The Instigator
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Rodrack
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

Dueling should be legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/22/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,554 times Debate No: 24825
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (7)

 

thett3

Pro

This debate was inspired by this clip:

A duel is a scheduled, consensual, and organized fight between 2 or more individuals, to the death or otherwise. Many states in the United States have prohibited the practice, and it is that that I will argue against.

There is no need for a duel to have specific steps taken in order to be legitimate, although most duels would follow the old method in which the challenged had the choice of weapons and seconds would agree upon a place of battle (the seconds would only fight if they too agreed to the duel).

First round is for acceptance only.
Rodrack

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
thett3

Pro

Time got away from me, this round will be short.

Observe:

I. The purpose of this debate is not to assess whether or not dueling is good, but rather if it should be legal.

II. We can only assess what should/should not be legal when operating a under a compelling framework that provides proper justification for the existence of the state. For this reason, my main contention will be that dueling should be legal because states exist to protect rights.



The only justifiable role of the State is to protect the rights of it's people. Give the State the arbitrary authority to revoke rights and harm its people, and you've destroyed it's purpose in the name of some mythical goals.

1. Dueling is a right

The consenual and contractual engagement in a fight with established rules falls under the scope of voluntary relations. The only people harmed in a duel are the participants themselves (compare this to street or gang fights, which often destroy innocent bystanders or at the very least create a public disturbance), and as long as the property owner consents to have the duel take place on his property, there are absolutely no rights violated. My opponent must somehow prove that rights come from the collective, or society (a tall order since it is overwhelmingly self evident that rights belong to individuals, who can use them as they please if they dont harm others), otherwise his entire position is illogical because the prevention of dueling would thus be a violation. Without even specifying any advantages I can already claim victory in the debate since rights should be protected.

Advantage one: Legitimitizing dueling could cut down on other acts of violence

Oftentimes people want to engage in physical combat with one another--that is obvious. Unfortunately, these kinds of barbaric and unruly fights can harm innocent bystanders who get caught up in the way. These brawls usually take place on public property, damaging it and forcing the collective taxpayers to pay for the cleanup (blood all over the streets at the least). There are no spoken rules, guns, knives, or allies may be invoked at any time with no immediate reprecussion such as forfeiture of the fight, often escalating what was supposed to be a 1 on 1 battle to a small gang war. Moreover, since there is a set of "unspoken rules" that if violated by the winning party will encourage the losing party to seek vengeance for supposed "cheating" on the part of the winners, potentially leading to destructive gang warfare. The crips and the bloods have claimed over 15,000 lives in their famous fued[1]. I am not foolish enough to believe that the effect will be very large, but large scale legalization of dueling will generate publicity and make the more honorable sort of street fighters see a way out of the wide scale violence that can occur from street brawls. If even one innocent life could concievable be saved, you affirm.

Advantage two: Promotes a sense of honor.

Mcgrath compares fights in the "wild" west with today[2]:

" the men involved were both young, healthy, armed, and willing .... Yes, men (and some women) went about armed and male combatants killed each other, mostly in fights where there were somewhat "even chances." On the other hand, the young, the old, the female, and those who chose not to drink in saloons and display reckless bravado were rarely the victims of crime or violence. Moreover, dirty, low-down scoundrels got their just dessert"

While these were also not formal duels, they came out of a time period where formal dueling (even if illegal) was widespread and considered an honorable method to settle conflicts. This sense of honor, held by virtually all people, would not, for instance, permit the destruction of innocent life, forced intercourse with women, or theft, things all extremely widespread in todays degenerated society.

McGrath goes further, comparing two frontier towns with modern cities:

"The United States as a whole averages three times as much robbery per capita as Bodie and Aurora. Burglary and theft were also of infrequent occurrence in the mining towns. Most American cities today average 30 or 40 times as much burglary and theft per capita as Bodie and Aurora. The national rate is ten times higher .... There were no reported cases of rape in either Aurora or Bodie .... Today, a rape occurs every five minutes"

And these towns, back when society was held together by a prevailing sense of honor, were among the lowest and most lawless places in the entire United States (hence the name wild west).

Again, note that I do not believe that the legalization of dueling is the only thing we must do to regain our lost honor, but it is a step in the right direction.

Advantage three: Supports governments proper purpose

As previously explained, the purpose of the government is to protect rights, not take them away. Hoppe sums it up nicely when he explains the progression of the United States federal government over the centuries[3]:

"Two-hundred years later, matters have changed dramatically. Now, year in and year out the American government expropriates more than 40% of the incomes of private producers, making even the burden on slaves and serfs seem moderate in comparison. Gold and Silver have been replaced by government manufactured paper...the meaning of private property, once seemingly clear and fixed, has become obscure, flexible, and fluid...every detail of private life, property, trade, and contract is regulated and reregulated by ever higher mountais of paper laws...the committment to free trade and non-intervensionism has given way to a policy of protectionism, militarism, and imperialism."

We have lost our way under a government that fails to protect the rights of its citizens. The way forward to true progress is not more government, but less. The government must recognize that its duties do not include babying its citizens, but rather creating an environment where they can make their own choices and suffer their own consequences.

Vote Pro.

Sources:

1. http://www.pbs.org...;
2. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. Democracy: The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2001. USA. 34. Print.
3. Ibid, 278-279
Rodrack

Con

First of all, I am glad to be able to debate this interesting topic against such an experienced debater, I hope it's a good debate.

My opponent stated:

"II. We can only assess what should/should not be legal when operating a under a compelling framework that provides proper justification for the existence of the state. For this reason, my main contention will be that dueling should be legal because states exist to protect rights. "

I consider the final sentence is too broad when it comes to defining the purpose of the state. The state is a form of human association distinguished from other social groups by its purpose, the establishment of order and security; its methods, the laws and their enforcement; its territory, the area of jurisdiction or geographic boundaries; and finally by its sovereignty. The state consists, most broadly, of the agreement of the individuals on the means whereby disputes are settled in the form of laws. [1]

So, by this definition, the state not only exists to protect rights but to establish order and security in a given society. More than a simple purveyor of rights, the state is the entity in that ensures the well-being of its people. Accompanied by this idea, philosophy of law has evolved throughout history to the point we can no longer synthesise the role of the state solely in the defense of freedom.

My opponent stated:
"Dueling is a right"

My opponent declares that dueling is a right because free will entitles people to consensual dueling. This is true if examined strictly from a deontological viewpoint of law. Deontology is the view that the laws should protect individual autonomy, liberty, or rights. [2] However, my opponent falls in the mistake of taking this normative of law as the only and correct normative of law, when it's clear society is moving from the defense of free-will towards the defense of virtue. Take for example prostitution; a consensual exchange of money for sexual services. It's deemed illegal in many states, because other factors like exploitation, inequality, gender roles, ethics, morality and social costs and benefits are considered. Now that we've settled the "free will" approach is not the only approach to consider legality, I will discuss other approaches.
  • Utilitarianism is the view that the laws should be crafted so as to produce the best consequences. [3] According to utilitarianism, it is evident that dueling should not be permitted. Human life is the basis of society, so it should be in the best interest of the state to protect it. Life is obviously the better consequence over death. Lets observe several ways in which the legalization of dueling enters in conflict with the utilitarian theory of law:
    • Life is a preferable consequence over death in a society that values the human being as its basic unit.
    • The winner of the duel gets the psychological burden of committing homicide. [4] A clean conscience is a preferable consequence over a psychological burden.
    • The loser of the duel dies, meaning he or she can no longer pay taxes, contribute to the labor force, raise a family, etc. Having more people is preferable, unless we are faced with the problem of over population (which never justifies ending lives).
    • If killing a person becomes legal, the mere act of homicide becomes socially accepted. This is a fact, we can see an illegal drug like marijuana being frowned upon by society while equally dangerous drugs are considered acceptable because of their legal status. A society that rejects homicide is a preferable consequence over a society that accepts it.
    • Family and loved ones of the duel's loser are left with feelings of anguish and maybe even desire for revenge. This is, again, a less favorable consequence.
    • If dueling is not properly controlled, it can be used as an excuse to commit murder. The same way as murderers sometimes claim self-defense, they can claim they were dueling against their victims and even get free if the process is not strictly controlled.
    • Legislations and institutions for regulating duels cost money to the state. It is preferable to spend money on preventing deaths rather than promoting them.

  • Aretaic moral theories such as contemporary virtue ethics emphasize the role of character in morality. Virtue jurisprudence is the view that the laws should promote the development of virtuous characters by citizens. [5] Here the result is even more evident. It is of lesser virtue to kill than not to kill. Killing other humans goes against nature and against ethics. We are supposed to be moving towards a post-conventional society (morally speaking). It wouldn't be convenient to go back to a pseudo-barbarian state where killing is justified by feelings like anger, wrath or even honor, with all virtue neglected. According to modern conflict theories, conflict will always exist, so the state should promote virtuous solutions like dialogue instead of fostering violent solutions.

Now, my opponent also noted some "advantages" for the legalization of dueling. Let us go deeper:

"Advantage one: Legitimitizing dueling could cut down on other acts of violence"

I think both, my opponent and I, have insufficient information to make such a claim.
It is not safe to assume dueling will replace street fights to some extent. We have to first know the demographics of these street fighters. Are they people interested in legality and honor more than they are in making damage? Prior to the debate, we agreed that the steps in order for the duel to be legitimate would not be taken into consideration, but since we are talking about legalized homicide one must speculate some kind of control is taken before the duel (to ensure its legality). Having said this, we cannot assume the average street fighter would choose to go through the complications of scheduling a duel rather than just fighting. Additionally, who can assure legal dueling will stop people from seeking vengeance after someone is killed? I personally consider too many assumptions have to be made for this claim to even be considered.

"Advantage two: Promotes a sense of honor. "

While it is true, it also brings dishonor into the value system of society. Moreover, it brings forward a choice that people normally don't have to face: Death or Dishonor? Both are undesirable choices, for it is obvious people would like to avoid both. We have to consider the social repercussion for a person who, thinking about his life and family, declines a duel. It is not fair that the state endorses a person to sentence another to or a life of cowardice and social disapproval.

"Advantage three: Supports governments proper purpose"

This is only true if you limit the governments' purpose only to granting rights. If we consider a government that must protect common interest, virtue and human value, legalizing dueling does not serve a proper purpose.

Finally, I absolutely agree with my opponent when it comes to the state's role in protecting certain rights. Human rights, for example, are considered vital in any society and any form of government must protect them. However, when we discuss the right of two human beings to kill each other, I think it ought to be reconsidered. Do we really want to go back to a society were people can just lose control and decide to legally kill one another? We should seek for a government that protects us from emotion-driven action, serving as a voice of reason. The day human beings are allowed and encouraged to answer recklessly to their emotions, that is the day when the state really fails.

Sources:

[1] http://www.britannica.com...
[2], [3], [5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.killology.com...

Debate Round No. 2
thett3

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent.


My first observation has been dropped and therefore conceded. As such, extend this across and ignore all of my opponents arguments save util. since they address the practical effect of dueling. I'll address them anyway, but note that the main area of discussion will occur about rights.

My opponents view of the state contains one internal contradiction, he argues that the state is broadly: "the agreement of the individuals on the means whereby disputes are settled in the form of laws." The fact is that a state is best defined as a compulsive monopoly of ultimate jurisdiction and force over a given territory, it is not voluntary ("agreement"). My opponents entire argument rests on his believed purpose of the state, and yet the very definition by which he bases this analysis has an internal contradiction.

He contends further that the state exists to protect order and security, by which I believe he means to be law and order. So far so good, we agree to this point but here's where we hit a snag: his metric for the establishment of law and order, util., fails to actually uphold order. Util fundamentally rests on the idea that we need to make choices to benefit the greatest number of people[1]. Sounds reasonable, but the thing is util. needs a backdrop of a superior and compelling guiding principle in order to function--that is, if we judge util. solely on its own, it would for example be ok for peoples A and B to come together and scam C since more people benefit than not, or it would allow me to murder my opponent and distribute his organs since more lives would be saved than lost. It would allow 49% to be enslaved in order for 51% to live in luxury. This is not justice, but a moral perversion. Pure util. has no metric to assess the worthiness of individuals claims or an individuals moral worth, because the only thing up for debate is how many people benefit from certain actions. Moreover, since "benefit" is a subjective term, pure util. gives no mechanism to decide who benefits from what, and which benefits outweigh which.

You can see that my opponents entire argument unravels. He commits what I call the new-age fallacy, in which the full affects of the modern perversion of justice can be shown, confusing justice with the method that is used to distribute it. Hoppe elaborates on the modern perception of law[2]: "
the idea of law as a body of universal and immutable principles of justice has almost disappeared from public opinion and has been replaced by the idea of law as legislation (government-made law)." This is shown in full by my opponents statement: "This is only true if you limit the governments' purpose only to granting rights. " Governments do not grant rights. Rights are not gained by contract and exchange, they are things that are gained by virtue of being a creature with moral worth. The ultimate failing of my opponents argument lies in his very conception of law/rights: an invention of governments designed to benefit people. He gives no analysis on what should/shouldnt be a right other than the maximization of benefit, and indeed why should he? The worldview advocated has nothing of objective value, only subjective benefit analysis.

Compare this to my case, in which the non-aggression principle is implied. Since self autonomy allows independent action, actions are morally permissable unless there is a compelling reason to believe otherwise, IE, a violation of property rights. I will elaborate further if needed, but the NAP is the principle, not the method, of justice and since dueling is a form of contractual exchange between individuals, there needs to be a more compelling reason to ban it then my opponent subjectively thinking it's bad. As my advantages show, there are reasons to believe it is good as well.


Dueling bad

My opponent lists a bunch of reasons why dueling is bad. I can list reasons its good all day just as easily, and he gives no analysis as to why you should take his disadvantages over my advantages. The fact is that whether or not dueling is "good" or "bad" is a matter of subjective interpretation where as whether or not it is a right is a question that has an objective answer. Therefore you need to prefer my case over his, and vote pro.

Most of his justifications for maintaining the prohibition are shallowly reasoned, being a few sentences long at most or having virtually no impact like it could cost money. The implicit nature of his arguments are collectivist, which is a flawed viewpoint in that it values humans only in groups and divisions, all in the name of promoting human welfare. However theres no reason to value groups of humans if the indvidual (individualism) is not a unit of inherent value. He values humans as a mean to an end (like, if they die they cant pay taxes), but the end is human welfare...This is an internal contradiction. Further, he assumes all duels are to the death: flawed. Many are to first blood.

TURN: He writes: "if killing a person becomes legal, the mere act of homicide becomes socially accepted". He conceded to my honor point (see later) and that killing will happen anyway, so what really becomes socially acceptable is honorable killings. Convsersly, wild lawless street brawls become more condemned, promoting more honor and less crime.

Aretaic ethics

This argument suffers the same problem as his util. point, he says that the state should promote moral development, yet gives no compelling principle as to what IS moral. Further, this contradicts his util. argument: he says "It is of lesser virtue to kill than not to kill", and yet under util. there are times when killing maximizes benefit. For instance, the extermination of murderers benefits over all by discouraging murder, but if killing is always wrong than his position leaves no way to solve the dilema. Both of his points of advocacy advocate competing moral perceptions, and since tere can only be one proper morality, he refutes himself and has no ground to stand on. I win by default. He brings up a lot of rhetoric about how killing is barbaric, and

Regardless, there is no conflict with my poisition if the state should promote moral action. Recall that these moral mechanisms require a broader principle, and the NAP allows for consensual dueling. Killing is not always wrong, self defense and capital punishment are morally acceptable slayings for instance, and if an individual chooses to risk their life in a free exchange such as driving a car, riding a rollercoaster, drinking heavily or engaging in a duel the state has no right to violate their self autonomy to protect them from themselves.

Advantages

Cuts down on violence

He drops the argument that individuals who want to fight will fight, but those who wish to fight honorably will do so and therefore not damage the property of others. Moreover, since a duel is a contractual exchange which requires a sound mind, hot headed decisions to engage in combat over petty squabbles will be reduced. He also completely drops the point that rules discourage vengeance. Of course some individuals will seek vengeance from a duel with rules, but the fact is that they are less likely to do so without the perception that the other side "cheated". My advantage stands.

Honor

Conceded. His only response is that declining a duel would lead to dishonor (implicitly conceding that honor increases-vote pro). Compare this to the status quo where the options are violence or violence instead of violence or dishonor.

Government

He gives no purpose for the government other than "protecting common interest", a vague and subjective term. Prefer self autonomy over his vague analysis.

My opponents arguments fail to justify his position, and even accepting his my advantages outweigh. Vote Pro.


1. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
2. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. Democracy: The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2001. USA. 73. Print.
Rodrack

Con

Thanks to my opponent for her comment regarding my arguments, it's highly appreciated.

I will first address this portion of the debate:

"My first observation has been dropped and therefore conceded. As such, extend this across and ignore all of my opponents arguments save util. since they address the practical effect of dueling. I'll address them anyway, but note that the main area of discussion will occur about rights. "

It is true some of my arguments address the practical effect of dueling but I believe it is absolutely vital to address the effect if we want to even consider legalization. I stated something should not be a right if its nature and effects are destructive and my whole argument is built upon that premise, supported by two normatives of law which my opponent already discussed. I know the main contention is whether or not dueling should be legal but I am using its effects to cancel out this preposition.

Now, let’s discuss the "contradiction" my opponent pointed out in my definition of state and my argument. She claims I am contradicting myself because I used the word "agreement" to describe the way the state works. I will explain this misinterpretation. The origin of the state results of the implicit "agreement" of peoples to have their lives or property protected an arrangement where people "agreed" to have laws that would serve as a compulsive monopoly of jurisdiction [1]. It has to be absolute so it is not violated aleatory, but it is an agreement because we comply to such model.

My opponent agreed to the purpose of the state I offered, so that's conceded. However, she points out utilitarianismis not a model of justice but of moral perversion, arguing that it does not provide justice. My opponent is committing a fallacy in which she discredits utilitarianism by describing extreme scenarios where utilitarianism is unfair. However, the debate is about dueling being legalized, not about utilitarianism. I argued utilitarianism is a viable frame to consider legality of dueling, it is irrelevant if this is true for other cases. Even in practice, utilitarianism is sometimes considered, like in the cases of taxation and fiscal laws. Having said this, I don't see my utilitarian approach to dueling legalization invalid since utilitarianism is not unfair or immoral here.

I am also accused of falling in what my opponent calls "the New-Age fallacy" because I mentioned the government granting rights. Understand "grant" as: To bestow or confer. [2] Bestowing is putting to use or application. I am aware rights exist independent of governments, but they cannot be exerted without the consent of the later. So yes, rights exist and are possessed by human beings by nature, but governments are the ones who can (and have) to make them effective. For example, Jews had the right to live, but the Nazi regime chose not to bestow that right on them so they were killed and their rights not applied. I am sorry if I got into semantics, I know the rules of most debates forbid it, but if you read my whole case in context, you'll notice that my posture always stands in governments
protecting rights, not creating them.

Dueling bad

My main objective when listing reasons against dueling was showing how an utilitarian position against legalized dueling was successful. That's the basis of utilitarianism, stating pros and cons and deciding in favor the one that outweighs. So it's not about dueling being "good" or "bad", but about showing how its disadvantages would need to make it illegal regardless or free will or autonomy.

My opponent said:

"Most of his justifications for maintaining the prohibition are shallowly reasoned, being a few sentences long at most or having virtually no impact like it could cost money. The implicit nature of his arguments are collectivist, which is a flawed viewpoint in that it values humans only in groups and divisions, all in the name of promoting human welfare. However theres no reason to value groups of humans if the indvidual (individualism) is not a unit of inherent value. He values humans as a mean to an end (like, if they die they can’t pay taxes), but the end is human welfare..."

I think it was clear that I was just giving reasons to strengthen the utilitarian approach to legalizing dueling by posting a considerable amount of advantages. This advantages were not meant to have a large impact (like the cost advantage), they were meant to show the reader how, in those areas, banning dueling was preferable over allowing it. Moreover, each allegation is meant to be compared to its logical counterpart; e.g.: taxes being paid against taxes not being paid, just to show the benefit. My opponent (deliberately or not) took that point out of context and argued my whole approach to be individualistic, when we can see my first point in the list directly addressed the inherent value of the human life.

Aretaic ethics

When appealing to aretaic ethics, I was appealing to virtue, which is moral excellence. [3] I didn't think it was necessary to define moral but it is basically a system of differentiation of the good or bad value in actions. Virtue, then, refers to the good (best) value of an action. It is true that there is no specific way to determine what is "good", but it is pretty obvious that killing is not good. I don't believe there is need, but I will address both cases noted by my opponent were killing is "morally acceptable":

  • Capital punishmentt. This is not a manifestation of virtue. The fact that some people may find it acceptable under their very own moral code is different, but this is as wrong as legalized dueling when examined from aretaic ethics.
  • Self-defense. Here, one life is at stake at the cost of another, so (being life the greatest right) one has to disregard one of the lives and, logically and according to higher virtue, the victim's life is more worth saving.

The contradiction between aretaic ethics and utilitarianism may occur, but since it doesn’t occur in this case, I find it irrelevant.

Finally, I will proceed to address the advantages we've been discussing since the second round of this debate.

Advantages

Reduces Violence

"He drops the argument that individuals who want to fight will fight, but those who wish to fight honorably will do so and therefore not damage the property of others. Moreover, since a duel is a contractual exchange which requires a sound mind, hot headed decisions to engage in combat over petty squabbles will be reduced. He also completely drops the point that rules discourage vengeance. Of course some individuals will seek vengeance from a duel with rules, but the fact is that they are less likely to do so without the perception that the other side "cheated". My advantage stands. "

I concede the point that it may cut down the destruction of private property (although I don't believe this will happen to a large scale). I maintain that it is not likely to reduce violence.

Honor

Conceded, but still considered an insufficient reason for legalization.

Government

"He gives no purpose for the government other than "protecting common interest", a vague and subjective term. Prefer self autonomy over his vague analysis."

Ever since the second round I've been giving purpose to the state. Upholding virtue, fostering constructive behavior, forbidding destructive, maximizing benefits for its people...the list is quite long. The same way people cannot choose to drive without seat belt (although they are only risking their own lives), people shouldn't be allowed to kill one another willingly. This purpose is counter-productive for a government that values life.

Sources:

[1] http://www.anthonyflood.com...

[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...



Debate Round No. 3
thett3

Pro

Thanks Con. Your arguments are much appreciated and I'm pleased that this debate took such a unique and thought provoking turn.


First, extend the contradiction in my opponents definition of the state. He tries to argue it away by pointing out that governments initially arose out of the consent of the governed, but it does not follow that their descendants are bound to the same agreement. You don't show agreement by complying when the result for not doing so is imprisonment or fines, enforced by a million man army.

This is significant because my opponent bases his case around what the state ought to do, and yet the very definition he bases this on has a fatal flaw.


Utilitarianism

My opponent completely drops my entire critique of utilitarianism, accusing me of committing an unnamed fallacy in which I take "extreme scenarios" of utilitarianism that he agrees are unfair. Count this as an implicit concession about the failings of Util. as a system of justice on it's own. Moreover, if you are convinced by this re-read my arguments against utilitarianism and you'll see that each example falls within what util. would allow (measuring moral worth as only what benefits the most amount of people). At this point, you have to vote Pro because my opponents position is based on a moral principle that he's failed to defend from my attacks. He makes no response to the point that there needs to be the backdrop of another principle (like the NAP) to evaluate what constitutes the maximization of human well being.

He says that the merits of util. are irrelevant, but if the system of morality fails when applied, then obviously his position in the debate falls.

Compare this to my case, where the non aggression principle is implied in round 2 and explicitly invoked in round 3. My opponent has made no argument against the NAP, and as such has conceded to it. It's a mountain to climb to negate the resolution now, as my opponent would need to somehow show that consensual relations between two individuals constitutes an act of aggression. He has not, and indeed cannot and his failure to address the NAP shows that dueling (along with all other consensual relations) is indeed a right and must be allowed. Consider the NAP an objective moral fact when weighing this round because he makes no response to it.

Law

I'll say here that I was mistaken about my opponents conception of law/rights but that it's entirely irrelevant. I honestly only brought it up because the worldview it seemed like he was espousing is one that irks me beyond all belief.


Aretaic ethics

My opponents position here makes no sense. He argues first that util. is the way to make value judgements, then that "there is no specific way to determine what is 'good'", and then that killing is obviously bad. So basically, dueling is bad because utilitarianism says its bad, except that there's no real right or wrong, except when there is. His position is self contradictory.

Never in the entire debate does he really say why we need to value Aretaic "ethics" anyway. I say ethics in parenthesis because this too needs principled morality in order to apply value judgements--a principle he's failed to provide. My opponents argument can be summed up as follows: The state should promote moral behavior. Dueling is immoral. Dueling should be banned.

First, his complete concession to my attacks on util. destroys this argument because his system for applying justice is, in his own words, "unfair". Secondly, there are other ways to discourage immoral behavior than banning it. Look to how banning drugs has failed. Third, he drops my argument about how he's advocating competing moral systems. He even admits that there is a contradiction between util. and Aretaic ethics, but feels it doesn't matter if it doesn't occur in this case, except since debate is by nature the presentation of competing world views, it matters significantly. If the worldview he presents is flawed than you cannot negate the resolution based on that worldview.

He agrees that both capital punishment and self defense can be justified. This defeats his argument about how killing is always wrong, and moreover he refused to respond to the fact that duels aren't always to the death. Very very very few fights (a modern duel would most likely be an honorable and contractual fight) start out without the intent to kill, and indeed it is the lawlessness and lack of honor that ultimately leads to deaths in street fights. To be clear, this is a turn argument. If life is inherently valuable, letting people fight in situations where they're less likely to kill eachother is beneficial.


Dueling bad


1. He didn't weigh his harms against my advantages. 2. His disadvantages need to be ignored because at this point in the debate, its been firmly established that dueling is a right under the NAP which he's dropped. Rights protection outweighs subjective advantages (note that I have held throughout the entire debate that dueling is societally good besides being a right). 3. He dropped the worst problem I saw with his argument, which was that he values human well being without providing any actual reason to value humans on their own. He says that life is to be inherently valued, but the worldview advocated only values humans as a means to an end. Parts of a whole. Collective cogs in societies machine. This, ladies and gentlemen, is not the valuation of life. Truly valuing humanity means placing rights above all, as the recognition of rights (the interpretation of moral situations) is what distinguishes humanity from the rest of the animals on earth. Sacrificing these rights for collective well being (a subjective term if there ever was one) is a complete affront to all that is objectively valuable in humanity.

TURN: Not recognizing rights as more important than collective well being leads to moral perversion. Refer to his Nazi example for this one. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and anything can be justified as being for "the greater good" if enough people share your desires.

I realize that my opponent was just trying to show how dueling is bad, but just listing a multitude of reasons without weighing them isn't a compelling case, especially given that util. has been (for the purposes of this debate) ruled insufficient.

=Advantages=


Remember that I win if I prove that dueling is a right, which I already have. However, in case you fallback to util. my advantages clearly outweigh.

1. Violence

In my last round, I gave many reasons and explanation as to how violence will be somewhat reduced. My opponent quotes this and then says simply that he disagrees, no meaningful rebuttal or anything. This drop equates to a concession. He also concedes that less private property will be destroyed.

2. Honor

Completely conceded. He simply says this is not a good enough reason to legalize dueling. Yet he concedes that gaining back our sense of honor would lead to less murder, rape, and property crime. It seems incredibly improbable that the negative effects of dueling can outweigh all this. Under a utilitarian framework, taking steps to regain honor is an inherent good. Therefore the resolution is affirmed under my moral framework, and his.

3. Government


My opponent argues that he's provided a purpose for the government. Not exactly. He advocated a state with a self contradicting definition enforcing moral codes that he hasn't backed up, who's failings he's conceded to. His only response is that many states prohibit people from driving without a seat belt, but this is no reason to vote con. Just as he implies that the law is good, I can imply it's bad by stating that I think it's a stupid regulation created solely to generate revenue.


In conclusion, the NAP supports dueling and has been conceded to. Pure utilitarianism is flawed, but even accepting it, concessions in this round make dueling legalization look promising.


Rodrack

Con


My opponent insists on the fact that I've contradicted myself on the definition of state. She argues that people don't actually agree to having a state, but comply to it to avoid negative consequences. This consequences can in fact occur if someone openly challenges law and order, but it's because the agreement refers to a sound majority, not to one or two individuals. Take for example Cheran, a little town in Michoacan, Mexico. Here, the majority of the people didn't agree to the state, government and laws, so they overthew the local governments and have established an "anarchist" model. If this should happen to a large scale, the agreement would effectively break. The fact that people vote, work, pay taxes and continue with their lives (at least the majority) means they agree to having a state.



Utilitarianism


Again, I am not arguing in favor of an utilitarian state or for utilitarianism as the ultimate system of justice. Like my opponent said, I admit the flaws of pure utilitarianism and agree to the fact that it cannot be applied in every case. I am using an utilitarian approach for dueling and its legality (if this debate was about another topic, maybe utilitarianism had a moral deficiency which would render it not viable). However, this is not the case and I think I've demonstrated that dueling is not convinient under such approach. Moreover, I've demonstrated there is no immorality or injustice in judging this issue under utilitarianism. The benefits it produces to society are a valid way to decide on the legality of an issue, as long as higher values are not compromised. In this case, higher values are not compromised, on the contrary, my other approach (aretaic ethics) shows how it's virtuous to keep dueling illegal.



Non-Aggression Principle


I'm sorry I didn't address the Non-Aggression Principle in the last round, I was running out of space. The NAP is an incomplete principle and it should not be taken as a valid normative of law. The NAP basically works so that the action is not unjust, which is fine, but completely neglects important factors like virtue, human value or benefits. The fact that legalized dueling does not break the Non-Aggression Principle is barely a good enough reason to make it legal. I retake my seat belt example; it doesn't break the NAP but governments still value human life enough to fine those who attempt against it. It's the same case with some self-destructing drugs. I stand the NAP alone is incomplete and therefore an insufficient system of legality.



Aretaic Ethics


My opponent noted a contradiction, and maybe it is my fault for being so vague in defining my arguments. I apologize for this. I said there is no specific way to determine the goodness or badness in actions. This is to say you cannot take any action and consult a chart or something similar that tells you its moral value. However, moral value can usually be determined with much objectivity. In the case of killing, the moral value of the action is beyond obvious and rises from the premise that life is the basic unit of society, meaning its protection is the virtuous choice.

My opponent keeps mixing up the two normatives I proposed to consider the legality of dueling. They are independent from one another, and the purpose is to show both are, separately, successful against her dueling case. Why is this posture important? Because ethics is the inherent knowledge about good and bad that us humans have and, for obvious reasons, we must advance and model our system towards the good.


My opponent also added:

"He agrees that both capital punishment and self defense can be justified. This defeats his argument about how killing is always wrong, and moreover he refused to respond to the fact that duels aren't always to the death. Very very very few fights (a modern duel would most likely be an honorable and contractual fight) start out without the intent to kill, and indeed it is the lawlessness and lack of honor that ultimately leads to deaths in street fights. To be clear, this is a turn argument. If life is inherently valuable, letting people fight in situations where they're less likely to kill eachother is beneficial. "

I didn't address her "not all duels are to death" declaration because I find it irrelevant as long as some duels are to the death. That's like saying "let's allow drunk driving because not all cases of drunk driving result in accidents." Whenever discussing legality, the worst possible consequence has to be considered, it is absurd to do otherwise. If at least one duel can end in death, it has to be taken as if every duel would end up in death, there is no middle ground.



Dueling bad


Here, my opponent tries to invalidate my position with heavy talk but does little more than to go through the issues already discussed. First, my opponent discarded utilitarianism and said that advantages vs. disadvantages were irrelevant. She gives but three advantages (as compared to the seven disadvantages I mentioned) and rules mine irrelevant advocating for the NAP. I had not discussed NAP at that point but I have now, and I declare it as insufficient as she declares utilitarianism.

Human value is inherent, I believe that was settled. I already explained in one of the previous sections the reasoning for virtue to be in defense of life. My opponent claims my position values humans beings as a mean and not as an end. This is false, just because I used utilitarianism it does not mean I believe human life to be of lesser value. Again, I was not advocating to a utilitarian "worldview" but to a utilitarian approach to this case. There might be other cases where util. enters in direct conflict with ethics and moral and then I would not consider it a viable normative.


Finally, my opponent claims she's established dueling as a basic right, under the weak and incomplete NAP. I already refuted NAP and since my opponent failed to give a stronger normative, it's status as a right is not settled. Her three advantages, out of which only one was conceded, don't make a utilitarian case in her favor. I maintain dueling should not be a right and the reasons I used to support it are still valid.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Thett3, I revised my vote after realizing that I wrote "Pro" instead of "Con". Nothing else was changed.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
I believe seconds were initially to replace the duelist when he died, but over time become managers of the duel, making sure it was fair and such
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Y'know, I never got the point of having a second. Never really understood what a second was, but that's just my ignorance.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Thanks for the RFD MIG.

At Aaronroy/my opponent:

first of all, I appologize for being too aggressive initially. As to your vote, I truly didnt see (til mig voted just now) your withdraw. My bad
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
*Continued RFD: on the description of the function of the state or his concessions.
Posted by Aaronroy 4 years ago
Aaronroy
Countering WallstreetAtheist until he withdraws. I will do so when he does.
Posted by Aaronroy 4 years ago
Aaronroy
I apologize. I did not notice that he conceded. I will withdraw my vote for now until further evaluation of the debate.

I except both L.K and W.A to withdraw theirs within the hour, as well.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
I know, I didnt mean to sound like I thought you cheated /:

It was a good debate:)
Posted by Rodrack 4 years ago
Rodrack
I am sorry not to adress NAP earlier, although I don't belive it was against the rules because it wasn't a new argument. Either way, rest assured I had no intention of cheating.
Posted by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
Both Lordknukle and Wallstreetatheist are countering Aaronroy right now.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
thett3RodrackTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con presented a strong argument that slowly crumbled not only with mounting concessions but, by countering Pro's argument of the voluntary nature of a duel that verifies a right with both the utilitarian and moralistic approach. Unfortunately, Con could not surmount the challenge of providing a systematic verification or base as well as to defend his own assumptions--the inherent value of human life, for example, as embodied in his util. argument or defend his case in spite of inconsistencies...
Vote Placed by Aaronroy 4 years ago
Aaronroy
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter-VB WallstreetAtheist until he withdraw his vote, as I've previously requested.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 4 years ago
Lordknukle
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's strongest argument was his notion that duelling is a right and is voluntary, which Con counters with utilitarianism. Con then drops the NAP and Pro manages to rebut utilitarianism by noting that it rejects individual rights and treats humans as a means to an end. Therefore: Win Pro. I'm removing my counter and placing an actual vote.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO had the BOP in this debate, that much is obvious. Though conceded many of pros arguments via dropping them which threw him off his advantage[s]. Dropping NAP was a poor decision as it was a large contingent of this debate. Later in the debate he dropped PROS good critique and contention on utilitarianism, putting a major blow into cons rebuttals. As we can see cons major concessions lost him the debate.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
thett3RodrackTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter VB Aaronroy who didn't read the debate lulz
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
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Reasons for voting decision: C-C-C-COUNTER VOTEBOMB!
Vote Placed by Valkyrie 4 years ago
Valkyrie
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Reasons for voting decision: Obviously dueling should be illegal