The Instigator
dfhdavid
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
qwerty15ster
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points

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

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,570 times Debate No: 1483
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (9)

 

dfhdavid

Con

I've done this debate before, and I'd like to take the con side to this.

I challenge someone to present a case affirming this.
qwerty15ster

Pro

Definition:

JUSTICE MEANS WHAT IS RIGHT AND FAIR -
Justice is generally understood to mean what is right, fair, appropriate, deserved.

So let us go with my first argument then. This resolution can be rewritten as such: In a democracy, civil disobedience is an appropriate weapon in the fight for what is right.

So your first question is inevitably going to be, how can we tell what is right? And by argument will therefor be, "it doesn't matter." We're debating the resolution and not the real world applications of it.

Next on the same topic I present the idea that in the fight for what is right the means, being civil disobedience, easily justify the ends. The consequences of means only are against those using the means, society itself is not hurt. The end here, is what is right. Therefor society benefits from the ends and is not hurt by the means. You can then argue that society will be hurt by the means through the violation of the unjust law, but let us remember the law is what is not right, and therefor society will not be hurt.

My next argument:

Appropriate, and the varying degrees thereof.

Example, when someone is threatening your child's life, with a chainsaw, what would be an appropriate response to said person?

I would contest that the following options are all appropriate: talking to them, shooting them, throwing a knife at them, a throwing star, bombing them, sword, police, bargain.

As we can see all of these options are appropriate, I would argue that some could work better than others, but all or nonetheless appropriate. The same is true of a democracy in the fight for what is right. There are many appropriate responses, all being varying degrees of effective in different situations, but nonetheless appropriate. For examples: petition, public law, civil disobedience, even outright disobedience can be appropriate if the wrong is truly atrocious. Would it have been right for the slaves in pre-Lincoln America to outwardly oppose the law on slavery. I would say yes.

So onto my summary. Civil disobedience is a non-violent form of political communication in which the minority having wrongs/injustices committed against it gets the majorities attention. In the fight for what is right it is a very appropriate weapon, especially when compared to some other forms of appropriate forms of fighting that have societal backlash. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
dfhdavid

Con

The Bill of Rights, within the constitution, protects the right to dissent through the freedom of speech, the right to peacefully assemble, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The use of all of these tools is the prime distinction between a democracy and an autocracy. By placing civil disobedience over these normal activities, then it is impossible to be aligned with democratic processes.

DEFINITIONS
"Democracy:" Government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or their elected agents under a free electoral system.
"Justice": Obeying the law. This definition is best because it is concrete and the same for all people.

My main points:

1.) My first main point is that every person can participate in a democracy. In every possible example of civil disobedience, it never existed within a democracy. Gandhi was in an empire, and Martin Luther King was living under the undemocratic Jim Crow laws. In an ideal democracy, citizens would be able to easily participate in democracy, instead of being forced to break the law. In a democracy, laws are just. They protect life, liberty, and property (like in 1st and 4th amendments). An unjust law would then go beyond the realm of democracy.

2.) In a democracy, there are legal means to address unjust laws. Under an ideal democracy, citizens can use the courts, voting, as well as lobbying to fix unjust laws. This can better be done today than in the civil rights movement. For instance, legal assistance is available through the Attorney General's office, and discrimination is addressable in the court system. Civil disobedience bypasses all this, and seeks to use lawbreaking in order to achieve such goals. In short, the pro assumes democratic processes don't work.

3.) It's harmful for 3 reasons. First, demonstrators often break other laws unrelated to the injustice, such as refuse to pay taxes. Second, CD could be used against private parties, not just the gov't., which is an infringement upon rights. Third, non-violent protests can often lead to violence. In Gandhi's movement, there was immense rioting in Bombay, because of his arrest in 1942.

To summarize everything, civil disobedience isn't appropriate because democratic processes work better. Violence now isn't necessary if it can be solved a better way.
qwerty15ster

Pro

qwerty15ster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
dfhdavid

Con

Okay, this will be my last speech one way or another, so let me give you an idea on exactly why you should vote for the CON.

Before you all simply go ahead and vote for the position you like, take into consideration the position of my case.

-Any example that could be given supporting the affirmative case could not have taken place in a real democracy, because a democracy, by definition, can provide for plenty of legal options other than breaking the law.

-There are plenty of negative effects that can be caused by it. (see previous case).

-By definition, civil disobedience is in violation of justice by breaking the law.

I urge a con vote from you.
Thank you.
qwerty15ster

Pro

qwerty15ster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
i understood what you were going for, but...i wouldn've used something else...you should check out my debate on this, i just posted the challenge...i actually had my stuff together for it! hahaha
Posted by dfhdavid 8 years ago
dfhdavid
I know, it's pretty easy to attack. My logic is that the only widespread understanding of justice is through the obeyal of the law. Other definitions don't comply with the understanding of the majority, which is the basis of democracy, so they can't be held in a common definition of justice.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
david, that's a pretty weak and stupid definition of justice, no offense. how can a law be just if the definition of just is following the law?
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
and i was gonna do this topic again, cuz i lost my notes on the topic and found them recently...
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
ppl should maybe participate in the debates they join...and realize that this isn't a US-specific topic.
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
Nobody puts a voter on anything....
Posted by dfhdavid 8 years ago
dfhdavid
Thanks! Not too bad, yourself.
Posted by qwerty15ster 8 years ago
qwerty15ster
Btw, i like your pic! :D ha ha
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 9 months ago
U.n
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeiture
Vote Placed by qwerty15ster 7 years ago
qwerty15ster
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Vote Placed by Pluto2493 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Crust89 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by dfhdavid 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by defleppard1691 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Pricetag 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by ScrewSociety62 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Yraelz 8 years ago
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