The Instigator
Kleptin
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Morty
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points

Kleptin Brand "Pick Your Own Debate"!!!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 757 times Debate No: 5549
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

Kleptin

Pro

This is a special debate in which the one who accepts the challenge will be the one suggesting the topics of debate.

There will be 5 rounds of this debate.

1A: This introductory post

1B: My opponent will suggest 3 topic of debate, of a wide variety of categories. The three topics of debate suggested cannot all be within the same topic of discussion, (ie. All three cannot be about Religion, All three cannot be about Politics), cannot include both sides of a particular argument, and must be broad enough for a layman to be able to adequately debate with limited research (ie. No extraordinarily complicated Physical theorems).

2A: I will respond with my choice of the three, or rule that the choice of the three subjects violates rules stipulated in 1A. If I make that ruling, 3 new topics of debate will be given as a comment and I shall respond with my choice of those 3.

2B: After choosing one topic, my opponent will then pick a position, either PRO or CON.

If my opponent picks PRO, he/she shall use the rest of 2B as his opening post, and FORFEIT 5B by submitting, as his or her response, the phrase "Thank you for this debate" repeatedly until the character limit is satisfied.

If my opponent picks CON, he/she shall choose a position and wait for my opening post in 3A.

The rest of the rounds will be devoted to a typical 3 round debate.
Morty

Con

This seems like quite the interesting concept, I'll try it out.

My three proposed topics:

1. All recreational drugs ought be legalized (Politics, perhaps Society)

2. Sensory/empirical evidence should be considered valid (Misc)

3. The minimum wage ought be abolished (Politics)
Debate Round No. 1
Kleptin

Pro

My choice is the first topic: All recreational drugs ought to be legalized.

I await my opponent's response.
Morty

Con

I shall be taking the Pro side of this debate.

The first contention I would like to make is that people have ownership of their own bodies. I hope my opponent will agree that this is a fairly non-controversial position, as advocacy of out-and-out slavery has fallen out of favor as far as political philosophy goes.

From that, I will further contend that because the use of drugs qua use of drugs only has effects on the person using the drugs, my opponent, if he agrees with my initial contention, cannot oppose the legality of the use of drugs without further qualification which demonstrates some sort of substantive harm done to others.

With a justification based on individual rights for the legality of drugs established, I will move to consequentialist reasons for legalization.

1. Prohibition drives the trade to the black market, changing it from the realm of legitimate businessmen to that of gangsters, dramatically increasing the violence involved.
It is a well-established fact that black markets are more violent than legal ones. The major reason for this is that once a trade is driven underground by the government, it becomes very difficult to resolve disputes peacefully. When the government is actively seeking the arrest of all involved parties, it is difficult to have a fair, public arbitration process, therefore leading to disputes being resolved by violence instead. Further, the government's relegating the trade to criminals and gangsters quite obviously leads to a tendency towards violence to begin with.

2. Prohibition drives the trade to the black market, making quality a non-concern of the sellers.
In a black market, competition may be fierce (even violent, as suggested above), but because of the underground nature of the market, this does not have the normal marketplace effect of improving quality and reducing prices. Advertising can only be done on a word-of-mouth level, and largely is the initiative of the buyers rather than the sellers (who do not wish to be found out by the government authorities). Because of this, the normal marketplace checks on poor producers are mostly ineffectual and poor quality products can continue to be sold at very high prices. Many overdoses are the result of impurities and ambiguous potency information, neither of which would be a problem in a legal market where drugs would be made in laboratory environments and have proper labeling.

3. Prohibition, because it causes sellers to go underground and largely shift from legitimate businessmen to gangsters, is a financial boon to gangs, the mafia, and other criminal elements of society.
A large amount of the USA's current gang problem can be related back to the War on Drugs, as most gangs make the vast majority of their income in the drug trade. The drug trade is easy money, so long as a gang can maintain its position. This is one of the main causes of the extreme territorial nature of modern gangs. The great amount of income gives gangs many advantages they did not have before. First and foremost, it makes a life as a gangster much more appealing to the poor urban kids who fill its ranks. Second, it makes much more powerful weaponry available to gangs, by allowing them to afford such.

4. Prohibition clogs up our prisons with non-violent criminals and makes them into violent criminals.
It is no accident that the leader of the international drug war, the United States, has the largest prison population in the world. A large many of them, if not a majority, are in for drug-related offenses, and many of those are mere possessors. These non-violent criminals are placed in jail for several years with hardened criminals - murderers, rapists, robbers, etc. And what do they learn during their stay in prison? How to kill and harm. And when they get out, they are handicapped in the job market due to the felony on their record. Many opportunities close to them. So what happens? They turn to crime, and perhaps this time it will be violent crime, rather than mere non-violent drug offenses.

It is rare in the social sciences that we are given a sort of experiment. The American experience with Alcohol Prohibition, however, is a great historical case to demonstrate the above stated principles. During Prohibition, alcohol was still sold in the USA. But not by bartenders - by wildcats. And what happened? The trade became violence, dangerous, and profitable. Since Prohibition has ended, how many alcohol gangs can be named?
Debate Round No. 2
Kleptin

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate and the audience members for their time. Let me first begin by defining recreational drugs:

Recreational drugs, which wikipedia has defined as those which have no "work, medical, or spiritual purpose".
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I agree with nearly all my opponent's contentions, complete prohibition is doing more harm than good. However, the answer is *not* as my opponent contends, to legalize ALL recreational drugs.

While my opponent's points were pretty much on the mark, he did forget one important thing: Drug addicts.

Whereas he addressed nearly all the social aspects of drug use, he has conveniently glossed over the worst part, which is how people, after periods of drug use, become physically and psychologically dependent on these drugs and require larger and larger doses in order to obtain satisfaction.

Although most of those other nasty things my opponent spoke about would certainly drop, the amount of drug addicts would skyrocket, purely from use.

My method for this is simply to have the FDA rank drugs based on addictiveness both physical and psychological. All types of drugs that are highly physical and/or psychologically addictive should remain illegal to own, use, produce, sell, or buy. Making sure that the most highly addictive recreational drugs stay illegal would hamper their usage, and when paired with the legalization of many other drugs, would offer a good supply of other things to provide a high that will contribute to the overall health of society. Thus, I must negate my opponent's contention in that SOME drugs should always remain illegal.

I await my opponent's response.
Morty

Con

I hold no objection to the definition presented by my opponent.

My opponent said: "I agree with nearly all my opponent's contentions, complete prohibition is doing more harm than good. However, the answer is *not* as my opponent contends, to legalize ALL recreational drugs."

However, if he truly understands the points I made, he would recognize that they apply to any such prohibition, be it alcohol, LSD, or heroine. It is irrelevant which recreational drug is under consideration, my contentions apply to them as a class and every one individually.

I have not, as my opponent suggests, forgotten about drug users. Rather, I addressed them at the very beginning of my argument, making the point that people have the right to do whatever they want to their bodies. Unless my opponent makes the contention that people do not have a right to control their bodies in this way, taking up the position of slavery, his arguments regarding the negative personal effects are irrelevant. Many things that we have a right to do are harmful to our own person - eating poorly, not exercising, self-mutilation, suicide, it is all a mere matter of degree. Why drugs should be arbitrarily excluded from this is the question I pose to my opponent.

My opponent says: "Although most of those other nasty things my opponent spoke about would certainly drop, the amount of drug addicts would skyrocket, purely from use."

But this is a mere assertion. My opponent brings forth no evidence to suggest that drug use would rise as a result of legalization. It ignores the fact that much of the allure of drugs is the very fact that they are illegal. They are "cool" for the same reasons that cigarettes and alcohol are "cool" to high schoolers. Those types who enjoy breaking rules overlap very much with those prone to drug use, both groups are made up largely of high time preference, risk-taking people. There is no evidence that legalization would increase drug use, nor that its prohibition has caused a decline in use.

Something my opponent seems to be forgetting, however, is that the danger of drugs comes largely from the effects of prohibition. Beyond what I mentioned in my first argument regarding impurities, it is also the case that prohibition leads to the increases in potency. The reason for this is that it is easier to conceal smaller quantities, and so to maximize profit opportunity, the potency is increased so the yield per unit is higher. For instance, crack cocaine is completely a product of the War on Drugs. It is prohibition itself which makes drugs more and more addictive and dangerous.

In the free marketplace, there is always a strive towards higher quality, and with inherently dangerous products, that means making them progressively safer. Tobacco companies, where allowed to do so, have made safer products which significantly reduce the harm compared to traditional cigarettes. Car companies strive for better and better safety features on their vehicles. And so on, and so forth. In the free market, we would see safer and safer ways to use drugs. But, as stated earlier, in the prohibited market, things only increase in danger.

Again, these arguments apply no matter what drugs are made legal until they are all legal. Half-way measures will not be sufficient to solve the above problems, full, total, and unconditional legalization must be adopted.
Debate Round No. 3
Kleptin

Pro

Kleptin forfeited this round.
Morty

Con

It is unfortunate that my opponent was unable to reply in this round, I do hope he will be able to make a final argument, it has been a stimulating debate.

This will be my final post (because I chose the Pro side), so to recap my arguments thus far:

1. Because people have legitimate exclusive control over their own bodies, it is their right to do with it whatever they wish so long as they do not violate the rights of others.

2. Prohibition drives the trade to the black market, changing it from the realm of legitimate businessmen to that of gangsters, dramatically increasing the violence involved.

3. Prohibition drives the trade to the black market, making quality a non-concern of the sellers.

4. Prohibition, because it causes sellers to go underground and largely shift from legitimate businessmen to gangsters, is a financial boon to gangs, the mafia, and other criminal elements of society.

5. Prohibition clogs up our prisons with non-violent criminals and makes them into violent criminals.

It is important to note that all of the above points are not disputed by my opponent, rather, he took the route of arguing that the harms of drug use on the user are extreme enough to warrant prohibition. I responded with the following points:

1. This is an irrelevant point unless my opponent wishes to dispute the idea that people legitimately have exclusive control over their bodies.

2. There is no evidence to support the claim that drug use would rise after legalization and there is some evidence that points to the conclusion that it would in fact fall.

3. Many of the dangers of drugs are a result of prohibition in the first place, and when legalized, drugs will become safer.

In conclusion, from both a rights-perspective and a consequentialist-perspective, it is clear that all recreational drugs ought to be legalized.

As a clarifying endnote for those who may be confused, although I argued Pro in the actual debate, because of the way the debate was structured in terms of debate.org, voting Con is a vote for me (a vote for the Pro side of the proposition "All recreational drugs ought to be legalized.")
Debate Round No. 4
Kleptin

Pro

I apologize to my opponent for forfeiting my last round without explanation and commend his arguments. He has done a spectacular job and I urge the audience to vote for him, as I will be forfeiting this debate because midterm preparations have started to monopolize my time and I will be slowly pulling out of the debates I have remaining.

Again, thank you to both my opponent and the audience, and I hope we can debate again!
Morty

Con

As required by the rules, I forfeit this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
Con has my vote for all except "spelling and grammar", to which I allocated the points as "tied".
Posted by Morty 8 years ago
Morty
Horrible luck about the midterms taking up so much of your time. It was a fun debate, in spite of that, and I hope we are able to debate again when you have more time.
Posted by Morty 8 years ago
Morty
Yes, all of those, and more. By "recreational drugs" I mean "drugs used for purposes not medicinal in nature."
Posted by Robert_Santurri 8 years ago
Robert_Santurri
Great debate so far.

Just a curious question though, what do you mean by recreational drugs?

Like for example, marijuana and cocaine? LSD and Heroin? All of the former?
Posted by Morty 8 years ago
Morty
It's no problem. Here's a fourth topic: A trade surplus is economically superior to a trade deficit.
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
I apologize to my opponent as my wording was off. I did mean that there could be no overlaps, and request that just 1 more subject be added. If my opponent insists otherwise, I shall still choose a topic, but I would rather one more be suggested :P
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
KleptinMortyTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Tatarize 7 years ago
Tatarize
KleptinMortyTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Vote Placed by DiablosChaosBroker 7 years ago
DiablosChaosBroker
KleptinMortyTied
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Total points awarded:70