The Instigator
AustinMcNett25
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the Government has failed to Enforce Laws.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2012 Category: News
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,098 times Debate No: 20450
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (2)

 

AustinMcNett25

Pro

Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the Government has failed to Enforce Laws.
Definitions
Vigilantism: any person who takes the law into his or her own hands, as by avenging a crime.
Justified: to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right
Government: the form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed
Failed: to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved
Enforce: to put or keep in force; compel obedience to
Laws: the principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.
Autonomy: the power or right of self-government.
Justice: The equilibrium between the full freedoms of the individual and the restrictions necessary for the safety of society
Affirmative
The government ultimately is able to enforce the law by the courts. So if the government has failed to enforce the law, then the courts are therefore ineffective. The purpose of a court system, or any other method to enforce the law, is to achieve justice. Therefore, my value is justice for the safety of society. When a government fails to enforce the law, there is no other means to attain justice except through the citizens of that society. Hence my value criterion is preserving autonomy.
Contentions
1.My first contention is the government failing to uphold the law justifies the actions of the vigilante, because he is exercising his autonomic power in the society that he lives in to achieve justice.

•Subpoint A: Under a governmental system the government is the highest power, because it has the ability to enforce laws and punish those who break them. However, in a case such as one advocated by the resolution, the government has failed to uphold the law. As the government is the basis of the law this essentially means that the government is illegitimate and without any de facto power. If the government, the highest power that asserts its power on the citizens according to its singular ideals of structure, has failed, the vigilante is justified in enforcing the law by exercising his autonomy over the society that he lives in. This struggle against his surroundings is justified as the government has essentially relinquished power over the people by failing to enforce the law.

•Subpoint B: Gloria Steinem, founder of Choice USA, has stated, "Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it." This indicates that even if the actions of the vigilante break the law, his actions are justified nevertheless, because the ultimate goal of the vigilante is to achieve justice in the society. With a government that has failed to enforce the law, there is no means to attain justice, and the vigilante is filling in this gap.
Therefore it is seen that vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

2. My second contention is that there are many countries in which the current government has failed to enforce the law, and has led to an excess of crimes, and thus a lack of justice. In Brazil, for example, as few as one percent of all robberies are successfully investigated by the police (Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, American Academy of Arts and Sciences). Furthermore, Jose Gregori, the secretary of state for human rights stated: "[Brazil] is a chronically violent country. The police are not efficient, it does not fight crime, and it is violent. The justice system is very slow." From this we can conclude that the only hope of justice in Brazil comes from vigilantism, seeing as the government actually furthers crime, and brings the inhabitants away from attaining justice. Justice is, as I previously stated, the equilibrium between the freedoms of a citizen and the restrictions of a society. In Brazil and many other countries, these freedoms are too extreme. Again, it is the responsibility of the citizens to exercise their right of autonomy to maintain justice.

3. My third contention is that Socrates the famous Greek philosopher has stated, "Nothing is to be preferred before justice." This indicates that justice must come before the law. Thus, it can be said that law is a means of attaining justice. When the government has failed to enforce the law, then the law fails. But even when the law fails, justice must still be upheld nevertheless. Therefore a different means of attaining justice must be followed. Vigilantism ultimately leads to justice through the preservation of autonomy. This is seen in our own development of America. When the British were overtaxing the colonists, the colonists decided to revolt. This action stemmed from the colonists' sense of autonomy within them and their goal of justice. The revolt can be classified as a form of vigilantism because it fulfills all four of the requirements of vigilantes. Thus, it is seen that vigilantism ultimately leads to justice in any society, and so vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

And I now open myself to cross-ex.
imabench

Con

"The government ultimately is able to enforce the law by the courts. So if the government has failed to enforce the law, then the courts are therefore ineffective..."

Well the governmetn enforces the law by the police, they enforce justice through the courts.... Also if a single instance occurs where the government (through the police) fails to enfore the law it doesnt mean the police (not the courts) are ineffective, it just means that they missed one...

Othet than that I will now analyze the Pro's subpoints...

1A) "However, in a case such as one advocated by the resolution, the government has failed to uphold the law. As the government is the basis of the law this essentially means that the government is illegitimate and without any de facto power." - The Pro is dealing with extremes on this one. He is saying the entire US government is illegitimate if through state police forces they fail to uphold the law even once... That is the equivilant of saying that someone who misspells a word here on DDO is not allowed to say they speak english.....Just because the police slip up one time does not mean they should be completely shut down from enforcing the law and thrusting that burden on citizens...

1B) In this point you claim that vigilantism is justified when the police cannot enforce the law, however you make this assumption based completely on the idea that random people know exactly what the laws are, the punishments of said laws, and that they could execute said punishment correctly, and on all 3 counts that does not happen with vigilantism..

Also you seem to be failing to recognize the difference between enforcing the law and achieving justice. Courts take care of justice, police enforce the law.

2) In this argument you are referring to only one country with one particular crime to enforce your entire argument. The rates that murderors are found in many countries range from 50% to 70% in countries with well funded police forces. Arson rates, rape cases, and other serious offenses have a solve rate of 50 to 65% too, but the less violent or costly the crime the less it is investigated or solved because the seriosity of the crime determines the attention it recieves.

Point is, many more serious crimes are solved far more frequently than robberies in 1 industrializing country....

3) "Thus, it is seen that vigilantism ultimately leads to justice in any society"
You base this entire argument off the "fact" that vigilantism always succeeds and delivers justice, I only need to show one example to prove that vigilantism is not 100% effective

On May 10 2010, A man was caught shoplifting crayons and toothpaste in a CVS Pharmacy by the CVS manager, the CVS manager then proceededto strangle the shoplifter to death...

http://www.ktla.com...

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Vigilantism does not guarantee justice, in fact the outcome of vigilantism can easily eclipse the severity of the crime.

Vigilantism is not justified because
1) Not every citizen knows every law to "avenge"
2) Not every citizen knows the punishment that comes with every law to carry out
3) Citizens may often overreact to crimes committed and issue a punishment far too severe for the crime committed
4) Vigilantism is not guaranteed to carry out justice to a crime

Ill end here for now...
Debate Round No. 1
AustinMcNett25

Pro

AustinMcNett25 forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

my arguments still stand...
Debate Round No. 2
AustinMcNett25

Pro

AustinMcNett25 forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

Extension of arguments is continued into this round
Debate Round No. 3
AustinMcNett25

Pro

AustinMcNett25 forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

imabench...
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
AustinMcNett25imabenchTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Due to forfeits
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
AustinMcNett25imabenchTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF