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The desecration of religious sites should be a legitimate tactic in war.
Religion

rndvs
Sep 11, 2011
5 votes
4 debaters
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skiingfool435
Sep 11, 2011
2 convinced
Rebuttal
Interesting topic.

While generally I would say civilian targets are illegitimate, I do think religious sites can be acceptable targets of war. Mind, I would stress can rather than are; that is, in the hypothetical war against France, threatening valuable, non-civilian targets such as museums or religious sites can be viewed as legitimate. Similarly, we would not be justified in hold Medina hostage to Al Qaeda. The question simply becomes one of efficacy. Can we reasonably infer that threatening a religious site could lead to a threat's subjugation? Further, this would be balanced against outside interests--for example, a Catholic extremist group in South America might be sensitive to threats against the Vatican, but it would be unreasonable to threaten Catholic holy sites as a means of pacifying the terrorist (not only because of the collateral damage, but also because it is unlikely to deter future aggression).

 
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rndvs
Sep 11, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
There is a difference between attacking someone as an enemy combatants and attacking their morality and humanity as a human being. It is illegitimate to kill surrendering soldiers because they are giving up their status as combatants. You declare war on a nation, not a religion. Nations have jurisdictions and physical boundaries, religions are fundamentally different.

 
frankiej4189
Sep 13, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Only if you want to make your enemy angrier. Religious sites have high personal value but little tactical/survival value. Not to mention low populations.

I know the Statue of Liberty isn't a religious symbol, but think of why two planes weren't flown into it. Minimal casualties (maybe 100) and only a symbol is destroyed.

Instead they attacked the financial system of the strongest country on earth and killed thousands in the process. Much stronger message.

 
sorahb
Sep 13, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Just wanted to add, that if you were to destroy religious sites such as mecca and/or the Vatican or any other, not will you only have extremist fighting but you will have every member of that religion angered, this could cause a much huger conflict with more lives lost

 


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