Bullying Should be a Crime
Debate Rounds (4)
The debate will be structured as follows:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusions
Go4thegold forfeited this round.
"Bullying" is too broad of a term to create specific laws about it. Saying, "I don"t like you" can cause emotional distress. Making an annoying sound towards someone while walking down the street can cause emotional distress. Physically attacking someone to the point that they end up in the hospital can cause distress. The third of these is a crime (assault and battery), but the first two are not. However, they can all be considered "bullying."
It is better to keep the laws as they are. Crimes (such as assault, theft, or disturbing the peace) should be treated as crimes. Other forms of "bullying" (such as unkind words) should be handled by the school system and not the legal system. When bullying is done by adults " yes, that happens " then the bully should be ignored or ridiculed for his inability to grow up.
I consider all forms of bullying to be immoral acts which should be stopped as much as possible, there is a valid distinction between immoral and illegal actions.
My opponent argues that bullying is an issue that should be handled by school administrators for younger individuals, and older individuals who partake in such activities should be ridiculed, however, the evidence shows that bullying is a much more serious problem with far reaching implications, and victims of bullying experience negative effects years after such bullying has stopped. It is for these reasons that more serious actions should be taken against bullying, and making it a crime is one of many actions that should be taken to address the problem of bullying.
Pray said that I have "falsely equivocated simple acts such as someone saying "I don't like you" or making annoying sounds towards someone, with continuously using homophobic or ethnic slurs, sending threats of physical harm, whether they be legitimate or otherwise, or deliberately mistreating other people to elicit an emotional response from them."
I have made no equivocation. These acts are different. However, they all fall under the title of "bullying." For instance, an annoying or offensive noise would certainly be a deliberate effort to "elicit and emotional response."
That remains the fundamental problem with outlawing bullying. The term covers a broad spectrum of actions. Laws must be concise. We outlaw specific actions, not general ideas. Bullying is not precise enough of a term to outlaw it.
Let me explain this with an example that Pro used. Pro advocates outlawing "sending threats of physical harm, whether they be legitimate or otherwise." Okay, this would mean that any threat of harm would be a crime. So in any circumstance when a person says, "I"m going to kill you," that would be a crime. Right off that is problematic since we can all imagine circumstances when such a phrase is meant in jest, but Pro advocates outlawing it even if the threat is not legitimate. But let"s take this farther.
What if I don"t say, "I"m going to kill you"? Instead, I could make a menacing expression and point my finger like a gun as if I were going to shoot someone. That would obviously be a threat as well, so that would be illegal.
What if I don"t use my hand? Facial expressions and body language can clearly indicate a threat. So that would be a crime.
What if I just think angry thoughts? I don"t have much of a poker face. My expressions tend to reveal what I am thinking. So will we outlaw angry thoughts as well? Are we going to have Orwellian-style thought crimes?
This helps illustrate the problem with outlawing "bullying." Yes, it is a serious problem in society. However, the term is too vague to make into a crime. Specific actions which fall under the category of bullying could be outlawed, but bullying on the whole is too broad of a concept to pass a law against it.
I will not try to argue morality here, as morality is dependent upon the individual, however, based on objective facts, it is quite clear that bullying causes measurable damage to its victims, and as a result, should be outlawed.
Some actions which we call bullying should be, and often are, crimes. However, so many different actions can fall under the title of "bullying" that there is no practical way to outlaw bullying on the whole.
I do not deny that bullying is a problem in society which harms many individuals. We should outlaw certain types of bullying. We should individually make efforts to reducing all forms of bullying. We cannot outlaw bullying as a concept. So many different types of action fall under the title of "bullying" that there is no way to outlaw bullying on the whole.
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