The Instigator
LincolnDouglas
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
rokmc87
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

In a democracy, civil disobedience ought to be morally justified.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 683 times Debate No: 40036
Debate Rounds (3)
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LincolnDouglas

Pro

My first point is that civil disobedience ought to be morally justified because it stops governmental oppression. Thomas Jefferson stated, " If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." The founding fathers agreed that the people should be of equal or more power to the government, With any government, the concurred oppression would follow. The U.S Bill of Rights states the the power of the government is authorized by the people, and if any form of government becomes destructive or oppressive, it is the right and the duty of the people to change or stop it. If a government becomes oppressive, the only outlet is to change the law through civil disobedience, since an oppressive government wouldn't let a person change a law legally.
rokmc87

Con

I agree with my opponent on the fact that civil disobedience can stop government oppression. However, I must ask, does it truly make sense to disobey any law that we disagree with? My opponent quotes Jefferson, not fully comprehending the era in which the speaker was raised. In Jefferson's time, no one on the face of the North American continent had a say in how the colonies were run whether it involved the Stamp Act or the Quebec Acts. Hence, to Jefferson and other Patriots, these laws he speaks of are unjust since the people have NO say in them: a just law was one where the people had a say in its creation and passage. In addition, Jefferson's idea of "disobeying" laws led to a violent revolution. In a modern context, living by these words would not only prove catastrophic for the individual disobeying laws simply because one questions the justice of it, but also for society as a whole.

Take for example how many people are lamenting the passage of Obamacare or welfare (cons in particular). Many see these social programs as unjust because they do not believe in donating the fruits of their hardwork to keep alive the less productive. Now, how would one utilize civil disobedience to disobey these social programs? Perhaps by not paying taxes which go to fund these programs, of course. Imagine 1/3 of the country refusing to file taxes and how much this civil disobedience would do to harm the already financially unstable nature of our nation.

Everyone has an opinion and no law, I don't care how nice it is, will have the support of every man, woman and child in a country of over 300 million. While one might perceive a law to be a nuisance, another might consider it to be oppressive (gun control). Does this mean every time a law without unanimous support of 300 million is enacted, we should march on Washington to "stop" it? What is the definition of stopping an oppressive government? Civil disobedience my opponent claims. After all, an oppressive government, out of all things, will allow protestors to set it back on the right course.

Civil disobedience, though as gloriously as it is portrayed in the civil rights movement, is not something that should be justified in modern and actual democracies (where the people have the right to vote). The larger democracies become, the less and less likely it is to find an unanimous accord to any law and the lack of unanimity should not mean all dissidents should be allowed to disobey the laws of the nation simply because they themselves as individuals do not agree.
Debate Round No. 1
LincolnDouglas

Pro

My opponent stated that everyone has an opinion and no law can be favorited by every person in the country. I agree with this statement. His example about taxes is an irrelevant example. People kill, vandalize, speed, and break other laws all the time but this doesn't chamge the law because the law has a moral sounding. The laws that prohibit and condemn murder, vandalizing and speeding have a moral sounding because it protect the citizens and keeps the country secure. With taxes, thetaxes go to paying for schools, parks, and other public recreations, which benefit society, so there is no need to change it. An unjust law on the other hand, degrades humanity and does not benefit the people, so it has to be changed since it doesn't have a moral sounding

. My opponent also stated that the larger the democracy, the less likely it is to find unanimity. This statement is correct which also connects to the statement that the larger a democracy, the less a voice some groups have. If a minority wants to get their voice heard, they need the shock value of civil disobedience.

Opponent do not be suprised if I dont answer soon I will probably answer tommorow. Thank you.
rokmc87

Con

rokmc87 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
LincolnDouglas

Pro

LincolnDouglas forfeited this round.
rokmc87

Con

rokmc87 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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