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The Contender
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Guns should be criminalised on utilitarian grounds

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 262 times Debate No: 74455
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Guns cause more pain than pleasure and therefore should be banned according to utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism: the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people.

First round is for acceptance only. I look forward to a good debate.


I will gladly debate against the resolution.

Self-defense: Any form of protecting yourself from an immediate danger
Protection: A state in which one can rationally feel safe

I definitely look forward to my opponent's arguments, and hopefully a friendly but thought provoking debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Unlike the UK, the USA"s Second Amendment (1791) protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. Which country has less gun crime? And does less gun crime make for society that better fulfills utilitarian principles?

Guns have many negatives and (as far as I can see) little positives. Here is a list of the 25 deadliest mass shootings in US history. [1] Now the question is whether the suffering caused in these shootings and more outweighs the positives of owning guns.

The positives of guns as far as I can see are for sport (although hunting is the only example of a sport which requires guns that kill, and this undoubtedly causes more suffering than pleasure). Then there is the positive of giving you the right to have the best form of self-defense available. This is the argument which has the most power against the utilitarian, however, I do not see it as showing that more pleasure is caused than pain.

Self-defence requires tools that prevent harm to yourself. However, is a gun the best form of self-defense available? The best form of self-defense would firstly be easy to use, secondly be sufficient to defend you and thirdly cause the least amount of harm possible to the assailant whilst still preventing them.

In all three of these areas (although it only needs to be better in 2 to be the better tool for protection) I believe that stun guns and tasers are superior to guns.
1.Tasers and stun guns are as easy to use as guns with just the trigger needing to be pulled. [2]
2.Tasers and stun guns are sufficient defence. "TASER devices will shock your attacker for 30 seconds allowing you to drop the device and easily get to safety." [2] They can be fired multiple times if needed.
3.Whilst tasers have been known to kill, cases of deaths are very low compared to deaths caused by guns.

For a utilitarian society it is necessary to restrict some freedoms for the greater happiness of its citizens. Just as we have enforced speed limits on our roads we should have a ban on guns. The pleasure gained by going over the speed limit is not proportionate to the pain it can cause. In the same way this applies to guns and drugs.

Furthermore, utilitarianism sees all persons as equal so why should you have a right to kill another in self-defence. Are they not of equal importance under utilitarian grounds? Regardless, guns are not the most utilitarian form of defence and have no other benefits that outweigh the negatives. Therefore, I believe guns should be banned. I look forward to your response.




bman7720 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has forfeited. PLease don't hold this against him voters. Just put your arguments in the next round.


I apologize for my absence, but due to time and personal matters I am afraid I have to forfeit this debate. I simply do not have the mental state, or time to argue my case.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JBphilo 1 year ago
Arguably guns can make pleasure e.g. hunting. However, I would argue that this pleasure is not equal to the suffering the animals feel. A utilitarian is only concerned with suffering and pleasure capabilities so animals should be equal as they have this capacity.
Posted by ImaRealMeanie 1 year ago
When does a gun make pleasure...?
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