The Instigator
tahthedon
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points

Do you think people should have a liscense to kill?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,390 times Debate No: 11957
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

tahthedon

Con

The justice system can kill criminals, soldiers can torture and kill eachother, doctors can pull plugs on people ect. People are "allowed" to kill eachother in this country and all over the world in certain situations.

Im against this, I don't think a human has the right to judge whether another lives or dies. No one has a right to kill, its plain murder.
Danielle

Pro

[ Introduction ]

Many thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate. Con states that humans do not have the right to "judge" whether or not another person lives or dies. If one kills, it is plain murder. I negate, and stand in firm affirmation of the resolution. If throughout these five rounds (and I can offer new arguments up through the fourth) I can provide one scenario in which a "license to kill" seems acceptable, then the audience should vote PRO. Thanks and good luck to my opponent!

---

1. Self Defense

If one threatens your life, property or family in a violent manner, one has not only the right but the responsibility to take action. In many cases, calling the police would suffice; however, in a situation where one's life was threatened I think ensuring their safety and survival is the most appropriate course of action. If that involves taking another's life to save your own, I believe that is obviously not something exceptionally wrong or immoral.

On that note, Con mentioned soldiers which I think is really interesting. Presumably if one fights in a war, it is to "protect and serve" their country. I am anti-war as an individual; however, I realize that just as many wars are fought on the defense-end as they are on the offensive end. Once again, if another is threatening my property, life or livelihood via war then I think taking the life of those who want to cause serious harm or danger to one's way of life is appropriate. Once again, I'm talking about war in defensive terms.

2. Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is often described by the phrase "the greatest good for the greatest number of people." In many cases of moral dilemmas, it is the value system which people use to determine the proper moral act in a given situation. For instance, if a robber takes 40 people hostage and agrees to let 39 people go in exchange for one life, some people might see this as morally acceptable and even preferable to other options.

Perhaps a better example would be deciding which patient on the transplant list will receive the first available heart. If there are a handful of potential recipients but only one can receive the transplant and live, then obviously in that situation one is literally choosing who gets to live and who gets to die. Determining the 'best' patient to give it to usually requires a utilitarian decision. Granted, this scenario doesn't involve directly TRYING to kill someone; however, the point is that sometimes a situation calls for a utilitarian decision to be made, or in other words, a license to kill based on the best overall outcome.

3. Death Penalty

Thirty-five out of fifty states have a legalized death penalty. The primary reason for this punishment is punishment through retribution, or "pay back" for what one imposed on society or another individual. Generally, the DP is extended only to the most serious criminal offenders in rape and/or murder cases; generally just murder (or both). Obviously their crimes are heinous and many people feel that the only appropriate ethical response is to take the murderer's life. Some people suggest the DP acts as a deterrent to sway future criminals; however, most acknowledge that this is not true. Some don't care.

John McAdams notes, "If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call" [2]. The Supreme Court has said on the matter, "Indeed, the decision that capital punishment may be the appropriate sanction in extreme cases is an expression of the community's belief that certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death."

4. Abortion

For those who believe that life begins at conception, abortion = murder. However, even those who are against abortion in most cases usually do support it in instances of rape, or at the very least, when the fetus' life or birth threatens the life of the mother. In that scenario, one is choosing to "take a life" to benefit or spare another.

5. Euthanasia

Euthanasia or 'mercy killing' is the taking of one's life to avoid a future destined for pain, suffering and with little to no chance of recovery. Most people who are euthanized are terminally ill and don't plan on living long anyway; they would rather end their life than draw out the agony. In other words, it "puts people out of their misery" or offers the option of ending the horrendous fate that awaits. The American Civil Liberties Union claims, "The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty" [3].

Another notes, "We get calls daily from desperate people who are looking for someone like Jack Kevorkian to end their lives which have lost all quality... Americans should enjoy a right guaranteed in the European Declaration of Human Rights -- the right not to be forced to suffer. It should be considered as much of a crime to make someone live who with justification does not wish to continue as it is to take life without consent" [4]. As you can see, the argument here is that some people would prefer or be "better off" dying -- Con's case does not permit euthanasia. I know that for instance my partner has told me that she would rather be euthanized than suffer if she were in exceptionally bad shape; that is a value I intend to uphold if ever put in charge of her person upon her request.

6. Suicide

That brings me to the last point of my round: suicide. Not everybody is religious nor can religion be used to determine the morality of a personal or legal decision. Keeping that in mind, we must realize that each individual therefore is responsible for his or her own property; the self is one's most obvious and inherent property. Therefore, one should have free reign to do with their own body as they wish. If one wants to commit suicide (euthanasia or otherwise) it would be a terribly sad choice indeed.

Admittedly, I lost a very close friend to suicide back in 2008 and it's something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I wish that my friend was still around, however, from a moral standpoint I realize that he had the right to take his own life (his body is solely his property - always) and one should be able to dictate their own morality and personal decisions so long as they do not directly physically harm others. Many of us were sad after my friend's choice; however, that is our own cross to bear and not his. I was sad when they tore down the old Yankee Stadium and built a new one yet I realized that it was not my property and not my decision. Similarly, I believe that everyone has the "license to kill" themselves and I just hope that they don't.

---

[ Conclusion ]

Killing is wrong, though there are some instances where a "license to kill" is appropriate. Not all killing is murder as Con has implied. Con's burden is to explain why all forms of killing mentioned above (or hereinafter) are morally wrong or should not be legally permissible. Again, if even one of the examples I make throughout the debate deem the taking of one's or another's life beneficial, necessary or acceptable, then you should vote PRO at the conclusion of this debate.

[1] Jeremy Bentham. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation" (1789).
[2] http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...
[3] American Civil Liberties Union. Amicus Brief, Vacco v. Quill (1996).
[4] Faye Girsh, Ed.D. Senior Adviser, Final Exit Network."How Shall We Die," Free Inquiry (2001).
Debate Round No. 1
tahthedon

Con

tahthedon forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Please extend my arguments. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
tahthedon

Con

You are not competing correctly, you are simply changing the subject, as you will soon realize.

First of all, self defense is in a way a liscense to kill but at the same time it's natural, every species on earth has to defend itself for survival. That was around way before the modern justice system.

I meant killing for colateral or setting an example and not going to jail for it.

Like when you don't have money and a doctor just says "Fine" and unplugs the machine.
Or the death penalty for prisoners, which is nothing but revenge, like what gangs do. Eye for an eye leaving all blind.

And Utilitarianism, suicide, and the heart transplant are things depending on personal responsibility.
The person has to choose to cooperate otherwise it's concidered murder technically.

My source for my argument is common sense, even you know a license to kill is wrong but you just want to compete and i thank you for that.
So let me rephrase the question, do you think it's right to kill to kill for colateral or to set an example?
Danielle

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent for responding.

My opponent begins by stating that I have "changed the subject" though this is not the case. The resolution merely asks whether one should have a license (the right, or permission) to kill and Round 1 does not make any distinct clarifications. In fact, all my opponent states about the subject of this debate is, "I don't think a human has the right to judge whether another lives or dies. No one has a right to kill, its plain murder." In my round, I provided a plethora of examples in which one human judges whether or not another human lives or dies (or should live or die). So, I have indeed responded to the resolution and my opponent's first round directly. I did not stray off topic. If Con had a specific scenario in mind, he should have clarified that either in the resolution or in Round 1. I have fulfilled my burden as Pro.

Con writes that certain scenarios I mentioned are based on "personal responsibility." He says, "The person has to choose to cooperate otherwise it's concidered murder technically." He says this in response to utilitarianism, which to me makes no sense (or is heavily confusing). I would like for Con to clarify what he means before I can respond to his "rebuttal" on the issues. He also says that his only source is "common sense" which to me is not a tangible source for facts or evidence (...?) and his question is seemingly irrelevant to the debate at hand. So, for now, I'd like to extend all of my arguments from Round 1 and ask that Con respond to them directly so that I am better suited to respond to his "arguments." Some clarification is definitely in order.

Extend my arguments. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
tahthedon

Con

Man I clarified everything last argument if you do not understand whats going on yet I can't help you. And common sense is a great source, stop acting like a robot following every step in the book like a mindless tool. You want a source fine, how about this, one of God's commandments is "Thou shall not kill." There, beat that.
Man does not have the right to kill, only the illusion of having the right to kill. since there was a misunderstanding with my question Im going to stop here, cool cuz?
we're starting over.
Danielle

Pro

Please extend my arguments, as my opponent has refused to respond to my rebuttal or offer any new arguments in the fourth round. Instead, he just feels the need to slander me and present ad hominem attacks because he is not competent enough to offer an adequate response. That's a shame. Quite obviously the fact that "Thou shall not kill" is a Bible commandment does not have any relevance to this debate; for one thing there is a separation of Church and State, and for another Con would have to prove that God exists and that his laws are applicable to non-believers which is obviously not the case. Apparently my opponent wishes to forfeit the debate ("since there was a misunderstanding with my question Im going to stop here, cool cuz?"), which is perfectly fine by me. Again, please extend my arguments - please and thank you :)
Debate Round No. 4
tahthedon

Con

I don't wish to forfeit the debate, I just lost interest in it because it was just a test run debate for me, I thought the site had fun debates but it's not as good as I expected so far. Oh well. Anyway, how is throwing god in this a mistake? We all know god exists, and if you watch "What the bleep do we know?" (a documentary on quantum physics) you will find out even scientists confirms God's existance. They never say his name because of obvious reasons like forced belief in a divine being ect. but they describe god word for word except for the part of him being a he or a being, just a force.

None of us were around when man was told "Thou shall not kill" but there's more evidence it was said then there is proving it was never said, aha.
Man should not have the right to kill because it was said by god!

Anyways it's just plain wrong, what would you do if your mother was arrested for a crime she did not commit and was sentenced to death? I bet you would feel it's wrong then.
Sorry to pick such a mean scenario.
Im bored, bye.
Danielle

Pro

Rebuttal ]

"We all know god exists, and if you watch 'What the bleep do we know?' (a documentary on quantum physics) you will find out even scientists confirms God's existence."

I've seen that documentary and it's not so much about quantum physics as it is about quantum mysticism lol. A lot of the physics in that movie were flawed and misrepresented. A bunch of the scientists quoted and filmed have spoken out about how their words and intentions were distorted. It has been well documented that this film is a bunch of BS (for the most part), and furthermore, it is an absurd statement to say that "we know God exists" let alone we know that he commanded thou shall not kill. For more information on how unreliable this faux documentary was, check out this link [1].

"None of us were around when man was told 'Thou shall not kill' but there's more evidence it was said then there is proving it was never said, aha."

Actually, there's no evidence that it was said or commanded other than the testimony of religious texts which could have easily been distorted and/or flat out incorrect. Con hasn't proven that this was ever said, let alone that it is relevant to this debate.

"Anyways it's just plain wrong, what would you do if your mother was arrested for a crime she did not commit and was sentenced to death? I bet you would feel it's wrong then."

First, I never said that I supported the death penalty but merely laid it out as a situation in which society feels that taking another's life is justified; it doesn't necessarily represent my own view. Second, that would be a sad scenario and I might be upset at the outcome; however, that doesn't mean that the death penalty is a flawed or faulty concept all-together. If my opponent wished to have bring that up earlier then we could have discussed the validity of that -- after all, that's what this debate was supposed to do (assess the various situations in which intentional killing would or would not be permissible). Since it is the last round and I cannot make new arguments, I won't, though neither can Con. If his point was that the death penalty could take the life of an innocent person...

One, it might be "worth the risk" considering a substantial amount of evidence must be presented in order for the death penalty sentence to be enacted (meaning the chances of mistake are low). Two, the death penalty would only be implemented under the most serious crimes - usually including murder - so the 'eye for an eye' theory would apply. If one violates another's right to life, then they are forfeiting their own right to life. Many people that death would be the only morally acceptable punishment to a heinous murderer. Again, I mentioned this sentiment in R1 and my opponent has chosen to ignore it until here in the final round, so unfortunately he won't have the opportunity to respond to this.

"Im bored, bye."

Eh, maybe if my opponent had actually tried to respond to my R1 contentions the debate would have fared a little more exciting for him. Bye.

[ Conclusion ]

I presented six contentions explaining various situations and philosophies that allow the taking of another's life intentionally, i.e. granting a license to kill or presenting a scenario in which intentional killing would be appropriate or acceptable. My opponent has chosen to ignore all of those contentions and did not give an adequate response or rebuttal, or make compelling arguments of his own. I would like to extend all of my arguments from R1 and encourage a vote for the Pro. Many thanks to my opponent for giving me the opportunity to debate this topic anyway. Good luck!

[1] http://skeptico.blogs.com...
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by SukiWater 7 years ago
SukiWater
I love it when people get overwhelmed and quit! :D
Posted by gamemaster 7 years ago
gamemaster
nice arguments, theLwerd.
Posted by frenchmoosetwo 7 years ago
frenchmoosetwo
this debate is made of aypic winz?!
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Okay... Don't forget my stance though lol.
Posted by Hurstman 7 years ago
Hurstman
I am in the process of starting our War on Terrorism debate. ;)
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Thank you, Hurst :) This could have been interesting if he would have actually debated me... hmm... Maybe someone else will post a similar debate sometime.
Posted by Hurstman 7 years ago
Hurstman
Btw, as you will see I treat all debates, not only is L deserving of 7 points, I always seven point the opponent if the person forfeits a round. I hate that. =/
Posted by Hurstman 7 years ago
Hurstman
Funny how every debate I've seen L do, the opponent gets mad. Either they are not used to good debating, or don't like losing. =). Good debate L
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
tahthedonDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I find it ironic that Con completely changes his topic in round 2 and then accuses Pro of changing his topic. Pro presented 6 ways that humans are justified in killing. While I may not agree, Con did not even attempt to refute them. This (Pro's round 1) was an interesting read.
Vote Placed by SukiWater 7 years ago
SukiWater
tahthedonDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Hurstman 7 years ago
Hurstman
tahthedonDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
tahthedonDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07