argument top image

Should military conscription be banned? Show more Show less
Back to question

Conscription, also known as compulsory military service, is the practice of requiring military service of all qualifying individuals within a nation. Chiefly known for having been employed during the First and Second World Wars, the duration of modern-day conscription can range anywhere from two weeks to two years. But does conscription foster hyper-nationalism and unhealthy aggression? Is the government sending the message that war is inevitable? Or is conscription simply a means of building character and strength?

Yes, military conscription should be banned. Show more Show less

Military conscription is unnecessary in the modern world and sees more detriments than benefits.
(1 of 3) Next position >

Military conscription violates free will

As a compulsory mandate, no one has the final say over whether they are drafted or not.
(1 of 5) Next argument >

The Argument

Mandating national military service will infringe on an individual's freedom to choose what they wish to do with their own life. In other words, forcing a person to do something they simply do not want to do is violating their inalienable right to pursue their own happiness. Moreover, such freedom is protected within the constitution of the United States (13th amendment): "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States."[1] Moreover, in 1987 the UN Commission on Human Rights moved towards recognizing that all individuals have the right to object military service as forcing an individual would be no different than forced labor. [2] Digging deeper into this issue, mandatory conscription also fails to recognize conscientious objection to military service. This is of itself a violation of Article 18 of the Human Rights Declaration which upholds both freedom of religion as well as the freedom to change one's own beliefs.[2] Thus, although the government has the authority to raise an army, there is no constitutional basis compelling citizens to do so. Instead, an individual's refusal to take part in war is not only a contribution towards peace, but it is also protected by various authorities including the United States Constitution.[3]

Counter arguments

At times, sacrifices need to be made for the greater good. For example, in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States government modified Constitutional rights in order to increase national security and reduce the risk of terrorism on American soil. Such precautions have taken various forms. One of which has been an increase in both targeted and random screenings of airline passengers. Although such screening violate individual rights to privacy, it is in the name of security and is ultimately necessary. [4] This is no different in the case of mandatory national conscription. More specifically, we must sacrifice some of our own civil liberties for security and prosperity. Citizens of the United States should stop thinking so individualistically and start looking at the bigger picture, one of collectivism.[5]

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/thirteenth-amendment
  2. https://wri-irg.org/en/statemnt/vienna92.htm#:~:text=While%20forced%20labour%20is%20considered,to%20object%20to%20military%20service.
  3. https://reason.com/2018/10/19/why-mandatory-national-service-is-both-u/
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1024111622266
  5. https://va.org/mandatory-military-service-for-every-18-year-old-citizen-how-far-it-is-justifiable/#:~:text=Mandatory%20conscription%20means%20that%20%E2%80%9Cno,free%20will%20of%20the%20citizens.&text=Mandatory%20military%20service%20majorly%20drafts,(18%20years%20old)%20skill.

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more ↑

Discuss

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020 at 07:41 UTC

Explore related arguments