It is morally permissible to use deadly force as deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
Debate Rounds (4)
I'd like to refrain from making this a definitional argument and debating sources. Also lets keep it traditional and not worry so much on the v/vc and focus on the topic.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - It is because I agree with this quote by Mahatma Gandhi that I stand in strong negation of the debate.
My value is Justice- the quality of being just, right, and fairness. Because the resolution is directly dealing with what is morally right I aim to bring what is the most just action. To achieve it we will look to my value criterion of Due Punishment. Every punishment must directly relate to the offence by what it is due.
For further clarification I will provide these definitions which will structure the debate.
Morally permissible- behavior that is in the bounds of the moral system
Deadly force- aggressive force that has a substantial risk of causing death
Deliberate- Done consciously and intentionally
Domestic violence- a pattern of any abusive behaviors by a partner in an intimate relationship
Contention 1: Killing cannot be considered due punishment in all or any cases of domestic violence.
Sub point A: Domestic violence shouldn't be subjected to a universal punishment when domestic violence isn't universal.
Consider the situation: A man has complete control over his spouse's economic and social resources. He then makes it clear to her that she cannot leave because of her lack of money, job history, and even friends. Although she realizes the fact that it is not impossible to leave, she continues to undergo the emotional torture because she perceives it as a better option than leaving.
This by definition is a case of emotional and economic domestic violence. How can it be Justifiable to use such a drastic physical force when there was no physical abuse and other options are available? The point is that cases of domestic violence like this exist and not all cases are as drastic as one would assume.
We cannot universally say that all domestic violence offenders deserve to die just because they have committed more than one abusive crime in their lifetime. The reason that the justice system is structured to have trials for every case is because no two cases are the same. We can't attempt to universalize punishment in this instance any more than we can with other crimes.
Sub point B: Killing isn't comparable to domestic violence because life is our greatest right.
The only appropriate retribution is that which is equivalent to the rights which have been violated to begin with. Taking life is not proportional to the rights violation which occurs as a result of repeated domestic violence.
Joshua Dressler writes:
Joshua Dressler [Professor of Law, Ohio State Univ. College of Law]. Battered Women and Sleeping Abusers: Some Reflections. 3 Ohio St. J Crim. L., 457, 2006.
if someone is violating my right to bodily integrity by repeatedly shoving his finger into my chest, that does not give me the right to kill him to stop his offensive conduct. My right to bodily integrity entitles me to demand that he desist and, if that fails or if such a request would be futile, I surely have the right to use proportional force—perhaps a shove—to get him to stop. If the only way I can stop his obnoxious behavior is to kill him, I may not do so, even though he is violating my autonomy. Killing him would be a disproportional response.
The punishment must be directly comparable to the offence. There can be nothing worse than the punishment of killing for the simple reason that every other offence can be healed. Though the victim may be robbed of liberty and happiness, they still have the opportunity to regain it because they are alive. Life provides the opportunity to exercise all other rights, and therefore, it is more valuable than all other rights. A victim's use of deadly force would therefore be disproportionate and morally impermissible.
Contention 2: Social norms regulate morality and discredit the resolution.
Because the punishment of taking away someone's greatest right, the right to life, is so heinous, there has to be specific moral criteria to even begin to justify or consider it. The concept of what is moral differs so drastically between everyone. What is morally permissible for me may not be the same to you. If you didn't look to societal norms there would be no way to regulate morality, so for any debate regarding what is moral we must look to societal norms. One form of norm adoption is the formal method, where norms are written down and formally adopted like laws and legislation. Formally all norms completely clash with the resolution.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Jeffrey Kirchmeier, "Aggravating and Mitigating Factors: The Paradox of Today's Arbitrary and Mandatory Capital Punishment Scheme," 6 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 345 (1998).
Crimes that are capable of receiving the death penalty include first degree murder, some forms of rape, especially of a child, and (on a national level) treason against the United States along with attributing aggressive factors.
Even if the abuse was solely physical, no state or national legislature would consider it one of the aggravating factors that justify capital punishment. The resolution implies that the deadly force is premeditated and the act is not out of immediate self defense, if the victim were to act, they themselves would have a chance to receive the death penalty. How can it be morally permissible when the end result would have the victim with a worse quality of life then before?
I would like to point out that while the premise leaves open the possibility to show examples of where deadly force can be morally permissible, my opponent seems to be trying to box the premise into "every" situation of domestic violence. It is impossible to argue something so general in an "every case" type framework, and so my argument will show cases where deadly force IS morally permissible as a response to repeated domestic violence.
My opponent has presented his value as justice- the quality of being just, right, and fair(ness). My opponent argues that because the resolution is dealing what is morally right, he will argue what is the most just action. This ignores the aspects of what is right, and fair, but I will also show that using deadly force as a deliberate response to domestic violence can be just.
My opponent presents his value criterion as "due punishment," and much of his argument is based on this value criterion. I contend that using deadly force as a response to repeated domestic violence is not punishment, rather self defense. My value criterion is just that- self defense. In fact, "defense" can stand on it's own, as deadly force may come in the form of a mother defending a child, a child defending a parent, or a sibling defending another sibling. If the value is justice, preservation of justice in many cases of domestic violence is preserved only through self defense- not "due punishment" which does not adequately address the premise.
Con Contention 1: Killing cannot be considered due punishment in all or any cases of domestic violence.
- My response to this contention is that the topic is not about killing- it is about the use of deadly force as a response to repeated domestic violence. No all cases of domestic violence are repeated, nor to the same degree so let's stick to cases where the use of deadly force can be rationally conceived of, to begin with, and we can judge the morality of the deadly force used in such cases.
Sub point A: Domestic violence shouldn't be subjected to a universal punishment when domestic violence isn't universal.
- Though I concede sub point A, I will remind the readers I believe I have already effectively re-framed the value criterion to "self defense," and so arguing against a rejected notion is merely being done to express certain other points. In conceding sub point A, I will also present the fact that my opponent is attempting to bypass the issue of self defense by, again, putting all cases of domestic violence in the same context and category. We cannot rationally expect a wife of an emotionally and economically oppressive man to use deadly force as a response to non-physical abuse. We can, however, rationally expect a woman who repeatedly sees her children beaten bloody, her daughter raped, and herself beat to the point of having broken bones, stitches, bruises, etc. to respond with deadly force. In many cases this isn't only a rational response, but a socially expected response, ie. most who hear the story would respond with "Hey, I would have done the same thing"! Or "It's about time"! The point is also invalid because it presupposes the argument that all cases of domestic violence should be resolved with deadly force, which is not the premise at all.
Sub point B: Killing isn't comparable to domestic violence because life is our greatest right.
- Again, my opponent presents a presupposed counterpoint. The use of deadly force =/= killing. I will show that the use of deadly force is not only a rational response, but in some cases the only just response to cases of repeated domestic violence.
My opponent goes on to use an excerpt from Joshua Dressler to support his point. The points made by Professor Dressler, however, do not address the myriad of situations that can arise from domestic violence, and Professor Dressler commits the same error my opponent commits- the use of deadly force =/= killing. Furthermore, Professor Dressler's entire premise presupposes equality in physical strength, and ability to proportionately respond to violence. It is ridiculous to use a comparison of a person shoving a finger into another man's chest in a debate about deadly force as a response to repeated domestic violence because it ignores completely the basic parameters of domestic violence:
1- The victims are weaker, and often significantly weaker physically and/or emotionally than the offender. 85% of intimate partner domestic violence victims are women (1). 50% of men who repeatedly abuse their intimate partner also abuse their children (2).
2- Though physical injuries heal, mental injuries almost never do. 21% of women report they have been raped at least once in their lifetime, and 76% of those women point to an intimate partner as the perpetrator (3). Almost one-third (31%) of all rape victims developed PTSD sometime during their lifetime; and more than one in ten rape victims (11%) still has PTSD today. 30% of rape victims had experienced at least one major depressive episode in their lifetimes. Rape victims are 4.1 times more likely than non-crime victims to have contemplated suicide. (4)
3- Domestic violence often ends with the murder of the victim(s). In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men.(3)(5) There is no way of knowing which cases of domestic violence will end in homicide, and I would take care to judge morally a victim of domestic violence who fears for her/his life, or the life of a loved one who responds with deadly force.
Contention 2: Social norms regulate morality and discredit the resolution.
- Again, my opponent argues the strawman. The resolution is not "those guilty of repeated domestic violence should be killed." Social norms don't dictate this notion, but they definitely side with victims of domestic violence in cases of self defense resulting in homicide. The best test of a social norm is the laws governing them. There are a few states that justify homicide in self defense where a threat to the life of the victim is imminent. (6)(7)(8)
My opponent supports the notion of laws, and legal precedent establishing "social norms," but implies the laws and legal precedent are on the side of his argument. They are not. He claims "no state or national legislature would consider it one of the aggravating factors that justify capital punishment." To clarify- the use of deadly force as a "response" to "repeated" domestic violence not only clearly implies self defense, but does NOT imply murder, homicide, or capital punishment as my opponent suggests. My opponent ends his round by contradicting the premise, and again, attempting to re-frame the debate. The resolution implies self defense, not murder.
(1) Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003
(2) Strauss, Murray A, Gelles, Richard J., and Smith, Christine. 1990. Physical Violence in American Families; Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers
(3) The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman's Lifespan: 1998 Survey of Women's Health, 1999
(5) Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S. 1993-2004, 2006.
In my opponents first observation he is trying to say he only must discuss certain cases of domestic violence where it is fine. Let me remind you of the resolution. It is morally permissible to use deadly force as deliberate response to repeated domestic violence. This means that it is ok for the victim to use the punishment of killing in any case where domestic violence has occurred more than once. He said "my opponent seems to be trying to box the premise into "every" situation of domestic violence." I am not boxing in the premise, the resolution and myself are doing the exact opposite. You however are boxing it in to the certain situations. It does not say certain situations of domestic violence it say repeated domestic violence. The burden of proof is to show it does work 100% of the time; it is morally permissible 100% of the time.
He assumes the same value of justice i have declared however he argues that he can show where deadly force is justified in some cases. So now I ask what about the other cases? When you compare the impact, deadly force is being used when it isnt justified more times than when it is, so your going have to support my value of justice. He tries to show you the cases where domestic violence is so severe but in reality, there are many more cases where it is not so. All cases of domestic violence fall under the resolution so we must look to both sides. So basically hes trying to justify the killing of all domestic abusers to save the victims only in cases where it is severe.
His criterion is self defense. When we look at the resolution the words Deliberate response and repeated imply that the deadly force is premeditated and that the victim is not in any immediate danger. So the victim is committing what is called a sleeping murder. Anything you say about self defense is irrelevant and quite abusive. If we were arguing whether she can act out of self defense the negative would never win because everyone can agree that immediate self defense is a viable option. He has misconstrued the resolution and painted a picture of her life or his when this is not so. You must prefer my criterion because i support throughout my case that deadly force isn't the morally correct due punishment.
Throughout his entire attacks he advocates we only talk about the severe cases. In doing this he lacks fairness and topicality. Firstly on the subject of fairness doing this leaves very little room for the negative to breathe, and secondly the resolution provides the wide umbrella of all domestic violence cases. I say domestic violence shouldn't have a universal punishment like the resolution states. If he did not want to argue the topic he shouldn't have accepted the debate. this applies to his attack on the tag line of my contention 1 and my sub point a.
Also on my sub point a as he continues to only focus on severe cases he assumes that killing or deadly force is socially excepted. This however is not the case. Although it doesn't receive chastisement it isn't however commendable. no one in there right mind would say " Good job go do it again." that is completely ridiculous. So in that aspect of social norms his argument falls as well as the legal side which i will cover later.
He then states "it presupposes the argument that all cases of domestic violence should be resolved with deadly force, which is not the premise at all." The argument is not that all cases should be resolved with deadly force, but it is that all cases of domestic violence are subjected to the punishment of deadly force.
Going on through his attack he is states over and over that "Killing =/= deadly force." If we look to the definition of deadly force i provide aggressive force that has a substantial risk of causing death. He provides no counter definition so we must prefer mine. So in fact DEADLY force has every intention of causing death A.K.A Killing.
One of his arguments is that domestic violence often ends in death. But when we look to his statistic it is 30%. What he is saying is that because death has happened less than 1/3 of the time it is now fine for all domestic violence victims to kill because it MAY happen to them. He is actually supporting more death in the world. "There is no way of knowing which cases of domestic violence will end in homicide" Exactly! Because Death isnt imminent in all cases we cant look to a universal punishment. It would be immoral to subject all domestic abusers to death when they have not committed evil enough crimes to deserve death
On my contention 2, still he is trying to make the murder to be out of self defense. This is not so, he misunderstands the Lincoln Douglas topic and what is needed for it. Anyone can get behind the thought of self defense so if that were the topic it would be a one sided debate where the aff would ultimately win all the time. In this topic the victim is not in immediate pain or does she know that she will be subjected to it again. The premise of the debate is whether it is ok for her to commit a sleeping murder in any situation where any domestic violence happens more than once. As I stated before Social norms such as the justice system do not find it moral to use deadly force, capital punishment, or murder, as the tool to fight abusive situations. As nowhere has domestic violence justified capital punishment. Because it is not out of self defense the law would infact prosecute the victim and she would be subjected to the death penalty as premeditated murder is the very criteria for capital punishment.
This why I clearly stated for Lincoln Douglas format because anyone who debates Lincoln Douglas would have a clear understanding of the topic. *facepalm*
It is morally permissible to do X as a deliberate response to Y.
Now take the following facts:
1- Barbara Sheehan claims to have been the victim of repeated domestic violence.
2- Barbara Sheehan admitted to, and was jailed for murdering her husband as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
3- Barbara Sheehan was acquitted of murder in a court of law.
4- The jury agreed with the defense: It is legally permissible (and we have already agreed that legality is at least one measure of morality) to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
My opponent seeks to include in the scope of the resolution "every" case of repeated domestic violence because he knows the criteria of proof in "every" instance is impossible to meet, while giving examples applicable to the resolution is a simple task.
Now, because we are speaking on what is morally permissible, how do we do so adequately with something like domestic violence? Will my opponent's degree of acceptable domestic violence be different from my own? What of that of the judges? Is there an acceptable degree of domestic violence that meets my opponent's value of justice, or value criterion of proportional punishment? Or do his value and value criteria only apply to the offender, and not the victim? What can we weigh these questions against? What constitutes a crime. Is there a situation where repeated acts of domestic violence constituting a crime would not merit a response using deadly force? And against whom? Is forcing me to defend even extreme examples of the resolution not the slippery slope fallacy? I would also like to point out that if it is my burden to prove my case with 100% application, should not the burden be the same for my opponent? After all, he has made arguments implying deadly force is not morally permissible in ANY case of repeated domestic violence.
My opponent failed to contradict my statements regarding the value of justice. When discussing justice, legal precedent, or anything that must be rationally considered it is only rational to evaluate each situation independently. Even if it was my burden to prove every situation, my opponent makes claims he does not support. He says there are more cases where deadly force is not justified than not, but presents not one case to support his claim. In fact, he says I should present those cases myself! He also continues to make the false argument that I advocate killing of domestic abusers, but he himself has admitted that the use of deadly force =/= killing. In fact, pointing a deadly weapon at someone is using deadly force. Punching someone in the temple is using deadly force. Shooting "at" somebody is using deadly force. Holding someone in a choke hold without choking them is using deadly force. None of these cases, and many more which can be considered deadly force, are the equivalent to killing someone, or leveling capital punishment on someone as my opponent repeatedly implies.
My opponent attempts to defend against my value criterion by giving you his interpretation of the resolution. Obviously the resolution can be interpreted differently as can all cases of morality, and/or legality. That is why examples are given, and opinions, observations, and statements are weighed against facts. The resolution does not imply premeditation- my opponent does because he thinks it is in his benefit. Even in cases of premeditation, though, I have already shown (as in the case of Barbara Sheehan) that a jury found the actions of the victim to be morally permissible. In reality, however, the resolution simply implies deadly force is being used as a response to repeated domestic violence. The resolution does not imply "who" is the victim, neither "who" is using the deadly force, nor at what point in the act of domestic violence (before, after, during) the response is occurring. The resolution DOES imply the domestic violence is repeated, and it also implies the victim (or someone defending the victim) is convinced the domestic violence warrants a response with deadly force. It is, apparently, impossible for my opponent to conceive of a case where a child is being repeatedly raped and beaten, and someone (if not the child) rationally responding with morally permissible deadly force. My opponent here, again, reiterates that he believes the use of deadly force is NEVER morally permissible. He invokes the example of "sleeping murder," but does not show examples of how even those cases are not morally permissible- he simply says they're not. The case of Barbara Sheehan clearly shows a woman who planned her husband's murder some time before she actually committed it. I am not saying every case contradicts his point, but he is making affirmative empirical statements in his defense which I have already proven not empirical.
My opponent, rather than responding to my arguments, continues simply by complaining about my arguments. He says I am being unfair, and not allowing the negative to breathe. But then he implies the resolution refers to a universal punishment against domestic violence when it does not. It does not even imply punishment. My opponent is attempting to manipulate the readers' interpretation of the resolution rather than arguing against my points. Even if we ignore the fact that I am saying "some" cases, we can't ignore the fact that he is arguing that NO cases of domestic violence merit deadly force. This is contradictory to his affirmation, then, that my arguments and interpretation make for an unfair debate. Surely, if he believes NO cases of domestic violence should be met with deadly force, and I say some should, we have a debate with clear sides and points to be made. If he were arguing that deadly force is not a proportional response in "all" cases of repeated domestic violence, that would be different. However, that is NOT what my opponent is arguing.
My opponent, again, moves the goal post on what is "morally permissible." Either we can look to the laws to judge what society has deemed morally permissible, or we look to what my opponent thinks one's back should be patted for to determine what is morally permissible.
My opponent doesn't seem to understand his definition of deadly force. He doesn't understand the difference between "potenial" and "actual". I'm pretty sure the readers understand the use of deadly force =/= killing, and doesn't even require injury. Again- pulling a gun on an abuser and telling him to lay down on the ground until the police arrive constitutes the use of deadly force. In fact- throwing an orange at a moving vehicle is the felonious crime of "throwing a deadly missile into a vehicle occupied," which is often prosecuted as attempted murder, but does not necessarily show the intent to cause death- only the slim possibility. Killing cannot be debated. Dead is dead.
My opponent ends his argument with more attempted manipulation- he claims this debate is not about the victim's response, rather punishment. He believes a victim's response to being beaten is punishing the attacker- not defending themselves. He has made this clear. He is trying to say I have misunderstood the topic because I am not a LD debater. That is an ad-hominem that has nothing to do with the debate itself. So in conclusion:
My opponent cannot prove deadly force is morally impermissible in every case of domestic violence. If that is his con, and my Pro is "some" cases, we have a debate. A moral argument where only extremes can be supported is a slippery slope fallacy.
Whether or not the resolution applies to all cases or certain cases.
Sub point A: The resolution is a broad statement. My opponent is arguing that it does not contain a qualifier such as all. There are two flaws with this. One is that it doesn't need a qualifier of all if it is a broad statement. It simply says repeated domestic violence. Taken into a logical conclusion you can deduct that it applies to all cases. And two being that it doesn't have the qualifier of "some cases the Aff wants to support".
Sub point B: The burden of proof is not shared in this debate. The burden is for you to support that is morally permissible. Not morally permissible sometime, But in general morally permissible. This isn't impossible to meet because many cases on the subject do support it. The BOF in this matter is not for me to show you how you can win, so I won't provide any other argument you could make other than my sub point C.
Sub point C: Finally and most importantly a bright line never exists in domestic violence. Who is to tell when it is severe enough to be morally permissible and when it is not? We have both agreed that abuse differs in severity from case to case. Because you cannot accurately apply a reasonable bright line to what cases the resolution encompasses, you have to support all cases as the Aff.
You have not stated the bright line yet so it would abusive to create one now as I would not have a chance to rebut and state my opinion on whether it is reasonable or not.
DEADLY FORCE =/= KILLING
Statements by my opponent "but he himself has admitted that the use of deadly force =/= killing." "My opponent doesn't seem to understand his definition of deadly force." "He doesn't understand the difference between "potential" and "actual"." Nowhere have I said deadly force isn't killing. In fact I have said the opposite.
Sub point A: My definition is Deadly force -aggressive force that has a substantial risk of causing death. Substantial does not equal potential. Substantial is the key word here. Because we are talking about hypothetical situations it is necessary to assume it will happen. You can't just say "well maybe it will and maybe it won't."
Sub point B: His examples; pointing a deadly weapon at someone is using deadly force. Punching someone in the temple is using deadly force. Shooting "at" somebody is using deadly force. Holding someone in a choke hold without choking them is using deadly force.
The act of pointing a deadly weapon does not create SUBSTANTIAL risk. Punching does not create SUBSTANTIAL risk. Shooting at someone's VITAL AREAS does however create substantial risk.
THE CONS CONTRADICTION;
When I say all or any.
His argument is basically only attacking the tagline "Killing cannot be considered due punishment in all OR any cases of domestic violence." In my sub point a I am saying certain cases are clearly impermissible (which he has agreed to but defended with he doesn't have to support these cases. Look to the bright line argument.) And then in my sub point B; I show how life is our greatest right creating a disproportional response of deadly force. (Which he has not argued against.)
Lincoln Douglas format is what I asked for and what the Aff agreed to by accepting the debate but then decided against. In Lincoln Douglas sub points are set for a reason; so that they are argued separately but to show the fact they both fall under a broad argument. You have not even begun to argue life is not the greatest right. So it is accepted by now that this is true seeing at is the last round and new arguments are not allowed. (LD form)
PREMEDITATION OR SELF DEFENSE
Sub point A: Deliberate response and repeated imply that the victim has endured repeated domestic violence and is consciously taking the step to kill their spouse. Sleeping murder is the term used to describe the fact that the victim isn't in immediate danger and acts when the abuser's back is turned.
Sub point B: Immediate Self defense is abusive in terms of fairness. If we were talking about whether she is immediately in need to save her life then the affirmative would always win. Voters, readers, my opponent, and anyone will get behind the thought that self defense is viable. This is not what we are discussing because LD topics are created for fairness, on the playing field between Aff and Neg.
Sub point C: To humor my opponent, if we were talking about self defense it would mean that the victim's emotions would be at a heightened point so much so that she has rationalized murder. This choice is not made through deliberate rational thought. Her actions would obviously not be the same if she weren't being provoked. So how can it be moral if she wouldn't take such drastic measures otherwise?
RESPONSE OR PUNISHMENT AND SOCIAL NORMS
I decided to include this for two reasons. One being my opponent referenced it many times and two being that he slanders my character by saying I attempt to manipulate the reader.
Sub point A: I am not manipulating, I am saying it how it is. The resolution is justifying the victim killing the domestic abuser. So that is the domestic abusers punishment for committing domestic violence. This is fact. He is being punished in this way due to his transgressions.
Sub point B: We have established legality is an aspect of morality. The death penalty is the punishment given to criminals of heinous crimes. Never has the death penalty legally been applied to domestic violence. Whether or not Barbara Sheehan was acquitted of her vigilantism or not is irrelevant. Even so a jury of 12 does not constitute morality. Social norms such as laws passed by elected representatives do (as we both have agreed). I'm sure there were outsiders looking in who found that the decision should have been reversed. The juries' opinion was that she didn't deserve the punishment of jail time.
In conclusion, It seems this debate has boiled down to definitional arguments which I asked to refrain from in the beginning. We have focused even less on the topic than i thought possible but i digress. LD format must also be taken into consideration when voting because it was one of the stipulations i made in the acceptance round. My opponent agreed and disregarded the rule. I ask you now to decide what the individuals due punishment is, and whether or not it is justice for them to receive this punishment.
I strongly urge a negative ballot.
Mangani forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited the last round. Con's arguments extended through guaranteeing him the win. Pro used sources
Research this debate: United States