The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Winning
62 Points
The Contender
Mickeyrocks
Con (against)
Losing
56 Points

A government's most important priority is to protect the rights of its people.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,105 times Debate No: 8031
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (20)

 

mongeese

Pro

According to the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
http://en.wikisource.org...

I argue that a government's most important and foremost priority is to protect the rights of the people that are government. The government must never do anything against their people's rights. When faced with a situation, the government must choose a solution that does not infringe on their people's rights. A government is for its own people before any other people, as well.

Good luck, should anyone choose to take this debate.
Mickeyrocks

Con

Some definitions:

1) The Government is the entity ruling the people, not the people itself. (as direct democracy is entirely unfeasibly in any society of over a few thousand members, if you want to agree on a representative democracy as the framework for the government that's fine.
2) "Most important" means that it comes before all else.
3) "The rights of its people" does not mean that the other "most important" priority and individual rights conflict. They don't necessarily need to, and in some cases the CON's alternative may even be in line with protecting rights - the point is, the CON's alternative must be more important than rights protection, even if the alternative INCLUDES protection of rights. (Otherwise the debate would be largely unfair, as you're asking the CON to deprive citizens of rights. Under definition 3, the CON and PRO have a fairly even playing field in the debate.)

So the burden for me is not to prove individual rights are not important, but that sit backstage to something else.

Very Simply put:

- The government's most important priority is that of self-preservation, not rights preservation. There are two reasons:

1) The government, acting as an autonomous being must first substantiate its own existence before it can fulfill it's obligations. If a government ceases to exist it cannot fulfill any of the obligations it has to its people, and subsequently there can be no benefits of government at all if it dissolves.
2) Rights protection can only be ensured if the government exists, as a result - even when rights / government existence conflict - it is necessarily better for the government to exist than the rights of citizens be upheld. This is the logic used in the Supreme Court Case Korematsu v. United States.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

1) The Government is the entity ruling the people, not the people itself. (as direct democracy is entirely unfeasibly in any society of over a few thousand members, if you want to agree on a representative democracy as the framework for the government that's fine."
The government is always made up of select people that would otherwise be under the government.

"2) 'Most important' means that it comes before all else."
Yes.

"3) 'The rights of its people' does not mean that the other 'most important' priority and individual rights conflict. They don't necessarily need to, and in some cases the CON's alternative may even be in line with protecting rights - the point is, the CON's alternative must be more important than rights protection, even if the alternative INCLUDES protection of rights. (Otherwise the debate would be largely unfair, as you're asking the CON to deprive citizens of rights. Under definition 3, the CON and PRO have a fairly even playing field in the debate.)"
Not so. If the priority has nothing to do with rights, you can use it. But if the priority can be translated to be a protection of the people's rights, I can use it.

"1) The government, acting as an autonomous being must first substantiate its own existence before it can fulfill it's obligations. If a government ceases to exist it cannot fulfill any of the obligations it has to its people, and subsequently there can be no benefits of government at all if it dissolves."
If the people cease to exist, the government lacks purpose. The government needs the people to be a government in the first place; the government would rather divert to being ordinary people than lose the people. A government without people to govern is no longer a government, so the government needs to protect the people for the sake of self-preservation. The government is protecting the people's rights to a protection of their rights.

"2) Rights protection can only be ensured if the government exists, as a result - even when rights / government existence conflict - it is necessarily better for the government to exist than the rights of citizens be upheld. This is the logic used in the Supreme Court Case Korematsu v. United States."
The most important priority is still to defend the rights of the people. If the preservation of government protects the people, then self-preservation leads to the protection of rights. The people are still the most important.
Why did the Supreme Court rule against Korematsu? http://en.wikipedia.org... In an attempt to prevent espionage, which is also known as spying. Why prevent enemy countries from spying on the United States? To protect the American people. It all comes back to it in the end; the government exists to protect the rights of the people. The government is limiting the rights to some of its people in an attempt to protect the rights to privacy, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the rest of its people. Not that I agree with the relocation, but it was all for the people of the United States.

Thank you.
Mickeyrocks

Con

If, "Not so. If the priority has nothing to do with rights, you can use it. But if the priority can be translated to be a protection of the people's rights, I can use it." is a true statement this debate is entirely unfair (it's like trying to prove the most important role of a fish factory worker is to make a steel mill across the road more efficient.)

The PRO's stance allows no CON rebuttal as everything can be traced back to "rights".

There is no purpose to this debate. I forfeit, but if you want to debate a philosophical social-contract resolution in the future, as long as it's not one sided I'll be glad to participate.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

Um...
I don't really have much to say to that, except that I'm going to talk about how the people are more important than government itself.

Let's say that a terrorist group managed to hold a bomb over an entire nation, and the government was given two options: disband, or the bomb would be dropped. The government has no opportunity to diffuse the bomb. They cannot get word out to the people to protect them fast enough; they would only be able to escape with the government body, and not the people. So, either there is no government, or there are no people. The government would disband.

I am sorry that I did not make my debate clear enough. I apologize.
Mickeyrocks

Con

Mickeyrocks forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
I won't waste time. I voted the same as Volkov and wjmelements.
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Volkov
B & A: PRO
Conduct: PRO; due to forfeits
S & G: Tied
Argument: PRO
Sources: PRO
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
B: PRO
A: PRO
COND: PRO (forfeit)
S/G: TIED
ARG: PRO ("I forfeit")
SRC: PRO (2-0)
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
"However, if the government does not sustain itself, then there is no government."
If a man sacrificed himself to save his town, would you forget that man? Would that man not exist? Would that man be tossed out of the history books?
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
And a government that preserves itself but doesn't do anything is merely a waste of wealth.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
People came first. Then government.
Posted by snelld7 8 years ago
snelld7
True... People are the most important thing. Of course i agree with that.

However, if the government does not sustain itself, then there is no government. Making the resolution impossible. So, in other words, it can't be argued unless the government is present (meaning it had to sustain itself before this could EVEN be ARGUED)

I know, kind of a buttface approach lol
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
However, even a government would rather have people than government, assuming that the gov't would be disbanded rather than blown up, because they are still people.
Posted by snelld7 8 years ago
snelld7
That would be a SOCIETY'S most important priority (them picking anarchy over failed gov.)

We're talking about the governments 1st priority... The slim difference in our argumants is that the resolution ceases to exhist without a "government." So it has to sustain itself for the resolution to exist, thus, making sustainability its 1st priority.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
The point is, the government should put the people before itself. Otherwise, you'd rather want government than people.

Anarchy is better than NOTHING.
20 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
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Reasons for voting decision: votebomb?
Vote Placed by wonderwoman 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by 1gambittheman1 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by SaintNick 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Xer 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Gmoney 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by patsox834 8 years ago
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