The Instigator
seraine
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mestari
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

New Member Tournament: Libertarianism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Mestari
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,559 times Debate No: 18969
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)

 

seraine

Pro

Resolved: Libertarianism is a sound theory.

Round 1 will be for acceptance and clarification. Rounds 2 and 3 will be arguments and rebuttals, and round 4 will be for closing statements.

I will be defending Libertarianism, which I basically define as the government's only role should be to protect people's rights.

If my opponent wishes any changes be made to the debate, please post them in the comments before accepting.
Mestari

Con

I humbly accept my opponent's challenge. I will be arguing that libertarianism is not a sound theory.

Sound [1]: logically valid and having true premises

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 1
seraine

Pro

I will be arguing for Libertarianism with two main points: a) Libertarianism is the most "right" and b) Libertarianism maximizes the "results" that everyone wants (i.e. prosperity, technological innovation, quality of life). I will present a very short case because I wish to see how my opponent responds before getting in-depth.

1. Libertarianism is the most "right".

Libertarianism advocates that the government's only role is to prevent peoples' rights from being violated. Other systems force others to give up their money in order to fund the expeditions of the government or deny people from doing things that they arbitrarily declare as immoral. Stealing and forcing people to live in the way in a certain way are wrong, and all other systems of government advocate these to some degree or extent.

Why shouldn't people be free to live their lives as they see fit as long as they don't stop others from living their lives as they see fit? As Libertarianism leads to the most freedom, and because freedom is a good thing, libertarianism must be the most "right".

2. Libertarianism maximizes the "results" that everyone wants (i.e. prosperity, technological innovation, quality of life).

The changes that Libertarians seek maximize "results". The minimum wage lowers "results" by taking away jobs that benefit both the employer and the employee. Tariffs hurts domestic consumers and foreign producers while only benefiting domestic producers[1]. Both of these are things are negative.

The main reason that Libertarianism maximizes "results" is because of the free market. Free trade maximizes "results" because both sides benefit, and both sides are better off. Government interference in the free market means that less trades take place, and thus there is less of a benefit.

Not only that, the free market is also the most efficient allocator of resources because of incentives. If a government is running a school, there is no real reason to minimize costs, maximize quality and maximize customer satisfaction other than wanting to do your best. If you make a mistake, you are not punished. However, if there is private schooling, the more your customers are satisfied, the more money you make.

Not only does the free market benefit everyone involved, it also selects the most efficient producers to better benefit everyone.

Sources

[1] http://www.basiceconomics.info...
Mestari

Con

C1. The Social Contract

Reality exists in a "state of nature." This state of nature is the libertarian ideal, where there is no government intervention. However, without a government there is no way to preserve your rights. Sure, you have unlimited rights, but you are your only mechanism of protecting them. There are no cops, there are no prisons, there are no hospitals. There is only you are everyone else. In order to ever protect your rights you must create a system of social interaction that places value onto those lives. You must create a society, with a government based on the values of its members, to protect any libertarian ideals. In doing this you sacrifice certain rights in order to protect others, such as the right to life. In essence, you must always cede some rights to protect others.

R1. Libertarianism is incoherent when claiming to promote what is most "right."

Before I get deeply into refuting this argument, I ask my opponent, HOW does libertarianism necessarily protect rights from being violated? What proactive measures does it take? I believe that a government would have to infringe upon rights in order to prevent the violation of other rights, but I leave it to my opponent to prove how this is not true.

My opponent also claims that "Other systems force others to give up their money in order to fund the expeditions of the government or deny people from doing things that they arbitrarily declare as immoral." How do you suppose a libertarian government function if it is not funded by the people?

R2. I have a simple question for my opponent. Do you advocate capitalism as the prime motivation for progress? My rebuttal of this point will be dependent on his answer.

I expected to write more, but also expected my opponent to. If he need to make new responses in round 4 to my round 3 arguments due to the slow development of this debate, I am okay with it.
Debate Round No. 2
seraine

Pro

seraine forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
seraine

Pro

I apologize for my forfeiture, real life came up and I didn't have time to write an argument. Please give my opponent the conduct vote. As there will be one less round than I have originally planned, I will have to write a short refutation and a summary of my case. Because of this and the unfortunate slow development, this debate will not have a lot of clash. I apologize for this.

Because this is mainly my fault, I am fine if my opponent offers refutations and new points in his case that I cannot refute.

Refutations

1. When protecting some rights, you must cede others.

My opponent's major contention is that when you are protecting people's rights, you inevitably must cede others. Libertarians have a simple refutation of that called the Non-Aggression Principle. It states that one can legally do whatever he or she wishes as long as he or she doesn't initiate violence, at which point your rights are essentially gone, and the government or your victim is free to violate some of your rights by putting you in jail or defending their life[1].

This makes sense, for why should the government be able to stop you from doing things that don't harm others? However, by protecting your rights, they can also not violate other's rights because of the Non-Aggression Principle- after all, if they need to protect your rights, then someone is aggressing and they don't have rights according to the Non-Aggression Principle.

"How do you suppose a libertarian government function if it is not funded by the people?"

My statement was worded poorly. What I meant was why should the government be able to force people to pay for things that they have arbitrarily declared as immoral and/or moral if it isn't involved with protecting other's rights?

"I have a simple question for my opponent. Do you advocate capitalism as the prime motivation for progress? My rebuttal of this point will be dependent on his answer."

I do think that the free market and incentives is the prime motivation for progress, because what else could be the primary motivation? Most people do not go into business or get a job because they want to help people. It's because they want to make a money.

An example of this is recycling. Recycling certainly is progress because it leads to less waste and more material available. When there is no monetary incentive to recycle, the recycling rate stays relatively low- for example, plastic's recycling rate is 27%[2]. There is a monetary incentive for aluminum, and the rate for aluminum cans is 55.4%[3].

If there was $50 for every aluminum can recycled, the rate would rise to almost 100%. The primary reason for this would be the incentive of money.

My Case

The main reason I have used to advocate Libertarianism is that it is the most "right", as there is no reason to stop people from doing things that do not harm others. After all, if something does not harm others, then why should it be illegal?

My second point was that as Libertarianism leads to the free market, which is more efficient than other markets. Trade is conducted when both sides think that they are better off. Because other systems interfere with this, the free market leads to a better society than other types of markets.

Sources

[1] http://www.lewrockwell.com...
[2] http://earth911.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Mestari

Con

Overview

This debate will be very simple to adjudicate. I'm going to win straight off of the Social Contract. If you don't want to vote there, there is no reason to believe that Libertarianism is independently coherent.

The Social Contract

My opponent fails to refute the most important internal justification for the social contract. Extend that: "In order to ever protect your rights you must create a system of social interaction that places value onto those lives. You must create a society, with a government based on the values of its members, to protect any libertarian ideals." Even if libertarian's respect a NAP, what rights they believe are attributed to individuals may differ. Only social interaction can coherently create an objective understanding of rights and liberties. My opponent does not refute the necessity of a society to place value on rights, so the social contract is going to serve as a gateway issue. Before we can even look at libertarian ideals we must access their conception of rights through a social contract. Because libertarian rights can only be conceived within the social contract, and the social contract necessarily implies a government that limits the rights of its citizens, libertarianism has been proven unsound.

The Affirmative Case

My opponent never clarifies to me how a government will function under libertarianism. He claims that it would be immoral to tax people to protect arbitrary morals, but agrees that cops are necessary to protect rights. Who is paying the cops? This essential link is missing. If cops are necessary to protect rights, and there is no funding for cops libertarianism cannot protect rights. A moral theory which claims to place ultimate value on liberty must proscribe some way to proactively protect that liberty to be coherent and sound.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
I never really said that the government could exist without taxation, it was just a poorly worded statement.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
RFD:

Like seraine said, there wasn't much clash here and all of the arguments from both sides were really short, which prevented an in depth argument. I'm giving Con conduct because Pro told me to.

The social contract argument is hard to evaluate. Con spends one sentence refuting the NAP, which is terribad because thats the main libertarian principle. But I suppose that he's going to win the SC just because it was shown how the mere existence of a government through the social contract necessarily limits rights by definition.

The funding argument is much easier to vote on. Pro never explains how a government is going to fund anything without taxation, which is direct violation of rights. Obviously a society without cops is going to struggle. Though I'm sure Libertarians and Anarchists have answers to this, Pro never explained funding in the debate so it has to go Con.

Also, I would really love to see that debate between SP and Mes.
Posted by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
I apologize for the relatively low quality of this debate, which was mainly my fault. I forfeited, and I have never really done debates like this, so I really wasn't able to offer much of a argument or one with a lot of potential for clash.
Posted by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
Real life came up.... I will get in my round 4. I apologize.
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
I would be interested. I could give you a definite yes/no if I saw the exact resolution you are proposing.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
I'd be going off of rights based theories like Seraine did. However I'm also open to debating practical issues with it, such as the aforementioned quote of yours about not having things like hospitals or cops.
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
It depends on how you define ethical superiority.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
"There are no cops, there are no prisons, there are no hospitals."
Mestari, wanna debate the viability or ethical superiority of anarchism over a State?
Posted by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
It is really hard for me to come up with decent arguments for something as broad as this...
Posted by seraine 5 years ago
seraine
Gah, it's hard to come up with arguments for this.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
seraineMestariTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Commentz