The Instigator
TheYummyCod
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
RGarland
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Resolved: The Letter of the Law Ought to Have Priority Over the Spirit of the Law.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,789 times Debate No: 71199
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (0)

 

TheYummyCod

Pro

Hello! This debate is set up for the purpose of challenging me on a subject I know little about. I hope that whoever accepts, we'll have a polite, fun debate.

The definitions are as follows:

Letter of the Law: Interpreting the law literally; or as it is written.

Spirit of the Law: Interpreting the law according to a social and moral consensus on the interpretation of the law.

The rules are as follows:
1. If one person violates a rule, his opponent must politely point out the violation to the voters, and proceed.
2. No plagiarism. Sources must be properly cited.
3. No cursing, swearing, or obscenity in general.
4. No forfeiting rounds. (Doing this violates the debate structure, too.)
5. Failure to address a point means that you concede it.
6. No violating debate structure.
7. Et cetera. Let's have a fun debate.

Here is the structure:
(Key: P = Pro, C = Con, Numbers specify the round.)
P1: Rules, Definitions, Structure.
C1: Acceptance, and Negative Argument.
P2: Affirmative Argument. Rebuttal to Negative Argument.
C2: Rebuttal to Affirmative Argument, Introduction of New Arguments.
P3: Rebuttal to Negative Arguments, Response to Negative Rebuttals, Introduction of New Arguments.
C3: Rebuttal to Affirmative Arguments, and Respones to Affirmative Rebuttals. NO introduction of new arguments.
P4: Response to Negative Rebuttals. Summary of arguments, explanation to voters as to why they should choose Pro as winner. NO introduction of new arguments.
C4: Summary of arguments, explanation to voters as to why they should choose Con as winner. NO introduction of new aguments.

Thanks! Let's have a good debate!
RGarland

Con

In today's society, the law is written to such specifics that multiple problems arise. It is ridiculous to think that the laws are so complex that you have to hire someone specially trained (a lawyer) to interpret them for you. That alone shows how flawed the legal system itself is. The spirit of the law should take presidence over the written words, or else loopholes form and the law essentially loses all meaning. Let me give you an example: If a law was written that said "Do not disturb your neighbor; respect their presence" it would be a good law. However, in today's world we have to be very specific so a law would have to say something like, "Do not play radios so loudly that it may bother your neighbors". This still isn't where we are today so it is revised to, "Do not play radios over 10 decibels." This is where loopholes form. What is I play 2 radios at 5 decibels each? (Assuming you could add decibels) As time would go on, the law would be revised again and again with new sections added and clauses explaining each one is detail. And as the law is continually revised, it becomes so complex that you end up with a mess like today's laws where they have to have specially trained people read them. But wait? What's missing at this point? The spirit of the law. The whole intention of the law was to respect your neighbors, not to control your radio volumes and ect. The law has become such a mess that the whole point of it is gone, and it's just another messy part of the rule book with numerous loopholes. In my opinion, if the legal system wrote laws that were broad and to the point like, "Respect your neighbors presence; do not disturb them" and we provided extensive training to allow judges to interpret in cases whether the law was followed, we would have a much cleaner legal system. In case you don't understand yet, let me present another example. You steal your friends iPod you see sitting on his table. He comes up to you and asks for it, but you say it's yours now rightfully. What do you do? You may ask another nearby friend "Hey, is this right?" Of course he will say no, and it's settled. It's a common moral rule not to steal, and requires no specially trained people to pull out a book of law and read off some extensive law, does it? Why shouldn't all laws be simple and easy to interpret like this? Why is it that we need lawyers to tell us what the law says? It's evidence of a seriously flawed system and it traces back to one main point: The spirit of the law is FAR more important than the letter of the law, and ought to take presidence.
Debate Round No. 1
TheYummyCod

Pro

Thanks! This looks like it'll be a lot of fun. Let's start!
First, I will begin my stating my contentions, before moving on to respond to my opponent's arguments.
My first contention is that prioritizing the Letter of the Law over the Spirit of the Law ensures that all men are judged by the same standard. This is paramount to the resolution, because all laws first must be just, and if the law cannot be just if it applies to different people in different ways.
The Spirit of the Law in this debate is defined basically as the interpretation of the law according to the social or moral consensus—in other words, social norms. NY AGRI & MKTS § 71-n[1] requires a permit for the production of raw milk in the state of New York. While the general consensus in society is that it's okay to drink milk directly from a cow without a permit if you're a family farmer, the problem is that people can be harmed without understanding the dangers of raw milk, something that this law is supposed to prevent. Prioritizing the letter of the law would ensure that laws are followed without exception.
In both of the above cases, the law is meant to apply to everyone equally, but a problem occurs when they are interpreted through the spirit of the law, as they would apply to people only according to social attitudes. The issue with this is that a law cannot be just unless there is equality for all. When the law applies differently to some people based off of social standing or circumstances, there becomes inequality, and as a result, injustice.
My second contention is that the Spirit of the Law should reside within the Letter of the Law. What I mean by this is that prioritizing the letter does not do away with the spirit, but instead ensures justice by creating a standard of law parallel with the Spirit of the Law. This is paramount to the resolution, because it shows that the benefits of the spirit of the law can apply without the drawbacks, even if the letter of the law is prioritized.
Before, I noted that if we judged laws by what we wanted as opposed to what they directly decreed, then laws would be unjust. The solution to this problem is to decree within the laws those exceptions which must be made; and amend the laws themselves when there are mistakes. This is a simple way to keep in mind the spirit of the law while keeping it fair and just.
My third contention is that a just government will not punish people for the purpose of maintaining ethics. The concept of individual rights includes the ability to exercise those rights even opposed to the moral consensus. When laws, as proposed by my opponent, are only abstract concepts to be interpreted by a judge according to the moral consensus, it violates not only your right to a fair trial but also your individual rights as you can be punished simply by simply committing a violation of ethics.
—Next, I will move on to rebut my opponent's arguments.
My opponent contends that "The spirit of the law should take [precedence] over the written words, or else loopholes form and the law essentially loses all meaning." He moves on to describe a hypothetical scenario to back this up, which describes the evolution of a simple law into complicated rulebook full of loopholes, before concluding with how the spirit of the law would have fixed this problem.
First I'd like to clarify that the difference between letter of the law and spirit of the law is not between different types of law, but instead ways to interpret the written law.
Next, the law my opponent presented contained the text, "Do not disturb your neighbor; respect their presence," something that he touted as a good law, when in both spirit and letter of the law it would generally be interpreted as making it illegal to disturb your neighbor, forcing you by law to respect their presence. I contend that this is not a good law, and the problem with his example is not how the law is interpreted, as he stipulates, but instead the fact that there's such an unenforceable and unjust law on the books.
He makes a good point that written laws based upon abstract concepts would create a lot of loopholes, but that relates little to the resolution, being an argument better suited for whether or not laws should be complex.
In terms of his actual point, I'm surprised to hear him talk about the law losing all meaning, because it is the letter of the law, its direct language gives the law its meaning, not a vague social consensus. His other point was that letter of the law would cause loopholes, but the only evidence he provides is a slippery slope fallacy used in his example. I will provide a quick counterexample to show a law, interpreted through letter of the law, that did not devolve into a bureaucratic mess of loopholes.
I contend that speed limits, despite being interpreted by the letter of the law, have not devolved into said mess. In fact, loopholes in this case occur only when interpreted by the spirit of the law. For example, pregnant women driving to the hospital.
In terms of my opponent's proposition that laws should be written to be broadly applied, I contend that if this was so, then this would actually result in less clarity, and as a result, more confusion in our judicial system. However, I won't delve very much into this, as I don't see how it relates to our resolution.
In terms of theft of the iPod, if you actually did commit larceny, taking his stuff with the intent of depriving him of his use, then yes, he would call the police. If you actually meant something else by your example, please explain, because it's very confusing.
In Conclusion, the Letter of the Law ought to be prioritized over the Spirit of the Law, because it is just, it contains the benefits of the Spirit of the Law without the drawbacks, and because my opponent's proposition seeks to punish those for the purpose of maintaining ethics as opposed to maintaining justice.
RGarland

Con

I will begin by rebutting your first argument. Within it, you state, "My first contention is that prioritizing the Letter of the Law over the Spirit of the Law ensures that all men are judged by the same standard. This is paramount to the resolution, because all laws first must be just, and if the law cannot be just if it applies to different people in different ways." I'd like to argue that after a certain (and probably short) amount of time, different cases that had been resolved would set a standard for future cases. This does happen with the Supreme Court in our system today. When the Supreme Court rules on a specific type of case, it generally sets the standard for all cases alike in the future. I believe that if our courts focused on the spirit of the law and ruled on different cases prioritizing the spirit, it would set standards for similar cases in the future. Therefore, the laws would have a set standard and any new cases that arose would continue to set standards.

Your second argument is that prioritizing the letter of the law ensures the spirit is kept, if I am not mistaken. This argument makes little sense to me, so lets use the tax code as an example. The tax code is written very specific and the letter of it is surely prioritized. Multiple problems have arisen from it obviously. One would be the fact that its so excessive in length that very few people in the world could ever read it all and understand it completely. The main problem though is that by creating different ways the law applies to different situations creates, like I said before, loopholes where people and corporations can evade taxes. In all honesty, if I really didn't want to pay taxes right now, I could easily evade them because of the loopholes that have formed, and my evasion would be completely legal. However, when people can evade it so easily and many do, I would argue that the spirit of paying taxes (which is 100% just in my opinion) has been lost and it has just become another obstacle or burden that people see. I would argue that if it were written simpler, it would have little to no loopholes for corporations or normal people and we wouldn't have so much debate in society about it all the time. If we followed the spirit of the law, which is that everyone should contribute fairly to society to help upkeep it, I believe we would be able to stop these obvious tax evasions and at the same time, normal people would be able to understand the tax code.

Third, you argue that by judging based on ethics, it infringes on peoples individual rights and such. However, I don't necessarily think that judging based on the spirit of the law is judging based on ethics. I would rather interpret it as judging based on what the law is intended to do, rather than what the law specifically says. A law doesn't necessarily have to be ethical, as ethics differ from person to person.

Now I will help you understand by what I meant with the iPod example. The point was that in day to day life we don't need formal judges and law books and lawyers for everything, because we follow the spirit of the law and can generally judge for ourselves whether we're breaking it or not. Unfortunately this doesn't exactly help explain it and that's one of the disadvantages of debates over text I guess. Maybe that example was better suited for a vocal debate.

One thing last thing I'd like to point out is that when a law is written in specifics and the letter of the law takes precedence, it is virtually impossible to cover any loopholes. This is why we have such complex laws. We try to patch them up continuously instead of looking at the way laws are written. This is why it is so important to value the spirit and intention of the law over the letter of it. It is the only way to make sure it is followed. Essentially, it's finding a balance between specifics and intention that will fix the law system we have today.
Debate Round No. 2
TheYummyCod

Pro

Thanks! You made some very good points. I'm glad that we can have a civilized and intelligent discussion on a topic such as this. Now, to dive right in!

This is my final opportunity to introduce new contentions, and I have chosen not to. Instead, I will respond to my opponent's rebuttals, and rebut his points.

First, my opponent proposes that in order to ensure a fair standard, different cases should should set a standard for future cases. That interpreting the law by the spirit would set standards for similar cases in the future.

My opponent makes a fine proposal, however, the letter provides for this in the same way. Using other instances in which the law has been previously applied is a legal strategy that works in either instance, letter or spirit. However, the Letter of the Law provides for this better, because in the Spirit of the Law, the moral and social consensus would be prioritized over previous cases. Meaning, that a just interpretation of the law would still be thrown out in favor of an unjust moral and social consensus.

Second, my opponent gives an example in response to my second contention. He states that with the tax code, the letter is prioritized, but the problem is that it's so excessive in length that very few understand it completely. He notes that he could easily evade taxes because of loopholes, and that his "evasion would be completely legal." He contends that if the tax code were written simpler, it would have no loopholes.

In response, I first contend that his example is committing Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, by assuming that interpreting the tax code by the letter is the reason why it is so lengthy. The U.S. Tax Code is lengthy because of the type of taxes we have implemented, not because of how they are interpreted.

I also challenge my opponent to provide an example as to how he could "easily evade" taxes "because of the loopholes," and how that "evasion would be completely legal."

Third, my opponent notes that he would rather interpret the Spirit of the Law as judging based on what the law is intended to do, rather than what the law specifically says.

I set the definition of the Spirit being what the social and moral consensus of the law's interpretation is, because it's oftentimes difficult to determine the original intent. So unfortunately, that is the definition we are debating. As a note, when I say "ethics," I am referring to the social and moral consensus without wanting to use up too many characters.

Fourth, my opponent clarifies his "iPod" example, noting his point was that in day to day life, we don't need formal judges and lawyers for everything, because we follow the spirit of the law for ourselves.

My opponent's point does little to strengthen his argument or relate to the resolution. This debate is on how the law should be interpreted when it must be applied, not on how often we must apply it. However, I would encourage my opponent to keep this point in mind. My opponent's point may have missed the resolution of this debate completely, but if he adjusts his aim, he can use this point very well to suit his argument.

Finally, my opponent notes that when a law is written specifically, it is "impossible" to cover "any" loopholes when interpreted with the letter. He contends that this is why we have complex laws, because we patch laws up continuously. He states that it is important to prioritize the spirit because it's the only way to make sure the law is followed.

Interesting point, however, like I contended with the speed limit example, interpreting the law through the social and moral consensus causes plenty of loopholes, too. In this example, I also contended that just because laws are specific does not mean that there are loopholes.

Also, in response to my opponent's contention that prioritizing the spirit is the only way to make sure the law is followed, I contend that the enforcement of the law resides outside of the judiciary, and therefore lacks relevance to this debate. I also contend that just because there are loopholes does not mean that the law is not being followed. People still follow speed limits despite the Spirit of the Law loophole, and people still pay their taxes despite any hypothetical loophole in the tax code.

In Conclusion, the Letter of the Law ought to be prioritized over the Spirit of the Law, because doing otherwise would be unjust, because the Letter contains the benefits of the Spirit of the Law without the drawbacks, and because my opponent's proposition seeks to punish those for the purpose of maintaining ethics as opposed to maintaining justice.

As a reminder my opponent may no longer introduce new arguments. He may rebut any new arguments I have made, and he may respond to my rebuttals of his argument. This does not mean he may not respond to my arguments in new ways, but rather that he cannot introduce a new idea. To illustrate, my opponent can say that "You're wrong on this point because of X, Y, and Z," but my opponent cannot introduce new ideas, such as "If the letter of the law is prioritized, then the fundamental concept of mercy is ignored."

My opponent would also do well to remember that this next argument is his final opportunity to rebut my points and respond to my rebuttals. I would encourage him to do his best, for the spirit of humanity, and the spirit of the law.
RGarland

Con

I would like to begin by pointing out that due to being on the road so much today, I don't have access to my computer so I have to use my phone, so I may have multiple spelling errors and I am also going to keep it brief. First, I could evade taxes (as many wealthy people do) by creating what is called a "sell company" and registering it in a tax safe haven and then channeling money into it, very easy to do and only costs $50 I believe for a business license. I could also request payment in commodities such as gold and silk which wouldn't be taxed and then trade them for cash, which is also common. Unfortunately, as I am still on the road I will close this round off here. My opponent brought very good contentions, but I believe my points still stand.
Debate Round No. 3
TheYummyCod

Pro

Letter of the Law Argument

Oh, I understand your circumstances completely, and it's a pity that you didn't respond to most of my arguments.


I will begin by responding to rebuttals, and then I will summarize my arguments.

My opponent only chose to respond to my second rebuttal, where I challenged him to provide an example as to how he could "easily evade taxes" because of the loopholes [in the tax code], and how that "evasion would be completely legal." He replied by giving me two examples.

First, my opponent contended that he could legally evade taxes by creating a business in a tax haven, and then channeling his money into it.

The issue with this is that it isn't a loophole at all. He cannot send money to an offshore business unless he has earned money. He cannot earn money without it being considered taxable income. Therefore he wouldn't be evading taxes at all, at least not "legally," because he would have to pay taxes when he earns that money in the first place.

Second, my opponent contended that he could legally evade taxes by bartering in commodities, which would not be taxed, and then trade those commodities for cash.

Even if this is a "common" occurrence, it is not at all "completely legal." Bartering income, as in this case, is included as taxable income, and you are required to include that in your taxes[1]. Failing to include this in your taxes is not a "legal" loophole, it is a crime, one that would not be any more enforceable if the law was interpreted by the Spirit.

Summary of Debate.

This debate was on whether or not the Letter of the Law ought to be prioritized over the Spirit of the Law. I was arguing that when we interpret the laws, we should prioritize the Letter of the Law over the Spirit of the Law. My opponent argued the opposite.

Was the conclusion of this debate that the Spirit should be prioritized over the Letter, or visa versa? As the voter, you will decide this. I will summarize this debate to show you why I won.

My three primary contentions went through the entire debate well-established, and they were hardly challenged, if at all.

My first contention was that prioritizing the Letter over the Spirit is just, and ensures that all men are judged by the same standard. My sub-points of this contention went virtually unchallenged, especially my example. The contention itself was only challenged with a proposition as to how a court maybe could interpret a law, which was refuted by an unchallenged rebuttal that the Letter was still superior in ensuring justice, even in his scenario.

My second contention was that the Letter contains the benefits of the Spirit without the drawbacks, a contention only challenged with a fallacious example on the tax code. I showed how my opponent's example committed the Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy, a stipulation conceded by my opponent.

My third contention was that my opponent's proposition violates the rights of individuals by punishing people for the purpose of maintaining ethics, rather than to maintain justice. This point was completely conceded, and my opponent only addressed it to note how in his opinion, the Spirit would be interpreted contrary to the rules of this debate, a point that I called him out on, and he conceded.

My opponent made multiple different contentions, all of which I have rebutted.

First, he contended that if the Spirit does not take precedence, loopholes form, and the law loses all meaning. He gave an example with his "Do not disturb your neighbor" law. I rebutted this easily, establishing that direct language gives the law more meaning than a vague social consensus, and I gave the speed limit example to show that not all laws have loopholes, and some only have loopholes when interpreted through the Spirit. These points were conceded by my opponent, and his contention fails.

Next, he proposed that we ought to write laws differently, and provide better training to judges, in order to have a cleaner legal system. I pointed out that this was completely irrelevant to the debate, a point that my opponent also conceded.

My opponent also proposed an "iPod" example too show that we don't need formal judges for everyday life. However, I pointed out the debate is on how we should apply existing law, and therefore his example is not relevant to the debate. He conceded this point.

Next, my opponent proposed that different cases should set a standard for future cases. However, I contended that even if we used his proposed method for interpretation, the Letter would still be superior when interpreted, a point that my opponent conceded.

Finally, my opponent contends that it is "impossible" to cover "any" loopholes when a specific law is interpreted with the letter, and that we should prioritize the spirit because it's the only way to "make sure" the law is followed. I brought up the speed limit example, an example my opponent conceded, to show that just because laws are specific does not mean that there are loopholes, that just because there are loopholes does not mean that the law is not being followed, and that his point regardless lacks relevance to this debate. All of these points were conceded by my opponent.

It has been fully established in this debate that the Letter of the Law ought to be prioritized over the Spirit of the Law, because doing so is the only way to ensure justice, because it includes the benefits of the Spirit without the drawbacks, and because my opponent's proposition seeks to punish for the purpose of maintaining ethics as opposed to maintaining justice. My opponent's numerous points are not only proven false, but even if they weren't, they would still fail to back up his side of the resolution.

Therefore, I conclude that I have won this debate.

[1]http://www.efile.com...



Thanks for the fun debate! Remember that you can't actually respond to anything I've said here, or said beforehand, without violating the debate format. You may only summarize the argument, and explain to voters why you won. Thanks again!
RGarland

Con

I am very happy to have participated in this debate. My opponent made very valid points and rebutted my arguments with very strong contentions. Nonetheless, the Spirit of the Law should unarguably take precedence over the letter of the law.

My opponents first contention was that, "prioritizing the Letter of the Law over the Spirit of the Law ensures that all men are judged by the same standard." However, I rebutted this saying that the outcome of cases in the judicial system would set a standard as well, as it does with the Supreme Court in today's judicial system. Therefore, if the Spirit of the Law is prioritized, there will still be a standard set, as there is when prioritizing the Letter of the Law.

His second contention was, "the Spirit of the Law should reside within the Letter of the Law." However, I don't find this valid because if you are prioritizing the Letter of the Law, and there is a case where someone technically followed the letter but broke the ethics and intention of the law, you are obligated to let them go. Therefore you cannot have "The best of both" if you will.

Their third contention was,"a just government will not punish people for the purpose of maintaining ethics." In my opinion, a just government would write laws for the purpose of maintaining ethics, while making sure to maintain justice. This is an area of the debate that I failed to address with strength, and in hindsight I wish I could have argued against this point better.

Throughout the rest of the debate, I felt the main focus was towards whether prioritizing the letter created loopholes that prioritizing the spirit would not. Though my opponent and I volleyed back and forth with contentions and examples, I feel that with reason, anyone can understand that my points still stand.

No matter the outcome of this debate, I feel this has been very well structured, educational, and reasonable and I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to debate with such an intelligent opponent. That being said, I still believe that the Spirit of the Law should be prioritized over the Letter of the Law, and if you feel this way too, make sure to show it with a vote. Thank you for this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
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>Reported vote: YassineB // Moderator action: Removed<

5 points to Con (arguments, sources). *Moderator note: YassineB's RFD appeared in the comment section, so there's no reason for me to post it for record-keeping purposes, since removing his vote will not remove his RFD. I'll reproduce only the relevant portion. {{{=> Pro takes sources, for he at least provided some, not too relevant to the Resolution, still, Con provided none.}}}

[*Reason for removal*] This is a strategic vote. The point is for "more reliable sources." It should be awarded only if Pro's sources were much better *quality* than Con's. This RFD admits that Pro only had one or two sources and they were not very good. That's not enough to merit awarding the point. The moderation policy has always been that voting for sources based on small difference in *quantity* will always be viewed as suspect.
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Posted by RGarland 2 years ago
RGarland
In my iPod example, I pointed out that in everyday situations we don't need lawyers to tell us the law because we understand basics such as Do Not Steal and although the point was that if we could make all laws simple it would help people, I did use judges in my example (the judges were the friends they asked for who was right). The friends are there for when neither person agrees, and judges do essentially the same thing.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
@RGarland

- Elaborate.
Posted by RGarland 2 years ago
RGarland
My iPod example answered that but it wasn't worded well. Better suited for a vocal debate
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
@RGarland

- Question:

> Why is the necessity of Lawyers evidence for a Flawed System, & the necessity of Judges isn't?!

- I first thought the provided sources are not meaningful, but upon examination I realised that you argued against the compatibility of the Letter of the Law with the Spirit of the Law based on the Tax Code, & while you didn't bring any evidence to legitimise your example, Pro brought one to support the opposite instead. & thus, even though his sources are not too relevant to the Resolution, they are still a little relevant. & I thought it would be unfair to ignore that.
Posted by RGarland 2 years ago
RGarland
Also I didn't provide sources because I don't think this was a pseudoscientific debate; I believe any good position can be proved by reason. I'd actually like to commend my opponent for doing the same
Posted by RGarland 2 years ago
RGarland
I don't think I contradicted myself, as you missed the entire point. When the system is so complex we need lawyers to interpret the law for us, it's evidence it's a flawed system. However, we need judges specially trained not to necessarily interpret the law for us but to make sure they aren't biased and that they have the necessary intelligence to decide the fate I someone's future.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
= Arguments =

- Con argues that the complexity & the expansion of the Legal System (L.S.) warranted by adherence to the Letter of the Law, makes it a less cleaner L.S. susceptible to loopholes, which, when exploited, may violate the Spirit of the Law. Though, he contradicts himself in postulating that the L.S. is flawed, for it requires trained lawyers, & at the same time, proposing the institution of highly trained judges for the same purpose! Pro contests this by positing that such an approach would also result in less clarity & more confusion in the L.S. , exactly what Con is trying to avoid.
- Pro argues that the Letter of the Law provides a unifying ground for all to be treated equally, & not according to each's circumstances: a contention that expresses Equality, not Justice, although, Pro wrongly uses the two distinct notions interchangeably! An approach that Con thinks is not incompatible with prioritising the Spirit of the Law at all.
- Pro also adds that the adherence to the Letter of the Law shouldn't override the Spirit of the Law, as it is there to assure fair trials, independently from the Moral Consensus, which Pro finds less persuasive than having the Spirit of the Law decide what is fair depending on social norms.
- In short, the arguments boiled down to which Legal System is better, one interpreted according to the social consensus, or one interpreted independently.
- Both Pro & Con brought up examples to support their position. However, they were arguing general principals & thus the examples, in this case, are for no more than illustrative purposes.

=> Both cases were fairly argued, although not quite well grounded. Pro takes Arguments, for his were better established & not as well refuted as were Con's.

= Sources =

=> Pro takes sources, for he at least provided some, not too relevant to the Resolution, still, Con provided none.

= Conduct =

=> Both Con & Pro conducted themselves impeccably, with minor infractions.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
- The main issue of the debate is who has the BOP, at first glance the Resolution would seem to require Pro to carry the BOP, however, the Structure of the debate implies the opposite, for Con is the one asked to present, first, his case. It would, thus, seem that the BOP ought to be shared. & to the contrary of my previous RFD, I"ll be making my new judgement based on this assumption.
Posted by TheYummyCod 2 years ago
TheYummyCod
Lol, no. You did all right. :)
No votes have been placed for this debate.