The Instigator
kasmic
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
DavidMGold
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Civil disobedience in the modern United States is morally justified.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/26/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,693 times Debate No: 62254
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

kasmic

Con

Resolve: On balance, Civil disobedience in the modern United States is morally justified.

Definition of terms:

1. Civil: "of or relating to the people who live in a country"(1)

2. Disobedience: "refusal or failure to obey rules, laws, etc. : a lack of obedience" (2)

3. Civil disobedience: "Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, or commands of a government"(3)

3. Morally: "concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior"(4)

4. Justified: "to provide or be a good reason for (something) : to prove or show (something) to be just, right, or reasonable"(5)

5 rounds
1: Con: Definition of terms Pro: Opening argument
2-3: Rebuttals and arguments
4: Con Rebuttals and argument Pro: Final rebuttals and closing statement (no new argument)
5: Con Final rebuttals and closing statement (no new arguments) Pro: waives

10,000 character limit
72 Hr. rounds
Min elo of 2,000 to vote
Select winner voting style

This debate should be impossible to accept, comment if you are interested.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(3)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(5) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
DavidMGold

Pro

I accept your challenge and look forward to this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Con

Thank you DavidMGold for accepting this debate and good luck!

Apparently pro missed the format that I laid out in Round 1 where I mention that Round 1 for Pro is for posting their opening argument. As such, I do not have anything to refute. I do not want to waste a full round waiting. We will continue as follows

Round 2/4: Arguments and rebuttals
Round 5: Final rebuttals and closing statements (no new arguments)

The following is a synopsis of Civil Disobedience.

"Civil disobedience is the active, public, conscientious breach of the law to bring about a change in law or public policy. Henry David Thoreau coined the term in 1848 in his essay about his refusal as an abolitionist to pay the poll tax. Thoreau argued that citizens ought deliberately to break laws that conflict with their moral beliefs. Gandhi used nonviolent civil disobedience to protest racial pass laws in South Africa and in India"s independence struggle, including the famous Salt March against the British monopoly on salt. Dr. King and others made civil disobedience a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement, defying Jim Crow laws through sit-ins, violating laws and court orders prohibiting marches and boycotts, and accepting jail sentences to highlight racial injustice. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, King explains the moral arguments for civil disobedience and distinguishes between just and unjust laws."(1)

Civil disobedience is a "means to an end."

There is a time and season for civil disobedience. However, due to the advances made in the United States in regard to equality and the protection of individual rights, there is no moral justification for civil disobedience in the United States today.

A: Civil Disobedience has been rendered obsolete and immoral via Social Contract/voting rights

Social Contract theory "in political philosophy, an actual or hypothetical compact, or agreement, between the ruled and their rulers, defining the rights and duties of each."(2) In the United State the U.S. Constitution is our social contract which outlines our "rights" as citizens and the responsibilities of the government.

I submit the First amendment in the U.S. Constitution as evidence of individual protection by the law.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."(3)

While there do still exist issues of racism and sexism, as well as discrimination based on religion, the political climate in the United States is such that the law of the land can handle these issues through the courts and through law. We the people can petition the government, through representation or voting. Thus, civil disobedience is no longer a necessary or moral means to an end in the U.S., as other less divisive means are now available and effective to petition the government.

B: The main issue with Civil Disobedience

"The search for justice though civil disobedience may well be a formula for tyranny, for according to Locke, men enter society in order to be governed by known, settled laws. If the law-abiding majority increasingly has the impression that there is no such law or that it is not being enforced, it may choose rulers who will take law enforcement more seriously,..." (4)

The issue is simple, there is no simple uniform way to decide which laws are just or unjust? Which laws deserve obedience and which do not? Would not the majority, as a direct result of civil disobedience enforce laws that are more strict and harsh in regard to disobedience to law. These issues make Civil Disobedience immoral.

Conclusion:

There are issues with and caused by civil disobedience. In the current political climate in the United States it is more efficient to petition the government through existing laws. If there do exist unjust laws, we the people are empowered with voting rights, among other rights to go about effecting change. This has rendered Civil disobedience both an immoral and obsolete option in the United States.

(1) https://www.google.com...
(2) http://www.britannica.com...
(3) http://www.law.cornell.edu...
(4) http://www.hastingsconlawquarterly.org...
DavidMGold

Pro

1 - Government Abandonment of Constitutional Restraints

"But when a long train of abuses and usurptions, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." --Declaration of Independence

The Federal Government was limited under the Constitution to about 20 areas enumerated powers or areas under Article 1, Section 8. This is further cemented by the fact that in the 10th amendment to the Constitution that powers not delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the States and ultimately the people. Government has adopted a severe misconstruction that the preamble, a general statement as opposed to an actual power, using the phrase "to promote the general welfare" has essentially been adopted as an unlimited power to to tax, spend, and intrude into every sphere of life. It destroys the concept of Federalism and bypasses the constitutional process of amending the Constitution. Power under the Commerce Clause that involved the trade or movement goods by gainful activity among the states (interstate commerce) has been stretched to unlimited proportions allowing regulation of any economic activity and further argued by the Obama Administration that all individuals can be mandated to purchase health insurance or face a penalty. The power of Congress to declare war has been subverted, when for example, President Obama engaged in an illegal bombing campaign without Congressional consent. The First Amendment prohibition of the establishment of religion and the free exercise of religion has been grossly distorted to deny the latter by claiming it is the former but not without outrageous and politically correct exceptions such as a California school requiring students become "Muslim" for a two weeks reciting the Shahada among other things as part of world history "curriculum." The Second Amendment has been continually assaulted and infringed with opponents supporting government power actually cite the government's massive standing army and the ability of it's nuclear arsenal as a reason why citizens should abandon their right to even the defense afforded by small arms. The abuse and abandonment of the Constitution goes far beyond these examples and are manifest. Doesn't the show government disobedience?

2 - Government Tyranny & Abuse

"When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil." --Thomas Jefferson

There are numerous examples of government tyranny; government has made it illegal to collect rain water on your own property, giving a tour of our nation's capital without a license is criminal, commercial air travel requires you to submit to groping by federal agents, what type of toilet we can buy, what fuel grade we use in our vehicles, the light bulbs we use, what our children may eat for lunch, mandated boxes to record data in automobiles, NSA interception and recording of electronic communication, exercise control over the education of our children, and many other intrusions into the lives of it's citizens. The Federal Register contains over 80,000 pages of regulations and American businesses alone face almost $2 trillion in costly regulations. There are over 73,000 pages in the federal tax code requiring Americans to spend 6 billion hours filing and billions in cost to comply and no American could hope to ever read and understand. The federal government through the Bureau of Land Management owns one-eighth of the country's land mass. America has the largest prison population in the world. It is more than equipped in terms of an $800 billion military not including the various agencies, agents, and other assets that make it one of the most fearsome foes in all of human history.

3 - Redress & Voting

"All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it." --Henry David Thoreau

There are three aspects that I can quickly propose that demonstrate voting is inadequate, even futile, to affect change. 1) We have a Two Party System, which is a fairly large limitation on the choice (one or the other) who are selected by a caucus of loyal partisans and when both parties are essentially committed to ever increasing expansions of the size, scope, and intrusion of government. 2) Consider the millions of people who are employed by the government and have a vested interest in perpetuating it's growth, the millions employed under government contract, the millions of people vested through social and welfare programs, and the billions of dollars in programs and grants with the ability and willingness of politicans to affect more is a huge financial incentive and a corrupting influence on the voters. 3) Time and again, the Judicial Branch has demonstrated a willingness to impose law and policy by fiat even developing a discipline that advocates judicial activism and lawmaking.

Also, it is worth noting that our current immigration debate further demonstrates how Government willingly bypasses the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans while the two parties essentially are handing away citizenship through amnesty proposals to millions of illegals in violation of our own laws despite a clear path to citizenship through naturalization all the while they are entitled to free emergency room visits, free coverage under medicaid, there kids can freely attend schools, they can receive free food benefits, apply for federal housing, and those are just some of the examples. All of this encouraged and coordinated by Mexico and other Latin American countries to rid themselves of their poorest and most uneducated thus alleviating them of economic and social problems with the added benefits of money being sent back into their countries to relatives, the purchase of goods in their native countries, and increasingly growing voting bloc that holds more sway than American citizens. I haven't even begun to touch on the eroding of American sovereignty in terms of the United Nations or treaties that undermine American values and rights.

4 - Conclusion

Citizens are left with little to no recourse against an unrestrained government with enormous amounts of manpower, weaponry, money, interests, and no regard for the limitations of the Constitution. Civil disobedience becomes one of the few peaceful avenues left for citizens vested in liberty. Those that sheepishly condone an unjust, massive government apparatus and suggest that a corrupt and ineffective voting process is sufficient enough to curtail it are fostering apathy and servitude. We are in an age of assaults on the very foundations of civilized freedom ushering in a collectivist era and massive violations of rights. Civil disobedience is therefore moral and just.
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Con

Rebuttals:

1: "Government Abandonment of Constitutional restraints."

Rebuttal 1 Hearsay:

Hearsay: "unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one"s direct knowledge."(1)

My opponent says of the Federal Government, " It destroys the concept of Federalism and bypasses the constitutional process of amending the Constitution."

I invite my opponent to substantiate this claim with factual sources, as well as each claim that he has made in his first argument. Without sources, the referenced "disobedience" by the United States Government is my opponent"s opinion, as opposed to empirical evidence. Thus, this entire first argument my opponent submitted is nothing more than hearsay and does not warrant rebuttal.

That stated my opponent included a quote from the Declaration of Independence. This quote references despotism, and that when such a government exists, that it is the people"s right and duty to throw off such a government.

I submit the definition of Despot

Despot: ": a ruler who has total power and who often uses that power in cruel and unfair ways" (2)

As the United States clearly is not under the rule of a despot, the quote from the declaration of Independence hardly applies.

2. "Government Tyranny & Abuse"

Rebuttal 2: Lets compare

I again invite my opponent to provide links and sources to substantiate his claims. As I do not want my whole rebuttal to contain only this reminder for my opponent I will indulge my opponent"s claims in this argument.

Tyranny: "cruel and unfair treatment by people with power over others."(3)

None of the things listed by my opponent constitute tyranny. The Rhetoric my opponent uses imply that he must be an extreme Libertarian. This is the ideology that commonly calls taxation" theft. While I respect my opponent"s views as his, overwhelmingly the world has accepted taxes as an essential part of a functioning society. The same is true with the bulk of my opponent"s examples of "tyranny."

As my opponent quoted another statement from the founding period of this nation I would like to point out that, as a whole, people in this country are more free from tyranny now, then under the newly formed United States. I am sure most would agree that fuel grade restrictions are much less tyrannical than a slave master to a slave. Granted this type of tyranny was perpetrated by individuals as opposed to the government, it was only possible as the government did not protect the individual liberty as effectively as it does now. It is also useful to note that under the original constitution there was blatant tyranny written into the document. The three fifths clause serves as evidence of this.

3:"Redress & Voting"

My opponent provides three reasons why "Voting is inadequate."

Before I address those points I would like to remind my opponent that voting is just one of many things that citizens can do to effect change.

Rebuttal 3a: My opponent says "We have a Two Party System, which is a fairly large limitation on the choice (one or the other) who are selected by a caucus of loyal partisans and when both parties are essentially committed to ever increasing expansions of the size, scope, and intrusion of government."

The U.S. political system is often referred to as a two party system. However, there do exist other political parties, and on occasion there candidates do get elected. This link list"s third party elected officials.(4)

Rebuttal 3b: My opponent says " Consider the millions of people who are employed by the government and have a vested interest in perpetuating it's growth, the millions employed under government contract, the millions of people vested through social and welfare programs, and the billions of dollars in programs and grants with the ability and willingness of politicans to affect more is a huge financial incentive and a corrupting influence on the voters."

My opponents argument here is an appeal to motive and as such, is logically fallacious.(5)

Rebuttal 3c: My opponent says "Time and again, the Judicial Branch has demonstrated a willingness to impose law and policy by fiat even developing a discipline that advocates judicial activism and lawmaking."

The Judicial branch does not write law. However, they do function to check and balance the potential "tyranny of the majority."
None of these three reasons my opponent has listed would morally justify civil disobedience.

Rebuttal 3d:

My opponents next paragraph that starts with "Also, it is worth noting that our current immigration debate further demonstrates how Government willingly bypasses the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Americans"" is another example of hearsay. I again invite my opponent to submit sources and facts that support these claims.

Rebuttal D: Conclusion

As my opponent provided no sources to back up the claim that "We are in an age of assaults on the very foundations of civilized freedom ushering in a collectivist era and massive violations of rights," then his conclusion that "Civil disobedience is therefore moral and just" has no support.

Extended arguments:

A: Civil Disobedience has been rendered obsolete and immoral via Social Contract/voting rights

My opponent only offered opinions to counter this, with no supporting sources, as I have rebutted those, this argument stands

B: The main issues with Civil Disobedience

My opponent seemingly ignored this portion of my argument, so this argument also still stands.

As both arguments still stand my conclusion still stands

"There are issues with and caused by civil disobedience. In the current political climate in the United States it is more efficient to petition the government through existing laws. If there do exist unjust laws, we the people are empowered with voting rights, among other rights to go about effecting change. This has rendered Civil disobedience both an immoral and obsolete option in the United States."

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(3) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(5) http://en.wikipedia.org...
DavidMGold

Pro

Rebuttal 1 - Hearsay?

Informed: based on sound reasoning or information and/or having information especially as a result of study or experience.

My first contention on 'Government Abandonment of Constitutional Restraints' provided four concise examples of how our Federal Government has violated and removed the constraints on it in Constitution; the first example was of the General Welfare Clause as we see in Helvring v. Davis was lifting a phrase from the preamble expressing a general statement to give the Government a plenary power, the Commerce Clause as we see in NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp another plenary power to regulating everything that "affects" commerce, using the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to deny free exercise, and the withering of the Second Amendment through legislative efforts like the Gun Control Act of 68, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, and various other efforts. I will withhold from further examples given my opponent doesn't even address my argument and it is evident the government has met my opponent's criteria for disobedience.

"The word "despotism" means to "rule in the fashion of a despot" and should not be confused with 'despot'". Also - "Colloquially, 'despot' has been applied pejoratively to a person, particularity a head of state or government, who abuses his power and authority to oppress his people, subjects or subordinates." [1}

As you can see, the Declaration of Independence and my quote from it have relevance to this issue.

Rebuttal 2 - Tyranny?

I again encourage my opponent to engage the argument rather than engaging in a mischaracterization (ex. examples = claims?) as away of avoiding addressing the contention while at the same time invalidating his complaint by giving a response. Note: I will proceed to refute my opponent's arguments without complaining about a lack of citation and addressing them on the merits.

Tyranny: arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority or similarly oppressive and unjust government by more than one person.

My opponent claims none of the examples provided constitute tyranny on the part of government. His reason seems to be, again, mischaracterization. My examples of government actions, that are unconstitutional (arbitrary and unrestrained), are labeled "libertarian rhetoric" with a modifier (extreme). It begs a few questions, mainly, what is an extreme form of Libertarianism compared to Libertarianism itself? This is a fallacious argument and he should know better. Further, he raises a totally irrelevant position of his creation to ascribe it to Libertarianism to define it and this is a fallacious argument on several levels especially given I have not stated my position on taxation and this debate isn't about taxation. Continuing to argue against a straw man, and while I appreciate the superficial respect of my views, I don't agree with his appeal to popularity or the premise it is essential. Finally, there is no rational basis to assert or addresses any of my examples.
The argument that Americans enjoy more freedom today than during the period of our founding, with the existence of slavery considered, is blatantly false. There are over 80,000 pages of regulation in the Federal Register that would suggest otherwise, the federal government couldn't couldn't suggest collecting the communications of all it's citizens, seize one-eighth of the country's land, criminalize the collection of rain water on your own property, seize your property for the benefit of other private parties, mandate your purchase of insurance, siphon on your wages to pay the retirement benefits of others, decide what sort of toilets you can purchase, and the President's wife wouldn't be deciding what our children can and can't have for lunch. As for the Three-Fifths Clause, this is a common misconception given that it relates to representation in Congress and those supportive of slavery wanted blacks counted as a full person to give them more representatives in Congress whereas opponents of slavery didn't believe they should be counted so three-fifths was the compromise. The Constitution was amended to abolish slavery explicitly and completely.

Rebuttal 3 - Voting

I would remind my opponent that Thoreau explained how inadequate voting can be and "other things" are arguably even less effective.

3a) The Two Party system - my opponent's attempt at rebuttal fails because he points to the existence of a third party, but this doesn't negate the understanding of what a two party system is given that it is where two main political parties dominate politics. I could go even go down the list of so-called third party officer holders: Angus King was a lifelong Democrat and to the extent he ran as independent was that he take what would be a republican position on some issues hardly making him a third party, Joe Lieberman keeps close ties to the Democratic Party and has stated he is a loyal Democrat hardly making him a third party candidate, and Jim Jeffords was someone clearly in line with the Democratic Party on most issues but was a republican who went "independent" and this another poor example. Ultimately it was irrelevant and insignificant to my point.

3b) My opponent has no rebuttal. He just, once again, presents a mischaracterization and alleviates himself from any meaningful response. It was not an appeal to motive, but pointing out a clear conflict of interest when massive amounts of money are at stake. Government employees are people who's income and livelihood are staked in Government and it would be irrational to assert they'd vote against it. The same holds true in the other examples.

3c) The Judicial Branch does in fact make laws. Roe v Wade is a classic example of seven justices on the Supreme Court overturning duly enacted laws by 46 separate legislatures. That is tyranny by judicial fiat no matter what your personal views may be on the subject.

3d) My remarks on immigration are informed argument. Both the former Bush Administration and the current Obama Administration as a matter of policy have pushed amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Both leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties in the House, as well as leadership in the Senate back the proposal under the guise of "reform." It is a federal crime and our laws do afford foreign nationals a way to become a citizen of the United States by applying for citizenship and becoming a naturalized citizen. It is foolhardy for my opponent to deny the fact that under EMTALA, any person, regardless of being a legal U.S. citizen, may enter and must receive medical care at an emergency room regardless of ability or willingness to pay. It is even harder to deny the reality that illegal immigrants under the new healthcare law can receive emergency Medicaid for child births and surgery, when the USDA has a spanish flyer hanging in the Mexican embassy telling them they do not need to divulge their status to obtain benefits for their children, and the presidents of Mexico and Guatemala announced a deal this year to expedite the trip of illegals making their way to the U.S. At any rate, I was illustrating an prime example of the Government ignoring the laws they swore to uphold over the wishes of a solid majority of the people in this country and to illustrate a consensus among the two parties on the issue. My opponent doesn't address any of it.

Rebuttal - Conclusion

My opponent has offered no rebuttal to my informed arguments opting to mischaracterize it as "hearsay." I appreciate informal debate but I do not seriously need an opponent to provide me dictionary definitions and a link to show he has sources nor do I need him to source, for example, third party office holders to show he did a google search of third party office holders to make an irrelevant point that didn't refute the contention I made. I have submitted facts and made arguments from my general knowledge of these topics and while I appreciate formalities somewhat, I do not appreciate an opponent that fails to deal with arguments.

Rebuttal - Extended Arguments

Argument 1) I have offered actual empirical examples with informed argument to counter this contention and I would invite anyone to witness the fact that my opponent doesn't address any of these only offering a mischaracterization, which has evolved from hearsay to opinion. He provided the first amendment as an example of what he calls Social Contract theory, even though I used this to show Government has transgressed this right and I would be more than willing to extend this argument if my opponent would invite me to do so. I also addressed the issue of voting as an adequate means to resolve it. I wasn't asked to debate Social Contract theory, but it is worth mentioning that it is really an imaginary concept, it is irrational to imply consent on the part of people who are simply born into it, there can't be consent if the other party can use force, and if all people have natural rights that are inalienable, you cannot delegate or give them away. My opponent would have to clarify if he is strictly arguing from the basis of the word in the dictionary or the larger philosophical theory.

Argument 2) My opponent's argument is basically that because all people cannot agree on just and unjust laws, he can make a leap to another rhetorical question that the majority would respond to disobiedience with even stricter and harsher laws against it. Finally, he concludes it is immoral. So basically his argument goes that because there is universal agreement or consensus, which rarely if never do you find it among people, and because government (or a majority) would respond even more unjustly, this convoluted argument through rhetorical questions warrants a conclusion that civil disobiedience is immoral. The contention fails.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Con

Rebuttal 1: "Informed?"

In round two, I mentioned that much of my opponents statements were "hearsay" being defined as "unverified, unofficial information gained or acquired from another and not part of one"s direct knowledge." My opponent seems to have taken this statement as a personal attack; that was not the intent.

If I were to say the sky is purple, the equator is covered in ice, and planes do not really fly" but I do not provide any sources, this is hearsay.

If I were to say the sky is blue, the equator is hot, and planes fly" but do not provide any sources, this too is hearsay.

There are accepted "truths" that may not require sources. However, due to the nature of this debate, you made a claim of "Government Abandonment of Constitutional Restraints," as well as you listed "reasons" with no sources.

1: The General Welfare Clause

You say "Government has adopted a severe misconstruction that the preamble, a general statement as opposed to an actual power, using the phrase "to promote the general welfare" has essentially been adopted as an unlimited power to to tax, spend, and intrude into every sphere of life."

I said "hearsay." Can you provide any evidence that to apply "to promote the general welfare" in the way that has been applied in modern times is invalid according to law" or is this your opinion? Can you empirically prove that this is "disobedience" as you put it? Thus far you have stated but not yet substantiated this idea.

2: You say of the U.S. Government""It destroys the concept of Federalism and bypasses the constitutional process of amending the Constitution."

I said "hearsay." Do you have an example? As of yet you have not provided one.

3: You say "Power under the Commerce Clause that involved the trade or movement goods by gainful activity among the states (interstate commerce) has been stretched to unlimited proportions allowing regulation of any economic activity and further argued by the Obama Administration that all individuals can be mandated to purchase health insurance or face a penalty."

I said "Hearsay." Can you show that this is a violation of the law". Or is this your opinion?

Do you see the pattern? I did not mean to be insulting, I meant to give you an opportunity to provide evidence to support the truth of your claims" or in other words substantiate your claims. Until you substantiate your claims, for me to offer a rebuttal would be mere conjecture. This is intended to be a debate, not speculation of opinions.

You say your examples are "concise," and yet, for example, to conclude that Gun legislation is disobedience to the second amendment does not follow. This nation in spite of, as you called It, "the withering of the Second Amendment through legislative efforts" is of the most free in the world in regard to gun freedom.(1)

Due to the Constitution being a "living document," to conclude that amending the Constitution is akin to disobedience to that same Constitution is asinine.

I maintain that the United States clearly is not under the rule of a despot, the quote from the declaration of Independence hardly applies.

Despot: ": a ruler who has total power and who often uses that power in cruel and unfair ways" (2)

Rebuttal 2:"Tyranny?"

My opponent says "Note: I will proceed to refute my opponent's arguments without complaining about a lack of citation and addressing them on the merits."

Again to clarify, I did not intend to sound annoyed, though I am. Sources and validity of statements are crucial to effective debating. A lack of citation, typically, shows a lack of merit.

My opponent says ". My examples of government actions, that are unconstitutional (arbitrary and unrestrained), are labeled "libertarian rhetoric" with a modifier (extreme). It begs a few questions"

"What is an extreme form of Libertarianism compared to Libertarianism itself?"

Well there are several types of "Libertarianism." Anarcho-Capitalism, Classical Liberalism, Civil Libertarianism, Minarchism, Fiscal Libertarianism, Geolibertarianism, Libertarian Socialism, Neolibertarianism, Objectivism, and Paleolibertarianism.(3)

Surely you understand "extreme." Again this was not intended as an insult, just orientation.

My opponent says "I have not stated my position on taxation and this debate isn't about taxation. Continuing to argue against a straw man, and while I appreciate the superficial respect of my views, I don't agree with his appeal to popularity or the premise it is essential."
For this I do apologize, I did not mean to put words in your mouth.

My opponent says "The argument that Americans enjoy more freedom today than during the period of our founding, with the existence of slavery considered, is blatantly false. There are over 80,000 pages of regulation in the Federal Register that would suggest otherwise,"

To be honest this made me laugh. We are obviously more free, on balance, then during the founding. This is evident by the lack of slavery and the progress made towards women"s rights as two main examples. My opponent suggests that more pages = less freedom. This argument has absolutely no credence. Surly the "surfs" of the dark ages were less free than we are today here in this society, Yet I would imagine their law had significantly less pages of law.

I invite my opponent to show how the following have made him evidently less free, and in what way. He says"

"the federal government couldn't couldn't suggest collecting the communications of all it's citizens"

Not even sure this sentence makes sense.

"seize one-eighth of the country's land, criminalize the collection of rain water on your own property"

I leave this to the voters" Tyranny?!?!?!

"seize your property for the benefit of other private parties"

Substantiate please".

"mandate your purchase of insurance"

How Tyrannical!

"siphon on your wages to pay the retirement benefits of others"

Are you saying "Taxes" are tyranny". I thought you were offended I put those words in your mouth.

"decide what sort of toilets you can purchase"

LOL!

"and the President's wife wouldn't be deciding what our children can and can't have for lunch"

Good luck substantiating this one" she doesn"t. You might be able to justify an argument that she lobbies on this issue, but she certainly does not decide.

My opponent says "As for the Three-Fifths Clause, this is a common misconception given that it relates to representation in Congress and those supportive of slavery wanted blacks counted as a full person to give them more representatives in Congress whereas opponents of slavery didn't believe they should be counted so three-fifths was the compromise. The Constitution was amended to abolish slavery explicitly and completely."

Let me see if I understand your position" deciding which toilet you can purchase constitutes tyranny, but not counting an African American as a full person by law does not?!?

Yes, Thank God the constitution was amended!

Rebuttal 3: Voting

3a: Two party system

Pro says "my opponent's attempt at rebuttal fails because he points to the existence of a third party" No I point out the existence of many other parties" And you are free to vote for anyone you wish.

3b. "conflict of interest"

An appeal to motive is an appeal to a conflict of interest.(4)

"A common feature of appeals to motive is that only the possibility of a motive (however small) is shown, without showing the motive actually existed or, if the motive did exist, that the motive played a role in forming the argument and its conclusion. Indeed, it is often assumed that the mere possibility of motive is evidence enough."(4)

3c. My opponent says "The Judicial Branch does in fact make laws. Roe v Wade is a classic example of seven justices on the Supreme Court overturning duly enacted laws by 46 separate legislatures. That is tyranny by judicial fiat no matter what your personal views may be on the subject."

The Court serves to check and balance the legislative and executive branch. Throwing out unconstitutional laws is not tyranny, it is the prevention of tyranny.

3d. My opponent says "as a matter of policy have pushed amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants." Again our law of the land is a "living document." To push for change cannot inherently be discredited as tyranny"

My opponent says "It is foolhardy for my opponent to deny the fact that under EMTALA, any person, regardless of being a legal U.S. citizen, may enter and must receive medical care at an emergency room regardless of ability or willingness to pay."

Protecting human rights is not tyranny. Does not the Declaration of Independence include the inalienable right of "life."
Pro says "I was illustrating an prime example of the Government ignoring the laws they swore to uphold over the wishes of a solid majority of the people in this country and to illustrate a consensus among the two parties on the issue. My opponent doesn't address any of it."

I wanted you to substantiate the claim that "a solid majority of the people" are "wishing" anything" Ergo" Hearsay.

Pro says "I have submitted facts and made arguments from my general knowledge of these topics and while I appreciate formalities somewhat, I do not appreciate an opponent that fails to deal with arguments."

You have submitted almost no facts" and made arguments from you assumptions. I do not appreciate an opponent that assumes his beliefs are facts and then will substantiate any claims. I am out of space, I will respond to "extended rebuttals" next round.

(1) http://www.gunsandammo.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(3) http://civilliberty.about.com...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org...
DavidMGold

Pro

Rebuttal 1 - Stifling Debate

A) I do not consider my opponent's accusation of hearsay to be a personal attack, but rather a mischaracterization given that I am making informed arguments "based on sound reasoning or information and/or having information especially as a result of study." I consider it illegitimate and it stifles the debate with needless argumentation that doesn't address my contention and ultimately keeps us away from the subject of civil disobedience.

B) The objection being raised is hypocritical given my opponent's contention in round two that civil disobedience was rendered "obsolete and immoral" by the Social Contract Theory; now giving me the definition of the word is somewhat pointless given I'm well aware of the theory and I'm not disputing the definition nor is it helpful to cite the First Amendment's text with a citation while providing no "sources" for the argument being provided. You are sourcing definitions, which I don't need while "...there do still exist issues of racism and sexism, as well as discrimination based on religion" is without a source.

Conclusion: A mischaracterization that is stifling our debate over Civil Disobedience and hypocritical given that you don't abide by the same standard yourself, which I've shown from round two, but the difference being I am consistent enough to approach my opponent's argument.

Rebuttal 2 - General Welfare Clause

A) Allow me to again walk you through my argument regarding the General Welfare Clause; Congress, the legislative branch of the Federal Government, was limited under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States and all other powers not delegated in the Constitution are reserved to the states and the the people under the Tenth Amendment. This is the concept of Federalism. Our Federal Government has shed this limitation under the guise of severe misconstruction that under Article 1, Section 8 there is a preamble that functions as an introduction and general statement to the specifically enumerated powers and because it includes the phrase "to promote the general welfare," Congress has with the endorsement of the judicial branch has adopted the view that this constitutes what is essentially an unlimited power given the broad and innumerable ways in which it could be said something "promotes the general welfare." Does this not constitute informed argument? Did I need to give a citation to define Federal Government, the enumeration of powers, Constitution, United States, Tenth Amendment, and General Welfare Clause to give you a definition or is it unreasonable to assume you have knowledge of each?

B) Why are you asking for examples when in round three I provided a specific example referencing the Supreme Court decision in Helvring v. Davis that upheld the constitutionality of Social Security under the General Welfare Clause? Did you overlook it? The Social Security Administration web site maintains a whole page solely to address the issue. [1] The Supreme Court affirmed this again in United States v. Butler. The largest federal program in existence is justified on this basis taking money from a worker's wages before he ever receives his wages without his consent and redistributed. The Supreme Court also ruled in Flemming v. Nestor that such workers have no right to there so-called contribution. So legally there is no recourse and there is not a single politician one could vote for to rectify the injustice. Civil Disobedience is the only recourse although it would involve you being seized by federal agents and being caged thus joining the world's largest prison population. It is the primary constitutional basis for an array of Government departments and agencies along with numerous federal programs down to the most frivolous spending habits such the FCC spending $350,000 to sponsor a NASCAR driver.

C) The irony being James Madison defended the drafting of the Constitution from anti-federalist objections for precisely the same thing, "It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States," amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction." He continued, "But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter." [2]

Rebuttal 3 - Commerce Clause

A) The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to "regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." Commerce means an exchange or trade of goods (as opposed to the production of them) between a person in one state and another in a different state. To regulate means to make it regular and remove obstructions between the states to domestic trade. Cases like Wickard v. Filburn obliterated the meaning by ruling against an individual farmer keeping his own wheat for his own consumption. I provided my opponent with the most recent example of this interpretation over Obama's new health care law mandating individual Americans must purchase health insurance coverage or face a penalty. Currently in the United States, the Federal Government asserts the power to force Americans to do this when this doesn't even involve commerce and the law specifically addresses individuals and coercively mandate they purchase insurance even though health insurance even though it goes well beyond a group of people pooling risk against an unlikely catastrophic event.

Rebuttal 4 - Second Amendment, Etc.

A) The disobedience in terms of the Second Amendment given the host of legislative laws and regulations does follow given it is recognition of an inalienable right and given your remarks about social contract theory, surely you understand the concept of natural rights, and these are rights that cannot be taken away or given away. Pointing to other nations with even greater restrictions doesn't undermine my argument the least bit.

B) I would reject your premise that the Constitution is a "living document" but I have never in this debate asserted that the process of amending the Constitution through ratification by the the overwhelming majority of States and Congress is disobedience. That is blatantly false.

C) I have responded to your objection regarding citation of the Declaration of Independence, even though the abuses presently tower over the abuses that warranted America's independence. Regrettably, my opponent believes repeating the same thing qualifies as rebuttal. So I repeat my original rebuttal - "The word "despotism" means to "rule in the fashion of a despot" and should not be confused with 'despot'". And yet I must endure charges of conjecture!

Rebuttal 5 - Other

A) Running out of space, but here goes: my opponent claims my second contention is "extreme Libertarianism," which is another mischaracterization and list different forms of it in response without explaining what he considers extreme or how they pertain to me personally or to the contention. Like me ascribing extreme Progessivism to his contention.

B) The government collection of all communications would be an obvious reference to the astonishing revelations by Edward Snowden regarding the NSA. The collection of rainwater is an obvious reference to the case of Gary Harrington. Yes, the payroll tax is a form of tyranny considering the state takes your money before you ever see it and calls it a contribution but argues you have no legal right to it. While my opponent's reactions become increasingly puerile, to speak of toilets, shows how absurdly intrusive government has become through environmental and efficiency requirements via EERE. Yes, Michelle Obama lobbied and her husband signed into law a federal statue called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

C) My opponent again mischaracterizes my argument as an appeal to motive when rather I present a very rational argument illustrating a conflict of interest and self-dealing. Would a person cast a vote to terminate their career or would a person cast a vote to cut off the program they financially depend on?

I don't appreciate an opponent who engages in frivolous maneuver throughout the debate using mischaracterizations to avoid in engaging in substantive debate on the arguments and doing it repeatedly. I don't appreciate an [3] opponent that charges a lack of citation when your citations are basically definitions.

[1] http://www.ssa.gov...
[2] http://www.constitution.org...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 4
kasmic

Con

I spent a great deal of time this last weekend thinking about this debate, and how to respond. Here it goes.

Pro concludes "Conclusion: A mischaracterization that is stifling our debate over Civil Disobedience and hypocritical given that you don't abide by the same standard yourself, which I've shown from round two, but the difference being I am consistent enough to approach my opponent's argument."

After reading and re-reading this debate, I have come to the conclusion that pro is right. I have been hypocritical. I apologize.

Pro says "Does this not constitute informed argument? Did I need to give a citation to define Federal Government, the enumeration of powers, Constitution, United States, Tenth Amendment, and General Welfare Clause to give you a definition or is it unreasonable to assume you have knowledge of each?"

Pro seems to be pretty upset with the way I have engaged in this debate. I apologize.

Pro says "I have responded to your objection regarding citation of the Declaration of Independence, even though the abuses presently tower over the abuses that warranted America's independence. Regrettably, my opponent believes repeating the same thing qualifies as rebuttal. So I repeat my original rebuttal - "The word "despotism" means to "rule in the fashion of a despot" and should not be confused with 'despot'". And yet I must endure charges of conjecture!"

Just to be clear, It seems absurd to me to call the current U.S. Government tyrannical or that we are being ruled "in the fashion of a despot."

Pro says "Pointing to other nations with even greater restrictions doesn't undermine my argument the least bit."

The reason I find it absurd to call our nation despotic or tyrannical is because of the comparison of the U.S. to other nations, both in history and present day.

"A) Running out of space, but here goes: my opponent claims my second contention is "extreme Libertarianism," which is another mischaracterization and list different forms of it in response without explaining what he considers extreme or how they pertain to me personally or to the contention. Like me ascribing extreme Progessivism to his contention."

As I seem to have offended my opponent, I apologize for using the term "extreme." I did not realize it would be a sore spot.

Pro says "B) The government collection of all communications would be an obvious reference to the astonishing revelations by Edward Snowden regarding the NSA. The collection of rainwater is an obvious reference to the case of Gary Harrington. Yes, the payroll tax is a form of tyranny considering the state takes your money before you ever see it and calls it a contribution but argues you have no legal right to it. While my opponent's reactions become increasingly puerile, to speak of toilets, shows how absurdly intrusive government has become through environmental and efficiency requirements via EERE. Yes, Michelle Obama lobbied and her husband signed into law a federal statue called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010."

These examples you have given, I leave to the voters to determine if this is "disobedience" to the social contract, or constitutes tyranny.

Pro says "I don't appreciate an opponent who engages in frivolous maneuver throughout the debate using mischaracterizations to avoid in engaging in substantive debate on the arguments and doing it repeatedly. I don't appreciate an [3] opponent that charges a lack of citation when your citations are basically definitions."

I apologize that this debate has been frivolous, and I apologize for the role that I played in that.

Concluding This debate:

As I stated in my first argument, There are issues with and caused by civil disobedience. In the current political climate in the United States it is more efficient to petition the government through existing laws. If there do exist unjust laws, we the people are empowered with voting rights, among other rights to go about effecting change. This has rendered Civil disobedience both an immoral and obsolete option in the United States.

I feel this is evident when you observe the modern day United States as compared to the majority of other nations throughout all of time. I reject the idea that the actions of the modern United States could be characterized as "tyrannical" or that we are ruled through despotism.

I feel as though this debate has been a waste of my time, and my opponents. I apologize for any offense I may have caused, and for any hypocritical behavior.
DavidMGold

Pro

Truthfully, I've just spent the past thirteen hours at work and I'll be back at work bright and early for another grueling twelve hours. I apologize to my opponent and to anyone who may have been following the debate, but I will not be submitting my closing arguments.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
My first source is the wrong link... here it is. http://www.thekingcenter.org...
Posted by DavidMGold 2 years ago
DavidMGold
Excuse me, you are absolutely right and I was viewing your challenge on my mobile phone and hastily accepted your challenge. If you'd like, propose a solution to this problem and I'll abide by it in full. Pardon my oversight.
Posted by Didd23 2 years ago
Didd23
Civil disobedience is justifiable to a point.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Pro, you were supposed to present your case in round one....
Posted by DavidMGold 2 years ago
DavidMGold
I tried accepting your challenge but I didn't meet the criteria.
Posted by danielles 2 years ago
danielles
I believe that morally justified is an incorrect term to portray the act of civil disobediance. While a reason- ethical, personal, or beneficial to ones need- may come up to act of the governemt, in rejection to the laws, civil disobediance is not a valid excuse. Due to my age, persay your neccesities for ranking to argue against, I will leave my imput here and go no further, due to a debate in the comment section being unprofesional. Bnless under sevier moderation with not disobediance, but possibly action, the act of civil disobediance is not justified.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
And with the way civil disobedience is defined, it would seem that all crimes in America must be considered. Is that what you intended, or were you more thinking about the kind of civil disobedience that recently took place in Colorado?
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
sorry, I was hasty... Not "all" I will change it to "on balance."
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
yes you are.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
kasmicDavidMGold
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: This is very hard to vote on. While pro missed out on the last round, he was winning previously in the debate, especially with his comparison of people's rights compared to government control, yet con was quite sufficient as well with his showing of how, with our many rights, civil disobedience is unneeded and thus immoral. A more detailed vote to come later, remind me if I do not.