The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

Resolved: Blackmail should be legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,159 times Debate No: 20214
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)




First round is acceptance only; burden of proof is on both sides. If my opponent accepts this debate, he or she must not only disprove my arguments but must also advance arguments of his own.


I accept and wish to define blackmail as "Any threat used against someone or a group of people to meet a demand by threatening to reveal information about them to the public."

Other than that,
Debate Round No. 1


I accept my opponent's definition and offer the voters to contentions for consideration, both of which are independently sufficient to vote pro.

Contention 1: The actions behind blackmail are completely legal, so it is foolish for blackmail to be legal.

Blackmail possesses two fundamental components, namely asking an individual for money and threatening to expose/exposing private information. Neither of these activities are independently illegal.

Asking an individual for money is obviously legal in almost any context. If I walk to the bank and ask them for a loan, I am asking them for money. If I ask my employer for compensation for performing my job, I am asking them for money. In fact, not only is asking an individual for money not illegal, but offering individuals money in order to maintain silence about specific issues is perfectly legal as well in the form of nondisclosure agreements, which are defined as "a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict access to or by third parties. It is a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement." (Source:

Second, revealing embarassing information to the public is absolutely legal as well. If I possess information about an individual, my First Amendment rights allow me to reveal the information to the public at any time I please. For example, the media hounds presidential candidates in order to discover evidence of scandals because it is legally permitted to reveal this embarassing and potentially damaging information to the public due to freedom of speech. Moreover, whistleblowers are permitted to reveal the illegal activities of corporations and governmental agencies to the public despite the fact that such information might be damaging.

Since these two components of blackmail are absolutely legal, it is nonsensical that the sum of these components, or blackmail, is illegal. Professor Walter Block of the University of Central Arkansas explains, "The claim that blackmail should be prohibited by law, given that its two constituent elements are both and should be legal, is like being told that fishing is legal, bicycle riding is notagainst the law, but that dropping a baited hook into the water in an attempt to catch a fish while sitting on a bicycle will land you a term in the hoosegow. A request for money, and a promise to keep a secret, have as little intrinsically to do with one another as a fish and a bicycle" (Source:

Thus, blackmail should be legal because, logically, both of its component actions are legal.

Contention 2: Legalizing blackmail would allow for greater protection of both parties in the blackmail process.

Because blackmail is illegal, neither side can propose that a written, formal contract be created in order to protect both parties involved. Legalizing blackmail, however, would promote the creation of contracts that protected both parties because such contracts would have the force of law and would be mutually beneficial. The blackmailer would be protected because it would guarantee that he would receive the promised money after handing over the incriminating evidence to the individual in question, and the blackmailee would be protected because it would allow him or her to dictate terms that would prevent the individual in question from legally requesting more money and/or blackmailing him again and revealing the information after obtaining the money anyways.

Either of these contentions independently justifies the resolution.


The Pro's first argument is that Blackmail should be legal because none of its actions are illegal, that is completely false.

Extortion: Illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.

Since one party is using information as a position of leverage to obtain money from another party, that quite literally is extortion, a practice that is completely illegal...... In the examples the Pro gave the requests for money is completely voluntary with the other side not being influenced in any way if they approve or disapprove the loan. In blackmail however the choice is not voluntary as one party uses a combination of extortion and fear to have their way.

As for the freedom of speech argument. Revealing information is indeed perfectly legal, but since you are using information as a threat and as leverage for financial compensation, that counts as extortion, which is completely illegal.

Since half of the act of blackmail is extortion, which is illegal, that invalidates this entire argument that blackmail should be legal on the ground that "both components of its actions are legal" since in reality they are NOT legal...

The second argument that is made is that legalizing blackmail protects both parties through contracts. However the Pro fails to realize that not all cases of blackmail threaten another party with truthful information.... This very year an extremist website on the internet tried to extort Taylor Swift to renounce her faith and convert to Islam by using a naked photo of her as leverage, only problem was that the girl in the photo wasnt her..... The website claimed it was Taylor Swift (which it wasnt) and tried to use false evidence to try to extort someone to do something against their will.

Here is another instance of why blackmail is illegal. Lets pretend in this very argument I decided to send a private message to the Pro that said "If you do not immediately forfeit this debate I will make up evidence to show that you are secretly izbo10" In this case I am threatening the Pro with completely false information as leverage to win a debate, but since I am lying, committing extortion, and making false accusations against the Pro that makes what I am doing completely illegal on three different counts.

However, what if the person being blackmailed does not have the thing that they are being extorted for? In the situation above I am asking the Pro to concede the debate but what if I were demanding something the Pro did not have. "forfeit this debate and transfer $50,000 into this bank account or Ill claim you are Izbo10". Well there is a pretty good chance that the Pro does not have $50,000 just lying around but I wouldnt know that or even care. In this case of Blackmail I am threatening the Pro with false information and in exchange want something that the Pro cannot offer.

Blackmail should stay illegal because 1) The methods behind it are illegal, 2) Information used in blackmail may be completely false which under a court of law falls under perjury, another illegal act, and 3) one party may be extorting the other party for something they do not have and would have to go out of their way to acquire to protect themselves from information that could be false anyways
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for his speedy reply.

In Contention 1, I explained that the two components of blackmail, asking another for money for silence/proposing a non-disclosure agreement and revealing embarassing information are legal. He responds by contending that extortion is a part of blackmail and that blackmail should be illegal because it is coercive. I have two responses. First, blackmail is distinct from extortion because extortion definitionally involves a threat to carry out some sort of illegal action. As Professor Walter Block of the University of Central Arkansas explains, "Extortion is the demand for money or other valuable consideration, coupled with the threat to do something which both is and should be illegal. For example, 'Give me X of your money or I will kidnap your children' . . . In very sharp contrast, blackmail is the demand for money or other valuable consideration coupled with the threat do something which both is and should be legal." (Same source as in the first round.) As I established in my first speech and as my opponent concedes, it is absolutely legal to reveal embarrasing or damaging information about another person to the public. This means that blackmail is not equivalent to extortion because the end result of the threat is to do something that is completely legal to do in the first place, while the end threat of extortion is to do something that is absolutely illegal.

My second response is that coercive mechanisms are not inherently illegal and are permissible in our society. When a teacher commands a student to work hard if he does not wish to earn a poor grade in her class, she is using a coercive mechanism to elicit proper behavior. When drug companies charge excessive amounts of money on chemotherapy drugs that people are forced to purchase when they obtain cancer, the companies are using coercive methods to earn as much money as possible. Just because the act is coercive, however, does not mean that it should be inherently banned. Rather, we must regulate it as much as possible. The impact of this argument ties into my contention 2 because I am providing for better regulation of blackmail through the creation of contracts, which is something that he is not doing by keeping blackmail illegal.

The second contention was largely unanswered; the only response that he makes is that an individual could approach someone with false information. First, this is nonresponsive because contracts could still occur in this situation. If I do not wish someone to reveal false information, I could potentially make a regulated contract with them anyways. The fact that the information may be false is immaterial to my ability to make government-enforced contracts with that individual. Second, however, the actions that my opponent is proposing are illegal due to laws against libel and slander. "In common law jurisdictions, slander refers to a malicious, false,[2][not specific enough to verify] and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images.[3] Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism" (Source:;). What my opponent is proposing, then falls under the realm of extortion rather than blackmail because propogating false, damaging information with malicious intent falls under the bounds of slander, which is illegal. This means that these actions would still be prohibited in a world in which blackmail was legalized.

My opponent's third point is that the blackmailer could ask for something that the blackmailee does not have. This, however, is not illegal. If the store asks for more money for a t.v. than I am willing to pay, it has not committed an illegal action. This also does not negate the second contention because this could be resolved in the contract-making process.


Contention 1, (extortion and blackmail differ)
The Pro is arguing that Extortion and Blackmail are unrelated by giving examples of each, Ill do the same but instead of phony examples I will give the actual definitions of both according to US law,

Extortion: " a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion"
18 U.S.C. chapter 41

Blackmail: "a criminal offence, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing"
18 U.S.C. 873

Both are criminal offenses, both are used to unlawfully obtain something of value, and both do so by unlawfully coercing the other party to give in to ones demands. They are the same thing, even in US law blackmail is listed as a form of extortion.

In the bold print you give in your argument you emphasize that extortion uses a threat which you yourself claim is and should be illegal. However when it comes to blackmail, you say the exact opposite, why is that?
"Extortion is the demand for money or other valuable consideration, coupled with the threat to do something which both is and should be illegal"
"blackmail is the demand for money or other valuable consideration coupled with the threat to do something which both is and should be legal"

This is completely contradictory and makes no sense since blackmail and extortion are the same thing, the only difference between the two is the name....

You end the first contention about blackmail should be legal because the end result of blackmail is legal but extortion is not. In both end results the party being abused by the other is forced to give up some concession under a threat from the other party to cause direct harm. If they do not meet the demands of the first then the leverage that the abusing party has is used which results in illegal action, the illegal action being kickbacks from another party to the one using leverage in the first place.

Contention 2 (coercive mechanisms)
Coercive mechanisms arent illegal in society and I never implied that they should be. In blackmail however, the coercive mechanism used to obtain what one wants through blackmail is not accepted by society or by law..... The change you want to impose to blackmail laws is to regulate it only by creating contracts between two parties and that the contracts will single handedly eliminate all the corruption within blackmail....... But enforcing this law would be impossible (see contention #5 )

contention 3 (use of false information as blackmail)
The response given to this argument is that "false information is slander which is illegal, so it wouldnt be an issue" but if the abused party cries out slander (which would they would do EVERY TIME) then there would have to be some sort of study or trial to determine if the accusations are true, if they were legally obtained, if it is admissible, etc. If information was leaked to the public it could compromise the entire deal which would result in one side suing for damages caused by the leak of information and yatta yatta yatta.

Point is making the two sides in the blackmail deal make a formal deal would result in a bureaucratic nightmare with one deal gone bad resulting in a mess of trials, court dates, jury selections, examining of evidence, etc. that could be avoided if we simply kept blackmail illegal.

Contention 4 (blackmailing for something one does not have)
Buying a tv isnt blackmail from a store isnt blackmail and not having the goods the blackmailer is demanding would be ANOTHER argument that every party would use. If the party being blackmailed claims they do not possess what the blackmailer is demanding, then how would it be determined if they actually are telling the truth? It would require more investigations, actions of the party being blackmailed, more determining if the product or good in question even belongs to the party being blackmailed, etc which would result in another bureaucratic nightmare for the US legal system...

Contention 5 (why contracts wont work)
The main argument the Pro is making that by creating contracts to formalize deals made between parties committing extortion (oops i meant blackmail, I get them mixed up a lot since they mean the same thing) would eliminate the illegality behind blackmail and protect both parties. But there are many reasons that this system wont work and shouldnt be used.

1) You canto force both sides to come to the contract making agreement
2) The blackmailer could simply threaten not to try to make it official or he would release the (possibly false) information they have against the other group
3) The claims made by both sides would have to be investigated to rule out perjury, but that comes with the possibility of leaking info to the public
4) The one being blackmailed could always claim the information the blackmailer has isn't true or that they don't have what is being demanded
5) The process of crating the contract could take a long time, it would only take an impatient blackmailer to snap and reveal the damaging information or demand the deal be made immediately
6) The number of people required to make the contract is extensive, making the entire process even more complicated and time consuming
7) How would those who handle the contract created be paid? If blackmail aka extortion were legalized then someone would have to pay the lawyers. The bill would either be footed by tax payers or the people in the blackmail, and if the person with the information has to pay for a lawyer that would provide a great incentive to force the blackmailee to forgo the contract process.
Debate Round No. 3


The negative and affirmative cases are intertwined, so I will discuss the cases together before I present the voting issue.

His response to my first contention essentially boils down to the notion that blackmail and extortion and fundamentally the same thing. The main problem with this argument is that while his definition of extortion is technically correct, it is deceptively vague insofar as it ignores an important element of extortion. According to U.S. legal code, "Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense [extortion]." (Source: Thus, extortion involves some sort of threat of violent or illegal behavior. This connects back to the second Block card, which was dropped, which explicitly explains that the difference between blackmail and extortion is that while blackmailers threaten to reveal information, which is absolutely legal, extortionists are threatening to carry out an illegal action. He attempts to blur the distinction by claiming that this amounts to little more than forced kickbacks, but that is essentially the same thing as claiming that blackmail should be illegal because it is coercive. Keep in mind that he conceded in his last speech that coercive mechanisms are not inherently bad or illegal, so even if both are coercive, they are not necessarily the same thing and blackmail does not inherently deserve to be illegal. This means that you can extend the entirety of my first contention, in which I explain that blackmail should be legal because its constituent components are illegal. This is sufficient reason to vote affirmative, so even if I lose the contracts argument, you should still vote accordingly.

His second contention was about coercion. Here, he concedes that coercive apparatuses are not inherently illegal, which buttresses the claims that I made in my first contention. He then makes an argument that corresponds to his fifth contention so I will address it there.

His third contention was that the information could be false. When I responded that this would still be illegal under slander laws, he responds that this would result in a bureaucratic nightmare because trials would occur. First, this is not inherently a reason to keep something illegal. The same thing occurs whenever a company is sued for making unsafe products, but that should not be illegal. Second, the individual being blackmailed would have little incentive to claim that true information is false because it would then be publically revealed. This link-turns the bureaucratic nightmare argument and means that it is avoided entirely.

His fourth contention is that the individual being blackmailed may not have enough money to satisfy demands. I responded that this could be resolved in the contract making process and that asking for more money than one is willing to pay is not illegal. He uses the same bureaucratic nightmare argument, so you can cross-apply all of the arguments I made against his response to his third contention here.

His fifth contention presents new arguments (he dropped my second contention previously) against the contracts making process. First, this entire contention is flawed because it completely ignores the crux of my second contention, namely that both sides have incentives to make contracts. My second contention explicitly stated that the blackmailer would be protected because it would guarantee that he would receive the promised money after handing over the incriminating evidence to the individual in question, and the blackmailee would be protected because it would allow him or her to dictate terms that would prevent the individual in question from legally requesting more money and/or blackmailing him again and revealing the information after obtaining the money anyways. Insofar as these ideas were not responded to (and please do not let him respond to them because he would illegally and unfairly be making new arguments), you can extend my second contention. Moreover, they solve for his first point in contention five because the blackmailer has an incentive to join the contract because it ensures payments whereas he was not legally protected under the current system. It also solves point 2 for the same reason. Point three is completely false because we could institute protections that would safeguard the information while it was being verified. This would ensure the integrity of the contract and would also allow for governmental verification of information, meaning that false information would be less likely to damage the reputation of the blackmailee while true information would leave the blackmailee more accountable for criminal activities/actions. This also solves point four for the same reasons. Point five and six discuss timeframes. These are just unwarranted assertions; he gave no inherent reasons as to why they would be slow. This is nothing but conjecture. Point seven is literally just concocted nonsense; there is no reason that taxpayers would have to foot the bill for procedures. In addition, even if people do not take advantage of the contracts, at least I am providing them with an opportunity for safer blackmail. We can assume that many people would take the opportunity because it is mutually beneficial, meaning that I am providing for a more regulated, less exploitable form of blackmail. Keeping it illegal, however, does not provide citizens with this opportunity and leaves blackmail to be exploitable.

Voting Issues
1.The first voting issue is that the entirety of the affirmative case stands. Contention 1 discussed the fact that blackmail should be legal because its constituent components are illegal, and Contention 2 discussed the contract making process. My opponent's responses against contention 1 were easily refuted, while his responses to contention 2 were essentially nonresponsive, so the entire affirmative case stands and you should vote affirmative.
2.The affirmative world provides for a more regulated system of blackmail, meaning that it is less exploitable and safer than it is in the negative world.


Ill make this short and sweet,

1) Blackmail and Extortion are fundamentally the same thing since you have one party being forced to give up something of great value to the blackmailing/extorting party who simply has leverage on the other party and is using said leverage for their financial gain, nothing more nothing less.

2) If a blackmailer uses false information as part of the deal it was conceded that there would be an investigation to see if the allegations were true or not. This would be a time consuming process that may or may not yield substantial results over whether or not the allegations are true. Then the contract making deal would reach an impasse since they cannot determine whether or not the blackmailer is lying or not, making this process insufficient and expensive.

3) If the party being harassed cannot meet the demands of the blackmailer then what happens after that? The contract system proposed by the Pro again reaches a stalemate which only reinforces how it can be insufficient.

4) " the blackmailer would be protected because it would guarantee that he would receive the promised money after handing over the incriminating evidence to the individual in question" - How do you "hand over" the truth? its not a physical thing one owns it is something that once someone knows it, they know it for life. This then leaves the blackmailed party unprotected since according to a contract now they are FORCED to give up something of value to a person who may or may not keep their mouth shut....

5) There is little incentive. The Pro claims that "because it ensures payments whereas he was not legally protected under the current system", but the reality is blackmailers can still receive payments for blackmailing someone, often by using false information, so why would blackmailers accept a system that could jeopardize their payday?

6) This process would be very time consuming. Making the contract itself and agreeing on it would take a very long time if both sides constantly were haggling over the legality or truth of the claims and demands being met, and that requires the bureaucracy to step in and sort everything out which could be time consuming...

7) "there is no reason that taxpayers would have to foot the bill " so then the blackmailer and the blackmailee would have to pay perhaps thousands of dollars for investigations, lawyers, contractors, etc. under this new system, which only reinforces how little incentive there is for both sides to spend thousands for a deal that may not even be carried out...

8) "even if people do not take advantage of the contracts..." I was unaware that this expensive, time consuming process is an option. If someone has damaging information about another person or business and the blackmailer could spend thousands of dollars to extort the company or do it for free, then they would never choose the first option since their payday gets a whole lot bigger if they decide to forgo the "official" process, and that still leaves the blackmailee greatly unprotected.

9) "We can assume that many people would take the opportunity because it is mutually beneficial" - This is solely an opinion and I can prove that it is completely false. If you knew for a fact that the President of BP was knowingly damaging pristine environments, would you pay thousands of dollars to hire a team of lawyers and wait for possibly months before you got paid, or simply go directly against the company and get paid a larger amount of money far sooner? This just reinforces my main point that there is little incentive for blackmailers to adopt and use this system.

So just to summarize:
Extortion and blackmail in its basic form are fundamentally the same
This process would be expensive and time consuming
This process may not always work
This process does not 100% guarantee the safety of both sides
This process is unappealing to the blackmailers since it is costly, time consuming, and optional
This process in some cases can be harmful to one or both parties.

(The resolution was that blackmail should be legalized, not that it should be regulated)

I thank the Pro for a very entertaining debate and I thank the voters for reading :D
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Oryus 4 years ago
Blackmail should be legal? That's a tough position to defend...
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
I'll read over this later and vote.
Posted by BlackVoid 4 years ago
Page 2

Con then offers like 10 other arguments here, but long story short, the Contract argument isnt really what anyone should vote on. If Pro wins it, she proves there's a benefit to legalizing blackmail (not necessarilly grounds to making it legal). If Con wins it (I think he does) then there's not a benefit, but it could still be made legal for other reasons. In the end the debate came down to C1, and since extortion was Con's only response, then Pro proving that extortion and blackmail are fundamentally different through sourced definitions is enough to justify a Pro ballot.
Posted by BlackVoid 4 years ago
Page 1

Blackmail vs Extortion

Con does a nice job here in offering the Legal Code definitions which appear similar, but he doesn't respond to Pro's refutations to these in R4. Pro's Wiki source and Block card both showed that extortion specifically requires the threat of violent or otherwise illegal behavior to acquire money, whereas blackmail is just the threat of releasing information. The Block card was dropped completely and the US Code interp wasnt responded to in Con's R4. So extortion and blackmail are fundamentally different.

The Contracts argument was just about shwoing the net benefit that legalizing blackmail would have, but this first contention linked directly to why blackmail should be *legal*. Since its proven that none of the components of blackmail are inherently wrong, and that extortion is not the same thing, this win alone is reason to vote Pro.


Con offers the False Ibformation argument, but doesn't actually respond to the argument here until R4. The argument was that blackmail contracts would be beneficial to both parties and that it provides a form of regulation. Saying "the information may be false" isn't exactly respponsive.

But about the false information argument, I agree with Con that everyone would say that the info was false, and that everyone being blackmailed might claim it was slander. These are both good arguments. The issue is that just because the contract system might not work isn't reason to keep blackmail illegal. I like Pro's example of company suing happening all the time, flooding the US legal system, but that not being a reason to make suing illegal.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Clarification: I ONLY voted on the issues brought up in the debate, as shown in my RFD. The other comments are criticism of the debate, but not areas that I voted on.

Apologies for the pentuple post.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Furthermore, the contract for blackmail is totally unnecessary and counterproductive. It protects the blackmailer, a predator who is extorting money with threats, and the agreements is coerced from the one blackmailed. The contract would be void under normal law, because agreement must be free and not forced; but under this special proviso those exhibiting the antisocial predatory behaviour are allowed to extort money without services rendered. How this could be considered good for society escapes me.

The one blackmailed, instead of just reporting the blackmailer to the police, has no legal recourse when anyone attempts to extort funds. He can only hope that the blackmailer will be stupid enough to publish the information anyway, and that the contract miraculously holds up in court. The blackmailer has his money in either case.

These are arguments I wish Con had made. Con won anyway, by showing blackmail to be a form of extortion; but there were so many unnecessary words about the contracts that completely missed the point.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
I didn't take the following into consideration when voting, because it was not addressed in the debate; but it would have been a better debate if it had been.


Pro's contention 1 justifies almost anything.

Graft = giving someone something of value + asking a politician to favor your cause. Both legal actions, separately.

Prostitution = giving someone money + having sex. Both legal, separately.

Bribery = giving someone money + asking an official for special consideration. Both legal, separately.


Important questions not asked:

- Why are we concerned about protecting the blackmailers?

- If blackmail is already illegal, doesn't that provide better protection to the victims than forcing them to pay with the slight possibility of winning their money back if they win a breach-of-contract case?

- Why would a contract made under coercion be valid?

These are questions Con should have brought up, but didn't. He should have pointed out Pro's invalid source (professor Block's personal website is hardly a unbiased source, being the place where he can rant uncriticized).

He should have dismissed Pro's argument about contracts as being irrelevant to the true debate, that of blackmail's legality. Obviously a contract for blackmail would be legal if blackmail were legalized in contract form; that's circular. Contractual blackmail is just as much extortion as the under-the-table kind, and that's where this debate needed to focus.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
Conduct: Tied. Both debaters brought up new arguments in their last round, but otherwise nothing to complain of.

SP/G: Tied. A clean, readable debate. Format became confusing at times, because there were so many separate points.

Arguments: Pro had the burden of proof because they proposed a change from the status quo. They leaned heavily on the personal opinion of a Walter Block to show that blackmail and extortion are different; this was refuted by Con, and with it Pro's entire case.

Pro failed to establish blackmail as being substantially different from extortion, and so failed to uphold the burden of proof.

Arguments go to Con.

Sources: tied. Weak throughout. Pro's main source was bad, but Pro failed to point this out and didn't provide any sound sources either. The point where he referenced US law could have been, had he provided a link.
Posted by Chrysippus 4 years ago
When I saw this title, I thought it was one of Brian_Eggleston's debates.

Posted by royalpaladin 4 years ago
Kage, what do you think of the arguments that I have presented so far?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A great debate, extremely interesting. However I believe Con wins (at least the arguments) because he successfully shows how blackmail is extortion. Pro however pitched a great argument and both sides nearly convinced me but Con's was just a little more convincing... Blackmail is extortion. Great debate though. Oh and Con dused very few sources. (1 I think)
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comment.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Good style and structure from both sides. Pro presented a solid theoretical reason why blackmail should be legal. Con pointed to some practical harms and countered the theoretical reasons. I wasn't convinced either way whether blackmail was extortion or not. Con's practical harms, however, forced pro to adopt an increasingly irrational-sounding model as the debate progressed. I thus felt there is still reason to doubt blackmail should be legalised and give this narrowly to con. 3:2 neg win.