for your country.

    What about those that willingly give their own lives for someone who is not related to them in any way, by nationality or heritage? These I think attain TRUE honor.

    As far as your argument goes, it was sound and certainly contained everything needed for a win. But we'll get back to that in a bit.

    chissler,

    You opened up with a bang as well, and immediately set out to set up your side, as well as to begin refuting semper's claims. You clearly state what your goals are, and you back them up with evidence.

    As with semper's side though, you seemed to get stuck on a point caused some concern.

    You state that the only true way to achieve true honor is not by serving your country, but by serving people in general. While this, on it's surface is a noble standpoint, it seems to stand juxtaposed to all those that fought for their country before. You state:


    My opponent believes that the greatest honor a man can achieve is through dying for his country. I do not. I believe that the greatest honor a man can achieve is attained through life and the way we live it.


    While both you and semper are sharing an opinion on this, it should be noted that BOTH opinions achieve honor on some level.

    Which one is superior is subjective. As the reader, these two issues throughout the course of the debate stood out the most, as they were the most contentious points.

    All this being said, it is the opinion of this reader that chissler held the better argument, but only by a slim margin, as semper had an argument that was virtually as solid as chissler's.

    I had a great time reading this debate!! I'll keep an eye out for you two in future debates!!

    Congrats Chissler!!



    The topic for this debate is "The greatest honor a man can achieve is to die for their country.”

    "semperfortis" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
    "chissler" will be arguing the "Con" position.

    Opening Statement
    Semperfortis:
    Makes an eloquent opening statement regarding honor and its’ meaning in relation to a warrior’s mentality.

    Chissler:
    His contention is that making the most of life and love is no less honorable than seeking death as a patriot. His view is extremely thought provoking.

    Round 1
    Semperfortis:
    Basically states that there are other ways to lead an honorable life; it’s just not as honorable as making the ultimate sacrifice for one’s country. He side-steps answering Socratic question #3.

    Chissler:
    Death is the great equalizer and honor is granted by those left behind who remember them. He has taken his opponent neatly to task for his answers to every one of his three Socratic questions – a deft blow to his opponent. He asks a pertinent line of questions.

    Round 1 goes to chissler.

    Round 2
    Semperfortis:
    He has become defensive of his previous remarks in rebuttal. He has also worked himself into a tight corner by implying that the deaths of servicemen from other countries in the heat of battle are completely devoid of honor dependent upon the country of origin – and his personal perspective. In other words, honor is a matter of individual perspective – not necessarily the ultimate sacrifice. It is strange to see him imply that the deaths of Nazi servicemen are not honorable, whereas the deaths of Japanese servicemen somehow are honorable, as both countries committed unspeakable acts of war atrocities.

    Chissler:
    He takes his opponent to task for attempting to differentiate honorable deaths in military service to countries of origin – another deft blow. He answers the Socratic questions posed to him admirably. He also poses another pertinent line of questions.

    Round 2 goes to chissler.

    Round 3
    Semperfortis:
    Again implies that men who die in service of their country are only deserving of honor if it fits “his” individual perspective. In other words and honorable death is not an absolute – it is a matter of personal perspective.

    I was completely startled by his answer to the third Socratic question:
    3. If a parent jumps in front of a bullet to save the life of their child, is this less honorable than a soldier who jumps on a grenade?

    “Yes. The parent is being heroic in the need to carry on the blood line, the Soldier is completely altruistic in love for country.”

    I fail to see how a parent’s ultimate sacrifice is less honorable than a soldier’s. Again it comes down to a matter of personal perspective.

    Chissler:
    He reasserts his position that the greatest honor can be attained in how we live our lives and not necessarily if we die for our country. Makes compelling points regarding his opponent’s stance.

    Round 3 goes to chissler.

    Closing Statement
    Semperfortis:
    His closing statement is both sincere and heartfelt.

    Chissler:
    His closing statement is nothing short of poignant.

    Overall, both opponents made strong, compelling arguments for the most part. However, in the end chissler was able to not only consistently maintain his stance, but to point out certain weaknesses in semperfortis’. The win goes to chissler.



    Difficult debate to judge for comparing something as subjective as degrees of honor is by definition elusive.

    Having said that, below are the crucial elements of the debate, or at least the ones that captured my attention.

    Semperfortis' contention that some combat deaths stand up to the "greatest" honor standard but not all are "honorable" by definition had me scratching my head on several occasions and wishing for further clarification.

    Semperfortis states in this regard:

    My point was that like in life, there are cowards in the military as well. Being killed while running away is not an honorable death.

    Therein lies a serious "hole" in this position for it negates that dying for your country is by definition honorable. Furthermore this is indicative of semper's continual qualifying (nazi soldiers for example) that he perceives some battles and some countries less honorable than others. Precisely because this may be true, it is contradictory by the definition of his debate position.

    In fact chissler jumped on this inconsistency:

    Originally posted by semperfortis
    We are discussing ALL soldiers that have stood to defend that which pulls at the true patriots heart strings. Home and Country.


    Chissler: All soldiers!

    So when I bring up the Nazi soldiers that fought for Germany in World War II, suddenly we're not speaking in absolutes anymore.


    Furthermore, in a debate where the topic is in great part subjective, the outcome hinges on a few salient argumentative points.

    In this case the most important aspect of chissler's argument was the following question and answer:

    "Let's assume for a second I am a member of the FDNY on September 12th, 2001. Please explain to me how my efforts yesterday pulling men, women and children from the burning buildings is less honorable than a soldier who died in Iraq or Vietnam.

    To which semperfortis responded:

    If you died while performing this action, you died for your country…


    That is fundamentally incorrect. Others might view it as such retrospectively in the case of 9/11, but a fireman's job on a daily and less advertised basis is to help others for it's own sake. Not as the debate topic states for "country." Semperfortis further tried to broaden the "country" terminology by stating:

    "Yes. There is also honor in stopping your car to move a turtle out of the highway. Yet this does not compare to the Firefighter that loses his life rescuing children from a burning building, or the Police Officer that is killed while trying to apprehend the rapist, or the Ranger shot and killed while on patrol in Iraq. "


    But again, this is incorrect. As this is a crucial element of semperfortis' argument, stating once more "I am sorry but I just can’t fathom the difference," I begrudgingly took the liberty of researching several fireman and EMT oaths and none that I could find mentioned the word "country." I say begrudgingly because if this was indeed as semperfortis contended he really should have provided source material to substantiate this claim.


    Overall, semperfortis' argument is passionate and true, but it is mostly based on a personal understanding that he has having served his country. Though it may be the truest truth to him he has imo failed to communicate its virtues to the lay person who has not served. This may be simply due to the fact that one has to have lived it to understand it, yet for the purposes of a debate that understanding needs to be conveyed to the reader and cannot be accepted as a given.

    Ultimately I keep going back to chissler's 9/11 fireman example. For even if one is to accept all that semperfortis has put forth in this debate at face value, the "sacrifice/altruistic/honor" dynamics are almost identical to those of a soldier dying for his country. That by definition negates semperfortis' argument that dying for your country is the "greatest" honor. His position at best may have concluded that "sacrificing one's life for your fellow man" is the greatest honor but did not conclusively argue that doing so for country supersedes all other such sacrifice. Again, even if one accepts the "ultimate sacrifice" premise as the foundation for "the greatest honor," as chissler pointed out there are many who display this virtue for other motives than country. Semperfortis throughout this debate failed to convince that "country" specifically should be regarded as a foundation for higher honor above all others when "the ultimate sacrifice" is made.

    My judgment is in chissler's favor.

    In closing I would like to say that it was a privilege to read this debate for it exemplifies how two people who are true friends can passionately express their disagreement only to further strengthen that friendship as a result. In the process setting a shining example of all that is best about the ATS community.



    posted on Apr, 15 2010 @ 06:48 AM
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    Congratulations My Friend!!!

    You won far more than just this debate. You also managed to further build the respect I have for you.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this debate and learned much.

    Thank you

    Semper



    posted on Apr, 15 2010 @ 07:02 AM
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    I usually open up the results of a debate with great anticipation to see how it ended. This time though it was a little different. If I lost this debate I think I'd still feel as good as I do right now.

    Some victories aren't measured with winning and losing.

    With that said.. I'm very excited at the thought of avenging a previous loss to semper. That loss was still burning me!

    I'm sure we'll see a rubber match in the future.

    I tip my hat my good man. This was a lot of fun.





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