The Instigator
Killer542
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
ABNYU
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points

"An eye for an eye" is a fairer system than incarceration(Please, DO NOT vote w/o reading debate)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,863 times Debate No: 4989
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (11)

 

Killer542

Pro

First, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Secondly, my opponent must prove me wrong, not the other way around. Thirdly, I would like to put down the rules I will be following, and ask that my opponent also follow them:
1. exclude politics.
2. treat this as a theoretical debate on the founding principle, excluding any past laws or punishment put forth by any government or religion.
I will allow my opponent to go first since he/she has the burden of proof.
ABNYU

Con

Interesting topic Killer542. I would like to begin this round with an assessment of the assertions made in the first round. It seems that we will be debating the fairness of "an eye for an eye". However, this debate is much more than that. My opponent has created rules for this debate to go along with. By accepting this debate, I will do my best to follow these rules. However, I will argue with some of the assumptions that were made in the first speech; this would be the "burden of proof".

"Secondly, my opponent must prove me wrong, not the other way around."
-To begin, I will agree with the fact that I must prove Killer542 to be wrong to win this debate. However, I would propose that Killer542 must also prove ME wrong if he would like to win this debate. This gives me a little ground to argue upon and a chance to win. That's all I need. If the instigator would like to refute this, it is certainly up for argumentation. Otherwise, I would appreciate a way for me to win this debate.

"Thirdly, I would like to put down the rules I will be following, and ask that my opponent also follow them:
1. exclude politics.
2. treat this as a theoretical debate on the founding principle, excluding any past laws or punishment put forth by any government or religion."
-On the first part I will agree to exclude politics if the instigator does. This may be a difficult task seeing as a basic definition of Politics is "the total complex of relations between people living in society". I will do my best to steer clear of political arguments concerning the government which is what I believe the instigator was referring to.
-On the second part I will agree to treat this as a theoretical debate. I believe the instigator wants this to be more of a philosophical debate in which we don't argue past laws, etc. This is fine with me and I think it should be a fun debate.

However, there are a few things that I do not agree with coming from the first speech. Although my opponent has allowed me to go first, this is certainly not a fair strategy. Being a promoter of a "fairer" system, I would have liked to have seen arguments coming from the first speech. I also disagree with the assumption that I hold the burden of proof. This is not true.
-The debater that holds the burden of proof is the person who presents an argument that is different from the mindset of the status quo. Seeing that I cannot name very many places in the world that practice "an eye for an eye", I would see the burden of proof lying in the hands of the Pro in this debate.
-With that said, the holder of the burden of proof must also present a Prima Facie case for their argument. Something as wild as "an eye for an eye" gives me little room to argue seeing as it is hard for me to conjure up arguments to refute. It would be similar to stating,"I live in a red house and have six kids." The person stating this may very well be correct. However, without proof, I would have no idea as to whether or not this statement were true. This is not exactly fair to me in this debate because I am given nothing to really debate. Any readers that appreciate these arguments are welcome to vote now.

I certainly won't make this debate completely about the assumptions made in the first speech. I am very much interested in the real substance of this debate. With that said, I will present a few paradigms of my own for this debate: "'An eye for an eye' is a fairer system than incarceration"
(A) For Killer542 to win this debate, he must prove that "an eye for an eye" is a "fairer" system than incarceration.
1. I will define "fair" as being "in accordance with relative merit or significance". (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)
(B) If I can prove that incarceration as a system is more fair, then I should win this debate.

With that out of the way, I will attempt to launch a few arguments.
(A) Let's begin by defining "an eye for an eye".
-"a quotation from Exodus 21:23–27 in which a person who has taken the eye of another in a fight is instructed to give his own eye in compensation."
(i.e. If a crime is committed resulting in the damage of another, the one who committed that crime should receive the same crime done back to him/her.)
1. My first argument is that the title of this debate is a fallacious statement in itself. "An eye for an eye" is a logical fallacy positing that "two wrongs make a right". This is essentially an ad hominem tu quoque argument that has no basis whatsoever. The Pro has given no arguments showing how "an eye for an eye" is just in any way.
2. It is my argument that "an eye for an eye" is not fair at all. Take my definition of "fair" and apply it to the following scenario.

-Suppose a very wealthy person decides that it would be in his interest to take money from a poor man. One day, the wealthy man sees a homeless man on the street with a cup of change. He takes the cup of change and runs away from the homeless man. In an "eye for an eye" system, the wealthy man would have 67 cents taken from him, while the poor man loses money for food.

As you can see, this certainly does not match up to the definition of "fair", which is "in accordance with relative merit or significance". In this case, "eye for an eye" would not serve as a punishment of "relative merit or significance". The wealthy man can still eat. He can still go home at night and sleep in his comfortable bed knowing that he will be fine the next morning. However, incarceration provides a more just punishment for this crime. In this case, the wealthy man would either endure litigation in which he loses a bunch of money to the point where it has become fair. Also, he may be put in jail where he may get food if he is a good boy. Our society recognizes stealing as being inappropriate and incarceration provides a much more fair approach to this problem because it is relative to the person which is what fairness requires.

As of now, I believe that I have proven incarceration to be more fair in a very common circumstance. Therefore, I believe that I have done my duty as the CON in this round.

At the point where I can prove that "an eye for an eye" is not as fair as incarceration is the point where I should win this debate. I would also ask that my theoretical debate arguments for the rules and framework for this debate be addressed as well.

Thanks for the debate Killer542!
Debate Round No. 1
Killer542

Pro

I agree that I should also prove my point, and shall do my best to do that.

Now to my argument:
1. "My first argument is that the title of this debate is a fallacious statement in itself. "An eye for an eye" is a logical fallacy positing that "two wrongs make a right". This is essentially an ad hominem tu quoque argument that has no basis whatsoever. The Pro has given no arguments showing how "an eye for an eye" is just in any way." Everything has a set value(an eye has the same value as an eye from another person) that is why it is fairer than incarceration.
2. "Suppose a very wealthy person decides that it would be in his interest to take money from a poor man. One day, the wealthy man sees a homeless man on the street with a cup of change. He takes the cup of change and runs away from the homeless man. In an "eye for an eye" system, the wealthy man would have 67 cents taken from him, while the poor man loses money for food" I am assuming that 67 cents is all the poor person had, therefore it is 100%. That is what you should take from the rich person 100% of his money, that is fair. However if isn't 100% of his money, say 50%, that is what you should take from the rich man.
3. I never said that it was better or had a logically sound basis, only that it is fairer.

please translate "ad hominem tu quoque", as I have never seen or heard that before.
ABNYU

Con

ABNYU forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Killer542

Pro

Since my opponent has given me nothing to refute, I will reinforce my points. If a kid breaks your window by accident, do you send them to prison? No, you have their parents replace the window. Meaning a window for a window, which is the exact same principle as an eye for an eye.
ABNYU

Con

ABNYU forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by doesdoesnot 2 years ago
doesdoesnot
"If a kid breaks your window by accident, do you send them to prison? No, you have their parents replace the window. Meaning a window for a window, which is the exact same principle as an eye for an eye." I see this statement from a different point of view. The reason why the parents replaced the window is because they are responsible for their child"s actions. By the civil trial, the person who has caused harm must compensate for the damages. The saying is "an eye for an eye," not "a solution for my lost eye." If the window incident was to follow the saying "an eye for an eye," then you would go and break the kid"s house"s window, as revenge.
Posted by jmlandf 9 years ago
jmlandf
To assume an eye for an eye is a fairer system than incareration you must assume that incareration can not satisfy an eye for an eye and this unfortunately is wrong.
Posted by jmlandf 9 years ago
jmlandf
The very intent of eye for an eye is to establish fairness. Even in the case of the poor man versus the rich. The rich would compensate the poor for pain and suffering, money lost, time lost, and the actual money taken.
Posted by jmlandf 9 years ago
jmlandf
An eye for an eye, in itself is a limit to what one can gain from a wrong doing. It is as much a limit to the one wronged as it is to the wronger. For example If someone fails to pay you back, you may seek to gain an equivalent of what they took, not more. You may also chose not to take back what they took. It doesn't mean that it has to be an eye when an eye was taken. In order to properly debate this you must have an understanding of what an eye for and eye is attempting to communicate rather than taking at its purely literal since, although the literal since may certainly apply in rare instances. An eye for an eye also has some evidence that it wasn't a criminal idea but rather a civil idea. For example a business deal gone wrong, and accident, or other civil dispute. The wronged party was limited to what could be gotten from the culprit, if they chose to pursue legal action against them. I believe eye for an eye would me more applicable in civil matters rather than criminal.
Posted by ABNYU 9 years ago
ABNYU
I'll get to this argument in a bit...
Posted by Zero 9 years ago
Zero
I see little to no reason to accept either debater's understanding of the burden of proof. Hopefully, there shall be some truth derived from their clashing arguments.

From what I've gathered (and in simplest terms), the burden of proof belongs to the side that asserts the claim. You'll have to forgive me if it turns out that I am in fact a country bumpkin and don't know a thing of a which I assert, but both of your notions (although I haven't seen PRO's reasoning described as of yet) are completely unheard of (at least to me). At very least though, as is common with formal debate, the burden of proof belongs to the affirmative, which, on debate.org, seems to be titled as the "instigator."

I'd elucidate on why I can't even begin to accept the contender's understanding, but given that this is the instigator's job, it might be considered "rude" or "cheap" to argue for him.
Posted by Zero 9 years ago
Zero
And just why does the burden of proof belong to your opponent?
Posted by Killer542 9 years ago
Killer542
I said that. 25 characters.
Posted by Zero 9 years ago
Zero
'I will allow my opponent to go first since he/she has the burden of proof."

Says who?
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
Killer542ABNYUTied
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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Killer542ABNYUTied
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Vote Placed by Labrat228 9 years ago
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