Definitions and arguments begin in Round 2. Last round is conclusion, no new arguments. Any topic you want :P
As agreed upon in the comments, the topic will be the following LD resolution:
Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use lethal force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
He is affirming it, I am negating it.
Deadly Force: the United States Armed Forces defines deadly force as force with a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily harm. (1)
Victim: "someone or something which has been hurt, damaged or killed or has suffered, either because of the actions of someone or something else, or because of illness or chance" (2)
Repeated Domestic Violence: "a pattern of interaction that includes the use of physical violence, coercion, intimidation, isolation, and/or emotional, economic, or sexual abuse by one intimate partner to maintain power and control over the other intimate partner." (3) Domestic Abuse has been characterized to occur in several stages, the tension stage, the acting-out phase, reconciliation phase, and finally the calm phase. (4)
Morally Permissible: permitted by the principles of or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong
1. The abuser has abused the victim
2. Because of this abuse psychologically the victim feels they are in constant imminent danger
3. Killing their abuser, thus, is an act of self-defense
4. Self-defense is morally permissible
5. Therefore, the victim killing the abuser is morally permissible
Now to back up these points:
Point 1) is presupposed by the resolution, the victim is being abused. Therefore, point 2) is where I shall begin.
Point 2) abuse –> to always in imminent danger
By definition, over a long period of time, a battered woman (or man) will most likely develop a condition known as Battered Person's Syndrome. This is a psychological condition which occurs from years of abuse, whether domestic or other. It is characterized by several symptoms, the abused believes the violence was their fault, the abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere, the abused fears for his/her life and/or the lives of his/her children (if present), the abused has a irrational belief their abuser is omnipresent and omniscient. (Omnipresent is defined as being everywhere; omniscient is defined as all-knowing). The abused believes they cannot escape the abuse except through their death or the abusers death, and therefore, are in constant fear. (5) By definition, domestic abuse never ends, after the final phase "[t]he phases then restart and they become worse over time unless there is intervention." (4). Now my opponent is probably going to say something along the lines of "why doesn't the victim call the police?" Because, psychologically they cannot do so. Domestic abuse nearly always leads to Battered Person's Syndrome, which is characterized by the 1) the belief their abuser knows all and is everywhere 2) a constant fear for their life and 3) a belief they cannot escape the abuse except through their death or their abusers death. The abused cannot seek help on their own simply because psychologically they believe that calling for help will lead to their own demise. Therefore, the abused has no choice but to act on their own and end the abuse.
Point 3) Killing their abuser == self defense
Self-defense is the right to protect one's person against some injury attempted by another. Let me now present a hypothetical situation. A person has been kidnapped. Their kidnapper continuously rapes and beats this person for several years causing tremendous pain and suffering. As such, this persons only escape is through killing their kidnapper. One day, the person somehow manages to kill their kidnapper and escapes. Was their action morally justified? I say yes, simply because their only means of escape was through killing their kidnapper. If they had stayed tremendous harm comes to them. A victim in an abusive relationship believes the only escape is through killing their spouse. A victim's only escape is through killing their abuser 1) they psychologically believe they are in constant danger and 2) their only escape from this danger is through killing their abuser.
Point 4) self defense moral permissible
The Doctrine of Double Effect, thought by Thomas Aquinas, states an action that has two effects, one good and one evil, may be morally permissible if it meets 4 criteria: " 1) that the action in itself from its very object be good or at least indifferent; 2) that the good effect and not the evil effect be intended; 3) that the good effect be not produced by means of the evil effect; 4) that there be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect" (6) In this case, self defense meets these 4 criteria and thus, it is a morally permissible action. Now I shall back up why this is:
1) The act of saving yourself from danger I would say is not morally wrong (the consequence is death, not the action)
2) The intent was for the victim to save him/herself.
3) The victim's life did not result from the abusers death as they would have continued to live if it was not for the abuse.
4) I would say this is a grave enough matter, domestic abuse, physical violence, saving him/herself.
According to the Doctrine of Double Effect self-defense is morally permissible.
Point 5) Conclusion
Because the previous 4 points have been upheld, the conclusion is valid. It is morally permissible for the victim to kill the abuser.
First: Before any other evaluation of the resolution we must evaluate the effects on human ontology that the resolution has. Campbell writes:
the relevance of ontology to all other kinds of thinking is fundamental and inescapable. For one cannot say anything about anything that is, without always already having made assumptions about the is. Any mode of thought, always already carries an ontology sequested within it. What this ontological turn does to other- regional – modes of thought is to challenge the ontology within which they operate. The implications of that review demand[s]a reappraisal as fundamental as the reappraisal ontology has demanded of philosophy.
This means that ontology is going to come first because before we make assumptions that we are humans and can act in moral ways we must first understand what it means to be human
I contend that acting on the basis of minimizing suffering via killing those who cause suffering is wrong because suffering is needed in order to understand human fatality of the ontological mode of being. Eugene Long explains the way humans exist:
We exist in the present involved in the heritage of what has been. However, we also exist in the future that is coming towards us. Our being is such that in the present we recollect the past and anticipate the future. Our transcending or becoming, however, comes up against many boundaries along the way which set limits to our transcending or becoming. One of the most significant boundaries is found in suffering. Suffering stands over against our transcending, our acting. the process of becoming in which we act to realize some state of affairs that we desire and through which we find meaning in existence, the experience of suffering appears to be the opposite of activity. It is a boundary, a tragic element in human experience which sets limits to our process of becoming and raises the question of the meaning of human existence. Suffering may bring us up against our finiteness and may clear our being in the world of the gods of self-deification suffering may be accommodated into our human becoming. for example, that although we would not have sought suffering we are better persons for having undergone the experience of suffering
Thus, the way in which humans exist is through the experience of suffering in order to know the distinction between gods and humans. This allows for human becoming and transcendence to happen. Long 2 explains why suffering is needed:
suffering is necessary to a greater good or that it will be transformed or overcome in the future by a greater good. Rather, persons are called not only to condemn such evil and suffer with those who suffer, but also to assume responsibility for working for new possibilities for good. Human suffering on this account is at one and the same time an experience of emptiness or nullity and the giving or loving of Being, the on-going creative activity or providence of divine reality. Perhaps one might say that the giving, the calling of beings to their fullest being in relation to others is the essence of divine reality, that divine reality is in this giving.In this giving of Being in reaction to the suffering of beings in the world
Suffering allows prospering over future problems; the on-going creative activity of the divine reality, which allows people to come to their fullest being. This proves that suffering is a necessary part of human existence in order to find solidarity with others and confront our finiteness as human beings. The suffering of others calls us to question who we are what actions we take as human meaning that it is necessary to understand the true function of being a human.
Additionally, confronting notions of death and suffering is how individuals conceptualize good and bad and this confrontation is the only reason why life has value Strauss explains:
Daseinis the term to speak of individual human consciousness, and is Unique among entities in that it puts Being itself- Death, in turn, puts the whole of Dasein's own being at stake. In part, this is because death is "nonrelational," which is to say that no one else can represent me or stand in for me at my inevitable demise. dying is something that I must do for myself. I am therefore alone in the face of my death, and that mortal isolation informs me of my separation from others, makes me aware of my finitude in relation to them. The for me less masses of humanity in general, the indeterminate and unattributed they of "They say..."goes on and on, but I do not.death lays claim to it as an individual The non-relational character of death, as understood in anticipation, individualizes Dasein down to itself.” Death, by separating me off as finite, makes. Me capable of being a whole to myself, and I actually do become whole to myself through my attitude toward that death.it is that a privative limit can structure experience into subjectivity and existence into a life.6One's relation to death is either authentic or inauthentic, In the latter case a person tries to forget that he is finite and must die by imagining that he is the same as the indeterminate They. Authentic Anticipation turns out to be the possibility of understanding one's own most and utter most potentiality-for- Being-that is to say, the possibility of authentic existence. The ontological constitution of such existence must be made visible by setting forth the concrete structure of anticipation of death The structure of our relation to death makes our authentic individual existence apparent to us as a whole, and it is, consequently, through anticipating death that we authentically exist as whole individuals. Second, this "owning" creates its owner, since it puts the totality of finite Dasein at issue. I am an owner in so far as death "lays claim" in so far as I am owned, in turn, by my death: it is only mine, but I only am
Thus it is necessary to confront death in order to find meaning in life
Next, Strauss would deny the right of the victim to kill the abuser because we are to confront death not actually die. This is true because when we die we don’t have the ability to confront and understand our most potential-of-being because we would no longer be. This means that if the AC defends the abuser killing the victim every time then they link into the harms.
Also, I do not advocate that we advance suffering, but let the suffering in the world flow naturally and avoid trying to minimize it so any arguments about me justifying another holocaust or promoting extinction wont link.
Further, suffering is not something with a brightline i.e we have never undergone enough suffering, it is always static because if it weren’t then we would slowly be able to lose the ability to suffer which doesn’t make sense because even people who have suffered through insane torture or crazy diseases will always have the ability to suffer more
And, they are going to stand up and say they know what it is like to suffer just by watching other people suffering however this is false for two reasons
A) The warrants in long assume that it is the experience of suffering that calls into question what it means to be and to find meaning in existence and
B) The warrants in strauss are clear on the fact that it is the confrontation of death that only I can do for myself and it helps me realize my finitude in relation with others which would function just by watching someone confront death because that would only increase the false idea that we are in some relation to others.
Finally, this negates for 2 reasons
A) I meet the inherent resolutional burden that the neg has to prove a prohibition because I show why its bad to kill the abuser and
B) This case turns the AC because insofar as they are reducing suffering and functionally ruining value to life. And value to life is important because without it morality becomes irrelevant.
My opponent's argument is basically saying it is immoral for the victim to kill their abuser simply because in order to find meaning in life, you must confront death and suffering. For the victim to kill their abuser it 1) deprives them of their own confrontation with death and 2) deprives the abuser of their ability to suffer.
My opponent claims that he does not "advocate that we advance suffering, but let the suffering in the world flow naturally and avoid trying to minimize it". But, my opponent is advocating this. First, nowhere does he show that domestic abuse is natural suffering nor do they attempt to define what natural suffering is. Then they fail to answer the question of what causes suffering? My opponent's entire case rests upon that question. If the answer is something other than the natural world then, they are advocating the advancement of suffering because, it is immoral to not have suffering and if suffering is not natural then, some being outside of the universe must have caused the suffering. As the German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer puts it (rather rendered by Stanford) "as individuals, we are the unfortunate products of our own epistemological making, and that within the world of appearances that we structure, we are fated to fight with other individuals, and to want more than we can ever have. On Schopenhauer's view, the world of daily life is essentially violent and frustrating; it is a world that, as long as our consciousness remains at that level where the principle of sufficient reason applies in its fourfold root, will never resolve itself into a condition of greater tranquillity." (1) In the end, the root cause of suffering is man. Since man causes suffering, then, the only way suffering comes into the world is through man. Since, according to my opponent, suffering is moral and suffering comes through man, then, my opponent is an advocate of advancing suffering through man.
Now by advocating human suffering my opponent is being immoral. Since we have established human nature is suffering, then my opponent's entire case is turned, because if everyone experiences suffering constantly, then it is illogical to think you can experience more suffering because " daily life "is suffering" (1). Therefore, minimizing your suffering or completely getting rid of suffering is the path to human transcendence.
In order for the abuse victim to minimize her own suffering they have to kill their abuser, which, as established, is moral because it would be self-defense, which as established, is moral.
Okay, so let's start with my opponent's arguments against my case.
My opponent argues that while I say I don't advocate for the increasing of suffering, I supposedly do actually advocate it. My opponents reasoning for this claim is that I don't show that abuse is natural suffering or what natural suffering is. But he's overthinking what my case is saying. I'm not saying that all suffering must be grounded in the natural world when I use the world "natural". My argument is that any deviation from the original level of suffering (i.e. the natural flow), would case a change or loss in the value of life. What caues suffering to occur or what the origin of suffering is is irrelevant to my case, as that not what it's about. What my case simply says is that our suffering and confrontation with death is where we as beings find ontological value in life, and removing that suffering or ending that confrontation with death is morally wrong.
Next, my opponent claims that since I'm supporting the advocacy that we don't remove suffering, then I must think that suffering is moral! False. Through the suffering, we find value in life, which is what I consider moral. To say that because we find value in life from suffering, then suffering is moral would commit the fallacy of origin, which isn't what my case says.
Then he calls me immoral for advocating the advancement of suffering, but, again, that's not what I'm saying or advocating.
Then he places the turn on my case by saying that it's illogical to think that we can suffer more because life itself is suffering. But this is inherently false, as already outlined in my case. In my case, I specifically said that suffering is not something that is static, as humans always have the capacity to suffer more. Thus, his turn is just wrong and can safely be ignored.
With my case successfully defended, let's go to my opponent's syllogism. Note that since it is a syllogism, if I can refute one premise, then the entire syllogism falls. The premises I want to talk about in particular are premises 2, 3, and 4. We'll go in order.
Premise Two: BWS
My opponent's second premise is basically saying that because abuse will generally lead to BWS, and BWS makes the woman think that there's no way out, then it justifies a lethal response. But this is inherently flawed since there's no corrolation between belief and truth. I can believe that flying purple fire-breathing unicorns exist, but that doesn't make it true that they suddenly exist. Moreover, I can believe that the only option is to steal a piece of candy from a baby, but that doesn't actually make it my only option, just because I believe it to be my only option. There is always other ways out of the situation, regardless of whether or not I believe them to be there. There's, literally, nothing stopping the victim from getting up and leaving in the middle of the night when the abuser is asleep. Thusly, belief does not corrolate to truth, and thus cannot corrolate to justification. This premise is successfully refuted.
Premise Three: Killing = SD
My opponent claims that killing is an act of self-defense, but this is false. To prove that it is false, we must look at the three conditions that an action must meet in order for it to be considered self-defense: proportionality, necessity, and imminency.
1: Proportionality - This basically says that in order for it to be self-defense, the action taken must be proportional in harm to the action threatened. I.e. if I'm being slapped, I can slap back under self-defense. If I'm being slapped, I cannot stab the person whose slapping me, as the response of deadly force is unproportional to the slapping, a mere physical battering. Since not ALL cases of domestic violence are deadly (we can gleam this from the resolutional wording, as repeated domestic violence implies that the victim has already survived a wave or more than one wave of it, thus is not deadly), this is the first reason why killing isn't an act of self-defense.
2: Necessity - This basically says that this must be the only possible course of action before it can be considered an act of self-defense. If running or talking the abuser out of killing you would stop the absue, even if it be just temporarily, that option becomes the morally permissible option, and killing would be considered impermissible. Nothing is stopping the victim from just running for it in the middle of the night, and the victim can always just talk the abuser down and try to calm him down in order to stop his abuse. Since those are both less violent alternatives that are possible, then deadly force fails to meet this condition as well.
3: Imminency - This basically says that unless the threatened harm is being imminently threatened (i.e. within the immediate future), using a harm would not be considered self-defense. So if my husband is threatening to kill me in the morning, it still wouldn't be permissible for me to kill him in the middle of the night, as the threatened harm was not being imminently threatened. This is the third reason why the response of using deadly force fails to meet self-defense.
Third premise refuted.
Premise Four: Doctrine of Double Effect
My opponent here is claiming that the DoDE provides the warrant as to why self-defense is morally permissible. First off, this presumes that killing is actually an act of self-defense, but I already went over that, so I won't restate it here. Instead, I will go through the criteria the DoDE provides and refute them individually.
1) the action in itself from its very object be good or at least indifferent
Unless my opponent wants to argue that kiling people is suddenly a good thing, this one is self-refuting. He may stand up and say that the actual action is saving ones-self, but that isn't the very action in itself, but rather the motivation for taking the action. Killing is the action, and killing is inherently bad.
2) that the good effect and not the evil effect be intended
This is where I have my biggest issue with the DoDE because it's impossible for me to prove one way or the other that I intended x action without resorting to a massive "he said she said" fight. I could say I intended the good effect to happen, but actually have intended the bad effect to happen. This criteria is false.
3) the good effect be not produced by means of the evil effect
As killing (the evil effect) produces the saving one's self (the good effect), this criteria refutes the possibility of it justifying self-defense. You can turn this argument.
4) there be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect
This relies on killing being proportional, which I've already refuted.
Thus, premise four is refuted.
So at the end of the round, the voting is really simple.
1. I've refuted three out of five of his premises. All I have to do is win one for his entire syllogism to be defeated.
2. But even if you're buying the syllogism, my case functions as a turn to the syllogism by saying that the syllogism actually causes us to lose the value in the victim's life, the same life that my opponent is trying to protect by affirming. So you can negate off of the syllogism.
Overall, though, it's an obvious negative ballot.
My opponent's case, in a nutshell, is "our suffering and confrontation with death is where we as beings find ontological value in life, and removing that suffering or ending that confrontation with death is morally wrong." My answer to my opponent's case has been pessimism, (as defined in the previous round) "daily life is suffering." My opponent's case says suffering is the way to find value in life. I say, all men are already suffering and are already facing death. By definition, that is pessimism. Since my opponent has not shown pessimism to be wrong, the reader must consider pessimism to be a logical and valid outlook on the world. As such, pessimism ultimately refutes my opponent's case. The "natural flow" of the world, is suffering and death. As such, adding more suffering to the world is a deviation from the natural flow and remember, in my opponents own words, "any deviation from the original level of suffering (i.e. the natural flow), would case a change or loss in the value of life."
My opponent forgets the terms of the resolution; we are arguing the moral permissibility of the utilization of lethal force on an abuser. In other words, I am arguing removing suffering is moral because of X, Y, and Z while my opponent is arguing the flip side, removing suffering is immoral, because of X, Y, and Z. If my opponent is not arguing the moral impermissibility, of lethal force, then they are not arguing against the resolution and as such my argument is the only one which can be weighed in terms of the resolution.
My opponent's entire attack, on this premise (despite all the rhetoric), is summed up in a single sentence "There's, literally, nothing stopping the victim from getting up and leaving in the middle of the night when the abuser is asleep." I had predicted this would come up, and as I already explained, "psychologically they cannot do so." The victim's own psyche, literally, prevents her from leaving. Your look on the situation is much different than the victim's outlook. She cannot leave because of her outlook. The victim's truth is different from your truth.
Defense: Killing = self-defense
All three of these criteria are subjective. What one person finds proportional may not apply to another person. What one person finds necessary or imminent may not apply to another person.
By definition of Battered Person's Syndrome, the victim has "a constant fear for their life and[…]a belief they cannot escape the abuse except through their death or their abusers death." As such, it is proportional, in the victim's mind, it is their life or their abusers life. Saving their life because they believe their life is in danger is proportional.
"If running or talking the abuser out of killing you would stop the absue, even if it be just temporarily, that option becomes the morally permissible option, and killing would be considered impermissible. Nothing is stopping the victim from just running for it in the middle of the night, and the victim can always just talk the abuser down and try to calm him down in order to stop his abuse." There are no other courses of action. I refer you to the above definition of Battered Person's Syndrome. The victim has "a belief they cannot escape the abuse except through their death or their abusers death."
By definition of their psychological disorder, they are being imminently threatened. They have a constant fear for their life. They believe at any moment they may die. As such, they are being threatened.
Defense: Double Effects
1) the action in itself from its very object be good or at least indifferent
As explained, the act of saving yourself from danger is not morally wrong. The act of firing a bullet is not morally wrong. The death is the consequence of firing the bullet or saving yourself.
2) that the good effect and not the evil effect be intended
Since self-defense must meet those 4 above criteria, we can safely say the intent was to save themselves, thus the term SELF-DEFENSE. You are defending yourself.
3) The good effect be not produced by means of the evil effect
Saving yourself from danger produces the death. Through the act of defending yourself you are killing a person. Death does not lead to self-defense but, self-defense leads to death.
4) Grave Reason
I have successfully defended this point.
My opponents first argument is that pessimism somehow refutes my case, but he never actually explains how. All he does is summarize what my case says, says pessimism refutes it, then re-summarizes an argument of mine. Pessimism wouldn't refute my case, only present it in a different light with the same meaning, warrants, and impacts. This assertion is the definition of a warrantless argument.
He then says I'm not showing deadly force is morally impermissible, but that's exactly what my case does. It shows that because reducing suffering, what the affirmative must inherently do, ruins the value of life, it ought to be morally prohibited. This was the first way that I listed it functioned.
So since my case still stands strong, you can sill turn my opponents syllogism and negate off of my case. From here, the voters have two independent reasons to negate: my case proving moral prohibition and his syllogism negating instead of affirming.
But let's go to the points specifically.
His argument for premise two is that they are psychologically unable to, since BWS has put them into this state of constant belief that they can't. The problem with this, though, is that he entirely dropped the argument that I made last round that says that just because I believe x, that doesn't make x automatically true or valid. Just because she sees no other option, that doesn't change the fact that other options exist an are available for her to pursue. So premise two is successfully refuted because now BWS doesn't justify a deadly response. This means his syllogism falls entirely, and you can negate on a risk of offense coming off of the negative case.
My opponent then argues that the conditions for justified self-defense were subjective, but doesn't actually argue against the OBJECTIVE definitions I gave them. He's not doing the work necessary to prove his point. Drop the argument.
Killing still wouldn't meet proportionality because a) I already showed how BWS doesn't justify a deadly response, but b) just because I believe I am in danger of death, that doesn't actually make me in danger of death. This argument was entirely dropped, so he fails to meet this condition. This makes killing automatically not self-defense, which means premise 3 is refuted, but I will continue on.
Necessity utilizes the same BWS argument as before but, again, 1) I already showed how BWS doesn't justify a deadly response, and b) just because I believe x, that doesn't make x suddenly true. Thus, killing doesn't meet this condition, which means killing can't be self-defense, which means premise three falls.
Imminence is the same thing as above, again. I see no need to repeat myself again. Imminence is still not met, which means that killing still isn't self-defense, and that premise three falls.
Onto premise four, starting with his first criteria.
If he wants to get down to a semantical-pointless level, I'll say that getting the weapon in the first place is a bad action, as there are other ways to escape the situation without violence. If not, then ignore the stupid "firing the bullet" argument and just extend my response.
He then says that because it is self-defense that we can presume that the action is the good intent, because it's simply self-defense. But 1) this is circular logic. He's saying that self-defense is permissible because it's self-defense. This is clearly circular reasoning. But then 2) because of the word deliberate in the resolution, we can presume that she knew full well that she intended to kill her abuser, which would be the negative effect. His presumption that it's the good intent is false because of the resolution itself.
His response to my turn on his third criteria is majorly flawed.
1) this presumes that killing is self-defense, which I've already shown to be false.
2) Saving yourself doesn't actually produce the death, but rather the other way around. You haven't saved yourself, under my opponents case, until your abuser is dead. Thus, saving yourself can't result in the death, as it requires the death to have already occurred. Thus, the death causes the saving. The turn still applies.
His fourth point has not been defended.
So, at the end of the day, the voting comes down really simply. There's three independent levels to this debate, and I'm winning all of them.
1. The Negative case is the first thing you as the voters look at. As I'm still successfully upholding it, this is a reason to negate since it proves a moral prohibition. But if you don't think I'm winning this level, you look to the second level.
2. The responses to the affirmative case. I'm sufficiently disproving three of his five premises. I only need to refute one to refute the entire syllogism. If I've refuted one, then you negate on a risk of offense, as I would be the only one with a standing case. But if you still think all his premises were upheld, there's one final level as the bottom line to negate.
3. The case turn provided in the Negative case is the bottom line of where to negate. This proves that even if you buy his case and don't buy mine, his case negates because he ruins the value of life, which is morally impermissible. He's barely breathed a word on this argument, and it's the final place negate.
My opponent must be winning all three to win this debate. If I'm winning even one of the layers, even if he's winning the other two, you still negate. Since I'm winning all three, it's a really easy negative vote.