The Instigator
HandsOff
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
nitrogen85
Con (against)
Losing
20 Points

Republicans are inconsistent in their defense of individual liberties.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,718 times Debate No: 3097
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (16)

 

HandsOff

Pro

Republicans do a decent job championing the philosophy that people should be entitled to keep as much of their own money as possible. They also assert that government should stay out of our business affairs. These two beliefs demonstrate a high regard for personal freedoms. Republicans are for low taxes and against wealth redistribution (or socialism as I call it). They are for letting businesses decide what they want to offer the public, and letting the public decide which businesses they want to patronize. These principles are in perfect harmony with one another. All seems kosher.

But then, suddenly and inexplicably, when the topic changes to freedom of personal behavior or lifestyle, the Republicans lose all consistency in their quest to keep government off our backs. They have no problem telling people what they can and can't do with their personal lives. For instance, Republicans are against the legalization of prostitution, gay marriage, and drug use. They are for the criminalization of abortion. In defending these positions they allow a combination of fear and religious bias to adulterate their good sense and objectivity. While citing an effort to stave off the "moral decay of society," they are perfectly happy to restrict or ban an array of individual liberties.

If one holds individual liberty to be sacred in principle, his defense of liberty should be applied consistently across the entire spectrum of political issues, and not just those having to do with business and personal finance. I submit that it is wrong for the Republicans to abandon their principles of individual freedom so that they may legislate personal behavior for the sake of morality or public safety.
nitrogen85

Con

Handsoff, you are wrong about one thing. It isn't necessarily the republicans who are against abortion, prostitution, drugs or gay marriage. The people who are against these things are people we call conservatives. Granted, most republicans are conservative, but look at John McCain, does it look like he would make an example of the Republican you described? No. Why do you think Republicans are ridiculing him? Look what Rush Limbaugh says about him. So these people who want freedom but want higher moral standards are the conservatives. But there comes a drawing of a line when it comes to freedom, and choices. Freedom doesn't mean that you can do what ever you want. Just because I live in a free country does not mean that I can go on a murder rampage. Nor does it mean I have the freedom to rob a bank without getting in trouble. The government has to draw the line in the sand, or all else is chaos. More next round.
Debate Round No. 1
HandsOff

Pro

Good point. And thankfully there are a growing number of Republicans who are becoming more libertarian in their tolerance of alternative lifestyles. But I believe the majority of Republicans are still social conservatives. The enormous backlash among republicans toward John McCain, which you mentioned, is evidence of that. Hence, I will be using the words "conservative" and "republican" interchangeably for the purposes of this debate. Now that we've gotten terminology out of the way, lets get back to the real debate.

"Just because I live in a free country does not mean that I can go on a murder rampage."

No person championing the principles of personal freedom or individual rights would advocate this type of behavior. Conservatives are out to strip people of their freedom to participate in activities that do not violate the civil rights of their fellow citizens. If someone on my block is snorting cocaine while waiting for a prostitute to arrive at his home, he is not violating any of my individual rights. If he comes over to my place and murders me, he has crossed the line into behavior that violates my right to live. So no, by criticising their intolerance for certain behaviors I am not asking Republicans of condone murder or bank robbery.
nitrogen85

Con

Quote:

"If someone on my block is snorting cocaine while waiting for a prostitute to arrive at his home, he is not violating any of my individual rights. If he comes over to my place and murders me, he has crossed the line into behavior that violates my right to live."

Do you realize how un-ethical drugs and prostitution is? Are you aware of the fact that there are thousands of murder cases involving prostitution each year? How about that guy snorting cocaine on the block? He or one of his buddies would be the type of person to enter your home and murder you. Do you realize how many murders are driven or caused by drugs each year? No wonder conservatives are 100% against it. Same goes for prostitution.

I see you are in favor of abortion, so therefore would not want to believe it is murder, but guess what, it is. It's life. why do you think it's growing. Nothing dead can grow, and if it's alive, and it's human, it's murder. But that is an other debate.

Speeding is not a violation to your individual rights either. But he is putting his and your life at risk. We have rules to go by to keep us safe. Red light means stop so others can cross safely. Instructions to a childs bed is to insure it gets asembled properly so it doesn't fall apart or harm the child in any way. We have printing on our plastic bags that say we shouldn't put them on our heads so that we don't sufocate.

And it's not just conservatives or Republicans either. Liberals and democrats believe in stetting laws for all citizens to obey. Maybe the Liberals have lower standards, which is why I'm conservative.

More next round.

This is an interesting one, to see what others view our laws as, and what they think different parties portray.
Debate Round No. 2
HandsOff

Pro

"Do you realize how unethical drugs and prostitution is?"

Yes I do. I also think adultery is unethical. I think swingers are a bizarre bunch too. I'll admit I don't enjoy seeing two gay people kiss in public (not because I consider it unethical, but because I'm not used to it). But my personal biases are of no use in distinguishing between behaviors that infringe upon the rights of others and those that do not. They either do, or they don't.

"Do you realize how many murders are driven or caused by drugs each year."

I believe you are correct in citing that many crimes are committed by people on drugs. But I am pretty sure the majority of drug users are not a threat to their fellow citizens-- especially when they partake in the privacy of their own homes. One could use your same logic in claiming that since gun owners commit almost all shootings, we should consider the majority of them a threat and outlaw guns.

Your best analogy concerned the speeding laws. Speeding is a victimless crime in the great majority of cases, and I can't say I'm prepared to defend laws against it. Montana has been without specific speed limits for several decades. But since driving is a privilege, not a right, all sorts of rules and regulations (without regard for rights) are put in place to encourage uniform conduct on the road.

Just out of curiosity, do you see government-legislated morality on the part of conservatives as more noble than that which liberals support in the form for compulsory charity by way of wealth redistribution?
nitrogen85

Con

Quote:

"I believe you are correct in citing that many crimes are committed by people on drugs. But I am pretty sure the majority of drug users are not a threat to their fellow citizens-- especially when they partake in the privacy of their own homes."

In the privacy of their own homes? Where do you think they got the drugs? The people they get these drugs from are of no good intentions at all. The process they go through to distribute these drugs is dangerous, and it is done on the streets. How about finding needles in your parks where your children play? A 7 year old was recently caught in my town taking cocaine to school. His mother did it in the privacy of her own home. And her seven year old got his hands on it. Other kids from school could have gotten their hands on it as well.

Quote:

"Speeding is a victimless crime in the great majority of cases, and I can't say I'm prepared to defend laws against it."

The most recent statistics from the F.B.I is from the year 2006. Which shows that 40% of all deaths in accidents involving motor vehicles is a result from speeding. That's one person every minute on average. Still un-prepared to defend laws against it?

And about what you said about out lawing guns. They may take lives just like speeding does, but does speeding save lives like statistics show guns do?

Drugs, prostitution, and speeding are all wrong, which is why it is illegal. Abortion is wrong as well, but the government legalized it anyway. Doesn't mean I agree with it, I don't.

So in conclusion, you say that republicans contradict themselves about freedom, but all they are doing, just like democrats as well, is setting laws for the safety of others. To set some moral standards to show what our country stands for. We stand for something, and it isn't drugs, prostitution, and other immoral and dangerous behaviors.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
nitrogen,
Since you believe it is okay for government to restrict freedoms to secure safety to whatever degree is sees fit, I'd like to check you own consistancy. Wouldn't it follow that you also believe alchohol should be illegal? The Department of Justice found that it is a factor in nearly a third of fatal car accidents and 40 percent of violent crimes in the U.S.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
nitrogen,
Since you believe it is okay for government to restrict freedoms to secure safety to whatever degree is sees fit, I'd like to check you own consistancy. Wouldn't it follow that you also believe alchohol should be illegal? The Department of Justice found that it is a factor in nearly a third of fatal car accidents and 40 percent of violent crimes in the U.S.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
I believe freedom includes being master of your own body.
So i believe that freedom includes the right to consume chemicals, includes the right to buy and/or sell sexual pleasure.

And whether abortion is murder or not, that depends on when you define it as new life. And that discussion is thousands of years old already (the Greeks and the Romans had different opinions) and it will remain.

I wonder where the common sense comes from to call the outlawing of drugs and prostitution a measure that doesn't restrict freedom.

ps: i agree that taking money away from some and giving it to others isn't quite pro-freedom. (although a minimum system remains necessary imho)
Posted by nitrogen85 8 years ago
nitrogen85
What is freedom to you? Legalizing drugs, prostitution, and allowing the murder of innocent babies? And about that question, I don't agree with the liberals at all. Taking money from other people and giving it to others who don't work is not a good moral. It's stealing other peoples money which they worked for and giving it to someone who does not deserve it, and doesn't even appreciate it. They expect the government to supply their every need. That's not what the government is there for. And yes, setting laws against drugs, prostitution and traffic is for the safety of us. It is not restrictions on freedom. It's common sense. Thanks for debating.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Thanks nitrogen. I'm am on your side emotionally. I wish it was of some value in a logical discussion. You didn't directly answer my question about whether the dems were correct in legislating altruism. Am I to assume you give them a pass on limiting individual freedom as a means to aquire an emotionally pleasant outcome? I infre this because in your defense of the republicans you said "all they are doing, just like democrats as well, is setting laws for the safety of others." Is that your standard for implementing restrictions on freedom-- safety?
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Man, I wish I was as smart as you guys at your age.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
nitrogen, interesting point you bring up in round 2.

You mention prostition and drugs as causes of murder.
However, contemplate some more on whether the killing was due to the act of prostitution and drugs or not.

Are the killings in the drugs due to the use of drugs, or due to the illegal status, rendering it in a market without any control over competition. (making killing competition a possible method)

Are the killings in prostitution due to someone having sex with someone else who's paid for that? Or are they rather involving illegal trafficing of people?

Does drug usage make it very likely others will get hurt? Or is it rather the overintense use or the use in public?

Prostitution nor drugs are inherently violent.
Most acts aren't and hence aren't forbidden.
Only the wrong way to handle them is forbidden and only when it really is likely to hurt others. Or at least, that should be the consequent approach.
But it is applied in speeding and alcohol, but not drugs.

And ethics know no border nor owner. ;)
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
Shorack,
Excellent point. I guess we won;t know unless we conduct a poll. I don't argue that this topic would have been more sound had I used the term "conservative republican" or "religious conservative." Nitrogen deserves his props for allowing us to pursue the intended debate topic.
Posted by nitrogen85 8 years ago
nitrogen85
Shorack, interesting opinion. But about McCain. It is the conservatives who are ridiculing him, but they also want him regarding military issues. So this is why they vote for him. Obviosly abortion is not about to become illeagal. Gore and his global warming along with oil, iraq, and many other issues as you must know, are the prime discussions in the whitehouse today. So why not vote for someone who you think can fix the problem at hand first, and then someone else next election.
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
HandsOff, that isn't just a matter of terminology.
There is a difference.

Also, you mention the backlash towards McCain, but someone could as well mention the fact he's the nominee to prove the contrary point.

if i'm meddling too much with the debate, just tell me please.
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