The Instigator
MisterDeku
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Teleportation
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Going to prison is not more voluntary than so.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MisterDeku
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 899 times Debate No: 35560
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

MisterDeku

Pro

Ragnar declined my challenge, so now it's an open debate.

= Full Resolution =
Assuming the validity of free will, going to prison within the USA is not more voluntary than so.

= Disambiguation =
The first time my opponent instigated this debate, I accepted but forfeited every round on accident (Summer. Whatcha gonna do?).
http://www.debate.org...

This debate is me making up for that blunder.

= First round =
This round is acceptance and clarity only. If you the as the contender decide to accept this debate, you may only post the phrase 'I Accept.' in the your first round. Anything else will constitute a full forfeiture of all 7 points of the debate.

If there is a need for clarity, it should be inquired about in the comments prior to accepting the debate and if I find it reasonable I will post it here before Con accepts.

I repeat, Con should only post the phrase 'I Accept.' in his first round. I will add clarifications as necessary.

= Rules =
1. This will be a public debate. The emphasis will be one clear communication and effective on-case arguments. There should be no discussion of framework, or use of debate jargon in the round.

2. The BOP will be balanced between the Pro and the Con. Neither side will maintain presumption so if at the end you believe the debate to be a tie no vote should be cast.

3. No semantics!

= Definitions =
Voluntary: of your own free will or design; done by choice; not forced or compelled
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

Prison: a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

Free Will: the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
Teleportation

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
MisterDeku

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting the debate. Welcome to DDO!

While free will indicates that one would have control over the actions which guide him or her to go to prison, it does not indicate that one would maintain control over the consequences of said actions. Free will guarantees one to have control over the basic actions he or she commits, but does not warrant that one committing such actions will always be conscious of their action's consequences.

If there is a mysterious box in my living room, I don't know what will happen if I open that box. There may be delicious cake waiting inside for me, and by opening the box I would get to the cake. There might also be several agitated black widows inside and I may instead be killed for having opened the box. The point is that even though I am in control as to whether or not I open the box, I have no control over the consequences of opening the box.

The same is true about the actions which lead one to go to prison. While I am a free agent and have control over my actions, I don't have control over the consequences of my actions. Even if I can guess with a high degree of certainty what will happen as a result of my actions, I still can't say for sure what will happen until after I've already experienced the consequences.

Put another way, having control over one's actions does not put one in control of their action's consequences. As a free agent, I can do whatever I please so long as it is actually within my power to do what I want to do. I could walk outside and start jumping rope because it is within my power to do so. I could not however walk outside and fly off into the sunset because that is not something I am physically capable of. First, because I have no means of flight, and second because it is currently after 11pm where I live and the sun has already set.

The point to this discussion of free will and consequences is that going to prison is not voluntary, but a consequence of one's actions. If I were an immigrant who had just moved to the United States, I may not know that it is illegal to trespass on the property of another person; I may have taken walks in the woods around my old home all the time, not thinking anything of it. So then if I were arrested for trespassing, it would have come straight out of left field for me. It wouldn't have been a voluntary conclusion to my walk because I didn't even know that what I was doing was illegal.

Another example would be accidentally trespassing while taking a walk in a park adjacent to private property. I may have even been fully aware that trespassing was illegal, but have thought I was in a public park.

Finally there is the example of being wrongfully jailed that must be taken into account. While it's easy enough to argue that those who are sent to jail under just premises went there voluntarily, to argue that one jailed under false accusations went there voluntarily is absurd.

With that I hand the debate over to my opponent and look forward to the ensuing clash.
Good luck!
Teleportation

Con

I shall skip the monotonous formalities and head straight to a rebuttal to my opponent's argument as the basis for my first speech.

First of all, I would like to define the topic once more. 'Going to prison is not more voluntary than so' basically means that going to prison is not affiliated with free will. Now, you stated that 'While free will indicates that one would have control over the actions which guide him or her to go to prison, it does not indicate that one would maintain control over the consequences of said actions.' Yes, it does not indicate that one would maintain control over the consequences, but that is quite off-topic. We are not talking about whether one would maintain control over consequences of their actions, but rather the topic that 'going to prison is more voluntary than not'(my part of the argument)', which you have concurred with. As such, the part of your argument stating that one cannot control the consequences of their actions might be true, but is off-topic and therefore holds no weight in this argument.

Think about it this way:
If you were arrested for something, wouldn't YOU be the one to walk yourself to prison, out of your own free will? You still have a choice, but YOU choose to go to prison instead of trying to break free. Although there may be consequences to your actions, your main argument seems to focus around the fact that one cannot control the consequences of their argument. But we're not talking about whether consequences can be controlled.

For instance, you say that if you were an immigrant who had just moved to the United States, you may not know that it is illegal to trespass on the property of another person; you may have taken walks in the woods around your old home all the time, not thinking anything of it. However, if you were arrested for it, wouldn't you voluntarily go to prison? It's your choice, after all.

You also state that going to prison is a consequence of one's actions. It is a consequence, but you do have a choice on whether you want to take that consequence or not. That is what makes it voluntary. Even if those choices are not likable, you still have choices, and if you choose to go to jail, that would therefore make it voluntary as YOU make that decision out of your own free will.

And finally, you say that to argue that people jailed under false accusations went there voluntarily is absurd. Could you give me a statistic on how many people get jailed under false accusations? You obviously can't, because you don't know whether one makes false accusations or not until is can actually be proven false, which would take quite a long time. In any case, even if one is jailed under false accusations, it is their choice whether they want to go to jail or not. If they don't, they'll probably be killed. If they do, that makes it voluntary and therefore supports my argument even further.

As a conclusion to my first speech, I'd firstly like to state that my opponent's arguments mostly consisted of the consequences of actions, which does not relate much to this debate topic and is off-topic at best, seeing as to how we are arguing on whether 'going to prison is voluntary than not' and not 'there are consequences to actions'. Also, what I find to be completely absurd is any opinion that states going to prison is not voluntary. Everyone has a choice, but when they pick to go to prison, they have made up their mind and have therefore volunteered to go there. Saying they didn't volunteer just because they have been sentenced to prison because of wrongdoings is flawed logic at best, and should be ignored.

I now hand over the debate to my opponent, who I expect should reply with the utmost of eloquence at his disposal.
Good luck! :D
Debate Round No. 2
MisterDeku

Pro

I could point out the obvious foul play in trying to circumvent my prior arguments by 'redefining the resolution' after I had already made my case, but we've got bigger fish to fry right now; Con makes a fatal assumption before he even begins to argue, and that is in his analysis of the resolution. Con claims that that the resolution means that going to prison has no connection with free will, however the full resolution states that 'Assuming the validity of free will, going to prison within the USA is not more voluntary than so.' Free will is something we assume to be an element of the debate, the real clash here comes on the voluntary clause. Something Con barely touches on.

This places emphasis on the initial actions which leads one to go to prison at all. Even if a crime were committed so explicitly that there was no doubt the crime was committed on purpose, it doesn't mean that the person committing the crime fully understands what the consequences for his or her actions will be. Because one doesn't know what the consequences will be, he or she cannot very well chose them voluntarily.

So yeah, consequences are pretty important.

Back to the box analogy; if there is a mysterious box in my living room, then I don't know what's in that box. So while I may be responsible for the action of opening the box, I cannot change the consequences of having opened the box; there are spiders or cake in there no matter what I personally want. Con never responds to this argument, so it's a pretty good reason to vote Pro.

With the importance of consequences restored, the only argument Con has on the table is that one ultimately makes the decision to accept the consequences of his or her actions them self. However this is pretty weak for several reasons; First, if one does not accept the consequence of going to prison, then they aren't within the realm of this discussion. After all, you can't discuss whether or not something was voluntary if it never happened. We are assuming that the person actually went to prison here.

Second, Con seems to be ignoring the element of force. No matter how much I opposed an officer trying to take me to prison, if he or she is able to knock me out with a taser, there's not much I can do.

As for my opponent's request for evidence of one being jailed falsely, here a couple of articles I found just by googling 'wrongful arrest' [ http://abcnews.go.com... http://www.tricities.com... http://www.parentdish.co.uk...] I'm not sure why my opponent finds this so shocking, but being arrested because of false accusations isn't uncommon.

On another note, if the only alternative to going to prison is death, it proves my point that it isn't voluntary. Cut the truisms Con, they aren't going to work.

Finally I'd like to point out that my opponent only used this round to attack the arguments I put forward in the previous round. Con didn't even try to present any arguments of his own. Remember, the BOP in this debate is balanced so Con just refuting my arguments isn't enough. The he could hope for there is a tie.

Vote Pro!
Back to you Con.
Teleportation

Con

You say that I use foul play in trying to 'circumvent' your previous arguments by redefining the resolution. In all honesty, I don't. I just wanted to make the topic clear to everyone once again, and I have answered all your arguments clearly. This shows that you misinterpreted my arguments, and tried to accuse me of something I did not do. Subsequently, I noticed you saying that because of my 'fatal analysis of the resolution', I 'barely touch on free will'. How on earth is not touching on free will, when most of my arguments consist of voluntariness, a flaw? In case you don't know(which is probably why you provided flawed logic here), 'voluntary' means 'done, given, or acting of one's own free will'. And since my argument mostly comprised of arguments arguing on voluntariness, your argument stating that I barely touched on free will is therefore invalid as my arguments technically did comprise of free will.

You then proceed to say that it somehow places emphasis on the initial actions which leads one to prison. I thoroughly believe that this part of his argument was meant as a joke and is not meant to be taken literally. If it is, let me dissect it. The topic states that 'Going to prison is not more voluntary than so', meaning that going to prison is not affiliated with free will. MisterDeku goes on to say that because one might not know what the consequences will be, he or she cannot choose voluntarily. Even if one might not know the consequences, he would most likely be sent to the courtroom to settle on what punishment he should get. If it's prison, he voluntarily goes because he chooses to go. He could easily try to run out of the courtroom or stab himself with a pen, but most choose to go to prison. Consequences have absolutely no say in this argument, as we are discussing on WHY going to prison is more voluntary than not(my side), and not 'there are consequences to actions'.

Let me dissect your so-called 'box analogy'. You never include the part where they go to prison. I firmly believe that your 'immigrant analogy' was far better than this one, plausibly because of the fact that most criminals DO know what crime they're going to commit and what punishment they'll get for committing the crime if they get caught. If so, then we actually do know what is in the box. So not only is it off-topic, but it is flawed as well.

Consequences are not important. End of the line, MisterDeku. You know it as well as I do. Consequences have no relation whatsoever to most topics that have 'voluntary' in them. If one doesn't accept the consequence of going to prison, then they will still probably go to prison, if the judge deems it bad enough. Wait a minute. If we're assuming that the person actually went to prison here, then why on earth did you say that if one does not accept going to prison, they aren't within the realm of this discussion? I didn't even say that. You're basically rebutting to a point you made up.

Secondly, even if an officer knocks you out with a taser, he will probably bring you to the courtroom first. To settle out a crime that you committed.

You seem to have no arguments saying why going to prison is not voluntary, but a lot of off-topic arguments either giving false analogies or false accusations. Stay on topic.

There are many alternatives to going to prison. Alternatives can take the form of restorative justice, transformative justice, or the abolition of incarceration entirely! If you want more info on this topic(and also because I'm running out of characters to use in this argument), go here: http://en.wikipedia.org... http://www.forbes.com...

Finally, I'd like to say that my rebuttals consisted of new points that the opponent may or may not have noticed. By simply saying that the best I could hope for is a tie, he is effectively inflating his ego and acting like a debate wannabe. With that, I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 3
MisterDeku

Pro

I want to remain as cordial as possible in this debate, but to be frank I don't even know where to begin. Con's arguments are largely unwarranted and insulting which ends up bringing the debate down to a he-said, she-said level. Con previews many of his arguments with off-handed comments which mostly say something to the effect of 'Pro is wrong or he must be dumb'.

I'm not going to try to rehash everything right here, In fact I'm done with the on-case arguments entirely. Because Con is so insistent that I've interpreted the resolution wrong a good deal of my arguments go untouched.

Con doesn't respond to the force argument. Even if you will be taken to court eventually, you have to be put in a holding cell.

Con doesn't respond to the unknown consequences argument. While I can be pretty I'll go to prison if I murder or steal, I may not break a law on purpose. Con actually states he assumes this to be a joke. What?

Con doesn't respond to the false imprisonment argument. The first time he says that false imprisonment doesn't happen, and when then when I provide proof he drops the argument entirely.

This is my last round. I don't get to talk again in this debate. In the event that Con speaks on these arguments again in his next round, don't take them into consideration. I won't have a chance to refute them.

Thank you for reading. Vote Pro!
Teleportation

Con

Honestly, MisterDeku, resorting to the logical fallacy of Appeal to Emotion and actually asking the readers to vote for you solely on the base of saying that is both ludicrous and sad. And I'm not insulting you. If I was, I'd say you were dum* or something. But did I? No. In fact, if you can find even one sentence in any of my arguments which insults you(and not your arguments), I'll believe you. But you see, that's the thing: you can't.

My arguments are unjustified? Says the guy who doesn't want to rebut to any of my rebuttals. I've provided more than enough examples and points to back up my arguments.

You have interpreted the resolution wrongly. You're just too stubborn to admit it, even though you know that consequences have nothing to do with voluntariness.

I responded to the 'force' argument. If an officer knocks you out, it must be because of a crime. Even so, officers mostly ask you to put your hands up and walk you to their police car where they'll take you to court. If an officer knocks you out, it's probably because you tried to retaliate against them. If you're taken to court, you then know what your crime was and what you did wrong. As such, you will know the 'consequences', but you will still have the choice on whether you want to go to jail or not.

And what did I say after I thought it was a joke? I dissected it and rebutted to that point, though you probably didn't read that part.

Even if false imprisonment happens, you still have a choice. And you choose to go to prison, even though you may not like it. Liking something and doing something are quite different.

So you're saying that they shouldn't take my arguments into consideration just because you can't rebut to them? It wasn't like you were going to rebut to them anyway. What should stop them from taking MY arguments into account alongside yours? I deserve three rounds of arguments. You already had three, but you tell them to not take my arguments into consideration. That would deprive me of a third round, and would give you the upper hand. However, doing such a thing would technically be trying to get the reader to not read my arguments, which I find to be quite disturbing. In fact, who would actually not want to take someone else's arguments into consideration? I think of this more as a discussion, really. But as you are excluding my last points from the discussion, you are effectively trying to win this discussion through any means necessary, even if it means asking the readers to ignore my argument.

Frankly, telling people to vote for you solely because you want them to is sad. They shouldn't judge you based on how much they like you, but instead on how good your arguments are and how much better you rebutted to the other.

With that, I end my last case.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Congrats.
Posted by Teleportation 3 years ago
Teleportation
I'll take on this challenge.
Posted by MisterDeku 3 years ago
MisterDeku
Oops. Sorry, I'll fix it.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
You made a slight error when reopening this...
Posted by MisterDeku 3 years ago
MisterDeku
I mean that you shouldn't drop terms like 'Extend, fallacy, prima facie, etc.' in place of a fully explained argument. I want the emphasis of the round to be one of public argumentation and discourse.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
"or use of debate jargon in the round." What exactly does this mean?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
JustinAMoffatt
MisterDekuTeleportationTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I didn't like this debate, just for the record. These should be fun, educational, and a positive experience. It can get heated in the midst of arguments, and I understand this. However, and I'm not saying it's entirely either of your fault, let's try to remember to have fun. RFD: Conduct- This was going to be a draw, since I didn't really like either side's conduct especially, until the last round. However, the repeated calling of MisterDeku and his behavior as "sad" and "ludicrous" is a breach of conduct in my opinion. MisterDeku, you didn't quite do it, but please be careful when trying to state an issue you have with your opponent's behavior as well. (You almost outright called Con a cheater) S/G- Nothing too noteworthy. Args- Essentially, while very confusing, Con lost this when he conceded force. Honestly though, there were too many hypothetical scenarios. But maybe that's just me. Sources- Neither side sourced. I hope you both learn and come back even stronger debaters.