The Instigator
Humorous_interp_freak
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Justinisthecrazy
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Justinisthecrazy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,159 times Debate No: 7310
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Humorous_interp_freak

Pro

seeing as this is the current LD topic i'd like to keep in LD format, and i also like to request a Varsity Ld debater. and people please critique! i love feedback and i want to know how i can make my case stronger seeing as how i am going to national qualifications on the 27th ty.

"Since the governments are in the pockets of businesses, who's going to control this most powerful institution? Business is more powerful than politics, and it's more powerful than religion. So it's going to have to be the vigilante consumer." -Anita Roddick

Since I agree with Anita Roddick I must affirm the resolution; Resolved: Vigilantism is justified with the government has failed to enforce the law. For clarification on the resolution I would like to offer some definitions from key terms:
Vigilantism: a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the process of law are viewed as inadequate)
Justified: to judge, regard or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation
Government: the act or process of governing.
Failed: to be or become absent or inadequate
Enforce: to carry out effectively
Law: the control brought about by the existence or enforcements by such law.

Observation 1) as stated in the resolution, the government is not upholding the law. Therefore, said vigilante is upholding and enforcing the law in a justified way.

Observation 2)
my second observation concerns the definition of ‘vigilantism.'
Classic vigilantes, according to the American University Law Review:
1.are members of an organized committee
2.are established members of a community
3.proceed with definite goals, not with the intension of random violence
4.act as a last resort because of a failure of the established law system

That being said my value for this debate is the value of Justice. Being that justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness and equity. In order to achieve Justice in the resolution, it is only Just that vigilantism is acceptable in the case that the government fails to enforce the law. To elaborate Justice is a key feature of a well-based society because of the proper concerns of proper ordering in a society but more importantly the people that make up the society.

For my criterion I will be using the concept of a "Well-ordered society" from John Rawls A Theory of Justice. A Well-ordered society as explained by John Rawls is designed to advance the good of its members and effectively regulated by a public conception of Justice. John Rawls understands Justice as a contribution to "ideal theory," working out "principles that categorize a well-ordered society under favorable circumstances." Since the government has failed to uphold the law it is not a legitimate, government. Being that the government isn't legitimate is it only Just that Vigilantism should take effect to the extent of serving Justice in a justified way or mannerism.

Contention 1: Social Contract
The belief of S.C. is the understanding of how the government should protect its citizens. S.C. states that in exchange for a few rights the government has a moral obligation to protect its citizens and maintain social order. When the government has failed to enforce the law as stated in the resolution the Social Contract is then broken and not legitimate. The citizens than have the right to exert Justice. For example sexual abductors are escaping the register because of loop-holes, because abduction is not considered in law as a sex crime. Tony Delaney who is serving a 4- year sentence for trying to snatch a 13 year old girl will not be placed on the register when released from prison. The judge who sentenced Delaney had no power to put his name on the sexual offenders register. When the government allows criminals to escape jail, or anything else through loopholes and technicalities it can be seen as not enforcing the law.

Contention 2) History of Vigilantism.

For my second contention I would like to bring up past acts of Vigilantism and explain why they were beneficial or contained a well-ordered society in a just way. My first example is the Big Sword Society. The Big Sword Society were a group of farmers that originated in southwestern Shandong after the second Sino-Japanese War, when the country side was in anarchy and rife with banditry. These vigilantes supposedly protected lives and property. They defended villages against roaming bandits, warlords, tax collectors, and later communists and the Japanese. Another example of justified occurred in Skidmore where one or possibly more vigilantes shot and killed Ken McElroy while he sat in his truck. McElroy was a bully to local civilians, he was mean and intimidating. Other things McElroy did were terrorized a grocery store owner than one day snapped and shot the store owner in the neck. The store owner survived and pressed charges against McElroy. McElroy responded by making threats to property damage. While McElroy was drinking in a bar, uttering threats against the store owner, a group of armed men from the town entered the bar, while McElroy walked out but the men followed and soon shot him to death, taking justice into their own hands.

Contention 3) Emotions.

A mother tearfully recalled in a Los Angeles court yesterday how her 13-year-old daughter hanged herself shortly after receiving a hateful online message from a neighbor woman posing as a teenage boy, AP reports. Crimes that go unpunished emotionally wreck the people that are involved as I showed in the newsfeed I just read.
Justinisthecrazy

Con

First off I disagree with her definitions and offer the following
Vigilantism occurs when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system.

The Government refers to the United States government and its checks and balances. Including the judiciary, Executive, and legislative branches.
To attack her second contention
Specifying a few instances of where vigilantism is acceptable is a huge ground skew, as well a predictability skew.The burden doesn't even function under you defending multiple instances, you could win off of extending anyone of them. That's also a reciprocity issue, there would be no turn ground on that AC, because even if in one scenario vigilatism is bad, if it's ok in another it's justified. Further, I don't even think that interp is true, the qualifier is "when the government fails to act" not just debate about vague instances of vigilantism

My First contention will attack her 3rd on emotions
1)Vigilant Justice is unjust
Vigilante justice is often a cruel form of justice and can often involve the person being beat to death by an angry mob; looking for blood because something happened to someone they don't know. When an air-traffic controller in Switzerland had no reliable radar, no phone and limited radio contact, two planes collided. One of the fathers of the victims shot the ATC although he actually had no control over events that happened. Vigilantism can go wrong. The law makes mistakes and even hangs the wrong man but after he has been found guilty by a Grand Jury. The fifth amendment protects this right and is violated when vigilante's take the decision to kill in the name of justice in there own hands. Because Vigilantism doesn't always have the benefits of proper investigation it is unjust.

For this debate my value will be justice. Justice is meant more for the society as a whole than for the individual victims because it is designed to prove repeatedly that people are safe within their society.

My value criterion will be Protecting Rights
Vigilantism offers no protections of due process rights, no checks on cruel or unusual punishment, no accountability to any exterior force. Suspects--or even known criminals--are still humans, deserving of fair trials and humane treatment.

The key point is this resolution is "when the government has failed to enforce the law". However, the government's motivation for failing to enforce the law is not addressed, nor at least in my honest opinion is it implied in the wording of the topic. There are many potential reasons why a government may fail to enforce the law

Contention 2) the law itself might be unjust or even criminal under international law.

Consider the historical examples of the Fugitive Slave Act. The earlier Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was a federal law, which was written to enforce a section of the United States Constitution that required the return of runaway slaves. It sought to force the authorities in free states to return fugitive slaves to their masters. The Jim Crow laws in the United States are another example. They called for segregation of public schools, public places and public transportation, as well as the segregation of restrooms and restaurants for blacks and whites. Now assume these laws were not being enforced. Would it be desirable for one or more private citizens to go out and enforce these unjust and inhumane laws? In short, "law" is not the same as "justice" Do not assume the two are the same or even remotely similar.

3)The government may simply be strapped for resources.

Take at good hard look at the U.S. today - both in terms of the fiscal crisis and the problems we are having with court clog and prison overpopulation. Washington may need three new prisons by 2030 if its jail population follows current trends. But with each prison costing $250 million to build and $45 million per year to run, are more jails the best option? Incarcerating more criminals does have a positive effect: WSIPP calculates that boosting the prison population by 10 per cent can cut crime by up to 4 per cent. However, it is expensive, and the returns diminish as more offenders are put inside. So WSIPP has put forward a portfolio of alternative policies designed to stabilize the state's prison population at current levels, including treatment for drug addicted prisoners and MTFC. This would leave Washington about $1.4 billion better off by 2030 compared with a business-as-usual approach, which would involve building new prisons. There, are other ways to deal with criminals than by putting them behind bars or being a vigilante and advocating the law as you see fit.

4)Vigilantism leads to anarchy
An imperfect democracy, yes, even an imperfect democracy, is still the best form of government that is known to humankind from America to Zimbabwe. The same is true of constitutions and constitutional imperfections; it is better to have rules, with some flaws, than not on have rules at all. Having and respecting rules, is what the rule of law and due process is all about. Good people sometimes, out of frustrations and accumulated disappointments and anger take the law into their own hands; they resort to what lawyers call self-help. Self-help is vigilantism; this enforcement leads to lawlessness and anarchy, because there is no set of rules. There are no dispassionate and objective arbiter or fact-finder; it is like a Basketball game without a referee. The teams may cheat or elbow each other, because there is no referee to enforce the rules. Therefore the aggrieved party becomes the judge, the committee or jury, and the executioner all in one. That is the equivalence of absolute power. We have a legal system for a reason. Who are they to decide what's wrong and right? Anything else is called anarchy, where only the strong survive. Think about it. What if I decided that your car was too noisy? So I decided to set it on fire. Would you be happy? Is that anyway to run a society.

Her Value Criterion Is John Rawls Theory of Justic/Social contract
"no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength, and the like. I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities. The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance."According to Rawls, ignorance of these details about oneself will lead to principles that are fair to all.f an individual does not know how he will end up in his own conceived society, he is likely not going to privilege any one class of people, but rather develop a scheme of justice that treats all fairly. In particular, Rawls claims that those in the Original Position would all adopt a maxim in strategy which would maximize the position of the least well-off."They are the principles that rational and free persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamentals of the terms of their association "Rawls
It is important to keep in mind that the agreement that stems from the original position is both hypothetical and nonhistorical. It is hypothetical in the sense that the principles to be derived are what the parties would, under certain legitimating conditions, agree to, not what they have agreed to. In other words, Rawls seeks to persuade us through argument that the principles of justice that he derives are in fact what we would agree upon if we were in the hypothetical situation of the original position and that those principles have moral weight as a result of that. It is nonhistorical in the sense that it is not supposed that the agreement has ever, or indeed could actually be entered into as a matte
Debate Round No. 1
Humorous_interp_freak

Pro

first i'd like to clear some things up from my side of the debate. i took the affirmative with the intent of showing why vigilantism should be justified. i bring up the value of Justice and to uphold my value i use the "well-ordered society" from john rawls a theory of justice. in order to acheive a well-ordered society we need to ensure that the civilians are being protected, in order to have a well-ordered society we need to enforce the law with a justified reason (this being my criterion) now i stated vigilantism is justified by the fact that we need to ensure that convicts are entitled to be punished by the government or when the government fails, as stated in the resolution, we must look to another alternative such as Vigilantism. now to fully expect vigilantism will be used to produce justice we must look to my definition of what a vigilante is by the American University Law Review are to be
1) members of an organized committee
2)established members of a community
3)proceed with definity goals not with the intention of random violence
4)act as a last resort because of a failure of the established law system
now i've given real world reasons as to why vigilantism should be looked upon. not as a means to use random violence but to ensure justice is due to those who deserve it.
for my first contention i bring up the Social Contract, stating that when the S.C. is broken it is justly entitled to take means into their own hands to the extent that "JUSTICE" will be served in a justified way.
my Second Contention is just a few examples of Vigilantism that has worked to serve a greater purporse, which is to distribute Justice that benefits the community.
as for my third contention i basically just pondered the idea of the pain of what happens when the government fails to enforce the law, and why vigilantism should take effect to enforce not only the law but to ensure that Justice to those who deserves it.
now on to my opponents case i would love to accept his case being that they not only support my side of the argument but they strengthen the affirmative. my opponent seems to take the aff's side meaning he agree's with me. that is why you should affirm the resolution.

(i dont know if that was intentional to use the aff, if not we can make a new debate so it'll be fare :))
Justinisthecrazy

Con

Her Value Criterion Is John Rawls Theory of Justic/Social contract
"no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength, and the like. I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities. The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance."According to Rawls, ignorance of these details about oneself will lead to principles that are fair to all.f an individual does not know how he will end up in his own conceived society, he is likely not going to privilege any one class of people, but rather develop a scheme of justice that treats all fairly. In particular, Rawls claims that those in the Original Position would all adopt a maxim in strategy which would maximize the position of the least well-off."They are the principles that rational and free persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamentals of the terms of their association "Rawls
It is important to keep in mind that the agreement that stems from the original position is both hypothetical and nonhistorical. It is hypothetical in the sense that the principles to be derived are what the parties would, under certain legitimating conditions, agree to, not what they have agreed to. In other words, Rawls seeks to persuade us through argument that the principles of justice that he derives are in fact what we would agree upon if we were in the hypothetical situation of the original position and that those principles have moral weight as a result of that. It is nonhistorical in the sense that it is not supposed that the agreement has ever, or indeed could actually be entered into as a matter of fact.
Thus her whole case is irrelevant and based off an invalid VC.

First off I still disagree with her definitions and offer the following
Vigilantism occurs when a person violates the law in order to exact what they believe to be justice from criminals, because they think that the criminal will not be caught or will not be sufficiently punished by the legal system.

The Government refers to the United States government and its checks and balances. Including the judiciary, Executive, and legislative branches.

Her second contention lacks any warrants on its extensions and violates the burden of the case. Specifying a few instances of where vigilantism is acceptable is a huge ground skew, as well a predictability skew.The burden doesn't even function under you defending multiple instances, you could win off of extending anyone of them. That's also a reciprocity issue, there would be no turn ground on that AC, because even if in one scenario vigilatism is bad, if it's ok in another it's justified. Further, I don't even think that interp is true, the qualifier is "when the government fails to act" not just debate about vague instances of vigilantism

Her third contention lacks warrants. This is an extension as well as response using my contention 1) However, in the example of the Swedish ATC emotions/pain were there and vigilantism ended violently in the death of a inoncent man. There was no judge, no jury, only an executioner.

I would like to point out my entire case was dropped.

For this debate my value will be justice. Justice is meant more for the society as a whole than for the individual victims because it is designed to prove repeatedly that people are safe within their society.

My value criterion is Protecting Rights
Vigilantism offers no protections of due process rights, no checks on cruel or unusual punishment, no accountability to any exterior force. Suspects--or even known criminals--are still humans, deserving of fair trials and humane treatment.

Vigilantism doesn't protect rights and by not protecting rights it is not justice and w/o justice we don't preserve life and w/o life we are all dead. Extreme example maybe but it gets a point across.

Contention 3) Anarchy
Anarchists are those who advocate the absence of the state, arguing that common sense would allow people to come together in agreement to form a functional society allowing for the participants to freely develop their own sense of morality, ethics or principled behaviour. Common sense does not exist. What you think is common knowledge or common sense, I may not think. The same is with justice. Vigilantism promotes anarchy because there are now jurors, no judges, no rights. But when we protect the rights people are safe and vigilantism is not the way to do this.

Seeing as my whole case was dropped under her either misunderstanding my case or just not thinking. I see no reason but to vote neg because Vigilantism is not justified when the government fails to enforce the law due to the fact we have to protect the rights and uphold justice.
Debate Round No. 2
Humorous_interp_freak

Pro

Humorous_interp_freak forfeited this round.
Justinisthecrazy

Con

Seeing as my oponnent has failed to refute my case on accident or on purpose I urge an affirmative ballot.

I would like to finish debating this. But I will be willing to debate her again.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by brattyone 7 years ago
brattyone
lol she i think is a he lol. "justinisthecrazy" fits
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 7 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
lol i meant vote a con ballot
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Justinisthecrazy 7 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
Humorous_interp_freakJustinisthecrazyTied
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