The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Is Legalism a good philosophy?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,267 times Debate No: 48469
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I challenge Con (Jifpop09) to this debate and will leave his (Currently) unnaccepted challenge reserved for everyone.

As Pro, I will be arguing that Legalism is a good philosophy.

Legalism will be defined as a philosophy that suggests that human nature is wicked and can only be forced to do good. Legalism recommends a legal system, a strict one, and harsh punishments for disobedience.

First round for acceptance only.


Great, I am not expert at philospohy, but I don't think legalism is in any way a good doctrine for a country. You may begin.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting the challenge.



The presence of this will deter people from doing wrong.

Example: Say, an elder was walking by, with her purse. You have the opportunity to steal. However, you choose not to take it, not only because people are strongly encouraged to report sightings of crimes, but because of this possible chance of being caught.

Now, if they are simply detterred, their goods acts won't be sincere. However, at least you don't have to experience them as much.


Now, from the presence of this, people who has adapted to bad acts will try to rehabilitate and change. This follows from the "Detterence" argument. And thus, will accomplish what Legalism ought to achieve.

Public safety

This ALSO follows from the "Detterence", except it also follows from the "Rehabilitation", argument. Since people are detterred, they'll rehabilitate and change, and thus, the public will not expect much threats, and won't be threatened as much, thus secure.

I await my opponent's set of arguments.


Sorry, but I have to forfeit this round, but trust me, i'll put a lot of effort into the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


Alright. I eagerly await your set of arguments.


Legalism Supports Totalitarianism

One of the key principles of Shang Yang's legalism, was the suprression of the merchant class. He believed that they must be controlled, and that they weaken the state. He viewed Agriculture as the most important part of the nation, and that all other industrys are insignifigant. Apply this to modern day, and we would be broke.

Legalism Advocates constant war

Shang Yang was very clear on one thing. A nation must always be at war, or they will become weak. If a nation gives slack in fighting, then they will fall. We will again apply it to modern day. Imagine every nation in constant warfare, never ending fighting. We would be broke and miserable.

Legalism has failed with the Qin

The Qin Dynasty, who unified China, were heavily influenced by legalism. And look how it turned out for them. They fell within 15 years of gaining power. It only goes to show what would happen if we applied legalism as a political doctrine.

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Debate Round No. 3


SteveEvans forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by SteveEvans 2 years ago
My recent arguments aren't based on historical facts, etc. It is based on logic, and you don't need citing sources for those.
Posted by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Wow, no sources Pro left himself open to an attack on credibility
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: both users forfeited a round spelling: as always tied sources: con had sources arguments: con showd that legalism leads to war, which is typically true. (this argument went unrefuted)