The Instigator
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
Seabiscuit
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Distributive justice is a just economic system.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,237 times Debate No: 17377
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

RightWingConspiracyGuy

Con

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent in advance for accepting this debate. Secondly, I would ask that no one accept this debate unless you really care about the topic and are prepared to present coherent arguments for your position. This subject is at the heart of some of the most important issues of our time, so please, if you don’t care that much about the topic or are not willing to do the necessary research, do not accept this debate. Also, this is a values debate, so while empirical statistics do have their place, philosophical analyses are more appropriate. Finally, no new arguments are to be made in the final round, as they will be impossible to answer. And with that...


AFFIRMATIVE CASE


First, some definitions:


Justice is defined by Webster’s Revised Dictionary as “The rendering to every one his due or right; that which is due to one's conduct.”


The system of distributive justice is defined by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice as: “A system in which social and economic inequalities are arranged so that they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society.”


As the resolution asks what a just economic system ought to be, the highest value in today’s debate must be Justice.


Since every person is due certain rights, and by definition, to do justice is to respect these rights, the criterion for achieving justice is respecting individual rights.


Thus, if the economic system of distributive justice does not respect individual rights, it must be unjust and thus the resolution is proven false.


I therefore present two contentions:



CONTENTION 1: EVERY PERSON HAS AN UNALIENABLE RIGHT TO HIS OWN PROPERTY


a) The right to property has its foundation in the basic right of Freedom. As the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote in “The Metaphysics of Morals”:


“If I am the holder of a thing, then anyone who touches it without my consent (for example, wrests an apple from my hand) affects and diminishes that which is internally mine, my freedom. Consequently, the maxim of his action stands in direct contradiction to the axiom of justice.”


b) Furthermore, not a single person has the prerogative to violate any other person’s right to his property. John Lock wrote in his “Second Treatise on Government”:


“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labor of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, he hath mixed his labor with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labor something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labor being the unquestionable property of the laborer, no man but he can have a right to it.”



CONTENTION 2: THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE VIOLATES THE INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHT TO PROPERTY.


a) This argument is articulated best by the Harvard political philosopher Robert Nozick, in his book, “Anarchy, State, and Utopia,” where he writes:


“Suppose a distribution favored by one of these [distributive justice] conceptions is realized. Let us suppose it is your favorite one and let us call this distribution D1; perhaps everyone has an equal share, perhaps shares vary in accordance with some dimension you treasure. Nows uppose that Wilt Chamberlain is greatly in demand by basketball teams, being a great gate attraction. He signs the following sort of contract with a team: In each home game, twenty-five cents from the price of each ticket of admission goes to him. The season starts, and people cheerfully attend his team’s games; they buy their tickets, each time dropping a separate twenty-five cents of their admission price into a special box with Chamberlain’s name on it. They are excited about seeing him play; it is worth the total admission price to them. Let us suppose that in one season one million persons attend his home games, and Wilt Chamberlain winds up with $250,000, a much larger sum than the average income and larger even than anyone else has. Is he entitled to this income? Is this new distribution D2 unjust? If so, why?


There is no question about whether each of the people was entitled to the control over the resources they held in D1; because that was the distribution that (for the purposes of argument) we assumed was acceptable. Each of these persons chose to give twenty-five cents of their money to Chamberlain. They could have spent it on going to the movies, or on candy bars, or on copies of Dissent magazine, or of Monthly Review. But they all, at least one million of them, converged on giving it to Wilt Chamberlain in exchange for watching him play basketball. If D1 was a just distribution, and people voluntarily moved from it to D2, transferring parts of their shares they were given under D1 (what was it for if not to do something with?), isn’t D2 also just?


The point of this example is that no distributional principle of justice can be continuously realized without continuous interference with people’s lives. Any favored pattern would be transformed into one unfavored by the principle, by people choosing to act in various ways; for example, by people exchanging goods and services with other people, or giving things to other people, things the transferrers are entitled to under the favored distributional pattern. To maintain a pattern one must either continually interfere to stop people from transferring resources as they wish to, or continually interfere to take from some persons resources that others for some reason chose to transfer to them.”


Nozick goes on to argue that the system of distributive justice is “on par with forced labor,” explaining that:


“The central core of the notion of a property right in X is the right to determine what shall be done with X; the right to choose which of the constrained set of options concerning X shall be realized or attempted. When end-result principles of distributive justice are built into the legal structure of a society, they give each citizen an enforceable claim to some portion of the total social product; that is, to some portion of the sum total of the individually and jointly made products. Each person has a claim to the activities and the products of other persons, independently of whether the other persons voluntarily enter into particular relationships that give rise to these claims. Seizing the results of someone’s labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities. If people force you to do certain work, or unrewarded work, for a certain period of time, they decide what you are to do and what purposes your work is to serve apart from your decisions. This process whereby they take this decision from you makes them a part-owner of you; it gives them a property right in you.”



And thus, it is quite clear that distributive justice is not justice at all, it is institutionalized slavery; it violates the individual’s right to his own property, to his own life. It obviously does not respect individual rights and is therefore inherently unjust. I look forward to a good debate and wish my opponent good luck.















Seabiscuit

Pro

I hope it's okay if my framework is much more casual, and less Lincoln Douglass-e
Your notion of property rights, require a deliberate subtraction of rights from other people that want to own the same property, and although it is true Nozick has a notion of legitimate workmanship that requires a return for your physical or cognitive labor, he also thinks that its only "just" if the physical process doesn't injure the situation of others. Therefore, by your dialectical justification your required to prove that your laissez faire system isn't inimical to other people.
So take another Nozick example, a man finds a piece of land that isn't owned by anyone else and decides to seed it, plant it, and farm it, the natural assumption would be that this sort of thing is okay. But what arbitrary process makes it appropriate for the first person with the capacity to discover this land, the owner of it? There is no natural universal declaration on the subject. Therefore it would unjust for the assumption to be made, for example, that I somehow am granted immediate ownership of the entire planet of mars just because I was the first one on the planet.
Moreover, distributive justice is an artificial system that is required to avoid extinction.
The system of events in a world without regulation would allow for a number of different process' that hinder the health of the general constituency. For example, Global climate change has been brought on by collective use of fossil fuels and the like, which in your own economically deregulated system would be irreversible, and perpetual.
Debate Round No. 1
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Con

First of all, I would like to thank Seabiscuit for accepting this debate. It looks to be quite interesting. I would also like to apologize for labeling my case “affirmative” in the first round. It was a mistake. I am arguing for the negative, so from now on, my case will be accurately labeled “negative.” And with that, I will review my case, and then go on to examine my opponent’s affirmative case.



NEGATIVE CASE


My opponent has conceded my definitions and my value/criterion. He has thus conceded that if distributive justice does not respect individual rights, it is unjust and thus the resolution is false. I am well able to, and indeed have, proved this is the case.



CONTENTION 1: EVERY PERSON HAS AN UNALIENABLE RIGHT TO HIS OWN PROPERTY


My opponent has also conceded this contention, thus conceding that “Not a single person has the prerogative to violate any other person’s right to his property.” I regard this as an obvious fact and thank my opponent for not contesting it.



CONTENTION 2: THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE VIOLATES THE INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHT TO PROPERTY.


This is where I was expecting my arguments to be contested. The entire debate hinges on this issue. My opponent has already conceded that if distributive justice does not respect individual rights, he loses. He has already conceded that the individual’s property rights are absolutely inalienable; that no one can violate them. Therefore, if this contention is true, he loses. If my opponent is to win this debate, HE MUST PROVE THIS CONTENTION FALSE. This is why I was so surprised to find that he has completely dropped this contention. He has not addressed it anywhere in his argument. It has been absolutely ignored.



In summary, my opponent has conceded my entire case. He has not contested a single argument. He has dropped every single one of them. He has conceded that if distributive justice does not respect individual rights, I win. He has conceded that distributive justice does not respect individual rights. He has therefore conceded that I win!



AFFIRMATIVE CASE


Seabiscuit: Your notion of property rights, require a deliberate subtraction of rights from other people that want to own the same property.”


FACT: This is a misnomer. My opponent says that my conception of property rights requires the subtraction of other people’s rights. However, it is impossible to take away from someone something that they do not possess. No two people can have a just claim on the same property, and therefore only one person can have a legitimate and unalienable right to it. And so, taking away property from someone who wants to own it does not violate their rights as long as they are not the legitimate owner of that property. However, it is strange that my opponent would bring up this argument, because it is in reality one of the best arguments against distributive justice. In fact, considering my opponent is arguing for distributive justice, it is actually his notion of property rights that requires the deliberate violation of rights, except that under his conception, the rights that are being violated belong to the actual proprietor of those rights, not someone who merely aspires to have those rights. The process, inherent in the distributive justice system, which is euphemistically referred to as “redistribution,” actually consists of seizing property (usually money) from its rightful owner, completely contrary to his will, and then giving it to those who did not earn it and do not deserve it (if that isn’t “a deliberate subtraction of rights,” I don’t know what is).



Seabiscuit: “He (Nozick) also thinks that its only "just" if the physical process doesn't injure the situation of others. Therefore, by your dialectical justification your required to prove that your laissez faire system isn't inimical to other people.”


FACT: First of all, I would like to point out that my opponent has not empirically proved that Nozick does indeed believe what he says he does; he merely asserts it. More importantly, however, even assuming Nozick did claim this, this entire argument is wholly irrelevant, because I am not Robert Nozick. Just because I cite him as a philosophical authority (which he is), does not mean I concur with all of his beliefs. Refuting an entirely unrelated view of Robert Nozick has no bearing on this debate whatsoever. Contrary to what my opponent says Nozick says, justice will always inherently damage the situation of others. Justice entails giving to someone what he is due, which implies not giving it to someone who also wants, and may need, it, as well as taking it from someone who does not have a just claim on it. Does this justice harm the situation of these needy but undeserving men? Certainly. But is it still justice? Absolutely.



Seabiscuit: “What arbitrary process makes it appropriate for the first person with the capacity to discover this land, the owner of it? There is no natural universal declaration on the subject. Therefore it would unjust for the assumption to be made, for example, that I somehow am granted immediate ownership of the entire planet of mars just because I was the first one on the planet.”


FACT: It is true that it the process which determines who discovers what land is sometimes entirely arbitrary. However, this point is entirely irrelevant. While the process by which ownership of property is determined may be arbitrary, the obligations that arise from it are not. For instance, it may be wholly arbitrary that a baby is born on one side of the Rio Grande as opposed to the other, but that does not mean that the United States government is obligated to provide Medicare to Mexicans, or vice-versa.


Seabiscuit: “Distributive justice is an artificial system that is required to avoid extinction.”


FACT: And yet here we are, still remarkably un-extinct. The free market has been rampant for decades, even centuries, and the fact is that we are better off for it. It has produced a standard of living unparalleled by any system in the past, for the wealthy and for the poor. And so distributive justice is clearly not required to save the human race from extinction.



Seabiscuit: “The system of events in a world without regulation would allow for a number of different process' that hinder the health of the general constituency. For example, Global climate change has been brought on by collective use of fossil fuels and the like, which in your own economically deregulated system would be irreversible, and perpetual.”


FACT: First of all, I would like to point out that this entire argument presupposes the (shaky at best) hypothesis of man-caused climate change. However, this hypothesis is highly debated and contested on many fronts. To just throw a global warming bomb into the debate is completely extraneous to the matter at hand. Furthermore, my opponent seems to confuse regulation with money in this argument. This debate is not about regulation or the lack of it. I have not offered any arguments concerning regulation. Neither should my opponent. Regardless of who holds resources (in this case, fossil fuels), based on whatever economic justice system you choose (distributive, entitlement, etc.), those resources are always going to be used (thus, according to my opponent, melting the ice caps and drowning adorable fuzzy polar bear cubs). And so, this entire argument is a big non sequitir, completely unrelated to the actual debate. And even if you accept that it is somehow relevant, it doesn’t matter because no matter what you do, resources are always going to be used by somebody.



In conclusion, my opponent has dropped and thus entirely conceded my entire case. He has also offered, many of them complete non sequitirs, wholly unrelated to anything being discussed. In short, I have won my case, and I have won his case: I have therefore won the debate.


I wish my opponent good luck.





Seabiscuit

Pro

It seems that my opponent completely ignored the top of the 1st post where I stated that the framework of my side of the debate is not going to be the formal Lincoln Douglas debate he presupposed it would be. Therefore the fact he's trying to garner some offense by the lack of implicit attention to every detail in his text is completely ridiculous.
The debate comes to an axiom of standards that would quench some interpretation of justice, which is the framework under which I'm colloquially arguing.
Now onto the actual issue of distributive justice.
My opponent has misunderstood the link between the process for property ownership and the justification for distributive justice. The way he describes distributive justice alludes heavily to communism, "The process, inherent in the distributive justice system, which is euphemistically referred to as "redistribution," actually consists of seizing property (usually money) from its rightful owner, completely contrary to his will, and then giving it to those who did not earn it and do not deserve it." I'm actually going to concede that the two are relatively synonymous and will probably exercise the vernacular accordingly. Property rights are extremely relative when talking about economic systems. The assumption that people can own property in the first place is one that I would like to call into question. The fact that somehow I am able to stake a claim on a piece of land because some synthetic system has been established that grants pieces of paper the right to exclude disenfranchised party members of the agreement from ever garnering any sort of survival from the tangible noumenal world, is always going to be unjust. Unfortunately you have no real concept of how distributive justice would work. Your not growing crops just to have them "stolen" from you, rather the object is the fact that you have tools to farm, e.g. tractor requires you to have a system in which the person that manufactured the steel, the rubber for tires, pumped the gasoline all get some net benefit from you growing your crops. Therefore the notion of "property" is not private but public, and no theft is actually taking place. Whether or not you agree with this system has nothing to do with how "just" the system is (As long as everyone gets whats do to them).
Debate Round No. 2
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Con

NEGATIVE CASE

I am extremely surprised to find that my opponent has completely ignored, and thus conceded, my entire case again. If my opponent wishes to win this debate, he is under an obligation to do more than simply spew unrelated contrary arguments. He is under an obligation to adequately address my arguments. I didn’t post them just to get warm fuzzies inside. I posted them to further debate on this critically important issue. However, my opponent has not fulfilled these fundamental obligations. Instead, he has completely blown off my entire case, refusing to address it, instead posting paragraph-long blips of arguments extolling the virtues of Communism. It should be clear that this is not only unacceptable, but it also automatically hands me the victory in this debate. My opponent has not contested my contentions; he has conceded them. And as I explained in the previous round, he has thus conceded that the resolution is indeed false and that he must lose this debate.

AFFIRMATIVE CASE

Seabiscuit: “It seems that my opponent completely ignored the top of the 1st post where I stated that the framework of my side of the debate is not going to be the formal Lincoln Douglas debate he presupposed it would be. Therefore the fact he's trying to garner some offense by the lack of implicit attention to every detail in his text is completely ridiculous.”

FACT: In the first round, my opponent slipped in the phrase: “I hope it's okay if my framework is much more casual, and less Lincoln Douglass-e.” He is now attempting to use this to excuse his utter failure to address my arguments in any way whatsoever. He is basically saying “I’m going to ignore all of your arguments, but that’s okay because I said I was going to beforehand. Therefore, because I being un-Lincoln-Douglass-e, I am under no obligation to answer your arguments. In fact, I am under no obligation to do anything except post random, unrelated arguments that have nothing to do with the matter at hand. I win!!!” Contrary to my opponent’s assertion, it is actually this idea that is ridiculous, not the idea that he is obligated to answer my arguments.

Seabiscuit: “Now onto the actual issue of distributive justice.
My opponent has misunderstood the link between the process for property ownership and the justification for distributive justice. The way he describes distributive justice alludes heavily to communism, "The process, inherent in the distributive justice system, which is euphemistically referred to as "redistribution," actually consists of seizing property (usually money) from its rightful owner, completely contrary to his will, and then giving it to those who did not earn it and do not deserve it." I'm actually going to concede that the two are relatively synonymous and will probably exercise the vernacular accordingly. Property rights are extremely relative when talking about economic systems. The assumption that people can own property in the first place is one that I would like to call into question. The fact that somehow I am able to stake a claim on a piece of land because some synthetic system has been established that grants pieces of paper the right to exclude disenfranchised party members of the agreement from ever garnering any sort of survival from the tangible noumenal (sic) world, is always going to be unjust. Unfortunately you have no real concept of how distributive justice would work. Your not growing crops just to have them "stolen" from you, rather the object is the fact that you have tools to farm, e.g. tractor requires you to have a system in which the person that manufactured the steel, the rubber for tires, pumped the gasoline all get some net benefit from you growing your crops. Therefore the notion of "property" is not private but public, and no theft is actually taking place. Whether or not you agree with this system has nothing to do with how "just" the system is (As long as everyone gets whats do to them).”

FACT: First of all, I have certainly not misunderstood the link between the process for property ownership and the justification for distributive justice. Distributive justice is inherently dependent on the determination of property rights. It can only possibly be justified if property rights cannot be bestowed upon individuals, but only upon communes of individuals. And this is what my opponent claims. First of all, I would like to point out that the position my opponent is advocating is actually socialism, where property is publically owned, as opposed to communism, where no one owns anything (or everyone owns everything, depending on how you look at it). Anyway, contrary to my opponent’s claim, property rights are most certainly not relative in any case. Individual property rights are absolute. They have always been. And despite any future despotic attempts to violate them, they will always be. And, as I have proven before, and as my opponent has conceded, distributive justice violates these rights. My opponent asserts that people cannot own property in the first place, and goes on to make an equally unsupported as well as contradictory assertion: that in fact people can own property, but only as a group; publically. Although my opponent merely tosses these highly controversial and contested claims out there without so much as a shred of proof, I will proceed to refute them. Individual property rights have their basis in the foundational concept of individual human freedom. And thus, if every individual has a inherent and inalienable right to his own liberty (which I think is fairly obvious), then, by extension, every individual also has an inherent and inalienable right to his own property. As the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote in his book “The Metaphysics of Morals.”:

“If I am the holder of a thing, then anyone who touches it without my consent (for example, wrests an apple from my hand) affects and diminishes that which is internally mine, my freedom. Consequently, the maxim of his action stands in direct contradiction with the axiom of justice.”

Therefore, it is clear that, since every individual has the right to internal freedom, they all have the right to external property rights. This is a right that can indeed be possessed by individuals, and which cannot be justly violated. However, the distributive justice system violates this right and thus in unjust.

Later on in my opponent’s tirade, he repeats almost verbatim his previously abused baseless rhetoric (which I have already more than adequately refuted and thus will not deal with again here) as well as accuses me of having “no real concept of how distributive justice would work.” Unfortunately it seems the opposite is true. My opponent goes on to claim, without factual support of any kind yet again, that under distributive justice, you would not have your labor stolen away from you. However, I have already conclusively proved (and he has conceded, I might add) that this is exactly what happens under distributive justice. To put it again in the words of Robert Nozick (which my opponent has also failed to address):

“If people force you to do certain work, unrewarded work, for a certain period of time, they decide what you are to do and what purposes your work is to serve apart from your decisions. This process whereby they take this decision from you makes them a part-owner of you; it gives them a property right in you.”

It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

I await my opponent’s argument and wish him good luck.

Seabiscuit

Pro

"I would like to point out that my opponent has not empirically proved that Nozick does indeed believe what he says he does." I would hope that if he says he believes it, we can take his word for it.

"Individual property rights are absolute. They have always been. And despite any future despotic attempts to violate them, they will always be."

This is really the only part I need to address. He clearly makes a warrant-less claim here. I've given you reasons why property rights are in no way "absolute", rather synthetic temporal ideas. For example, native Americans thought they had rights to there own property, Germany thought they had a right to Poland, Russia thinks they have the right to own the entire world, etc.

"Individual property rights have their basis in the foundational concept of individual human freedom. And thus, if every individual has a inherent and inalienable right to his own liberty (which I think is fairly obvious), then, by extension, every individual also has an inherent and inalienable right to his own property."

He makes assumptions further, that somehow the leap from liberty to property is obvious, but obviously just because they're next to each other in the declaration of independence doesn't make them synonymous. Moreover the right to liberty is also not a universal declaration, but once again an idea that has merit only to the few that believe it to be true in one particular place at one particular time. For example, the Mayan's assumed violating liberty and the like for sacrifice was justified.

This is the main voter in the round. The fact that property rights aren't inherent for every human being implies that in a system of distributive justice there is no "theft occurring" rather a collective proletariat bargain for some net benefit.

Also he quotes Nozick, however the system in which we're discussing doesn't presuppose that owning property in someone else is "unjust". The system doesn't force you to continue your participation. Assuming your emancipation of this new communist/socialist system is homogenized across the zeitgeist of the populace then there is no justice being violated. Moreover this same concept described by Nozick isn't in anyway original. Marx was the first one to use critical rhetoric like this to describe the dangers of capitalism. In the same way the government has "forced" your proletariat struggle so to have you been forced by unregulated capitalism to find a job and be ruthlessly molested by your employer (figuratively). The only difference here is that you capitalism has no moral compass and is strictly motivated by profit margins and the like, while government is motivated by prerogative of its constituency.
Debate Round No. 3
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Con

NEGATIVE CASE

CONCEDED AGAIN!!! Time after time I have explained that my opponent MUST address my constructive case; not merely spout extraneous opinions. However, he has once again done NOTHING OF THE SORT. Just because he has an “un-Lincoln-Douglass-e” format does not mean he can play fast and loose with the fundamental aspects of debate and simply ignore arguments.

AFFIRMATIVE CASE

Seabiscuit: “‘I would like to point out that my opponent has not empirically proved that Nozick does indeed believe what he says he does.’ I would hope that if he says he believes it, we can take his word for it.”

FACT: It is understandable how my opponent could have misunderstood the intent of this sentence in my case; it was admittedly ambiguously worded. However, what I meant was that my opponent has provided no quotation from Nozick to prove he actually says what my opponent says he does. However, this is irrelevant to debate, as it was simply a relatively minor detail thrown in to point out my opponent’s astounding lack of citations of any kind.

Seabiscuit: “‘Individual property rights are absolute. They have always been. And despite any future despotic attempts to violate them, they will always be.’

This is really the only part I need to address. He clearly makes a warrant-less claim here. I've given you reasons why property rights are in no way "absolute", rather synthetic temporal ideas. For example, native Americans thought they had rights to there (sic) own property, Germany thought they had a right to Poland, Russia thinks they have the right to own the entire world, etc."

FACT: When I began this debate, I was certainly not expecting to have to defend the existence of property rights or liberty for that matter. However, this is exactly the situation in which I currently find myself, with my opponent actually seriously arguing that liberty and property are nonexistent. Despite the apparent absurdity of these outrageous (and groundless) assertions, I will proceed to soundly refute them. He says that I have not warranted my claim that property rights are absolute. However, this is (again) simply false as a matter of empirical fact. I did in fact validly warrant my claim with a quote from Immanuel Kant, which I will here repeat for the benefit of the audience and the edification of my opponent.

“If I am the holder of a thing, then anyone who touches it without my consent (for example, wrests an apple from my hand) affects and diminishes that which is internally mine, my freedom. Consequently, the maxim of his action stands in direct contradiction with the axiom of justice.”

Therefore, as I said beforehand, it is abundantly clear that since every individual has the internal right to freedom, they all have the right to external property rights. And so it is obvious that I have provided a coherent and irrefutable proof of the existence of the glaringly obvious concept of individual property rights. (Just as a side note: if individual property rights did not exist, then the computer that my opponent is using to prove they do not exist does not belong to him; the computers that you, the audience, are using to view this debate, do not belong to you. Maybe they belong to me, maybe they don’t, maybe they belong to everyone, maybe they belong to no one, maybe they belong to the person with the biggest stick. Who knows? You can’t, unless you accept the existence of individual property rights.) Furthermore, my opponent’s comparison of property rights to the tyrannical imperialism of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia is absolutely ridiculous. I am merely arguing that individual property rights exist, not that Germany had such a right in Poland or that Russia has such a right in the whole world. In short, to compare property rights with their abuse as in my opponent’s example is akin to comparing the individual’s right to kill an attacker in self-defense to mass genocide (both of which are absurd).

Seabiscuit: “’Individual property rights have their basis in the foundational concept of individual human freedom. And thus, if every individual has a inherent and inalienable right to his own liberty (which I think is fairly obvious), then, by extension, every individual also has an inherent and inalienable right to his own property.’

He makes assumptions further, that somehow the leap from liberty to property is obvious, but obviously just because they're next to each other in the declaration of independence doesn't make them synonymous. Moreover the right to liberty is also not a universal declaration, but once again an idea that has merit only to the few that believe it to be true in one particular place at one particular time. For example, the Mayan's assumed violating liberty and the like for sacrifice was justified.”

FACT: Here my opponent implies for some reason that I claimed Liberty and property were inextricably linked simply because they are next to each other in the Declaration of Independence. Wait a minute… What??? Liberty and property aren’t next to each other in the Declaration of Independence. The phrase is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” not Life, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” This gaffe is so glaringly obvious that I am shocked to have encountered it. However, it does reflect on how informed and competent my opponent is in general. Anyway, as I have proven before, the actual reason Liberty and property are linked is because I have conclusively proved it with unrequited philosophical analysis. As if that were not enough, my opponent then goes on to claim that universal human freedom does not exist. We are limited to 8,000 characters in this debate. Whole books have been written on the foundations of Liberty. My opponent cannot simply drop the comment, “oh, by the way, liberty doesn’t exist,” and expect me to lay out a detailed, 1,000-page philosophical analysis about the existence of liberty. To do this is incredibly abusive. For our purposed here, and indeed for our purposes throughout our entire lives, it is sufficient for Liberty to be presupposed. After all, we are imperfect humans; we can’t even validly do math without axioms, so how can we be expected to deal with deep, complex concepts like morality without them? Afterwards, my opponent again draws an absolutely ludicrous analogy between the concept of human liberty and human sacrifice. This comparison is so absolutely absurd that I hardly need to address it. However, I will. The Mayan’s were wrong. Just because they thought that you could violate a person’s intrinsic freedom so that you could sacrifice him to the sun god doesn’t mean that it is in fact the case.

Seabiscuit: “This is the main voter in the round. The fact that property rights aren't inherent for every human being implies that in a system of distributive justice there is no "theft occurring" rather a collective proletariat bargain for some net benefit.”

FACT: This blurb basically just repeats my opponent’s ridiculous mantra that no one owns anything, and therefore taking things from people cannot be theft, and that the government confiscating individuals’ property to give it to undeserving citizens, turning them into societal leeches, is “a collective proletariat bargain for some net benefit.” Not only is this blatantly false, but what benefit is being bargained for in this fictional world? Mutual exploitation? Equal poverty? Distributed misery? These are the things that arise when the unjust system of distributive justice is imposed on the people.

In conclusion, I have ONCE AGAIN extended the arguments in my constructive case, which my opponent has ONCE AGAIN completely failed to answer or even address in any way at all. Also, my opponent has ONCE AGAIN not extended a single one of his previous arguments, in addition to dropping additional unsubstantiated and often incoherent arguments. At this point, it really couldn’t be more obvious that that the Negative should win this debate.

Seabiscuit

Pro

"I have proven before, the actual reason Liberty and property are linked is because I have conclusively proved it with unrequited philosophical analysis. As if that were not enough, my opponent then goes on to claim that universal human freedom does not exist. We are limited to 8,000 characters in this debate. Whole books have been written on the foundations of Liberty. My opponent cannot simply drop the comment, "oh, by the way, liberty doesn't exist," and expect me to lay out a detailed, 1,000-page philosophical analysis about the existence of liberty. To do this is incredibly abusive. For our purposed here, and indeed for our purposes throughout our entire lives, it is sufficient for Liberty to be presupposed. After all, we are imperfect humans; we can't even validly do math without axioms, so how can we be expected to deal with deep, complex concepts like morality without them?"

If you've read this than it's clear I have won this debate. He says that since 1000 page books have been written on the subject that he can't possible be expected to argue for it. But this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my entire life. (1) It shouldn't be hard to find a passage in the 1000 page book that would be suitable for our purposes here. (2)But more over what he's doing is much more abusive than me making an argument that he didn't expect. If he doesn't have to warrant any of his claims because it is too difficult than I should be able to make any warrant less claim and it should be accepted as fact. (3) If he is not willing to debate subjects like liberty than why is he here in the first place? Therefore extend the claim that liberty and property is not some kind of force that flows through everyone in the universe, and extend the claim that distributive justice is therefore justified under not only a consenting population, but even one with reluctance and hatred for the government. Because no one is being stolen from ect. ect.

"If I am the holder of a thing, then anyone who touches it without my consent (for example, wrests an apple from my hand) affects and diminishes that which is internally mine, my freedom. Consequently, the maxim of his action stands in direct contradiction with the axiom of justice."

Furthermore he dropped the Nozick card in his last speech, the only thing he has left is his Kant analysis which assumes that Kant is a property owner in the first place and, as I have said before there isn't any real concrete analysis that says anyone can own anything, and finally Kant has no intrinsic warrant on justice, just a large assumption that says the apple is mine and anyone that takes it is unjust, this is just an attractive, sophisticated, but baseless anecdote on the subject.

Even if you don't buy any of that I'm still winning on the argument that liberty, property, and morality are just temporal assertions in one particular time and place and have no legitimate grounds in terms of a real phenomenological argument. extend the Mayan, German, Native American analysis, which my opponent simply claims as a mistake on there part.
Debate Round No. 4
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Con

NEGATIVE CASE


My opponent has AGAIN entirely ignored my entire case and thus conceded it. This alone is enough for me to win the round. Moving on.



AFFIRMATIVE CASE


Seabiscuit: "(1) It shouldn't be hard to find a passage in the 1000 page book that would be suitable for our purposes here. (2)But more over what he's doing is much more abusive than me making an argument that he didn't expect. If he doesn't have to warrant any of his claims because it is too difficult than I should be able to make any warrant less claim and it should be accepted as fact. (3) If he is not willing to debate subjects like liberty than why is he here in the first place?"


FACT:


(1) This point, like the rest of my opponent’s case, entirely ignores the point of the issue at hand (seems to be a habit of his). If he’s going to drop the comment, “You know Liberty, yeah, that thing the entirety of any successful society is based upon, that thing that America wouldn’t exist without? Yeah, it doesn’t exist. Just thought I’d mention that,” then the obligation lies with HIM to prove this impossibly absurd claim, not me to refute it. He must fulfill his prima facie obligations to prove his claims before I am obligated to address it.


(2) This argument (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word) is so utterly ridiculous and ironic I can barely keep from giggling as I crush it. He says that I simply haven’t warranted my claim because it’s too hard, and that therefore, if you accept any of my well-grounded arguments, he should be able to make any warrantless claim he wants and expect it to be accepted as the absolute truth. As I have pointed out before, I do not have to defend the existence of Liberty, firstly because it is an obvious reality that any fool can see, but also because my opponent has not fulfilled his primary obligation to prove its nonexistence. Furthermore, the laughable example my opponent gave of him being able to make countless warrantless claims and have them accepted as fact is EXACTLY WHAT HE IS TRYING TO DO. Round after round, literally since he accepted this debate, he has done nothing but make groundless, increasingly bizarre claims (e.g. Liberty nonexistent, Justice nonexistent, Morality nonexistent, no one owns anything, theft impossible, etc.), and expected them to be accepted without question, all while constantly and entirely falsely accusing ME of failing to warrant my claims. And so the question is: Will it work? Will you be deceived?


(3) I am not debating liberty here because we are not here to debate liberty. I don’t know how many times I have to quote the Resolution, but I will do it again: “Distributive justice is a just economic system.” Thus the debate is and must be about distributive justice, not the existence of Liberty and Justice and so on. Therefore the idea that this debate should descend into unrelated ranting about Liberty is absurd.


Seabiscuit: "Furthermore he dropped the Nozick card in his last speech, the only thing he has left is his Kant analysis which assumes that Kant is a property owner in the first place and, as I have said before there isn't any real concrete analysis that says anyone can own anything, and finally Kant has no intrinsic warrant on justice, just a large assumption that says the apple is mine and anyone that takes it is unjust, this is just an attractive, sophisticated, but baseless anecdote on the subject."


FACT: I DID NOT drop my Nozick analysis in my last post. The very first thing I did in that post was extend my negative constructive case (which contains my Nozick analysis) and point out that my opponent has dropped it ONCE AGAIN. And so the claim that I only have the Kant analysis now is patently false. Also, considering the fact that all my opponent has done is drop arguments, it is surprising that he would bring up the issue of dropping arguments at all. He continues to ramble on about how I have not justified the existence of Liberty. Again, as I have said multiple times: I DON’T HAVE TO! It is rather my opponent’s responsibility to prove that it does not exist. To put it in terms of formal logic, he is committing the fallacy of Argumentum ad Ignoratium, Latin for “Argument from Ignorance.” To put it in simple terms, he is saying, “You have not proven Liberty exists, therefore Liberty does not exist.” This is akin to saying, “You have not proven Mexico exists, therefore Mexico does not exist.” Lack of proof for a thing does not in itself constitute disproof for the thing.


Seabiscuit: "Even if you don't buy any of that I'm still winning on the argument that liberty, property, and morality are just temporal assertions in one particular time and place and have no legitimate grounds in terms of a real phenomenological argument. extend the Mayan, German, Native American analysis, which my opponent simply claims as a mistake on there (sic) part."


FACT: I am surprised that my opponent actually makes this claim. It is inherent in his argument that Liberty does not exist, but most people would not come right out and say this because it reveals the scary implications of their theory. For example, if absolute, objective Justice and Morality do not actually exist, what’s wrong with rape? Or murder? Nothing. Genocide? Why not? The Holocaust? Who cares? 9/11? What’s the big deal? In short, my opponent’s entire case is based on a single assumption: anything goes. To accept my opponent’s case is to accept that I could kill all of you reading this debate right now and that would be just fine. [Just a warning to all you prospective Pro voters =)]



CONCLUSION


At the beginning of this debate, I laid out a coherent, logical, well thought-out case, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the distributive justice system is unjust. I proved that it violated the very foundational rights of Property, Liberty, Justice, and Dignity. I was, and still am, quite capable of defending each and every one of my arguments, and was looking forward to doing so. I anticipated an intelligent, informative, and interesting debate about an issue that is incredibly important to the nation, to the world, and to me. But it was not to be. To my dismay, I checked a few days later to find instead that my opponent had posted a blurb one-third the size of my argument, which completely ignored my entire case, not bothering to address my arguments but rather spewing random, superfluous pseudo-arguments of his own, often completely unrelated to the Resolution in any way. And yet, I continued, extending my constructive arguments in every round, reminding my opponent of his obligation to answer them, as well as spending much more space refuting his various arguments than he ever bothered to use articulating them. And yet, throughout the entire debate, my opponent acted as if my entire first argument had never existed, continuing to completely drop his previous arguments every round, instead offering a fresh batch of non sequitirs in each successive post. If you just read my opponent’s arguments, you would never know that my constructive case existed. In fact, you would not know that Justice existed either. Or Liberty. Or Morality. Or property rights. Or any other right for that matter.


In summary, my opponent only wins this debate if man is a meaningless organic life form, entirely devoid of any value whatsoever, a right-less, pointless, soulless being serving the sole purpose of facilitating exploitation by its fellow organisms; enduring a worthless, futile existence, serving his miserable sentence of a hollow life on this insignificant rock hurtling with no purpose through dim space as empty as the souls that call it home. And so the question you must ask yourself before you vote is: is this the state of humankind’s existence? If your answer to this question is no, and I can only pray it is, then it is clear that the Resolution is false.


Seabiscuit

Pro

If you are going to vote, after reading all this, you should be able to make your decision regardless of my rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CogitoErgoSum 6 years ago
CogitoErgoSum
I agree RightWing. Every decision is a moral issue. What I mean though is that ones wealth should not factor into the kind of justice one receives. The economic component of ones "worth" has nothing to do with their rights to justice. To simply say that justice and economy go together connects them in a way that they shouldnt be connected. Within economy, there must be justice. But justice is a separate entity entirely, not something to be "economically connected". To me that suggests that wealth and power factors. The wealthy and influential are not right for being wealthy and influential, but neither are they wrong. And they should not be getting better representation in courtrooms simply because its more affordable for them. You talk about sweatshops and child labor, but you ignore the simple fact that in any western society the rich get better representation and the poor are lucky to get the incompetent representation of public defenders that couldnt make it into a firm. I say again, the economic as no business in justice. But justice has every business in the economy.
Posted by Seabiscuit 6 years ago
Seabiscuit
Your being really childish in the way your over-reacting to EVERYTHING
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 6 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
So anything goes? Sweatshops are fine? Seven-year-olds working 60-hour weeks next to their pregnant mothers at the sawmill for pennies per day is fine? I don't think so. Justice and economy have everything to do with one another. In fact, Justice (along with Morality, etc.) should permeate every decision we and our governmental leaders make.
Posted by CogitoErgoSum 6 years ago
CogitoErgoSum
"Justice" and "economy" dont belong in the same sentence. The two ought not have anything to do with one another.
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 6 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
medic0506,
Thank you very much for the advice, I will alter my conduct accordingly.
Posted by medic0506 6 years ago
medic0506
A couple points: Con mentioned his sources but did not list them so the reader can check them out, thus no source points. Also, it appeared that con was getting frustrated in the later rounds, and made comments like, "This argument (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word)...". I understand the frustration, but comments like that are inappropriate in a debate. It's perfectly acceptable to point out that your opponent is ignoring, thus conceding, your points, or that your opponent's argument is unsubstantiated, but it's important that you not make any comment that can be construed as an insult against your opponent, or their argument. No conduct points were lost though because pro's tactics offset.
Posted by Thaddeus 6 years ago
Thaddeus
Seabiscuit, instigator set out the framework. You are welcome to choose a more relaxed form of response, but don't expect him to, or for you not be penalized for paying little attention to detail and not expanding on you arguments.
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 6 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Sorry I waited until the last minute to post my argument, I didn't have access to a computer. Anyway, good luck
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 6 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Indeed. May the best debater win. Good luck.
Posted by Seabiscuit 6 years ago
Seabiscuit
I already have sir
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 6 years ago
YYW
RightWingConspiracyGuySeabiscuitTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Magnificently overwhelming victory for CON, for reasons that should be self-evident to anyone with even a most basic understanding of the art of debate. A most tragic loss for PRO, indeed.
Vote Placed by Deathbeforedishonour 6 years ago
Deathbeforedishonour
RightWingConspiracyGuySeabiscuitTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never successfully refuted con's arguments, and pro never successfully defended his own.
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
RightWingConspiracyGuySeabiscuitTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro quite amazingly ignored nearly every peice of Con's case. All Pro did was try to show that Con's case was not enough to affirm his resolution which was not at all successful. Con may have had the BoP but that doesn't mean that Pro can just sit back and say "not good enough" to each argument and expect a win.
Vote Placed by medic0506 6 years ago
medic0506
RightWingConspiracyGuySeabiscuitTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con deserves at least a 4-0 win here. Pro made an attempt at an argument but did not sufficiently defend that argument, and certainly was not able to refute con's argument. See comments for more.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 6 years ago
GMDebater
RightWingConspiracyGuySeabiscuitTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro completely ignored con. Not a single argument was refuted