The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Criminals should not be hated or despised

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2014 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 921 times Debate No: 43233
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




People who have committed crimes at a large scale (bombings, shootings, senseless killing), or even on a smaller scale (thieving, robbing, child abuse), are sometimes hated and despised throughout society. The reason why is obvious, but I think that people tend to mistakenly morph the human who committed the crime and the crime itself into one. Humans beings should be viewed as simply human beings. We make mistakes, but with each others help, we can get back on track.

This does not mean we can't despise the crime, just not the human who committed it. Personally, I believe that human hatred toward one another is a crime, but that would be a whole new debate.

Some may argue that the criminal deserves to be hated. But why give him what he deserves? Why not reach out and show him/her kindness; the things we have been taught to do at home and at school?

To build a better world for all, I believe that people should respect each other no matter what one has done in the past (or is going to do in the future).

Note- I'm not saying we should get rid of prison. Just that we should only be using them to protect citizens from danger, not to punish the criminals.


I accept and thank Pro for the debate topic.

Just for clarification - We are talking about crime, not out of necessity (food to eat); Bertolt Brecht's famous expression:
Erst dass Essen, dann die Moral (First the essential eating, then morality).

How can my intriguing opponent develop this strange idea that we be soft on criminals?

One of the very definitions of criminal is someone who commits crime for a living. [1] So their livelihood is crime and Pro wants to treat them with kid gloves and turn the other cheek?

People SHOULD obey the laws of the land thereby avoiding becoming criminals.

By lessening the societal shame of being a criminal, crime becomes acceptable & eventually rampant. Do you advocate more violence?

People should not become criminals in order for a society or civilization to function. Otherwise, you have lawlessness and might will equal right or indiscriminate use of force for personal gain. If we do go back to survival of the fittest, the criminals may just be in charge.

Most people know right from wrong & if they don't, the courts are usually lenient on first-time offenders. After that first lesson, that is when society has deemed that you have learned your lesson, the second offense will have harsher repercussions. There does exist kindness towards being human and making mistakes it is called, first-time offenders.

"But why give him what he deserves?" is Pro's fantastical goal is for societal hug and forgive the criminal; the only reason for acceptance by society is when the criminal changes, mastery of self & that is something that only they can do. If the criminal wants redemption, they need to find it in the spiritual realm and they can go to church for that feel-good sensation.

Pro has the luxury to draw this bizarre thesis only because there are laws in the land, which protect Pro's tenderheartedness.

Have you ever had to physically defend yourself or a loved one against a criminal or a would-be attacker? I believe your opinion might change if you were on their receiving end of their " human mistakes".

Do you want your family living next door to a bomber, pedophile, thief? There is a reason that civilized persons do not like criminals, it is not civil. Most people and families don't like to live around criminal elements which are created by the despised criminal. Therefore criminals should be despised.

Respect for the criminal? No, respect is earned not freely given.

I give respect for people who can live a just life.

Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting! I have been looking forward to seeing the other point of view :)

People definitely should try their best to obey the law and avoid committing crime.

Lessening the shame of being a criminal, does not mean accepting crime. I want to give criminals my full support, even if they might take advantage of it.

Instead of being average people (giving everyone what they deserve from our point of view), we should be good people (showing kindness to others even if they don't deserve it).

When someone stumbles and falls, is it better to offer your hand or to reject the person? In my opinion, the first choice would be the best.

Some argue that criminals could take advantage, so its better not to help. But that's like saying you won't help someone up because they might punch you in the face once they're standing.

I have never been attacked, or have to defend someone from an attacker (and I hope I never have to). If this ever was to happen, however, my opinion might really change. After all, its hard to not despise someone who has wronged you (or someone else). The best time to make a decision is now, in my calm state. Not when I am influenced by anger.

"Respect is earned; not freely given". It's right for a parent to take much care of their child, isn't it? Whatever has the child done to deserve this? I'm sure the child would have at least done something behind the parent's back. Does this mean that once the parents found out the child has been secretly eating the cookies, they should abandon him? I hope not.

Please do not mistaken my opinion. I believe that disciplining and despising are two separate things. Of course a criminal should pay up for what he has done, but society should still reach out their hand and show support.


I thank my opponent for a thought provoking rebuttal. And I apologize in advance my lengthy reply.

Clarification: I am referencing criminals over the age of 18, those legally recognized as adults. I hope my opponent is as well. Pro mentioned "It's right for a parent to take much care of their child, isn't it?" Parenting a child is not in the same category as criminals.

But with regards to juvenile crime: California is one of the most lenient and liberal states. Why then are juvenile crimes up 60% in the last fifteen years? Being more lenient does not lessen crime, but in fact increases it. [1]

Pro states: "Lessening the shame of being a criminal, does not mean accepting crime. I want to give criminals my full support, even if they might take advantage of it."

Let me start off with a quote:
"Despite state mandates, the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) believes lenient sentencing allows criminals to take advantage of the legal system and commit more dangerous crimes after they've been served.
"When you allow a dangerous individual to continue to commit crime after crime, while out on bond while out on probation, what benefit does he have to stop?" another Lorain police officer asked. [2]

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Benjamin Franklin
In terms of deterring criminals and crime: why is it that Detroit, MI for example, is a gun-free zone yet somehow has one of the highest crime rates? Would anyone want to work their dream job in a location where they had no promise of security or length of life? Maslow's hierarchy of needs has the pyramid base: food, water, SHELTER & warmth. [3]

I believe that my opponent needs to broaden their horizons and see how different some states operate, let alone other nations.

Western Civilization, the USA is particularly lenient with criminals in comparison to other cultures and countries. Some would have the severing of a hand for theft [4] and the death penalty for pedophiles. [5]

"Instead of being average people (giving everyone what they deserve from our point of view), we should be good people (showing kindness to others even if they don't deserve it)."

Here is my answer to Pro's "let's show kindness":
There is a need for contrition and restitution from the criminal. Otherwise, the sky's the limit with what the criminal can wrought on such a forgiving society.

Concerning misdemeanors, for instance DUI/DWI, after seven years of good conduct, restitution/fines, & rehabilitation one can have that misdemeanor wiped off their record; would that not suffice for your societal forgiveness in assisting a helping hand? The USA is one of the most compassionate nations on the planet towards it's own criminals.

Only you can control yourself and your actions. Expand your horizons. Only by changing the Detroit's Police Chief, James Craig geographic home from Los Angeles, CA to Maine and finally to Detroit, MI could he understand that there is less crime when good people are armed. That means it is better to be armed and then you can have the luxury of kindness towards criminality rather than without any means of defense.

Detroit Police Chief, James Craig said: Want crime to drop? Start carrying.

"I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed." [6]

Repeat offenders don't usually stop on their own accord.

"Finally, after Lloyd's 13th arrest for drunk driving in 2011, a Portage County judge sentenced him to 2 years in prison.
How many times does it take for someone to get prison time?
"Unfortunately, it's sometimes, not until someone is hurt or killed," said Vigluicci." [7]

So in essence, Pro is willing to let the life of (an) innocent(s) be maimed or killed in order to be sweet to the poor criminal. Logic, please? It sounds as if Pro is debating an emotional battle where facts are secondary to feelings.

Even the military tries only to engage enemy combatants and avoid hurting or killing innocent civilians.

I don't know that much about my opponent. Pro states on his comment page: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt. FALSE!"
I'd rather be called names than have someone crippled or killed. Name calling is nothing compared to a loss of life.

Pro states: It just means we need support from other people not to do the same thing.
People CAN find support NOT to do the same criminal acts. There are charities and hot-lines for nigh every vice in the USA. Again, the USA is one of the most generous nations. How many countries have you live in or visited for more than a few days?

Pro states: I just think that people should stop hating each other.
Pro sounds like the quote from the movie, Mean Girls: "I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school... I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy..."

If protecting innocents from hurt or death makes me a mean girl, instead of coddling repeat-offender criminals, then so be it. I'm a mean girl.

One can still be Christian, be an encouragement to others by leading by example, abide the laws, eschew repeat criminal offenders yet do not mandate that others respect criminals.

Debate Round No. 2



What I noticed is that the main reason some want to be harsh on criminals is because if we don't, they will commit more crimes. It's like an A-leads-to-B sequence. The paragraph below are my thoughts on the possibility of disconnecting the two; making it possible to be kind while lessening crime at the same time:

With the California case in mind, it does seem like being lenient alone does not lessen crime, but increases it. Now I read about what happened on the website, and it seemed to me like anyone could walk up to a store owner and beat him to death. Of course this means he is going to be arrested and given hefty charges, but that does not stop the person from being able to commit murder at his will. To me, there are three main ways to stop a crime: making it impossible to commit, changing people's minds so they don't want to commit it in the first place, and giving a penalty for committing the crime. The easiest to do is the last one (which many, if not all, countries of the world have been doing). The second has also been given a shot at (teaching children at school to avoid drugs, smoking, etc.). However, it is not fully completed, as some are still taught to do evil. The first I mentioned, hardest of all, has also been tried (in Japan, citizens cannot carry guns). But it also has not been completed, and I think it is the most incomplete. The best thing to do is to fully satisfy all three. I hope we, as humans, can eventually establish something like this, lowering the crime rates drastically.

I think the United States is indeed a very awesome country, and I am grateful for living here. I am also thankful for the freedom many people have felt because the United States' existence.

I'm glad you took time to visit my profile. Many people would agree that they would rather be bad-mouthed than physically hurt or killed, but that was not what I meant. When I stated that the "sticks and stones" saying was false, I meant that words can hurt (sometimes, a lot). If a child is constantly verbally abused, the child can go into depression and develop suicidal thought. So words can hurt, sometimes more than sticks and stones.

I don't want to accuse you of being a "mean girl" because you wish to protect the innocent (and I hope I never do that to anyone else). However, I believe there is a way to protect the innocent while repaying bad with good. As I mentioned above in the VERY long paragraph that I hope you didn't fall asleep while reading, if we can close all the ports that lead to crime, than showing kindness to criminals will not result in more crime. And crime rates will fall.

I would like to state that I do not disagree with the system we have now. The problem I see in society is the fact that people are hating/disliking each other. We all know what happens when this gets out of hand.

What I meant by kindness is that we will not talk harshly about the criminals (just the crime). Also, when a man rejoins society, we should welcome him/her warmly; celebrating that he/she is now in the right state of mind instead of turning his dark past against him.

Thanks for showing me the other point of view, and good luck on your final argument!
May peace befall on our galaxy :)


I thank Pro for their thoughtful reply. Pro has an extremely kind heart and chooses is a tough road. I believe that humankind has a war-like nature.

"If a child is constantly verbally abused, the child can go into depression and develop suicidal thought. So words can hurt, sometimes more than sticks and stones." That child then did not have a proper up-bringing. Children are blessing; they are the parent's gift for the future and should be cherished. Parents are charged with making children who can function well and are well-adjusted in society to better the future. If parents cause their children consistent pain, anger, fill-in with any abuse, the future usually perpetuates that cyclical behavior onto another generation. And of course, they have no business being parents. In that way I can understand you forgiveness stance.

I would hope that the child would seek a way out. I can suggest my path. I went into the military which isn't for everyone but it helps people really look at what is important and what can be sloughed off like a caterpillar shedding his cocoon.
Your argument is plea for a higher intelligence to endure those who act on a more primal plane.

It is a lofty request and ideal. Few people can turn the other cheek. People can learn, grew and create better situations/futures for themselves. Society and the world is not a kind place. If one knows that, one can protect better; don't wear your heart on your sleeve for everyone to pluck out. Be guarded and toughen up because no looks out for you, like you do.

"Also, when a man rejoins society, we should welcome him/her warmly; celebrating that he/she is now in the right state of mind instead of turning his dark past against him."

Welcoming people are easier said than done. Unless the crimes are written on his face, when a man rejoins society, it isn't so obvious. Perhaps when doing the job search and in this horrible economy that really hurts everyone, this comes into play. Not all persons will say, No, for employment. It's just finding that one in a hundred and not giving up.

That said, adults who are repeat offenders, deserve to reap what they sown. I think closing all ports to crime would liken skill to that of an omniscient being and I am just human.

"To err is human; to forgive, divine." Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Logicblock 3 years ago
I think we need to give clear definitions of "hated" and "despised." Should a criminal manage kill a multitude of people over unjust reasons, why shouldn't we "despise" him/her?
Posted by Bakatakume 3 years ago
I am not against prison or anything of that sort. I just think that people should stop hating each other.

Again, hate the crime, but not the person. We've all make bad choices in our lives before.
Posted by Bakatakume 3 years ago
You're right: many criminals will take advantage of kindness. However, I am pretty sure that most, if not all, people have taken advantage of other people's kindness. This does not mean we must be hated and given the cold shoulder. It just means we need support from other people not to do the same thing.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
You have an overly positive view of human nature.
There ARE bad people in this world and they WILL take advantage of kindness.
Anyone who has purposely taken someone else's life in cold blood deserves to be hated. vilified, and locked up in a maximum security prison for at least 20 years.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con simply makes the stronger arguments. I disagree with a lot of her conclusions, I think they're not well supported and lack much in the way of evidence (much of the evidence is suspect and still functions within a society focused on doling out harsh punishment), but they're well articulated, possible harms that outstrip anything Pro has stated, and simply don't get the response they require. Pro, I'd look to examples of nations that have practically removed the prison system altogether - they don't have higher crime rates, and the amount of rehabilitated prisoners is far higher than in the US. I'd also spend some time focusing on why our system should focus on justice over vengeance, and the fact that our system is meant to rehab criminals, not make them harder and meaner as the prison system often does.