The Instigator
batman
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
GOOFYTU
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

In a democracy civil disobedience is an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,154 times Debate No: 1453
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (13)

 

batman

Pro

Thomas Edison once said "If there is a way to do it better find it." My partner and I selected this quote because we stand in affirmation of today's resolution which states "Resolved: In a democracy civil disobedience is an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice." With the following contentions my partner and I will show you why a vote for pro would be the best vote in today's debate.

•Contention 1: Civil disobedience is effective.
•Contention 2: Civil disobedience protects rights.
•Contention 3: Civil disobedience does not undermine democracy in fact it protects democracy.

Civil disobedience is effective
•CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE HAS BEEN THE SPARK FOR ALL MAJOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Gordon Clark, Convener of National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, September 1, 2007.
Gore and Hansen must both know that nonviolent direct action has been a significant catalyst in nearly every major social change movement in U.S. (and world) history, starting in this country with the Boston Tea Party and extending through the anti-slavery, woman's suffrage, labor rights, civil rights, environmental and anti-war movements. Nonviolent direct action can dramatize an injustice or danger to the general public as few other actions can. It both provokes other people to act and speak - often people who had previously been silent - and it opens up political space for them to do so. Nonviolent actions are acts of courage that inspire others to follow. They are acts of leadership.

Civil disobedience protects right
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS EFFECTIVE IN CHANGING LAWS AND PROTECTING LIBERTIES—Starr and Blackberry '98 [Kayla and Bonnie, "The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy;" The Civil Libertarian; Summer 1998;
Civil disobedience is often an effective means of changing laws and protecting liberties. It also embodies an important moral concept that there are times when law and justice do not coincide and that to obey the law at such times can be an abdication of ethical responsibility. The choice of civil disobedience and non-cooperation is not for everyone. We all choose to do what feels right to us personally.

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS THE KEY TO FREEDOM--Shafer ‘03
[Greg; "Lessons from the U.S. war on Iraq;" The Humanist; July-August 2003; FindArticles]
Fundamental to a successful democracy is the ability of its people to be given honest and accurate information about their government and the actions that government takes on their behalf. Americans can't participate in a system that only feeds them a steady diet of propaganda and mendacity, leading them to believe what isn't true or is only part of a larger story. At the same time, to be truly free, Americans must be able to reject the policies of their president and practice civil disobedience when they see nefarious policies coming to fruition and hurting others. This was the centerpiece of Henry David
Thoreau's night in a Concord, Connecticut, jail and his essay Civil Disobedience. This, we must remember, is the essence of a real, robust republic--one that is governed for and by the people. And yet, as the first week of the war passed in a blaze of explosions and death--with twelve British and American soldiers dying in a helicopter crash--Americans felt increasingly pressured to decide between supporting the war and being depicted as un-American.

Civil disobedience does not undermine democracy in fact it protects democracy.
•ACCEPTANCE OF PUNISHMENT SHOWS RESPECT FOR LAW
Robert Macauley, THE HASTINGS CENTER REPORT, January-February 2005 Because civil disobedience is nonviolent and passive, participants are willing to accept the appropriate punishment for violating a law which they feel is unjust--as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., famously demonstrated. Rawls writes, "The law is broken, but fidelity to law is expressed by the public and nonviolent nature of the act, by the willingness to accept the legal consequences of one's conduct."

USE OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS A GREAT LEAP FORWARD IN DEMOCRACY-- Lamichhaney '06
[Bhupal; "Democracy, Injustice, And Civil Disobedience;" Scoop Independent News; 25 May 2006;
The same method Thoreau prescribed to pressure the American government to abolish slavery has now become globally accepted as a powerful, non-violent democratic means to force unjust opponents to incorporate change. People in various countries have adopted this peaceful political tool to unseat unjust, tyrannical governments. How could Thoreau have imagined the legacy he would leave to peace loving people a century later and beyond? This was another great leap forward in democracy.
GOOFYTU

Con

[attacking first argument is unept]

CD these days is a victim of the "roach-spray- effect" (the more you spray us, the more we develop immunity and the larger your doses need to be!).
The Intelligent Singaporean, Dec. 1 2007
What they are trying to say is that as C.D. progresses in time, with the coming of the internet, these law breaking stunts need to be bigger, badder, and more drastic to capture public attention, thus rendering C.D. an ineffective tool in today's world.

This is one of the many reasons why in a democracy, C.D. is not an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice. Our points of argument being
C.D. Justifies Violence
C.D. Hurts Democracy
Social Contract theory disallows C.D.

Con

1. C.D. Justifies Violence:
Prof. Berel Lang at Colorado tells us that: Virtually all the discussions of those two forms of action have assumed that acts of civil disobedience are bound in principal by the restraints of nonviolence. The presumption of this connection has been drawn on the fact that advocates of the one form of action have often been advocates of the other. Now what this means is that civil disobedience is not completely kept away from violence. The connection has been falsely made because the majority of the most famous leaders of C.D. such as MLK Jr., Gandhi, and Henry Thoreau, have also been peace activists.
Another form of violence, which is often over looked, is violence against oneself. Heiner Bielefeldt, with a PhD in Philosophy, says that Civil disobedience, too, may include an aspect of self-inflicted violence, if the resistors deliberately run the risk of violent action by the state and use it to dramatize their protest publicly. In Fact in protest of the Vietnamese Government prohibiting flags being flown on Buda's birthday Seven Buddhist monks lit themselves on fire and burned to death on city streets in a ritual suicide.

2. C.D. Hurts Democracy:
An example of how C.D. hurts democracy is told to us by Prof. Harry Posch. . If C.D. fails, one has succeeded only in increasing the hostility of one's opponents toward one's views, and actually therefore created a greater obstacle to the moral re-evaluation one is ostensibly seeking. And then there is, in addition, the further considerable risk that "non-violence" may spill over into "violence" when it meets with the counter violence which it has provoked if it has not been successful. He tells us that if someone wants something, and their attempt at getting it fails, they will only try harder to get it, and go to more drastic measures.

3. Social Contract Theory Disallows C.D.
The first full exposition of Social Contract theory was written by Thomas Hobbes. It explains that when a person turns to the age of adulthood, they have a choice whether they want to live in their country or not. And by accepting to live in that country, they have moral and/or political obligations between them to form society. This means that they should accept those laws, and abide by them. So, C.D. by definition, breaks that countries laws, and breaks this contract. And as Roger Geary stated: "The social contract benefits everyone for 'even the strongest must sleep' and when asleep the strongest must rely on the law to guarantee personal security."

In Conclusion: I have explained to you why, in a democracy, C.D. in not an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice.

C.D. Justifies Violence
C.D. Hurts Democracy
Social Contract Theory Disallows C.D.

Civil Disobedience has descriptive and normative versions. In the descriptive version, one predicts that the example of disobediency will be imitated, causing disrespect for the government, increasing lawlessness, and tending toward anarchy. In the normative version, one notes that if disobedience is justified for one group whose moral beliefs condemn the law, then it is justified for any group similarly situated, which is also a recipe for anarchy.
The first reply, offered in seriousness by Thoreau and Gandhi, is that anarchy is not so bad an outcome. I beg to differ.
Debate Round No. 1
batman

Pro

the intelligent Singaporean is a blog so that makes all of their evidence from that source irrelevant in today's debate

once civil disobedience turns violent it is no longer c.d. and if the government is performing violent actions against it people for disobeying the law this only dramatises the injustice upon them

if social contract theory disallows c.d. can you give me an actual example of social contract theory? no the imaginary world where imaginary people come together to form an imaginary government may not allow c.d. but no where has social contract theory been used as a form of government to rightfully rule the people.
GOOFYTU

Con

First of all, the Intelligent Singaporean was only used to introduce the basic premise of the results when C.D. is justified. In this case, it will never work. The IS. is a blog yes, but a blog by the Singaporean Government so it has all the credibility.

Civil Disobedience never includes self-inflicted violence. The Buddhist ritual rights were taken away and so through Self-inflicted violence, there is no justification that C.D. will work.

Social Contract Theory is disallowing C.D. because first of all Social Contract Theory Gives these obligatory rights to the people (in a democracy):

1) They must abide by the consequences of breaking a law.

2) If in a democracy, the laws made (corrupt or just) by the people, must be followed due to the government system.

Basically, by Number 2, if laws are made by a person, then that same person must obey his/her own law. If not, Civil Disobedience has no effect. By the SCT disallowing C.D., non-violent protests against a law that you don't like will never work.

Also, going back to your Lamichhaney card of '06. :

"USE OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS A GREAT LEAP FORWARD IN DEMOCRACY-- Lamichhaney '06
[Bhupal; "Democracy, Injustice, And Civil Disobedience;" Scoop Independent News; 25 May 2006;
The same method Thoreau prescribed to pressure the American government to abolish slavery has now become globally accepted as a powerful, non-violent democratic means to force unjust opponents to incorporate change. People in various countries have adopted this peaceful political tool to unseat unjust, tyrannical governments. How could Thoreau have imagined the legacy he would leave to peace loving people a century later and beyond? This was another great leap forward in democracy."

First, who is Lamichhaney? What credibility does he have? Use of Civil Disobedience is a great leap forward in democracy? When was there ever a true Democracy on the face of the earth? What examples can you personally come up with from 2006? He states that Thoreau, the man who shaped CD, "prescribed to pressure the American government to abolish slavery has now become globally accepted..." Again I ask: Who? Who is accepting his word? And for what propose? Is there a Democracy today that no one is aware of? This card has too many flaws to be used at all.

As of right now, Lamichhaney is not credible.

Also, going on with those questions: CD protects democracy? No. It does not, there is no evidence of ANY democracy that has undergone CD.

Overall, your evidence dates back to a time where there was no Democracy. All of your evidence is based on "analysis's predictions" to CD in a "democracy.
Debate Round No. 2
batman

Pro

batman forfeited this round.
GOOFYTU

Con

By forfeiting the last round you must agree with me when I say:

C.D. Justifies Violence
C.D. Hurts Democracy
Social Contract theory disallows C.D.

All of these contentions prove that Civil Disobedience is not an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice.

Also, you must realize that first, Justice is subjective. You would agree with me. SO if Civil Disobedience is used, it gives any person, majority or minority, a voice andthe right to break a law. Since Justice is different for everyone, people will never come to a concensus on a specific law. If people continue to break laws in that situation, then anarchy would rise and the "democracy" you present is no democracy any longer. Without C.D. a government listens to all of the people. When the voices of the public are heard, then there is no reason for C.D. If an unjust law is needing to be shown to the public, a peaceful protest, one that is given to us as a right through the first amendment and doesn't break the law, is something that can be used as an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
Goofy, use more than just WCdebate cards. add something. and batman, he didn't present EVIDENCE from the intelligent Singaporean. he presented an opinion.
13 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 11 months ago
U.n
batmanGOOFYTUTied
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 Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeiture
Vote Placed by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by or8560 9 years ago
or8560
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30 
Vote Placed by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by colsen110 9 years ago
colsen110
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by colsen111 9 years ago
colsen111
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by colsen112 9 years ago
colsen112
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by Kierkegaard 9 years ago
Kierkegaard
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Vote Placed by iq_two 9 years ago
iq_two
batmanGOOFYTUTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30