The Instigator
Lifeisgood
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
feverish
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

It Should be Legal in the U.S. to Occasionally Hit Someone

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,345 times Debate No: 8831
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (8)

 

Lifeisgood

Pro

In this debate, I will argue that occasionally hitting someone should be legal in the U.S. Here are some definitions.

Hit: "b: to deliver (as a blow) by action c: to apply forcefully or suddenly"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...[1]

Occasionally: "on occasion : now and then"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Someone: "some person : somebody"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

U.S.: the country known as the United States of America

Before I state my arguments, I will clarify that I do not mean hitting with intent to cause permanent physical injury or death. I mean an occasional slap upside the head, or a good punch. Of course, there should be other limitations, such as instances were the action becomes addicting.

Argument 1)

Stress relief. By occasionally slapping/hitting someone, a great deal of stress is released by the person doing the hitting, especially if they are hitting the person causing the stress. This would decrease general feelings of anger and animosity, which could possibly result in criminal activity.

Argument 2)

Education. By being hit, a person learns instinctively to avoid the action which caused the hitting. Think of the things that could be learned through such a method of teaching!

Argument 3)

Conflict resolution. By engaging in fistfights instead of going to the police every time there is conflict, citizens will save many taxpayer dollars.

Argument 4)

Exercise. We all know that obesity is a problem in America. By legalizing hitting, Americans can resolve their problems while toughening up their fat, weakling bodies. This would result in longer lifespans, greater quality of life, and improved confidence.

Argument 5)

Breeding. By allowing hitting, certain individuals will pwn others. This will aid natural selection, as the wimpier individuals will not find mates. This will greatly improve the awesomeness of the general American population.

Argument 6)

American doctrine. As Americans, we believe that all Men have the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. By thwacking the head of the annoying person next to me, I pursue Happiness, as the action gives me great pleasure. The person next to me, who may not initially enjoy the thwacking, will ultimately benefit from it; he will cease to be annoying, which will improve his overall chances of survival. Thus he is granted additional Life.

My opponent may begin his argument. Good luck.
feverish

Con

Thanks to my opponent for instigating this debate, I accept his definitions.

----
It should be pointed out that in some cases it is of course perfectly legal to hit someone. No one is going to be prosecuted for a genuinely playful slap, parents are allowed to discipline minors, you can use reasonable force to defend yourself from attack and some schools still administer occasional corporal punishment under signed consent. [1]

There are probably other examples but I will not take the semantic route of invalidating a resolution that calls for the instigation of laws that already exist. I will instead debate my opponent on his opinions.

In any case my opponent's definitions make it clear that he advocates delivering blows against just "some person" from "time to time" which covers just about any instance of provoked or unprovoked hitting.

If people were given license to wander around delivering blows to random people who happen to annoy them, the world would be a worse place.

I will be proving that in almost all cases a law permitting this kind of hitting is unjust and should not be accepted.

-----
1) Stress relief.

Blatantly flawed. Hitting causes more stress than it relieves because being hit is very stressful indeed whereas hitting someone while it may be satisfying does not relieve much. My opponent should provide a source to prove that it can release any stress at all.
If you hit someone and then they pull out a knife or a gun, you will find your stress levels increase dramatically.

2) Education.

Being hit may teach you not to repeat the exact behaviour that led to being hit but certainly does not teach right from wrong, merely that might is right.
Educators agree that self-esteem and confidence are essential to effective learning. Being hit negatively effects these. [2]
Hitting someone and not facing the consequences or being compelled to regret it and apologise teaches people that it is OK and even beneficial to behave this way and it certainly isn't. Hitting people will not help you keep friends or hold down a job.

3) Conflict resolution.

Fights are less likely to resolve conflicts than exacerbate them, look at the pattern of gang violence where a word out of place can quickly escalate to fists and then even more quickly onto weaponry. People who have been hit may well wish to get some form of revenge.
In addition even if it is conceivable that more fights would save on prosecution costs (which I doubt for the reasons above) they can also have a negative economic impact as an injured individual will have to take time off work and will therefore not be contributing to the economy.

4) Exercise.

There are far less stressful and more pleasurable forms of exercise even without setting foot in a gym. Sex between consenting adults is a great example. [3]

5) Breeding.

By rewarding violence, natural selection will favour the aggressive and the impulsive rather than the enlightened and the thoughtful, not a good end result for species survival.

6) American doctrine.

I'm far less informed on this subject than I'm sure my opponent and most readers will be but it is my understanding that an individual's rights are not allowed to infringe on those of another person. A phrase summing this up that I have heard used by many Americans on this site and elsewhere is that "your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins." While I am not suggesting that that is the actual wording of the constitution, I was under the impression that it was a para-phrasing of some of the principles laid out in it.

----
If my opponent really thinks that hitting is acceptable, I can only assume that either he has never taken a good beating himself or he has taken one too many and is suffering from mild brain damage.

I'm not a big guy but I'm a grown man and my opponent is a 14 year-old youth, if I lamped him in the head I think he would (rightfully) want me to be punished.

----

That will be all for now.

Con.

-----

Sources:
[1] http://www.corpun.com...
[2] http://www.thelearningweb.net...
[3] http://www.healthcentral.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Lifeisgood

Pro

Lifeisgood forfeited this round.
feverish

Con

Oh, a forfeit. How disappointing, I didn't see that coming at all. I noticed my opponent online yesterday and assumed that he was just taking his time getting his argument together.

Oh well, extend my arguments from last round, hopefully my opponent will be able to make an argument in the final round.

Thanks.

Con.
Debate Round No. 2
Lifeisgood

Pro

It is a a great pleasure to debate you, feverish. I apologize again for the forfeited round. I hope this argument will be good enough to make up for the one I had to forfeit.

"There are probably other examples but I will not take the semantic route of invalidating a resolution that calls for the instigation of laws that already exist. I will instead debate my opponent on his opinions.
In any case my opponent's definitions make it clear that he advocates delivering blows against just "some person" from "time to time" which covers just about any instance of provoked or unprovoked hitting."

I knew you were going to say something like that. However, I believe I made it quite clear what I was talking about with my arguments. So no, I do not advocate delivering blows to anyone by anyone at any time. There are obvious instances where hitting should not be legal. I bring you back to what I said: "Of course, there should be other limitations, such as instances were the action becomes addicting." Other restrictions should also apply, such as when the person being hit is defenseless, etc.

"If people were given license to wander around delivering blows to random people who happen to annoy them, the world would be a worse place."

Here my opponent makes a unsupported statement of opinion, which I disagree with. On the contrary, I believe the world would be a better place, as annoying people would quickly learn to not be annoying. This would virtually eliminate all human annoyances on earth. I would say that would make the world a better place.

1) Hitting does indeed relieve stress for the hitter. I had assumed this was a generally accepted fact.

Simply exercising muscles will go a long way in reducing stress.[1] Hitting is excellent exercise. Hitting will especially deflate stress if you hit an annoying person, as they will be in too much pain to continue to be annoying.

Also, if you hit someone hard enough you won't have to worry about them pulling out a gun on you.

2) My opponent has conceded my original point that hitting can teach someone. All his other points are irrelevant, or statements of unsupported opinion.

3) So what if fights generate more fights? Fights toughen the body. More fights, more toughness. Men should be able to deal with their problems in a way that aids all. Fistfights are an excellent method of doing this; both men eventually come to an agreement, walking away from the ordeal with a measure of respect for each other.

4) My opponent has not even tried to refute this point, instead providing an impractical substitute.

5) If the 'thoughtful' and 'enlightened' are not intelligent enough to avoid fights were they will get pwned, then they do not deserve to reproduce. And violence is not 'rewarded'. It is allowed to a certain extent, but not rewarded.

6) Your point, while a good one, does not really address my point. I showed that hitting may be mutually beneficial to both the hitter and the person being hit. I have shown many instances where hitting is beneficial to both.

Hitting does not violate the American doctrine so long as both parties involved are able to defend themselves; otherwise it would be abuse.

"If my opponent really thinks that hitting is acceptable, I can only assume that either he has never taken a good beating himself or he has taken one too many and is suffering from mild brain damage."

With this statement my opponent has shown that he has failed to understand all of my arguments, as he does not know why I support this just cause. True it may be that I have never taken a good beating, this is only because no one would dare do something like that to me. However, I have myself given quite a few good beatings to others.

"I'm not a big guy but I'm a grown man and my opponent is a 14 year-old youth, if I lamped him in the head I think he would (rightfully) want me to be punished."

If you lamped me on the head, I would want you punished. However, I would prefer to punish you in my own way, instead of having to go to the government with my problem. It would be much more satisfying for me. Heh-heh-heh...

My opponent has barely touched my arguments. I have given six good points as to why hitting should be legal in the U.S., and my opponent has failed to refute all of them. He has mingled with his arguments personal speculation as well as statements of opinion, while I have demonstrated my point with clear logic and facts. I recommend a Pro ballot.

People these days are far too wary of physical contact. I have always thought this ridiculous, because of all the benefits I have listed. If it is legal to orally devastate someone, why is it that punching someone, which would cause no permanent damage, can result in years of jail time?

On that note I end my argument.

[1] http://training.fitness.com...
feverish

Con

Thanks Lifeisgood, a pleasure to debate you too and I'm glad you had the time to continue the discussion.

Thanks also for further clarifying what you meant in your opening round, I recognise that there are (extremely vague) limits to the kind of hitting you advocate.

It is clear however that the main example you give of justified hitting is in response to annoyance.

The problem with this is that annoyance is inherently subjective. What annoys one person may not annoy another and some people can be especially easy to annoy.
A person could conceivably use such a law to legitimise almost any sort of violent attack including those against the defenceless which my opponent apparently condemns.
'That bloke in the wheelchair was looking at me funny', 'that tramp asleep on the floor was annoying me', 'my neighbor's baby kept crying so I punched it in the head'. These are just some of the plausible excuses for unprovoked assaults that would be heard if a law in favour of hitting the annoying was passed.

There is no boundary or consensus of what qualifies as annoying behaviour, so a law legitimising violence as a response to it would be impractical, dangerous and contrary to existing laws.

>"I believe the world would be a better place, as annoying people would quickly learn to not be annoying. This would virtually eliminate all human annoyances on earth."

This is clearly not true as annoyance is subjective.
It is obviously annoying to be hit.
A large proportion of people, such as myself, find real-life violence extremely annoying to witness.
There is no conceivable way that virtually all human annoyance could ever be eliminated by hitting as hitting creates more annoyance than it eradicates.
Therefore my previous contention that the world would be a better place with less violence stands unrefuted.

I would add that this 'opinion' becomes fact under the basic premise that peace is a good thing. Readers may of course believe otherwise.

-----
1) Stress relief.

My opponent does not challenge my assertion that hitting creates more stress than it relieves and as there are no more debate rounds I can only assume that he concedes this point.

There is, incidentally much evidence that short bursts of exercise (such as occasional hitting) actually increase stress and anxiety levels [1].

>"if you hit someone hard enough you won't have to worry about them pulling out a gun on you."

This is somewhat naive and ignores the distinct possibility of them coming after you on a later date, unless you hit hard enough to kill, which I'm sure Pro is not arguing in favour of.

2) It is up to the voters to decide how relevant my points are and ignoring them is a poor tactic. Extend my arguments on self-esteem and teaching good morals.

3) My opponent thinks more fights would be good. He contradicts himself by agreeing that fights lead to more fights but then talking about them creating agreement.

Fights are dangerous and harmful as these graphic images display, please don't click on these links if you are easily shocked [2].

4) I don't see how my substitute is impractical for most people and it is better all round exercise than hitting. Sex requires flexibility and stamina of a much greater level, it is also pleasurable and harmless to others to indulge on a regular basis.

5) Some people (especially the stupid) find intelligent people annoying, merely being intelligent is no defense to Pro's measures.
When I referred to "rewarding violence" I was referring to the idea of violent people being more successful in breeding and the genes that made them violent being rewarded by the evolutionary process.

6) Benefits have nothing to do with denying another person's rights. Pro makes no clear argument about American doctrine.
----
>"no one would dare do something like that to me."

Very cocky, I hope you are not proved wrong.

>"I would prefer to punish you in my own way"

Tantamount to suicide. Not that I would hit you in the first place. :)

>"He has mingled with his arguments personal speculation as well as statements of opinion."

Pro's arguments consist of little else, I have followed his format to some extent.

>"punching someone, which would cause no permanent damage"

Again see[2], also [3] for the common sense response to this blatant misconception.

[1] http://www.trans4mind.com...
[2] http://images.mirror.co.uk...
http://img.thesun.co.uk...
[3] http://www.sunderlandecho.com...
http://www.sherdog.net...
http://news.bbc.co.uk...

Thanks for the fun debate.
Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
Come on, feverish. Does anyone on this website realize when I'm joking and when I'm not? I suppose not. But then, this seems to happen to me a lot in real life as well...

I had a great time debating you. I hope we can do so again. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

Also, I just tried the recommendation the old Chinese guy gave for when someone attacks you. It was quite effective.
Posted by feverish 8 years ago
feverish
I'm guessing your RFDs were supposed to be provocative Lifeisgood.
I'm sorry you thought I was arrogant, irrelevant and annoying.

Thanks again for the debate.

Co-sign Leet's "pure gold" for the Chinese ear-ripping quote from Roy.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
CON is British, so it makes sense that he spells in a British manner."

That doesn't change the fact that I find British spellings to be annoying.

Actually, I was just trying to come up with a reason to give myself that point. :p
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Volkov
"S/G: Pro. Con used British spellings, which I find rather annoying."

CON is British, so it makes sense that he spells in a British manner.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
RFD:
B/A: Pro.
Conduct: Tie. Despite his horrendously arrogant statements, Con was well behaved.
S/G: Pro. Con used British spellings, which I find rather annoying.
Arguments: Pro. Pro gave six arguments as to why hitting should be legal, each one Con failed to properly refute. Really, if only one of Pro's arguments went unrefuted, he would win.
Sources: Tie. Most of Con's sources were irrelevant.
Posted by leet4A1 8 years ago
leet4A1
"Once an old Chinese master was interviewed on TV. "What do you do if someone attacks you?" "First you tear off an ear. That distracts them.""

Pure gold!
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
brian, To spite gun control advocates some Southern town passed an ordinance requiring every household to have a gun. Crime rates in that town plummeted. A nationwide study done by a professional insurance actuary was published with the descriptive title, "More Guns, Less Crime."
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
"Once you attack, the person is justified in defending himself. He may not choose fists, but rather a convenient chair or bottle ... or maybe he's got a nifty .38 automatic."

This is why I have never, ever started a fight with someone in America. Perhaps it is one of the few arguments in favour of allowing the general public to carry guns?
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Sure it is outlandish.

1. It invites escalating violence. You decide to hit someone. He interprets that has a life threatening attack, so he retaliates. You then have to defend yourself. There is no way to shut it off reliably. Give it a try, go into a bar in Texas and whack the first guy in boots who annoys you. Take notes.

2. You have no idea who can and cannot defend themselves. Case 1: Someone threw a pie at San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. The mayor happens to have a delicate heart condition, so the shock might have killed him. That would be murder for throwing a pie. People suffer from an assortment of conditions that are not easily perceived by others.

3. You have no idea who can and cannot defend themselves. Case 2:The guy you pick to whack may happen to be a kung fu master who reflexively smashes your carotid artery. Since you hit him first, he acted in self defense. Once an old Chinese master was interviewed on TV. "What do you do if someone attacks you?" "First you tear off an ear. That distracts them."

4. Once you attack, the person is justified in defending himself. He may not choose fists, but rather a convenient chair or bottle ... or maybe he's got a nifty .38 automatic. The ensuing mess will have to be cleaned up at public expense, and their may be innocent bystanders harmed.

there is nothing to be gained by encouraging violence. Note that boxing matches and marshal arts competitions are perfectly legal, and the participants are medically certified and sure to be able to defend themselves. That's the forum to vent.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
Lifeisgood
'Outlandish proposition'? The government should have no say in how I deal with my enemies, so long as they can defend themselves and I don't kill/permanently injure them. I need to re-do this debate.
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