The Instigator
socratesone
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Contra
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

All Governments are Criminal Organizations

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Contra
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,455 times Debate No: 22584
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (11)
Votes (6)

 

socratesone

Pro

When I am using the word "government", I am describing any number of institutions, with variations in size, scope, complexity, culture, laws, and location. However, I assert that all of these institutions have very specific characteristics in common, which I will sum up into three behavioral attributes:

1) The creation of Laws and Law enforcement.
2) The claim of monopoly rights over a geographic area.
3) The collection of taxes.

While there are many variations of structure and organization of such institutions, I will use these attributes to define government. Something labeled a "government" may not meet this criteria, and is therefor exempt from this .

I define "Criminal Organization" as any organization which inherently commits crimes. Here, "crime" means a violation of applicable criminal law (if applied consistently to all moral actors regardless of arbitrary exemptions giving members of that organization the exclusive right to commit such crime).
Contra

Con


I'll accept this debate. Good luck.

The resolution says "all"

All = The greatest possible, the whole of, everything/ everybody

So, it does not place limits on what, when, or where.


C1: Greece


Ancient Greece: Was a direct democratic government.

Criminal = an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.

The definition shows that "criminal" is defined by the state. In Ancient Greece, the people literally choose the law themselves. That government organization of citizens couldn't be a criminal organization, because they decided in their self interest and for the best interest of the nation as most citizens would do. They did not act to harm their nation (not criminal then). Thus, this gov't was not a criminal organization.


http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
socratesone

Pro

That definition includes an "arbitrary exemption" as explicitly excluded from the definitions I assumed you had accepted when you accepted this debate.

If we don't accept that a state even has the potential to be a criminal institution, simply by fiat, we are in fact accepting that all states are legitimate, regardless of any criminal behavior, including the violation of the "applicable criminal laws" of other states, including states claiming overlapping geographic regions (ie, Int. or Federal Law).

Not all people in Rome were "the state", or had a vote, or even property rights - many were slaves, and your assertion that "the people choose the law themselves" ignores this inequality.

Even if we accept this definition, we are still left with the fact that many actions of the Roman state were in fact instances of criminal negligence that were demonstrably injurious to the public welfare, leading finally to the catastrophic collapse of the civilization and the deaths of thousands
Contra

Con

To win this debate, I need to prove that at least 1 government is not a criminal organization, because "ALL" means "everybody" or "everything" - all inclusive.

All Gov'ts have the potential to be criminal of course. This however doesn't make them criminal. I have committed no crimes, but I could trespass somewhere. Yet, I am not a criminal.


I said Ancient Greece.

A better example of a Government that is not a Criminal Organization:


C1: The Principality of Sealand





It has a population of: 4 people

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Now,
criminal means that it is against the general welfare. In Sealand, 4 people (one family) rule.

In 1968, Britain ruled that Sealand was a separate area that Britain cannot rule over. Sealand has not broken any UN laws or any of its own laws. Since nobody has charged Sealand's gov't, it cannot be regarded as a criminal organization (see my explanation at the beginning of this round). Therefore, I have my BoP, not you.

Vote CONtra

(short debate)

Debate Round No. 2
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
OK, then poachi. I obviously didn't do much research into Sealand. I had assumed that it didn't meet the terms specified, and apparently, I was wrong. However, since it meets the terms I specified, then it is a de-facto criminal institution per my argument.

In fact, from the same wikipedia page:
'The preamble asserts [...] a proscription against the bearing of arms except by members of a designated "Sealand Guard"'

This is the perfect example of what I am talking about. In this statement, two things are asserted:
1) That it is illegal to bear arms.
2) That the Sealand Guard can bear arms.

It is saying "bearing arms is wrong" and "we can do what is wrong" at the same time. The obvious self-contradictory nature of a law with an explicit exemption for the state is the core of my argument.
Posted by Poachi 4 years ago
Poachi
Also, I question where you were going with your definition of criminal organization. You define it as any organization that inherently commits crimes. The problem is that you never proved that all governments fall under that definition. Refuting the Greece example and the Sealand example still leave you with a massive burden of proof. You presented no offensive arguments, just defense of a point you framed but never gave body to. There are a wealth of hypothetical and empirical examples of non-criminal organizations that fall under your premises; leading me to question your own naivety in choosing to post this debate. I mean, how many examples can you really refute? What criminal actions took place under the rule of William Penn in the Pennsylvania Quaker colonies he founded. The Quaker government didn't do anything criminal, the most severe things they did were to ban swearing, lying, public drunkenness and luxury. People were asked to accept those terms and not forced to move from England to Pennsylvania so it wasn't a criminal action to ban stageplays and gambling. He called the death penalty for only two crimes, treason and murder, both to be judged by a jury. He called for rehabilitation for criminals rather than simple imprisonment.

Give me some details, socratesone, how William Penn's Pennsylvanian Government inherently committed crimes.
Posted by Poachi 4 years ago
Poachi
Socratesone, not to sound uppity, but after a quick Wikipedia research run it is apparent that The Principality of Sealand does fit under the accepted terms. From the Principality's Constitution:
"Section 12
12.1 All legislation rests with the Sovereign. 12.2 For the preservation of peace and for security of the country, the Sovereign may by law consent to the restriction of the Sovereign's power. 12.3 For the settlement of international disputes the Sovereign assents to entering into agreements concerning a general comprehensive, obligatory, international jurisdiction of arbitration. 12.4 The Legal system, otherwise, is based on the British Common Law and the British Law of Contract. This does not exclude certain special laws which then take precedence over this law. 12.5
The Sovereign especially exercises the exclusive jurisdiction over taxes, customs duties, privileges and monopolies.
Revenues from these laws belong to the Sovereign as well as to the ministries or the representatives of monopolies, in accordance with contractually regulated ratio of distribution. Changes in legally stipulated taxes or privileges can be made only with the agreement of the person concerned or at reasonable interval of time.
The levying of customs duties and taxes is made by the Ministry of Finances, on the advice of the Privy Council.
The Sovereign takes the necessary steps to ensure that an audit of accounts and an examination of the ratio of distribution takes place."

Sealand does have the ability to levy taxes under their constitution, they just refuse to do so because they consist of 4 people at this time. Also found in the Sealand Constitution are different laws, whether they be tax law, immigration law or laws concerning their state bank, they do enforce their laws. Again, consisting of 4 people, they have not had to exercise any police power to stop such violations but they have the authority to do so.
Posted by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
I must of misunderstood what your debating point was over. By the way, 1,000 characters is kind of short for a debate.
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
15, not 14, sorry. It explains a lot. You did exactly what I would expect from a relatively good 15 year old debater.

I don't see debate as inherently adversarial, ie, a win/lose situation, and maybe that means I'm on the wrong web site. I see debate as an opportunity to learn and grow, which is why I usually confront people with my most controversial opinions. Unfortunately, not everybody sees debate in the same way. Rather, they see it as an opportunity for ego gratification, which I find at best annoying and at times offensive.

While you performed well for somebody your age, it is clear that you were not interested in understanding your opponent's position. Your rhetorical skills are excellent, but your reading comprehension needs work. If you had understood my argument, you would have taken the time to formulate your argument appropriately.

The solution, of course, is to create a new debate and exclude younger debaters. Hopefully, this will avoid this problem in the future.
Posted by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
I am 15! DDO seems to ignore that fact...
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
Ah, I see what the issue is. Con is a 14 years old, and everybody voting is under 21. I didn't realize I would be arguing with "young adults". I'm going to go through another argument, and this time set a limit of 21+.

Hopefully, that will avoid this kind of thing in the future.
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
The Principality of Sealand does not qualify as a government as it does not engage in law enforcement, and does not collect taxes.

I find it difficult to believe that people don't understand this. Does anyone even read the arguments?
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
Really? This is ridiculous.

3 votes, and ALL of them were "on the fence" about Government being inherently criminal prior to this discussion? All three of you think that an argument that EXPLICITLY VIOLATES the terms of the argument is "more convincing"? How can I even PRESENT an argument if the ACCEPTED terms are not followed? Its like being declared the loser in a chess game after playing against somebody who was moving the pieces around as if he were playing checkers - I didn't even bother playing, and spent my round trying to EXPLAIN some FUNDAMENTALS to my "opponent".

And the votes? NONE of you picked up on this? NOT ONE of you noticed that BOTH of his "rounds" contain arguments that were based on the INCORRECT definitions - definitions EXPLICITLY STATED in the argument AS HE ACCEPTED??? Really?

This is extremely frustrating. Is this the level of discourse I should expect on this site? I read a very well crafted argument when I came here, which encouraged me to join.

Now, I'm just disappointed.
Posted by socratesone 4 years ago
socratesone
This is my first time here, but I noticed the 2 votes and found that both people stated that they it was a "tie" when it comes to your agreement "before" the debate?

The statement that all governments were criminal institutions was "up in the air" before today? I'm a little surprised by this. I would have thought this was a more controversial claim than that, and nearly everyone would be "con" before the debate.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Poachi 4 years ago
Poachi
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Contra effectively debated his standpoint with the Sealand Example. I don't like the mindset that socratesone demonstrated.
Vote Placed by lannan13 4 years ago
lannan13
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Reasons for voting decision: Sealand was the killer
Vote Placed by Multi_Pyrocytophage 4 years ago
Multi_Pyrocytophage
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Reasons for voting decision: Sealand sealed the deal.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
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Reasons for voting decision: Despite new arguments in the final round, con completely demolished pro. It just wasn't even close.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: conduct for new arguments last round. Con easily wins either way
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed how not all governments are criminal organizations