The Instigator
Albion72
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
V5RED
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Are speeding fines nothing more than a thought crime ie. George Orwell 1984

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
V5RED
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 417 times Debate No: 80346
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Albion72

Pro

The argument is simple. Given people are responsible for their own actions and the courts should always see it as such. Is a totally hypothetical crime with no victim and nothing more than a revenue stream for the police, anything but a thought crime. If any actual wrongdoing is commuted then the question does not apply as there is a victim.
V5RED

Con

Definitionally, your argument is dead in the water since a thought crime is by definition having thoughts that violate some sort of law. Speeding is not a thought, it is an action.

As to why speeding should be, and is, illegal, here are some reasons:
1) It puts the health and safety of those around you at risk. ~30% of crash deaths are speeding related http://www.iihs.org...
2) An increase in speed limits, basically seeing what happens if we let people go faster, significantly raises the rate of traffic accidents. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
3) It provides a legal basis for penalizing people for driving at unsafe speeds. Eg people racing in a school zone.
4) Speeding and DUI are correlated. This gives police a means to detect drunk drivers before they crash into a pedestrian. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov...

These facts can, in general be summarized into the premise "Obedience to speed limits increases safety for everyone on and near roads, and violation of speed limits risks the health and safety of everyone on and near roads."
Most people who are speeding have no need to do so.
It is morally wrong to unnecessarily risk the health and safety of others.
Therefore it is morally wrong to violate speed limits.

This is clearly not a "thought crime", and if everyone decided to ignore speed limits, then that group decision would statistically be causative of many deaths and injuries. This is an active crime that really kills people. A commenter likened speeding to randomly firing bullets into the air. This is a pretty accurate comparison.

Now, I want to take a moment to address how crimes are penalized. One major factor in the sentence received is the intent of the criminal. If you were to kill someone deliberately, you might get life in prison or a death sentence. If you accidentally killed someone, you would get a fairly minor sentence in comparison or maybe even no sentence. We consider the intent of the actor when sentencing and this is because, in general, we hold people accountable for actions they intended to commit. We would not consider someone a genius for falling asleep on his keyboard and rubbing out a cure for HIV into the word document he was working on, and we would not consider someone a monster for slipping on a wet floor while holding a knife and accidentally stabbing a baby. This is a good way to see things because it encourages trying to act in a morally good fashion and trying to avoid morally wrong actions and makes it clear that what who want to punish are people who attempt to do things that are immoral because there people are serious threats to our society.
Debate Round No. 1
Albion72

Pro

Firstly speeding is not an action as stated. Driving a car is the action. Speeding is a perception. What is speeding to one person may be a Sunday driver to another. As speeding is just a perception, matter of perspective, if it is a crime at all then it is most definitely a thought crime as no harm has been done.
As for speed causing accidents, that is a common logical fault. Most accidents happen at low speed, in car parks etc, the fact that some happen at higher speeds is pretty much just a statistical certainty. German autobahns and Some Australian roads have unlimited speed limits and yet have no higher a rate of accidents. In short speed doesn't cause accidents just bad driving causes accidents. That does not mean that a police or government which makes millions on speeding fines might portray it differently as they clearly have a vested interest. But like a die hard Arsenal fan refereeing an Arsenal football match. As for alleged speeding and drink driving it is obviously just a false logic argument as not all people who get speeding fines have drunk alcohol and drink driving is dangerous as it changes our ability to drive. Most drink drivers actually drive what they believe is slow to avoid trying to be caught...of course in reality this just draws attention to them, and perhaps the swerving all over the road. As that is a seperate crime it is not covered by this debate.

In summary speeding fines are nothing short of a revenue raiser. Speeding being a matter of opinion and not a fact. Of course the obvious argument that if you want to avoid road accidents and deaths you only have to ban cars is a compelling one as driving cars is a luxury and not a necessity. As driving is allowed there will always be a certain amount of risk. And a car travelling 5 km faster does not increase that risk half as much as someone who has bad driving habits.
V5RED

Con

Based on your reply, it seems like you did not read my argument or chose to selectively ignore parts like the study showing that increased speed limits leads to increased accidents.

You also misunderstood my point about drunk drivers. Speeding is a sign that someone is intoxicated therefore the legal option to pull someone over for speeding assists in weeding out drunk drivers.

Please provide sources for the following statements. I provided sources demonstrating my claims. You did not.

1) As for speed causing accidents, that is a common logical fault. Most accidents happen at low speed, in car parks etc, the fact that some happen at higher speeds is pretty much just a statistical certainty.

2) German autobahns and Some Australian roads have unlimited speed limits and yet have no higher a rate of accidents.

3) Most drink drivers actually drive what they believe is slow to avoid trying to be caught

4) And a car travelling 5 km faster does not increase that risk half as much as someone who has bad driving habits.

I stand by my assertions that speeding unnecessarily increases the dangers involved in driving because the evidence backs that up. I refuse to get into a lexical argument with you about the definition of speeding. We both understand the concept as driving faster than is legally permissible. Additionally, the way you are trying to call speeding a thought crime would seem to include all crimes as thought crimes since you claim it is only a crime because we think it is illegal.

I have demonstrated that speeding leads to increased fatalities and making it a crime has the additional benefit of catching more drunk drivers before they hurt someone.

Ignoring the evidence I presented does not help your case and making claims without evidence does not help your case. Right now you have no case at all.
Debate Round No. 2
Albion72

Pro

Albion72 forfeited this round.
V5RED

Con

Given Pro's forfeit, failure to back up any of his claims, and failure to refute any of mine, it would appear that I win.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by hldemi 1 year ago
hldemi
Speeding is the great way to cause the wrongdoing. What if everyone shoot one bullet in the air, legally in the heavily crowded area. If nobody is killed why not legalize that ? Would you like to live in that world ? Would you like to live in a world where a guy on a road with speed limit of 60km/h runs 160km/h while you drive with your child on the same road ?

Why respect any road signs, and rules. Let anyone do anything on road and only punish those that end up killing or hurting anyone.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
Albion72V5REDTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct goes to Con.
Vote Placed by ax123man 1 year ago
ax123man
Albion72V5REDTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con due to forfeit. Con provided arguments regarding the negative harm of speeding that were backed by sources. Pro only countered one of those arguments and without sources. Arguments and sources to Con.