The Instigator
000ike
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Mestari
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

A state has NO RIGHT to peaceably secede from America.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Mestari
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/13/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,377 times Debate No: 17514
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)

 

000ike

Pro

My initial position is that a state has no right to secede from the Union of the United States. I will begin by defining the key phrases being used.

Secede: "to withdraw from an organization (as a religious communion or political party or federation)" In this case, secession is the withdrawal from a federation as a separate and sovereign nation.

Right: "Something that is due to a person or governmental body by law, tradition, or nature"

My argument shall be centered around three contentions:

1. When the original colonies ratified the Constitution, when the territories agreed to enter the Union, when The Republic of Texas asked to join the Union, and when the kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown by American missionaries, each and everyone of those regions immediately ceded their land, jurisdiction, and status as a separate governing entity to the federal government of the United States (with respect to their limited governing powers as states). Hence, the act of secession is thievery of citizens, land, and jurisdiction from federal government of the U.S.

* The 1st reason why ratification and entry to the union gave up the state's right to leave is that we are one unified nation, not a conglomerate of 50 pieces weakly bonded together to form the fuzzy appearance of a country. A state cannot just detach itself from this Union when it disagrees with the decisions of the national government.

- Instead, if a state disagrees, our government is structured in such a way
that its voice and complaints can force change.

- Secession would be unnecessary and would take the Union very lightly.

* The federal government BOUGHT the region of the Louisiana purchase. The federal government FOUGHT AND WON the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah, with parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. The federal government signed the agreement that gave us the Oregon territory. It was the federal government who carved out the states. Therefore, It is the federal government, not California, or New Jersey or Minnesota etc., that owns the land. A state cannot take that land, jurisdiction and citizens away from the federal government. Hence it is thievery.

2. If one imagines an environment in which the U.S allowed states to leave peacefully, there are a few issues that he would come across.

* One, a state would simply secede whenever it truly, deeply disliked what the federal government was doing, which is a practically inevitable event. The U.S, in effect, would have broken apart within these last 2 centuries.

*Two, the federal government, out of concern that the U.S shall be no more, would be very meek about exercising its due authority over the states (granted that authority is constitutional). The federal government would find itself in the same situation that the Articles of Confederation created: very powerless.

- After all, the federal government has to be able to protect it's citizens,
even if it conflicts with the interests of the states.

3. The spirit of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence do allude to the peoples right to form a revolution and create a new government, should they be unsatisfied with the current administration,BUT Both documents also allude to the necessary provisions under which such a revolution would be morally sanctioned, and also allude to the fact that regardless of reasoning, such an act shall be high treason. I will provide the instances of these allusions after con makes his opening argument.

I look forward to an interesting debate. Good Luck.
Mestari

Con

First, I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

The order is going to be the negative case followed by refutation of the affirmative.

Framework: I accept my opponent's definition of rights. However, I would like to highlight that law, tradition and nature all serve as sufficient but unnecessary criteria for satisfying a right. That being said, it is only the burden of the con to prove the existence of a right in any sense of the word, not in every one. For the purposes of this debate I will be claiming a right to secession that is derived from natural law.

Natural Law is defined by Britannica (1) as: a system of right or justice held to be common to all humans and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society, or positive law.

We are going to prefer my framework because morality is the ultimate source of justifications for our actions.

Christine Korsgaard (2) elaborates,

"[W]e must value our moral nature as what I call a form of practical identity, a description under which we value ourselves and find our lives worth living. I claimed that our moral identity, which I took to be equivalent to our human identity, is the ultimate source of reasons, because the moral law is the ultimate source of justification - a consideration must be capable of being embodied in a universalizable maxim if it is to count as a reason at all. So if we are to have any reasons, or to see anything as being valuable, we must value and identify with our nature as moral beings."

Contention 1: Moral Autonomy Allows for Secession.

G. A. Cohen argues (3),

"[E]ach person is the morally rightful owner of his own person and powers, and, consequently, that each is free (morally speaking) to use those powers as he wishes, provided that he does not deploy them aggressively against others" (pg. 67).

1. States have the power to secede.
2. States have the right use their powers peacefully.
Thus, states have the right to secede peacefully.
Therefore I urge a Con ballot.

Onto the affirmative case.

Overview: The affirmative only argues on the basis of positive law. It is the burden of the negative to only prove the existence of a right in one of the three forms outlined by my opponent's definition: legal, traditional, and natural. Therefore even if my opponent's arguments are all true you still negate, given that mine are as well. It is possible not to have a legal right but to simultaneously have a natural right to do something. Furthermore, the status of the federal government is irrelevant to natural law, which is to say that none of my opponent's arguments apply to my framework.

That being said, my arguments against the affirmative will be using his legal framework, proving why I win under either framework.

1. Federalism is the system of shared powers between the state and federal governments. My opponent is arguing under a misconception. States do not give up their sovereignty when joining the Union, but rather submit to a greater sovereign. This does not imply the slavery of states.

* We are 50 pieces bonded together to form a country. The fact that we are unified just shows that the bond is present, not non-existent.

Both (-)s: Neither of these deny the right to secede.

* The federal government allowed for state charters when forming the states which gave them the right to their land and citizens. Hence, the thievery argument is false.

2.

* Not using a right does not deny its existence.

* This does not deny the existence of a right.

- After secession they are no longer the federal government's citizens.

3. Turn: Both articles claim that the right exists. Just because certain circumstances must be met does not mean this is not true. His argument 3 proves why you negate under his framework.

(1) http://www.britannica.com...
(2) Valuing our Humanity. Christine M. Korsgaard. Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University
(3) Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality. G. A. Cohen. Cambridge UP 1995
Debate Round No. 1
000ike

Pro

Before I continue with my argument, I would like to address three matters in which my opponent and I do not agree.

1. "For the purposes of this debate I will be claiming a right to secession that is derived from natural law."
"That being said, my arguments against the affirmative will be using his legal framework, proving why I win under either framework."

My framework does not lean towards the question of a legal right to secession, as that continues to be a very difficult debate to this day. Rather I am arguing for the position that a state, under natural law, does not have a moral right to secede. My first contention is an example. I stated that secession was thievery, which is not morally sanctioned, hence not a moral right. So, I would like for us to agree that I am arguing for the position that secession is not a moral right.

2. Furthermore, con's supporting examples are addressed towards "THE PEOPLE" not "THE STATE". Hence I would like for us to agree that there IS a difference between "the people," and "the state". What that difference may be, can be debated, but I would like us to agree that a difference exists. Therefore, if con agrees that a difference exists, he cannot use examples addressed towards the rights of "the people" to support his argument for the rights of "the state".

3. " Federalism is the system of shared powers between the state and federal governments. My opponent is arguing under a misconception. States do not give up their sovereignty when joining the Union, but rather submit to a greater sovereign. This does not imply the slavery of states"

This particular argument is highly dependent on the word "join." While I do agree with con's definition of federalism, and that the U.S is a federation, I still hold that the implications and abilities as members of a federation differ between the bodies that JOINED said federation, and the ones that were already a part of it. In the case of the United States, the only states that literally JOINED the union are the 13 original colonies, Texas, and Hawaii, the other states were purchased or won in war, hence ,making them the property of the federal government. Since con's argument applies only to the states that JOINED the union, henceforth, the debate is geared towards why that minority of states that actually joined the union does or does not have the moral right to leave. So, I would like us to agree that the states that were conquered and purchased territories are the property of the federal government and should they choose to secede, will be STEALING from the federal government, and agree that you, as con, can only argue for the states that JOINED the union.

That being said, I have a separate set of reasons that I touched on in round 1, why the minority of states that joined the union STILL do not have a moral right to secede. However I see no point in stating them until I have an answer on the previous provisions from con. Should con disagree with any or all of the above provisions, they will become subject to debate, alongside the parent issue of secession. Where:

For Provision 1:
Con bears the burden of proving how my framework was geared towards secession legality,

For provision 2:
Con bears the burden of proving why "the people" and "the state" are synonymous,

For provision 3:
Con bears the burden of proving why a state that joined the union is no different from one that was bought/won and carved out by the federal government.

(1) http://lsm.crt.state.la.us...
(2) http://www.sonofthesouth.net...
Mestari

Con

Provision 2:

I agree that there is a definitional difference between the people and the state, as well as a biological one. The people also look much better, sorry States, but y'all have some unattractive shapes. However, there is no difference under the sexy beast that we call natural law:

1. States serve as a proxy for individuals. Insofar as natural law applies to individuals it is the responsibility of the State to replicate the provisions of natural law.
2. The USA is a democracy, if the people have a right they can democratically express it through the State. The State's actions are defined by the people, thus if the people express a right the State also expresses it.
3. A. States are organizations: The Merriam-Webster (1) defines a state as "the political organization of such a body of people."
B. Organizations are moral agents. Wilmot (2) explains,
"[W]e can find cognitive attributes such as perception, reasoning, co-ordination and implementation; and moral elements such as rationality and respect in many organisations; and that organisations on that basis [can] be treated as moral actors with moral dispositions."
Thus, states are moral actors and can have natural rights.
4. Natural law applies universally to all actors, regardless of biological or definitional status.

Provision 1:

Extend my analysis of the definition of right that goes unrefuted in the round; "law, tradition and nature all serve as sufficient but unnecessary criteria for satisfying a right. That being said, it is only the burden of the con to prove the existence of a right in any sense of the word, not in every one." Even if my opponent decides to defend a natural law framework, I can still win under legality as it serves as an independent reason to negate.

1. Under Legality:
i. Extend all of my responses to my opponent's case that go cold-dropped. Using a natural law approach is non-responsive as legal rights will still allow me to win the debate.
ii. Pay particular attention to the turn placed on contention 3. My opponent states himself "the Constitution and Declaration of Independence do allude to the peoples right to form a revolution and create a new government, should they be unsatisfied with the current administration." My opponent concedes that a legal right exists for States to secede. Even if certain circumstances must be met, the right exists nonetheless.

2. Under Natural Law:
i. There is no warrant as to why thievery is not morally sanctioned.
ii. Extend my entire first contention. Aside from provision 2, which was responded to, there are no arguments against this contention.
iii. I am the only one with offense under natural law which provides an independent reason to vote for the Con as I prove a right and my opponent fails to disprove one.


Provision 3:

1. The method of joining the Union is not a limit on state action. Kauper (3),
"[S]ubject only to the restraints derived from the constitution of the United States or from the state’s own constitution, the government established by the state’s constitution enjoys all the general powers of government."
Thus, my arguments still apply.
2. Semantics: The affirmative is arguing that "A state has NO RIGHT to peaceably secede from America." My opponent never specifies which state. Even if you accept my opponent's argument that I can only argue for states that joined the Union under his interpretation, you still negate. There is no argument as to why any of these states may not secede, and the burden of the Con is to only prove that "A state" has some kind of right to secede, so all of my arguments still apply to these states.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) Corporate Moral Responsibility: What Can We Infer from Our Understanding of Organisations? Stephen Wilmot. Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 30, No. 2 (Mar., 2001), pp. 161-169http://www.jstor.org...
(3) Paul G. Kauper. The State Constitution: It's Nature and Purpose.
Debate Round No. 2
000ike

Pro

My reply to con's third rebuttle will be a part of refutation 2.


1. Given that you have accepted that my framework is under the moral right to secede, I do also accept that if you can prove a legal right to secede, then the debate is yours.

* HOWEVER, as I said, the legality of the subject has been inconclusively debated for over a century.

I would like for the reading audience to fully understand the hard facts and evidence Con must procure, should he attempt to prove a legal right to secession:

1. He must find in the Constitution, and the Constitution ONLY, where the act of secession is, LEGALLY sanctioned.
- He cannot use the provisions in the ratification documents in different states, because those where never definitively accepted by the Philedelphia Convention.
- Furthermore, the Constitution is the highest document of law in the nation. The Declaration of Independence cannot be used as evidence, if Con is to prove a LEGAL right.

2. Furthermore, the excerpt, should my opponent manage to find one, must EXPLICITLY declare secession legal, under the definition I provided earlier.

3. Moreover, con cannot make the argument that the Constitution mentions nothing about secession, so he is therefore still correct, because in legal matters, the absence of the declaration of a LEGAL right does infact mean that the LEGAL right does not exist.

4. In the event that Con cannot find, in the Constitution, where secession is legally sanctioned, he has failed to prove that the states have a legal right to secession.

With that said, con can still debate to prove any other right to secession.


2. Con agreed that there was a physical and definitional difference between the state and the people, but stated that there was no difference between the rights held by both bodies. This leads us to a separate debate all on its own.


* The state is a governmental appendage. By the reasoning Con provided, he is simply playing on the fact that senators and representatives are elected by the state to the federal government. The U.S's use of the states as a national conduit does not imply that "the state" and "the people" are one. Furthermore, by your reasoning, the national government and the people of the U.S would ALSO be one, as the president and Congress are elected BY the people, JUST LIKE ANY STATE.

* The state, being the VOICE of the people, does not MAKE the state "the people." Therefore the rights contained by the people cannot be used interchangeably with the rights of the state.

- The state is a part of the government, an EXTENTION of the government to suit the needs of specific geographical, social, and political regions of the nation. The states, by territory and jurisdiction, are the property of the federal government, and do not have the right to leave. For the states that ENTERED the union, entrance ceded their rights to do such. This is not a club, or a close association. Unionship is the welding of a state to FORM a larger soverign, not submit to one.

- The people are NOT the property of the federal government, and should they be unhappy with the government, have the undeniable and uncompromisable right to petition, amass and protest, join the government, sue, or simply leave. All these actions are done by THE PEOPLE independent of THE STATE. The states were not created so it would be easier for the citizens of the country to depart. They where created as a tool to PREVENT departure through greater self government.

Once again, the state is only a conduit to the federal government: A conduit created BY the federal gov't FOR the people not given TO the people. The state is land, land that forms a large unified entity. This land does not belong to anyone who wishes to form a new country, the land belongs to the federal government of the United States. Those people who want a new nation must FIGHT the United States to take the land. Hence a state has no moral right to PEACEABLY secede.
Mestari

Con

"Given that you have accepted that my framework is under the moral right to secede, I do also accept that if you can prove a legal right to secede, then the debate is yours."

Let's look back to my turn on his 3rd contention. This is cleanly extended in round 2 as Provision 1 subpoint 1 ii: " My opponent states himself 'the Constitution and Declaration of Independence do allude to the peoples right to form a revolution and create a new government, should they be unsatisfied with the current administration.' My opponent concedes that a legal right exists for States to secede. Even if certain circumstances must be met, the right exists nonetheless."

My opponent has some new defense on legality in point 1 of his 3rds speech, so let's address this:

"the legality of the subject has been inconclusively debated for over a century."

No warrant.

Group the subpoints 1-4:

Cross-apply the turn that was dropped in this round. He said it himself, the Constitution allows for secession. It is not the burden of the Con to prove the Pro's statements true. You can apply this argument to his assertion that the legality of the subject is inconclusive.

Down to point 2 of speech 3 on the affirmative side.

This argument applies to subpoints 1 and 2 of my response to provision 2 (I'm going out on a limb and making the link for my opponent as the labeling is not present in his rebuttals). Let's take his argument in 2 parts:
1. "The U.S's use of the states as a national conduit does not imply that 'the state' and 'the people' are one."
2. "The state, being the VOICE of the people, does not MAKE the state 'the people.' Therefore the rights contained by the people cannot be used interchangeably with the rights of the state."

These don't address the warrants of my argument. Extend subpoint 1 that it is "the responsibility of the State to replicate the provisions of natural law." My opponent's arguments simply make the claim that my own points are false without addressing the warrants of states serving as a proxy for individuals. Also extend subpoint 2 that "The State's actions are defined by the people, thus if the people express a right the State also expresses it."

Moving down to his argument labeled "The State"

Extend both of my responses to Provision 3 that go unrefuted in this round. Both of these take out his argument. Subpoint 1's Kauper evidence explains that the method of joining the Union does not limit rights. The semantics argument in subpoint 2 explains that I only need to prove a right with one state, so if only the states originally ratified the constitution can secede, then that's more than 1 and more than enough to negate.

Add a response to his argument: States can voluntarily leave the union. Dorf (1),

"[T]he Constitution is a kind of multilateral treaty, which derives its legal effect from the consent of the sovereign parties to it. Just as sovereign nations can withdraw from a treaty, so too can the sovereign states withdraw from the Union."

Onto his argument labeled "The People"

Cross-apply my arguments that the states serve as a proxy for the people, they are not independent of one another. This is dropped in the round. There is also no warrant as to why states were created to prevent departure.

Furthermore under natural law extend the cold-dropped subpoints 3 and 4 of my response to provision 2 that both independently prove that natural law applies to states. I have defense on his arguments as well as 2 unrefuted arguments in my favor through a natural law framework. The strength of link will always be on my side that natural law applies. Extend the dropped contention of my case that morality grants autonomy.

At the bottom of his speech:


1. Cross-apply Kauper. The Constitution does not limit the use of land by States, thereby it is in their jurisdiction to use it as they please.
2. Even if it would be impossible to peaceably secede, that does not mean a right does not exist to do so.

(1) http://writ.news.findlaw.com...
Debate Round No. 3
000ike

Pro

"Let's look back to my turn on his 3rd contention. This is cleanly extended in round 2 as Provision 1 subpoint 1 ii: " My opponent states himself 'the Constitution and Declaration of Independence do allude to the peoples right to form a revolution and create a new government, should they be unsatisfied with the current administration.' My opponent concedes that a legal right exists for States to secede. Even if certain circumstances must be met, the right exists nonetheless."

1. My oppponent is arguing in circles. I have made it a point through the course of the debate to outline the difference between THE PEOPLE and THE STATE. Yet, ignoring that very important debateable subtopic, he has quoted A statement I made earlier addressed to THE PEOPLE, to support his argument for THE STATE. He has yet to prove what makes the state and the people one, and instead has only stated the assertion that they are one, in many forms.


" My opponent's arguments simply make the claim that my own points are false without addressing the warrants of states serving as a proxy for individuals. Also extend subpoint 2 that "The State's actions are defined by the people, thus if the people express a right the State also expresses it."

2. On the contrary, what you outlined from the 3rd round DOES address the warrants of your argument.

* Your argument was that the state becomes the people, hence "proxy", and that it therefore holds the rights of the people.

- I addressed this matter through answering why con may believe that the state is a proxy for people. I said, the reason why con would possibly believe that the state is a proxy is because the people elect senators and representatives THROUGH the state. I presumed that it is this fact that makes con assert that the state is a proxy (since he has yet to provide his own reason why), and so I showed that the federal government has positions also voted on by the people, and by con's logic, the federal government would ALSO be a proxy. Since, I think we can all conclude, the federal government is certainly not a proxy for the people, the state, TOO, has no sound justification for being looked at as a proxy.

The state, once again, is an EXTENTION of the government, but my opponent is arguing that the state is a proxy for the people, when factually it is not.

1. Hence, if the state is not a proxy to the people, then the state cannot hold the same rights as the people.

2. If the states do not hold the same rights as the people, then the "peoples right to revolution" cannot be justly asserted for the state, as the state is not the people

3. Therefore, the argument that natural law gives a state the moral right to secession is moot.

3. Now, I will proceed to disprove any legal right to secession, since my opponent insists on that angle as well.

Article 4, Section 3 of the United States Constitution (1):
"The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States"

It is the implication and subtext of this excerpt that the territory occupied by the United States belongs to the country as a whole ("the country as a whole" being represented by the federal government), and no particular state individually. The limited jurisdiction of the states over the political map does not imply ownership of the land thereof.

1. THEREFORE, the land of the states by geography are subject to regulation and authority by the federal government through CONSTITUTIONAL DECREE.

2. Secession would lift this authority

3. Lifting of said authority is illegal

4. Secession is Illegal.

(1) http://www.archives.gov...
Mestari

Con

Mestari forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
000ike

Pro

Since this is the 5th round, con and I cannot introduce any new points to the debate. So, I will use this round to summarize and explain why I have won this debate.


Part One

1. It was the burden of con to prove that "A" state had "SOME" right to secession whether it is a legal right or moral right.

2. He attempted to prove a legal right by asserting that I agreed to a legal right to secession when I did not. That was his ONLY support for why secession is legal. He stated: "My opponent concedes that a legal right exists for States to secede. Even if certain circumstances must be met, the right exists nonetheless."

3. I proceeded to PROVE secession illegal through the implications of an excerpt from the Constitution:

"1. THEREFORE, the land of the states by geography are subject to regulation and authority by the federal government through CONSTITUTIONAL DECREE.

2. Secession would lift this authority

3. Lifting of said authority is illegal

4. Secession is Illegal. "

* My opponent forfeited round 4, so has therefore failed to refute the above conclusion, and thus has failed to prove a legal right to secession.


Part Two


5. He attempted to prove a moral right by referring to the 1st round where I wrote that "The Constitution and Declaration of Independence do allude to THE PEOPLES right to revolution" But I outlined the difference between "THE PEOPLE" and "THE STATE"
The state is political and an extention of government, the people are not.

6. Con defended that the state is a proxy for the people. I countered that the state is a conduit not a proxy. Very Unsynonymous words.

" 1. Hence, if the state is not a proxy to the people, then the state cannot hold the same rights as the people.

2. If the states do not hold the same rights as the people, then the "peoples right to revolution" cannot be justly asserted for the state, as the state is not the people

3. Therefore, the argument that natural law gives a state the moral right to secession is moot. "


7. My opponent forfeited the 4th round and hence failed to refute the above resolution. Therefore he has failed to prove a moral right to secession.


RESOLUTION

8. Since my opponent failed to prove a legal or moral right to secession for "A" state, I urge that he has lost the debate.


Therefore I strongly encourage a PRO vote.

I thank Mestari for a very interesting debate.
Mestari

Con

I apologize sincerely for the forfeited round. Things came up in my personal life and I simply could not find a sufficient amount of time to log onto debate.org for anything more than a quick post. However, I will show you that I win this round even without a round 4 speech.

My opponent and I agree that "It was the burden of con to prove that "A" state had "SOME" right to secession whether it is a legal right or moral right."

Now, I'm going to outline how I prove both a legal and moral right:

Legality

1. I win through the turn on my opponent's third contention. His only defense placed on this turn comes in in two ways:
A. Cross-apply the differtiation of states and people.
B. Quoting Article 4 Section 3 of the constitution.
Now, I would like to make it clear that what I am about to do is not making new arguments in response to these claims, but cross-applying my previous arguments from earlier in the debate that he failed to respond to that undermine these assertions.

A: My opponent claims in round 4 that I ignore this "very important debateable subtopic." That's a flat-out lie and I'm going to just extend my arguments on this subject that go cold-dropped in the round.
1. My opponent never refutes subpoint 2 of my response to provision 2 in round 2 of this debate that "if the people express a right the State also expresses it." This is going to be daming for him as even if the state and the people are different, he never refutes that states express the same rights as individuals. This adds strength to my turn on contention 3 as he claims that the "statement [he] made earlier addressed to THE PEOPLE"

B: 1. Extend the unrefuted Dorf evidence from round 3. This explains why states can withdraw from the Constitution. Before we can accept the 1-2-3-4 he outlines in round 4 we must evaluate the Dorf evidence. My opponent can't draw conclusions about secession being illegal in any sense while failing to refute an argument clearly stating that it is. There's no need for me to refute a conclusion that fails to address the evidence within my case.

Natural Law

1. Cross-apply my subpoint 1 answer to A under legality.
2. Extend subpoint 1 of my response to provision 2 in speech 2: "Insofar as natural law applies to individuals it is the responsibility of the State to replicate the provisions of natural law." This goes unrefuted throughout the entirety of the debate.
3. "Extend the cold-dropped subpoints 3 and 4 of my response to provision 2 that both independently prove that natural law applies to states." Not once in the debate did my opponent refute this.

All 3 of these arguments explain why natural law applies in the same manner to states as it does to people, and even if it doesn't that states at least have the same moral rights as people. Now here's why I win a moral right to secession:

4. Extend G. A. Cohen's argument from round 1 that: "[E]ach person is the morally rightful owner of his own person and powers, and, consequently, that each is free (morally speaking) to use those powers as he wishes, provided that he does not deploy them aggressively against others"

Now, extend the analysis directly under that:

"1. States have the power to secede.
2. States have the right use their powers peacefully.
Thus, states have the right to secede peacefully."

Extend my subpoint 2 in round 3 directed towards the bottom of his speech: "Even if it would be impossible to peaceably secede, that does not mean a right does not exist to do so."

Voters

1. I win under legality on the turn. I have clear offense that goes unrefuted in this debate with unanswered defense on his arguments. My opponent fumbles around my arguments without ever directly attacking them, so the strength of link is always on my side.
2. I win under natural law because I have proved that states are people morally equivalent, and even if they aren't they have the same rights. Combine this with a clean extension on autonomy and I have offense proving a right that is never refuted by my opponent.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
Mestari
Okay, that RFD makes sense to me. There is just a lot of intervening as to what arguments you are willing to vote on. I'm okay with that, as I will admit most of them were not fully fleshed out. I didn't realize the 4000 character limit when I started the debate. =) Thank you very much for explaining!

As for the laziness comment, I apologize that was more so directed towards 000ike (who I mean no offense to).
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
Mestari, no I am not making links for your opponent that were not there. I simply did not see any connection in your arguments that negate the resolution. Your provision 2 round 2 argument still falls on an invalid premise in my opinion. You showed a quote saying that organizations have natural rights. First of all, a quote does not prove anything, it is an appeal to authority. Second, the entire point that organizations have natural rights is completely illogical. Organizations do not have natural rights because they are not natural.

I dismissed your Dorf quote entirely because it is again an appeal to authority. If you want to support a legal argument you must provide a legal backing. Saying "I'm right because Dorf says so" is not an argument, especially when many just as well educated professors disagree. As far as contention 3 I do not know what you mean and I am not going to read the debate over again trying to find it. If you want me to answer it then please specify.

I do not have an issue discussing this any further if you wish. I give a lot of detailed RFD's because I believe debaters should understand why people vote against them so they can improve. If you want to continue, then make sure it is for that reason. Your comment about laziness couldn't be more false. If I were lazy I wouldn't be writing this response. I read your arguments 3 times trying to make sure that I understood what you were talking about. Not because they were difficult but because you did not make it easy. Your arguments were referenced, not made.
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
Mestari
Maybe. I remember seeing several spelling mistakes in your case, but I also don't want to give a final verdict on who deserves the point as I am not willing to go through the round checking every line for errors.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
not to sound hypocritical, but come one, spelling and grammar should be tied. This guy is out to get me. lol
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
Mestari
There's no need to be rude 000ike. If by "voters" you mean 2 people who have an even split on the actual, argumentation in the round, sure. I'm not whining but trying to find out what specifically wasn't clear. I find it hard to believe that it was difficult to follow my arguments rather than pure laziness of not wanting to look back. I clearly told you what argument I was referring to, what round it appeared in, whose speech, and how it was labeled. There is no reason you should not be able to find an argument that I was referencing.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
Mestari do you really want to know why he voted as he did, to do better next time, or are you just trying to question his decision? I did address your arguments, and the voters agree. If there was a point you made that you don't think I looked at, you didn't communicate that well, even in the debate. It was difficult to follow your arguments. Now, Brian_eggleston cast a ballot leaning in your favor, but you don't see me challenging him. So take the votes as they come and stop whining.
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
Mestari
Also, did you evaluate the turn on contention 3 or the Dorf evidence? I'm sorry if I seem rude for questioning you about your decision, I'm just trying to find out what on the flow you went for.
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
Mestari
The state-person differentiation does not address my autonomy argument, but I will admit that it is a prerequisite debate to be had. May I ask you how you evaluated my subpoints 3 and 4 that responded to his provision 2 (they appeared in round 2 and were never refuted) in your decision? And where in the debate does he win that States are morally different than people? I understand that the way we present our arguments is important, but I don't believe that you misunderstand the arguments as much so as I believe you are overlooking very important aspects for the debate, and quite possibly making links for my opponent's arguments that simply aren't there.
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
Mestari, he did address your autonomy argument. Your argument quoted G. A. Cohen saying that a person has a moral right of his own person and powers. Pro showed that he was talking about a person, not a state. Your autonomy argument is basically that as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others, a state can do whatever it wants. I do not find that to be a valid argument.

If I misunderstood, it hardly makes a difference. How you communicate your argument is just as important as substance. Instead of explaining why your position is right you often seem to expect the reader to go back and analyze different provisions and contentions to understand what you are talking about. Your argument often sounded like someone trying to win a technicality match then trying to negate the resolution. This does not qualify as the more convincing argument.
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
Mestari
Double_R, how does the cold-dropped Autonomy contention not prove a right to secede?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's perspective of states being merely agents of the people is I believe sounder and much more commonly held than Pro's perspective that states are entities that can have rights or interests that may conflict with the people that they represent. The debate was long and complex, but Con made a case that was simply more appealing.
Vote Placed by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
000ikeMestariTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con mad the fundamental distinctionn between a legal and a moral right...the Solidarnosk Union in Poland was deemed illegal but it's actions led to the fall of communism in the Warsaw Pact and the eventual demise of the Soviet Union itself.
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to provide a convincing argument as none of his contentions successfully showed that states have a right to secede, meanwhile Pros rebuttals were logical and easy to understand. Cons argument suffered tremendously from his constant references to debate technicalities as opposed to giving the reader a real reason to believe he is right about any of his contentions. Con loses conduct for round 4.