The Instigator
Parksterthejenkins
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DarthVitiosus
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Businesses should be allowed to discriminate.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
DarthVitiosus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 949 times Debate No: 67509
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Parksterthejenkins

Pro

First round is acceptance, second round is definitions, third round is opening arguments, fourth round is rebuttals, and fifth round is closing arguments. Remember to be respectful and classy, and thanks to whoever accepts!
DarthVitiosus

Con

ACCEPTED!
Debate Round No. 1
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

Thanks for accepting! To begin, I'll be presenting my definitions of specific words that I'll be using frequently throughout the debate:

Discriminate- to show partiality or prejudice based on a general category not on individual merit.

Race-
a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits (skin color being a leading example in this debate)

Gender-
either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions

Sexual Orientation-
a person's sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted.

Feel free to adjust my definitions as you see fit, or add definitions that you believe will be beneficial to the debate.
DarthVitiosus

Con

I would ask my opponent let us stick to the Oxford definitions so that we are all on the same page.

Discriminate:"Make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age[1]"

[1]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Race: "A group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc[2]"

[2]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Sex:"Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions[3]"

[3]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Gender:"The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)[4]"

[4]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Sexual Orientation:"A person"s sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual[5]"

[5]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Sexual Harassment:"Harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.[6]"

[6]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Preference:"A greater liking for one alternative over another or others[7]"

[7]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Conspiracy:"A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful[8]"

[8]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

I hope we agree to all of these.
Debate Round No. 2
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

Fair enough! Alright to keep this simple for the both of us, I'll just go at it point by point.

*disclaimer: I'm not intolerant myself by any means. I just believe that intolerant individuals should be treated with the same rights as others.*

1. Private property rights:

All human beings have a right to their property. This includes those who run businesses. With your property being your property, it should be legal for you to decide who or what is on your property. A racist business owner is within his/her rights to not allow black people into his property just as a home owner is within his/her rights to not allow specific people onto their property.

2. Freedom of association:

Nobody is requiring an individual to associate with a certain privately-ran business. In a market economy, we are offered multiple choices as to where we can shop, eat, play, work, watch movies, ect. Both parties (those being a business owner and a customer/employee) should have the freedom to associate with whoever they please. A business owner should be allowed to disassociate with a person they think wrongly of, just as a potential customer/employee should have the freedom to disassociate with that business owner and associate with a more tolerant-minded individual.

3. Economic incentives:

It's not economically sound for a business to conduct discriminatory policies, anyways. Businesses that do/would, are turning away potential clients/customers, as well as potential employees. This works as an incentive for businesses to be more tolerant of other individuals, as it would hurt their competitive edge in a market.

4. Personal beliefs:

Those who are strong in their convictions should not be held in any obligation to provide a service to those who are seen as wrongful/harmful to them. While we can both agree that there is a large difference between, say, an African American serving a KKK member, as opposed to a Christian serving a homosexual. The subjective preference of the Christian shouldn't be enforced into suppression simply because we view their belief as irrational or immoral. When taken to far, it could even lead to unrest between parties that do not necessarily get along. A real world example being that after the civil rights act was passed, crime rates took a leap [1]. (Although I will give my opponent that correlation does not necessarily equal causation.)

1. http://www.disastercenter.com...
DarthVitiosus

Con

INTRODUCTION & PREMISES:
I as Con will refute pro's claims about why businesses should be allowed to discriminate. I have no strong opinion one way or the other on this topic but I fully intend to refute pro's claims in this debate.

ARGUMENTS:
#1. Social Contract
When one lives in an organized society, one must adhere to the rules of that society. According to Thomas Hobbes and his view of the Social Contract, we give up liberty when moving into a society[1]. I tend to agree with the same understanding of the Social Contract. Therefore if a society declares that a business is allowed or not to allowed to discriminate, I believe the business must comply with the rules.In the United States, businesses can't discriminate against race, ethic, religion, sex, or disability[2][3]. Therefore I am arguing for the status quo and my opponent is making the claims against the status quo.

[1]http://oregonstate.edu...
[2]http://www.archives.gov...
[3]http://www.eeoc.gov...

#2. Discrimination of Service
In theory, there is nothing wrong with a business discriminating against certain customers. The most popular example of this would be "no shirt, no shoes, no service." I would state by allowing businesses to discriminate in who they serve is problematic in reality. What happens if there is only one doctor in a town and he doesn't like Muslims. A Muslim would have to go to another town to see a doctor. By allowing businesses to discriminate, the amount services offered to some groups of people will become limited. This becomes extremely problematic in basic essentials that relates to health, clothes, and food.

#3. Discrimination of Employment
Discrimination of employment inherently causes problems for people who need to be employed. As I mentioned previously, the United States prevents discrimination in hiring. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disability Act prevent discrimination in hiring of race, sex, ethnic, religion, and disability. To allow people to be discriminated against limits their capacity to be hired.

#5. The Practical Results of Business Discimination
I think it is important to understand the results of business discrimination.

#5A. Ghettos in Italy
Jews were segregated in many cities of Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries. The businesses too discriminated against Jews. Therefore, the Jews were seen as outcasts and limited in employability as well.The Jews that lived in the ghettos suffered from unemployment and depression in such environments.

[4]http://www.npr.org...

I will argue more the next round since I have a limited amount of time to post.
Debate Round No. 3
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

First I would like to wish my opponent a *late* merry Christmas (or happy holidays, whatever fits you). In this round, I will be giving my rebuttal to cons points.

1. Social Contract:

The philosophy behind the idea of a social contract is inherently flawed. When a society submits their free will to any "social contract", it then becomes a system where:

-individual rights aren't respected

-majorities can oppress minorities

No society will ever have a consensus on what the rules should be without directly oppressing individuals. If we were to consider any form of societal organization as a social contract, that would permit unjust laws such as legal segregation, sharia law, legal slavery, ect. Because it is the "status quo", or the social norm. When one is simply born into a society, there is no contract. A contract is a voluntary bond between two or more parties. Being born into a society and being subject to it's rules is not a contract.

Con may argue that individual rights and majorities oppressing minorities could be a symptom of allowing discrimination in the workplace, but that is different. It's different in the sense that, to association is not a right. To uphold the right to associate for a customer/employee, you must then tread on the rights of property to the owner of the property.

2. Discrimination of Service

The example provided by con is missing a few points:

-it's an economic disincentive for a doctor to discriminate against certain customers.

-seeing this opportunity, it's likely for competition to arise between the discriminatory doctor and a tolerant doctor.

-a society made up of tolerant individuals can easily quit offering service to the doctor, which leads back to one of the economic disincentives.

It may be a sad reality, but you cannot deny someone else of rights simply to uphold yours. Being allowed service to a certain business is not a right. Association is not a right. If we allow society to call association and consumption of goods and services a right, why not extend that onto all forms of association? Where we can make it illegal to kick anyone out of your home if they're unwanted.

All points can apply to #4 as well^

5. I do agree that business discrimination does have harmful economic results, but this only proves the point that businesses would prefer to not discriminate, or that non-discriminatory competition would likely arise.

Also, segregation (at least in most cases, as well as the case presented by con), is a legal act imposed on groups. It involved treading on the rights of Jews to benefit the rest of society. This is different from not allowing someone onto your property, because that is then taking your rights into account. Public property is different from private. Businesses are not public property. There are three ways of association:
1. No freedom of association: laws imposed on individuals from associating with other individuals, even if desired.
2. Free association: allowing individuals to associate and disassociate with whoever they please.
3. Enforced association: laws requiring certain individuals to associate with other individuals, even if not desired.

Currently in the United States, we are somewhere in between 2 and 3. We see someone's home, or land they occupy or have bought as permission to associate/disassociate with certain individuals who aren't desired. For some reason, it's a different case when it is then called a "business" or "company" where the freedom of association is enforced on particular individuals.
DarthVitiosus

Con

REBUTTALS:
"All human beings have a right to their property."

I reject this opinion. It is unsupported therefore I need not provide evidence to refute it. It is Pro's claim, so po must support it.

"individual rights aren't respected"


What individual rights? Who is an absolute authority to determine what is a right and what is not a right? It is more than safe to say I reject Pro's concept of rights. Pro has not substantiated the existence of such rights at all.

"majorities can oppress minorities"

Key word here is "can." This is not an absolute statement and is purely theoretical. Pro has not shown any evidence that majorities will always oppress minorities.

"No society will ever have a consensus on what the rules should be without directly oppressing individuals. If we were to consider any form of societal organization as a social contract, that would permit unjust laws such as legal segregation, sharia law, legal slavery, ect. Because it is the "status quo", or the social norm. When one is simply born into a society, there is no contract. A contract is a voluntary bond between two or more parties. Being born into a society and being subject to it's rules is not a contract."

Who determines what oppression is? Pro has not supported this statement at all about "oppressing individuals." Pro also makes an unsubstantiated generalization stating that no society with a consensus on rules could operate without oppressing individuals. This is unsubstantiated conjecture on the part of Pro. Pro also goes on to state a hypothetical which I soundly reject. None of what Pro has said is substantiated nor supported in reality. Instead Pro offers us a spin based on his theoretical assumptions. Assumptions which have not been substantiated or supported in any fashion. Therefore, I need not even refute the argument itself since the premise remains unsupported.

"Con may argue that individual rights and majorities oppressing minorities could be a symptom of allowing discrimination in the workplace, but that is different. It's different in the sense that, to association is not a right. To uphold the right to associate for a customer/employee, you must then tread on the rights of property to the owner of the property."

I reject Pro's concept of individual rights and he has chosen not to provide evidence for this concept either. Therefore, Pro's argument itself is rendered impotent since Pro has no premise.

"it's an economic disincentive for a doctor to discriminate against certain customers."
"seeing this opportunity, it's likely for competition to arise between the discriminatory doctor and a tolerant doctor."
"a society made up of tolerant individuals can easily quit offering service to the doctor, which leads back to one of the economic disincentives."

This is a hypothetical on the part of Pro. A hypothetical which is not sound and firmly rooted in Pro's opinion rather than reality. What makes Pro think that every doctor in the same town offer the same services or even has the same capacity in offering services? If there is only one neurosurgeon in town than there is no economic disincentive for him to discriminate. Sure, there may be physicians, optometrists, dentists, and etc. but they are not neurosurgeons and can not offer the same service as the only neurosurgeon in town. If one person owns the goods or the service in a town, there is no economic disincentive for discrimination. Pro also assumes the doctors offer equal quality service which is also fallacious. If there is only one physician in the town who offers home visits to his patients then people will solicit the use his service because that is what they desire. My opponent assumes that every town has the same economies of scale in terms of production and capacity which is outright fallacious.

"It may be a sad reality, but you cannot deny someone else of rights simply to uphold yours. Being allowed service to a certain business is not a right. Association is not a right. If we allow society to call association and consumption of goods and services a right, why not extend that onto all forms of association? Where we can make it illegal to kick anyone out of your home if they're unwanted."

Yes, we can deny someone else's "rights" and have. I can list other "rights" my opponent believes in that have been denied as well. I have already shown that it is illegal for businesses in the United States to practice discrimination against disability, sex, race, ethnic, and religion. These are facts that are based in laws. Therefore what I have said is irrefutable.

"I do agree that business discrimination does have harmful economic results, but this only proves the point that businesses would prefer to not discriminate, or that non-discriminatory competition would likely arise."

This is merely Pro's opinion that businesses would prefer to not discriminate or that non-disriminatory competition would likely rise." It is not based on any evidence. If Pro attempts to provide evidence, I already have counter evidence prepared to refute that evidence for being a generalization.

"Also, segregation (at least in most cases, as well as the case presented by con), is a legal act imposed on groups. It involved treading on the rights of Jews to benefit the rest of society. This is different from not allowing someone onto your property, because that is then taking your rights into account. Public property is different from private. Businesses are not public property. "

Pro's concept of private property and public property are soundly rejected by the social contract of a society. Agin, this is Pro's opinion not reality. I already have shown that it is illegal for businesses to practice discrimination in the United States. I can also point to evidence in many other countries that soundly reject pro's claims about private property. When one lives in a society, one must adhere to the social contract.


"There are three ways of association:
1. No freedom of association: laws imposed on individuals from associating with other individuals, even if desired.
2. Free association: allowing individuals to associate and disassociate with whoever they please.
3. Enforced association: laws requiring certain individuals to associate with other individuals, even if not desired."
"Currently in the United States, we are somewhere in between 2 and 3. We see someone's home, or land they occupy or have bought as permission to associate/disassociate with certain individuals who aren't desired. For some reason, it's a different case when it is then called a "business" or "company" where the freedom of association is enforced on particular individuals."


This is Pro's opinion and I reject it.





Debate Round No. 4
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

First I'd like to apologize for such a delayed response. I've been busy with holiday stuff, family events, and the like. I'd again like to give my opponent a final thank you for accepting my challenge and providing very thought provoking arguments. In this round I will be providing my closing remarks.

1. Economic effects:

Businesses are in the market to make money, and discrimination is economically not beneficial for the business. Businesses are in a constant struggle to balance profits and losses. When a business practices discrimination, they are imposing a cost on themselves that would not exist if they would practice more tolerant policies in the workplace. If a business is turning down a worker that can provide a better service for a lower cost, they are imposing costs on themselves by having to find other employees, and possibly employees that either cost more, do not perform the required duties as well, or both.

Nobel prize winning economist, Milton Friedman states, "A businessman or an entrepreneur who expresses preferences in his business activities that are not related to productive efficiency is at a disadvantage compared to other individuals who do not. Such an individual is in effect imposing higher costs on himself than are other individuals who do not have such preferences. Hence, in a free market, they will tend to drive him out" (1).

Businesses actually prefer to conduct more tolerant policies. Historical evidence supports this, First, the Jim Crow laws of the states of the South specified that certain jobs in industry could be done only by white workers (1). But if the industrialists were intent upon discriminating, why did this preference have to be enacted into law? The answer is that to preserve the status of the white worker, there had to be a legal restraint upon employers. In the absence of the law, competition from non discriminating employers would have urged all to hire and promote blacks and whites on the basis of economic value, not race. The reason for the adoption of the policy of Apartheid in South Africa in the 1930s was that white workers were furious that so many blacks were being hired and were competing with them in pay and promotions. Therefore, they persuaded the government to restrict the better-paying jobs to whites only (2). Further evidence on the relationship between capitalism and discrimination is found in the considerable affluence many "free persons of color" in the antebellum South were able to achieve. These were free blacks who had no political power at all, but could own property and do business as they wished. For example, in pre-Civil War New Orleans, free Negroes owned one- fifth of the total taxable property in the city (4).

2. Freedom of contract and association:
According to the first amendment of the constitution, "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people peaceably to assemble" (5)
Article 20 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states (6):
-Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
-No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states, "Everyone has the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interest" (7) Here, unlike in the U.N. Declaration, there is no explicit recognition of the correlative right to refrain from association. However, the European Court of Human Rights read Article 11 as implying a negative freedom of association in Young, James and Webster v. United Kingdom in 1981, a case that involved mandatory union membership imposed on employees of British Rail (8).
As we can see, these rights of association applies to all individuals all around the world, as stated in these legal documents.
The importance of freedom of association can be summed up with this quote, "The most natural privilege of man, next to the right of acting for himself, is that of combining his exertions with those of his fellow creatures and of acting in common with them. The right of association therefore appears to me almost as inalienable in its nature as the right of personal liberty. No legislator can attack it without impairing the foundations of society" (9).

3. How these rights relate to others:
Let's say I am a fan of punk music, and my friends ask me to attend a pop concert with them. I decline, since I would much rather go to the punk concert that same night. Obviously, me being discriminatory toward the pop artist is hurting the pop musician, since they are technically missing out on an opportunity to receive more financial assistance and employment opportunity, but it would be crazy if we went door to door requiring punk fans to attend the pop concert, so that the pop musician is not denied financial assistance. Replace the punk fan with a business owner, and the pop musician with a hopeful employee.

Once again, I'd like to give my opponent a final thank you, and good debating!

1. Capitalism and Freedom, pp. 109-110
2. http://www.nps.gov...
3.. http://www.sahistory.org.za...
4. Race and Economics by Thomas Sowell, p. 40
5. US Const. amend. I. Print.
6. http://www.un.org...
7. http://human-rights-convention.org...
8. http://www.hrcr.org...
9. Tocqueville, Alexis De. Democracy in America. 152. Print.
DarthVitiosus

Con

REBUTTALS:
"Businesses are in the market to make money, and discrimination is economically not beneficial for the business. Businesses are in a constant struggle to balance profits and losses. When a business practices discrimination, they are imposing a cost on themselves that would not exist if they would practice more tolerant policies in the workplace. If a business is turning down a worker that can provide a better service for a lower cost, they are imposing costs on themselves by having to find other employees, and possibly employees that either cost more, do not perform the required duties as well, or both."


My opponent can keep saying this as many times as he wishes. The fact of the matter is businesses have discriminated against people whether it was beneficial or not. This is not a matter of opinion or theory, I showed in Round 1 effectively, businesses will discrimnate as they see fit.

"Businesses actually prefer to conduct more tolerant policies. Historical evidence supports this, First, the Jim Crow laws of the states of the South specified that certain jobs in industry could be done only by white workers (1). But if the industrialists were intent upon discriminating, why did this preference have to be enacted into law? The answer is that to preserve the status of the white worker, there had to be a legal restraint upon employers. In the absence of the law, competition from non discriminating employers would have urged all to hire and promote blacks and whites on the basis of economic value, not race. The reason for the adoption of the policy of Apartheid in South Africa in the 1930s was that white workers were furious that so many blacks were being hired and were competing with them in pay and promotions. Therefore, they persuaded the government to restrict the better-paying jobs to whites only (2). Further evidence on the relationship between capitalism and discrimination is found in the considerable affluence many "free persons of color" in the antebellum South were able to achieve. These were free blacks who had no political power at all, but could own property and do business as they wished. For example, in pre-Civil War New Orleans, free Negroes owned one- fifth of the total taxable property in the city (4)."

Pro is outright misleading. The industrial jobs were brought in from the North, what is commonly known as carpetbaggers[1]. The industrialists were not Southerners at all in most cases. The industrial manufacturing industries came after the Civil War. Why? The industrialists were oppurtunists from the North who came with the intent to profit off of the changing powers in the South. The industrialists were frowned upon in many Southern states because they were seen as oppurtunists. The industrialists hired blacks and whites who were less skeptical of their intentions. The whites were commonly known as scalawags since they often voted Republican. The idea that somehow the industruialists were liked or accepted in the South is misleading to say the least. Jim Crow laws sought to control the northern industrialists in the South in order to prevent them from gaining power in the South. Remember, traditionally, the South was an agrarian economy.

[1]http://muse.jhu.edu...

Again with the South African example, my opponent is misleading. It is not accurate to say "whites." That is all too vague. The whites who were furious were Boers who we Dutch while the companies were often owned by the British. The Boers did not hire blacks. The British hired blacks because they saw blacks as a cheaper form of a labor and were often less prejudiced against them. The Boers were often the other "white" employees, not the British[2].

[2]http://www.nationsonline.org...

"Freedom of contract and association"

The UN Declaration of Rights is not a legal binding document. The United States nor anyone else must adhere to such a document. The UN Declaration of Rights does not discuss business discrimination. Pro is misleading here. Freedom of Association as understood does not describe the conditions of businesses and discrimination. Freedom of association does not give the freedom from association. This is misleading for Pro to state this, I allowed it initially and I will call it what it is now, an equivocacy. Discrimination is freedom from association not Freedom of Association.

"How these rights relate to others"

This is just conjecture on the part of Pro.

KEY DEBATE FACTS:
#1. Pro Does Not Address the Current Circumstances

I already stated that disccrimination was illegal because of the Civil Rights of 1964 and the ADA. Pro did not adress the status quo at all.

#2. Freedom of Association
My opponent often argued this theoretetical arguments about Freedom of Association. Yet Pro did not once acknowledge that discrimination is freedom from association.

#3.Pro's Arguments Were Theoretical, Therefore Those Arguments Should Be Considered Poor
Business discrination has existed for centuries. Pro instead focused on theoretical assumptions and intentions rather than what has actually happened.

CONCLUSION:
Pro failed to address the practical problems associated with business discrimination. Pro left us with theoretical arguments throught most of the debate. In the last round, he brought some practical arguments based on aactual events. Yet I was able to show Pro took it out of context.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by The_Gatherer 2 years ago
The_Gatherer
ParksterthejenkinsDarthVitiosusTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con addressed his case well and provided good arguments backed up with sources. Pro appeared to argue against his own arguments and failed to prove his case.