The Instigator
axM62
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Resolved: The Actions of the Vigilante Known as Batman are Justified

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2010 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,860 times Debate No: 12585
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

axM62

Pro

To preface this debate let me ask that we keep the limits of the round within the world created by director Christopher Nolan, for the comic books have to many different interpretations have conflicting plot lines at time. Some comic books would be argued over if they are cannon and I'd rather avoid this.
Also, this is my first debate on this website, so please be understanding. I'm an LD debater so I'm going to follow LD guidelines, at least for case construction. If you don't know LD however feel free to enter the debate still. Rules shouldn't keep us from arguing. Enough chit-chat, let us debate!

"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight." It because I agree with these words of Lt. James Gordon that I affirm today's resolution, Resolved: The Actions of the Vigilante Known as Batman are Justified.

The only true value that can be upheld in today's round is Human Dignity. Human dignity is an important value because it makes sure people are being treated appropriately. The value of human dignity is achieved when a person is treated as a human being and not something less, with respect to their human rights.

The only proper standard for Human Dignity is justice. Justice is most commonly defined as giving each their due. Human Dignity attempts to do just that. By giving each their due, we see we receive human dignity. Each are due certain standards, and those who wrong them deserve repercussions. The philosopher, Ayn Rand discussed justice is part of one's self interest. People act in a manner that will protect their rights. If they see injustice occurring they will act in order to see justice happen. She states seeking justice is matter of pride because we strive for making our character the highest possible.

Contention 1: Vigilantes Occur During Government Inaction Out of Necessity
Whenever the government fails to act, vigilantes always emerge. Due to our quest for justice and human dignity we strive to have law and order. It's entirely our rational self interest pushing us to enforce the law. They emerge out of necessity. Citizens cannot be forced to live within anarchy and be expected to do nothing. It makes human dignity impossible.
Former Harvard Professor and Philosopher, Robert Nozick discussed what would happen in anarchy. He stated that when people are being forced to protect their rights they will always flock towards a group that can provide protection. It could be a private organization or government but people protect their human dignity through protection.
In situation where the government is not providing proper protection, something always emerges. Good or bad, people flock to protection. Protection provides justice, by protecting people's right. They protect what they are due. It protects human dignity.

Contention 2: Pre-Batman Begins, Gotham is in Virtual Anarchy
Anarchy is commonly defined similarly to "a state of lawlessness and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government)" as it was in an essay released by Princeton University. When we exam the Gotham City judicial system, we see it ripe with corruptness. Organized Crime leader, Carmine Falcone boasts they he has bribed the judges to such a degree, that he could commit a murder in front of them and get off clean. That shows failure with the government.
The judicial system also allows a large number of criminals to get off clean by letting so many plead insanity in trial. They are not instituting true justice, due to corruptness. Therefore, they are not protecting the victim's human dignity.They are completely ignoring as such serial killers as Victor Zsaz just go to Arkham Asylum. Which is also run by someone who is on Falcone's payroll, which accomplishes nothing.

Contention 3: Batman is the Best Choice Gotham City Has
Let's face facts, Batman isn't that bad. There is no debate that he's a good guy. He considers himself a tool by which to protect Gotham. He recognizes his flaws, but considers himself a necessity. He believes himself to be a necessary evil. The government has failed Gotham City in a way he will not.
As already established Gotham City government is failing to provide protection so we can expect some (caped) crusader to emerge to fight for justice and protect human dignity. But what if the force, unlike Batman, uses that only as a facade to have personal gain. Someone could provide need protection to Gotham City, but exploit the citizens easily in the chaos. But luckily that isn't Batman. Batman solely acts to help and protect. He's the hero Gotham City deserves and needs.

In conclusion we realize before Batman, Gotham City did not have human dignity and had no sense of justice. But Batman fills that void and protects the citizens when the government has failed, and for that he is vindicated.
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper

Con

I would like to begin by thanking axM62 for this debate.

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I negate the resolution "The actions of the vigilante known as Batman are justified".

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I will now refute my opponent's contentions.

1: My opponent claims that vigilantism was necessary on Mr. Wayne's part due to the state of anarchy in Gotham City. However, Gotham was not in a state of anarchy. There was still an active government and police force. While the government may not have been adequately combating crime, Mr. Wayne still could have avoided vigilantism, an illegal activity [1]. With Mr. Wayne's considerable finances [2] and stealth capabilities [3], he could have pursued alternative methods of ensuring the apprehension of criminals. I will detail these alternatives later in my statement.

2: While there may have been failure by the government, this failure had not yet caused true lawlessness and disorder. The fact that there was still a police force for Mr. Wayne to subdue criminals for shows that the law still remained. I will show that there were alternative ways for Mr. Wayne to reduce Gotham's significant crime rate that did not require vigilantism.

3. While I acknowledge that Mr. Wayne did reduce the crime rate in Gotham City and that a less purehearted vigilante may have eventually emerged, Mr. Wayne is still a vigilante, meaning he is a lawbreaker by nature. Since he is a violent lawbreaker who has the alternative of nonviolence, his actions are inherently unjust. While the argument can be made that he was still acting righteously, I will prove that there were viable alternatives to Wayne's vigilantism and that his activities as "Batman" serve mostly as a method of carrying out his personal vendetta against Gotham's criminals.

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Now for my own contentions:

Contention 1: Batman is a vigilante; thus, by definition, his actions are in violation of the law. Thus, while he may have had benevolent intentions, he violates the very laws he is trying to uphold in his war against criminals. By hunting criminals, Mr. Wayne's actions show him to hold the law as a standard of what is just. By breaking the law, Batman himself violates his own standard of what is just. Batman's actions are justified neither by the law nor his own moral standards. Vigilantism is illegal for a reason: the government wishes for the police to combat crime rather than private citizens doing so. While Batman's actions were well-intentioned, they were not lawful. The only possible justification remaining is that they were the only way to prevent crime in Gotham from becoming worse. However, this supposed justification is invalid, as there were alternative ways for Mr. Wayne to prevent crime in Gotham, ways that did not involve violation of the law.

Contention 2: Since there were alternative ways for Mr. Wayne to prevent or reduce crime in Gotham, his actions as Batman are not justified. As Batman, Mr. Wayne often assaulted criminals to apprehend them for police. However, Mr. Wayne was acting without legal sanction to do so. One may attempt to justify these actions by claiming they were the most viable and perhaps the only way to reduce crime in Gotham; however, this is untrue. Mr. Wayne is a master of stealth [3] and a billionaire [2]. With his stealth capabilities, Mr. Wayne could have obtained incriminating evidence against Gotham's various mobs and brought it to the District Attorney's office. This evidence could have been used to bring down the mobs in Gotham. Furthermore, Mr. Wayne could have used similar methods to out corrupt cops to Jim Gordon, Rachel Dawes, and Harvey Dent. Jim Gordon is a member of the Gotham Police Force [4], Rachel Dawes is an Assistant District Attorney [4], and Harvey Dent is a District Attorney [5]. These three are clearly in a position to fight the mobs and corruption in the police force. By using nonviolent methods to aid in the removal of corrupt police officers and to bring down the mob, Mr. Wayne could have reduced crime without using violence. Mr. Wayne could also have used his wealth as a weapon against crime in a number of ways, such as helping elect non-corrupt officials through donations, promoting the passage of certain laws, and funding various charity programs to "clean up" the city, such as by reducing the rate of homelessness. A decrease in homelessness would clearly lead to a decrease in crime, as well as the election of non-corrupt officials and the passage of laws. These methods are all perfectly viable and certainly more so than comandeering military technology [6] for vigilantism. The fact that there were nonviolent, more viable alternatives to the Batman's activities shows that Mr. Wayne's activities were not justified.

Contention 3: Mr. Wayne's activities as the Batman are a way for him to carry out a personal vendetta against the criminal world. When Mr. Wayne was young, his parents were murdered before his eyes [7]. Their murders clearly impressed upon him a strong desire for vengeance against criminals, as shown by his plot to murder their killer [7]. While Batman traveled the world to study the criminal mind, he never overcame that vendetta against criminals. While he does not engage in murder of criminals, Batman still uses violence against them. The fact that there are nonviolent alternatives to this use of violence shows that Mr. Wayne's activities as the Batman allow him to carry out a vendetta against the criminals of Gotham. Though Mr. Wayne could use his wealth and training to prevent crime nonviolently, he instead uses his training and wealth for violence against criminals as a way to carry out his vendetta against them. The fact that Mr. Wayne chose violence as the Batman over nonviolence through the more viable methods I earlier described show that his actions lack both moral and legal justification.

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To summarize the debate thus far:

I have refuted all of my opponent's contentions and supplied three of my own. They are as follows:
1. Batman's activities are illegal, meaning they are not justified by the law.
2. There are more viable nonviolent alternatives to the violence Batman uses.
3. The fact that Batman chooses violence over more viable nonviolent methods means his actions lack both moral and legal justification.

In conclusion, Batman's activities lack justification.

Since none of my opponent's contentions stand and all of mine stand, I urge viewers to begin considering a CON vote.

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I will end by thanking my opponent for this debate.

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SOURCES:
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://dc.wikia.com...(Nolanverse)
[3] http://dc.wikia.com...(Nolanverse)#Abilities
[4] http://dc.wikia.com...(Movie)#Characters
[5] http://dc.wikia.com...(Movie)#Plot
[6] http://dc.wikia.com...(Nolanverse)#Trivia
[7] http://dc.wikia.com...(Nolanverse)#Batman_Begins_Time_Fram
Debate Round No. 1
axM62

Pro

---First off, let me thank my opponent for accepting the challenge. I do appreciate it.

As a brief roadmap, I will start by rebuilding my own case and then move on to attack my opponent's.
First off, he dropped my value/criterion block, meaning that they are important to be upheld. He also never says how I fail to uphold them, giving me the round right there.

My First Contention discussed how vigilantism emerges from anarchy. My opponent does not disagree with this fact at all. He only disagrees that Gotham City is in a state of anarchy. However, he does admit the the government is failing to fight crime adequately. The government is failing in this town. While they have an "active government and police force", they are almost completely corrupt before Batman. The government has failed its people and they need some thing to protect and defend them. Batman luckily obliges.

My second contention specifically talks about Gotham City's state before Batman. My opponent disagrees with my assertions that its a lawless town. But when we exam all parts of the Gotham City justice department we see them ripe with corruption. The district attorney's office, judges, police force and state run mental institutions are almost completely on the payroll of the Falcone family.This shows that laws won't really be enforced. With corruption that deep, it shows a failure and lawlessness within the town.

My third contention deals with Batman filling a necessary void. My opponent says he is too violent, making his action unjust. Let me argue that violence does not necessarily mean an action is unjust. We respect our police and armed forces because they use violence for our protection. Batman uses violence for protection. Yes, he bends the rules, but because he has no other choice. I'll negate his alternatives as I attack his case.

Now, to move on to my opponents case.
His first contention deals with Batman as a vigilante. He says Batman violates his own standards of morality. Yet we realize he has a strict code, and sticks too it, such as with murder. He always makes sure the criminals are arrested or if he feels they can reform lets them go, but watches them. My opponent also says that Batman's actions are justified if crime would have gotten worse without it. We realize by the massive drop in crime after it had been rising it would have. His actions did make a good difference. My opponent implies constantly breaks the law, but we see the majority of his actions that are violent are solely to interrupt crimes occurring, which is justified.

His Contention 2 deals with possible alternatives for Batman's actions. I disagree with the implications that he does not do such things. We see him collecting evidence for the police often. He works in conjunction with the officials he mentioned. Let me also point out, those officials also condone Batman's behavior. He does almost everything my opponent argues for in the status code. The only times he uses violence is in self defense or to interrupt crime. Both those times are perfectly justified. My opponent discusses that he should work with charity to decrease homelessness. Let me point out that he is actively involved with charity works as his parents were. Let me also point out that the main problem with crime in Gotham comes from organized crime and corruption. Batman activities are not as violent and horrible as my opponent would like to make them out to be.

My opponents final contention three deals with accusing Batman acting only on a vendetta. He says that Batman hates all criminals is too much of an ultimatum. Bruce Wayne steals to survive when he lives abroad which shows an understanding of their life. Yes, he seeks vengeance, but he does so with rationality unexpected by someone fueled by blind rage. He avoids violence when ever he can.

For these reasons I urge for an affirmative ballot.
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper

Con

I will begin by thanking axM62 for this debate.

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I apologize for not addressing his value "block"; I have only been trained in parliamentary debate and have not been trained in LD debate; as a result, I did not know to address it. Before I move on, I would like to clarify that my speech is not meant to be in formal LD format. I would like to address my opponent's value block now.

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There is another value in this debate that is more important than human dignity. This value is proportionate force. Batman did bring about good in Gotham, but the amount of force he used was disproportionate and illegal. Batman's actions frequently resulted in unnecessary destruction of property and physical harm to criminals. The methods I detailed accomplish the reduction of crime Mr. Wayne sought without this property damage and physical harm. Thus, the standard by which to measure proportionate force is whether Batman's actions used more force than was necessary to accomplish his goals in a feasible manner. I have shown that Batman has failed to do this, as he has destroyed personal and public property and assaulted criminals in his attempts to reduce crime, actions which are unnecessary.

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I will now address my opponent's defense of his first contention and the supposed "anarchy" in Gotham City. While Gotham was beset by high crime rates and a corrupt police force, the city's government and police were not completely corrupt and were still intact. My opponent even admits that Gotham had an active government and police force; thus, his claim that Gotham was in a state of anarchy is self-invalidated. The government may have failed its people, but it was still intact, and Mr. Wayne did not need to use the level of force he did in reducing crime.

As to my opponent's second contention, "failure" and "ripe with corruption" are not synonymous with "lawlessness". The fact that there was even a legal system FOR Mr. Falcone to manipulate shows that there was not "lawlessness" in Gotham.

In my opponent's defense of his third contention, he claims that the ability of the police and armed forces to use violence in combating injustice allow Batman to do so. He also claims Batman has "no choice" but to "bend the rules". First of all, Batman is not an officer of the government or law enforcement and is not legally allowed to use force against criminals except in self-defense. Second, Batman does have alternatives, which I have presented. Third, he is not "bending" the rules, he is breaking them.

Since my opponent's defenses of his contentions have all been countered, none of them stand.

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Now to defend my case.

My opponent's counter to my first contention is invalid, as he misquotes my case. My opponent claims I stated that " Batman's actions are justified if crime would have gotten worse without it". I never stated this. I stated that "the only possible justification... is that they were the only way to prevent crime in Gotham from becoming worse". My opponent disregarded the uses of "only" in my statement in a clear attempt to deceive the viewers. Also, Batman's defeat of the Falcone cartel was a violent raid upon a drug shipment of theirs. Batman's actions here were unprovoked and even included Falcone's being "brutally dragged out" of his car [1], a clearly unprovoked act of violence that interrupted no crime. I have defended my first contention and it still stands.

As to my second contention, I will point out flaws in my opponent's counter and then defend my alternatives. First of all, he mentions acts I argued for in the "status code". I mentioned no such status code. This mysterious "status code" has no bearing on my contentions. Secondly, my opponent claims that Batman only uses violence "in self defense or to interrupt crime". The fact that Batman dragged Falcone from his car and bound him to a skylight clearly invalidates this claim. I do not claim Batman's actions to be "horrible"; they are merely more violent than what is necessary and feasible, and thus are unjustified due to excessive force. As to the alternatives I proposed, I never claimed that Batman did not already engage in these activities. What I meant to propose was Batman's use of these as a replacement for his illegal vigilantism rather than a supplement. By focusing the time he spends as a caped crusader on legal channels and obtaining evidence without attacking criminals, he could accomplish just as much as he does as the Batman without violating any law.

Lastly, my third contention. My opponent's attempt to counter my third contention is, frankly, rather nonsensical. First of all, I mention no final demand or "ultimatum". Secondly, Mr. Wayne does not steal to live abroad; he uses his immense wealth. Third, he does not "avoid violence whenever he can", as shown by his actions regarding Mr. Falcone. Lastly, his vendetta becomes clear when one examines the fact that he once plotted to kill Joe Chill and then dedicated his life to combating criminals.

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Since all of my opponent's contentions have been successfully countered and all of mine still stand, I urge viewers to vote CON when the voting period arrives. I will end by thanking axM62 for the debate and the viewers for their time.

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SOURCES:

[1] http://dc.wikia.com...(Movie)#Plot_2
Debate Round No. 2
axM62

Pro

First off, I apologize for calling my opponent out on the value block, I did not realize he was unfamiliar with Lincoln-Douglas Debate rules. As traditional with LD debate however, I shall keep this final round short and sweet with a few key voters on why the affirmative has won this debate.

1.) Batman saved the city from anarchy. My opponent can argue all he wants about the state of Gotham City when Batman first entered the scene. But there is no denying the horrid possibilities of what the Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul's plan would do to Gotham. While he say a completely corrupt law enforcement agency and department of justice does not constitute anarchy. The implications of such monsters certainly does however.

2.) Batman's methods were highly criticized by my opponent. He said they were to violent. Let me point out violence is only employed by Batman when absolutely necessarily. He avoids it unless he needs to stop a crime. My opponent offered only one instance where this wasn't the case. But let me point out when Batman "brutally dragged (Falcone) out" of his car, he was overseeing drug smuggling, a very serious crime.

3.) My final voting reason is a challenge for the voter as well. Imagine Gotham City without Batman. In fact, imagine a world without the caped crusader. Quite frankly, I can't imagine anyone who thinks that that would be a good place. Batman is a defender of justice and true America.

For all the reasons I urge for an affirmative ballot. I would also like to thank my opponent for an excellent and exciting first debate. And also for reigniting my love of George Carlin. Thank you.
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper

Con

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for this debate. I accept his apology; however, it was not necessary. I understood the risks when I took this debate and apologize for making the matter seem more important than it was.

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I will begin by summarizing and countering my opponent's R3 statements.

1) My opponent's statement here is an attempted defense of his second contention. However, the presence of the Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul do not indicate a state of anarchy. In fact, Batman would most likely have been much more successful against the Scarecrow if he directed the police to him rather than attempt to engage Scarecrow himself. By doing so, Batman would have prevented Scarecrow's use of the gas near the movie's end. A group of riot cops or a SWAT Team would likely be better prepared to combat Ra's Al Ghul than Batman due to their use of firearms and team tactics. The presence of these villains does not indicate a state of anarchy, as other forces could counter them.

2) Drug smuggling itself is not a violent crime. Mr. Wayne could have taken incriminating photos and contacted the police or a federal agency rather than taking unprovoked violent action against Mr. Falcone. The alternative methods I described would have prevented violence from being "absolutely necessary", though I did show that violence was not necessary against Mr. Falcone to begin with. My opponent did not challenge this claim. His failure to do so invalidates his second R3 point.

3) My opponent's third statement lacks reasoning and doesn't account for the fact that Mr. Wayne could still have prevented crime without use of the Batman persona through the methods I described. I recommend that the viewers disregard this statement due to its lack of reasoning.

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I will now summarize my case for viewers.

Though Mr. Wayne did good in Gotham City, the disproportionate amount of force he used in doing so combined with the numerous nonviolent alternatives show that his actions lack moral justification. The level of force he used in crimefighting shows that it is likely he is using his vigilatism as a way to enact a vendetta against criminals. Lastly, Mr. Wayne's actions, while noble in purpose, are illegal. There are legal alternative ways for Mr. Wayne to prevent crime, which I have outlined. The level of force Mr. Wayne uses combined with the numerous alternatives and his vendetta against criminals show that his actions lack justification.

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I will now weigh the debate for viewers.

CONVINCING ARGUMETNS: My opponent has given three contentions, all of which I have countered. He has not successfully defended these contentions; thus, none of them stand. I have also presented three contentions and successfully defended them from countering; as a result, all three stand. Since all three of CON's contentions stand and none of PRO's do, I urge a CON vote for convincing arguments.

SPELLING/GRAMMAR: CON's spelling/grammar has been largely correct throughout the debate. However, PRO has made some spelling/grammar errors:
R1: "for the comic books have to many different interpretations have conflicting plot lines..." Misspelling of "too", no "which" before "have conflicting plot lines".
"The philosopher, Ayn Rand discussed..." No comma after appositive.
"If they see injustice occurring they will act..." No comma before occurring.
My opponent used poor punctuation a number of other times during his R1.

R2: "...its a lawless town." Wrong form of "it's".
"...opponents case." No apostrophe in possessive.
My opponent made at least a couple other grammatical errors in his R2.

R3: "First off, I apologize for calling my opponent out on the value block, I did not realize he was unfamiliar with Lincoln-Douglas Debate rules." Run-on sentence.
"As traditional with LD debate" No "is" before "traditional".

My opponent has shown spelling and grammar that, while not "poor" per se, is not as good as CON's. I do not mean to be rude by saying this; I only mean to show voters that CON should be given the Spelling/Grammar vote. I encourage voters to make a vote for CON on spelling/grammar.

CONDUCT: Both sides have shown good conduct throughout the debate. As a result, I encourage viewers to cast their Conduct vote for neither debater, leaving it as "Tie".

RELIABLE SOURCES: In the course of this debate, CON has cited eight clear sources, while PRO has cited none. As a result, I encourage a CON vote for sources.

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I will end by thanking my opponent for the debate and the viewers for their time. Please vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by LD_Freak 6 years ago
LD_Freak
Remember, by creating order, Batman essentially created the Joker, therefore causing the deaths of nearly hundreds of individuals.
Posted by Maikuru 6 years ago
Maikuru
I love Batman debates and this was no exception.
Posted by axM62 6 years ago
axM62
I posted a comment on your profile, I'd like to do one of those ultimate team debates like you did. Looked fun.
Posted by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 6 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
Thanks to my opponent as well. This was really fun.
Posted by axM62 6 years ago
axM62
This has been a really fun debate. Thanks!
Posted by axM62 6 years ago
axM62
This has been a really fun debate. Thanks!
Posted by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 6 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
I might take this.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Kaitybee 6 years ago
Kaitybee
axM62GeorgeCarlinWorshipperTied
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Vote Placed by TheIntellectualDevotional 6 years ago
TheIntellectualDevotional
axM62GeorgeCarlinWorshipperTied
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Vote Placed by axM62 6 years ago
axM62
axM62GeorgeCarlinWorshipperTied
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Vote Placed by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
axM62GeorgeCarlinWorshipperTied
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Vote Placed by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 6 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
axM62GeorgeCarlinWorshipperTied
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