The Instigator
Mickeyrocks
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Humorous_interp_freak
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

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

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,180 times Debate No: 7353
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Mickeyrocks

Con

By accepting the debate challenge you accept the following parameter:

1) LD debate format. Granted, the affirmative has a ton more space to argue here than in a round, but whatever. I don't care about who wins because I doubt many people here are acquainted with LD format, but they are acquainted with odd philosophy etc, so perhaps it won't be so bad.

I'm negating, so I speak second. You post your case whenever. (Since it's text, feel free to write a super flow case. That'd make the debate easy to follow as I'm not flowing on a legal pad...)
Humorous_interp_freak

Pro

"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 from against roaming bandits, warlords, tax collectors, and later communists and the Japanese. As we can clearly see justified vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.
Debate Round No. 1
Mickeyrocks

Con

I negate, "Resolved: Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law."

I define:
Justified doesn't necessarily mean "just" it simply means permissible. Stealing an apple to keep myself from starvation would be justified, however not just. Thus, an action may be unjustified but still just – so on and so forth.

Value is Societal Progression. Essentially, evolution of human values, political and economic structure, and human thought on a societal scale. This is the ultimate value in the round as it solves for two main problems:
1)Insofar as each step forward society makes is a step towards morality, justice, etc. if society does not progress then one can only uphold these notions as best they can within a faulty system.
2) If the hypothetical state cannot progress then one assumes the failure to enforce the law will still actively occur and will not be changed. The resolution requires a change of the status quo for any impacts to be weighed; otherwise they are moot as the harms deriving from the current system are repeated indefinitely.

The Value Criterion is Social Revolution. Social revolution is necessary for society to progress. Modern capitalism and democracy is a direct result of revolution across the world. I maintain all social progress, especially en masse progress (i.e. structural shifts as outlined in the value) is a direct or indirect result of some form of revolution, be it an intellectual or physical one. In the words of Emma Goldman, "No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution - Revolution is but thought carried into action" The criterion stands unless the affirmative can prove that society can progress without some revolution in thought or action.

Contention One: Vigilantism stifles revolution through punishment

A.Crimes are inherently political

Warrant: Crimes are actions that reject the current legal structure of the state. All actions that are political crimes (treason, assassination) are obviously political, but even crimes that are undertaken for other motives are still inherently political. Crimes are a rejection of the current political structure, they feel the law should not apply in said circumstance and so criminals commit a crime because they do not respect the legitimacy of that law. Rejection of law and actions that derive from that are political revolutions in and of themselves as they act to destroy the efficacy of the current system.

Link: Vigilantes punish criminals.

Impacts:
1) vigilantes punish political criminals, thus direct stifling of social revolution.
2) Vigilantes punish criminals whose actions are inherently political revolutions, thus stifling a larger social revolution.

B.Political revolutions require some form of government inadequacy

Warrant: Political motions do not succeed unless there is some failure by current political structure. Movements like the civil rights movement cannot succeed unless the government fails to stop them; insofar as black oppression would never have been brought to the public eye if every sit-in and peace rally had been dispersed instantaneously, rather political movements that partially succeed bring their revolution to the public, and thus can be enacted adequately. Fully efficient punishment allows no revolutionary say from the subjects of a state and they will never achieve anything.

Link: Vigilantism strengthens the efficacy of the government by punishing those the government cannot.

Impact: Political revolutions cannot be effectively undertaken when vigilante actions occur, as vigilantism stifles motions that require some failure to occur. If political revolutions cannot occur then social revolution cannot occur.

Contention Two: The Status Quo does not allow for revolution

Warrant: The Status Quo and revolution are incompatible by definition. The warrant is clear; the status quo is what is, the way things work now and revolution is the redefinition of the way things work. Essentially, the status quo is the beginning. The revolution melts down the status quo, eliminates it, and then establishes a new status quo. An action (in this case, revolution) that eliminates a structure cannot occur simultaneously with the existence of that which it destroys. A vacuum eliminates air, after a bag has been vacuum sealed it no longer contains air; to argue that the status quo and revolution are compatible is to argue that after vacuum sealing a bag that bag is still full of air.

Link: Vigilantism promotes the status quo by strengthening the current system. Through strengthening the law, we automatically strengthen the organization that develops that law, and reaffirm the legitimacy of that organization's existence. Thus, vigilantism, by punishing criminals and carrying out the law, promotes the legitimacy of that law and thus the status quo.

Impact: Vigilantism, through promoting the status quo, eliminates any revolution. It reaffirms a system incompatible with change, and at that point social revolution cannot occur. Through affirmation of the current structure vigilantism by its very nature does not allow for revolution to occur.

As for the AC:

Observation one is abusive (insofar as it automatically affirms with no room to negate) and is unwarranted (he gives no reasoning for why they're justified.) ignore this observation.

Two is fine.

Assume the value of Societal Progression to be more important that justice. You can cross-apply both problems I outline that are solved by societal progression to this; if you value justice and do not progress as a society you:

A) HAVE to operate within a faulty system and can only uphold justice to the best of that flawed system, thus justice can never be achieved without social progression except to a flawed extent - social progression allows the betterment of all human values AND mankind at that point you clearly defer to the value of societal progression.
B) All impacts are useless unless change is implemented; insofar as you're only attacking the symptoms of a flawed system by prosecuting but not changing the system the harms repeat indefinitely. If we do not value societal progression we are essentially giving a lung cancer patient cough medicine and calling it a cure.

The criterion:
1) Can be ignored because it's impossible for him to link into with his value of justice. Look to what I just wrote, he can never solve the problems of the current society unless he progresses that society, so you drop him at face because his value criterion has no way to be achieved through his advocacy.
2) Can only be achieved through social revolution. A well-ordered society is one that is okay with the rules it obeys, otherwise they won't listen to the rules of society. obviously the society in question is NOT okay (insofar as the government sucks at protecting them, and that they're committing crimes) and so revolution is required to create the society in question. He provides no way to solve for the problem of unrest among citizens of this society, so you drop him again and defer to the negative.

C1: Contention one invalidates the legitimacy of the government, which does two things:

A) doesn't justify the actions of the vigilante, it simply says the government sucks. That's not justification, he gives you no warrants just an assertion. Moreover, this assertion is wrong; if the social contract is broken in the status quo and he's advocating maintenance of that then he's constantly advocating a flawed society with no way to change.
B) he agrees revolution is necessary by admitting the illegitimacy of the government, thus he concedes this to the negative. Cross apply negative impacts here.

C2: I don't care. This doesn't need a rebuttal, it's another assertion: Cross apply the impacts of vigilantism - while they may have been well intentioned, they stifled social revolution imperative to solving social problems.
Humorous_interp_freak

Pro

Humorous_interp_freak forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Mickeyrocks

Con

Extend everything, vote neg.
Humorous_interp_freak

Pro

first id like to apologize to my opponent seeing its not fair for me to not post asap but some things came up and ive been really Busy, so i hope opponent understands and now id like to continue with the debate.

now to give the spectators and my opponent a breif roadmap of how i will be taking this rebuttal. first i will attack my opponents case, than move on to Building mine up than show why people should vote an affirm resolution.

now my opponent likes to use the value of societal progression with the criterion of social revolution. my opponent is advocating that every step forward society makes is a step towards morality, justice, etc, not giving any legitimate reasoning nor real life examples. nah as the resolution states that "Vigilantism is JUSTIFIED when the government has FAILED TO ENFORCE THE LAW" now my opponents value falls because he is agreeing that whether or not the government fails to enforce the law we are taking steps forward in society. now as the objective of the negative is too show how vigilantism is not a justifiable cause when the government does not uphold the law. in the first problem being solved by his value he is stating that when the government fails we are still taking a step forward in "Justice" and morality. is it moral or just when a man escapes prison due to the faulty judicial system, or a loophole? we are not taking a step forward in a just or moral way. i agree with his second problem for his value, being that justified vigilantism would help to solve that crisis when the government can not. Now my opponents value of social revolution uses the term that it is neccessary for society to progress, with that in mind i would like to move back to his value when i stated society can not progress with a faulty system that is letting criminals escape jail or anything else because of the government failing to enforce the law. in order to progress we need to make Justice is met where justice is due. without Justice we would resort to a form of anarchy where the government exists but Justice is not being uphelp in any way. with that said my opponents criterion and value falls.
my opponents first contention doesnt apply to the resolution and id like to refer to my second observation which is the definition of a vigilantism and it states..
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
id also like to refer back to my first observation which is..
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.
in the resolution it is stating that the vigilante is upholding the law when the government has failed to, they are not committing treasons, yes they are committing assassinations but, only when they are needed as a last resort because of the government failing to enforce the law. so my opponents first contention can not be applied to the resolution unless he can prove otherwise and give real world examples.
i will agree with my opponent on his second contention to a certain extent, as it furthers my arguement and strengthens it. as we can see throughout history revolution was needed, and id like to bring up the american revolution, and a specific vigilante group from the boston tea party, the sons of liberty took it upon themselves, acting as a last resort and acted with deffinte goals, without the intention of violence dumped the tea over the ship into the water. that act of vigilantism eventually helped with the process of peace, with the british passing the conciliatory resolution. as my opponent advocates that we can not have vigilantism in orde to have revolutions, and as i have just proven vigilantism helped in a revolution.

now onto my case.
my opponent says my criterion can be ignore because its impossible for my to link it with my value. my value of justice is the greatest value because vigilantism is promoting justice when the government doesn't. my criterion of John Rawls "well ordered society" is upholding my value because in order to have a well ordered society we need to exert justice where justice is needed, and when the government cant uphold justice, and as a last resort without a random means of violence, vigilantism is justifiable. my criterion can be acheived when there is justice whether by the government or by vigilantism. and my opponent states that my criterion supplies the ideal that the society in question is faulty, i will agree with this but i do offer a way to solve this delima and that is vigilantism as the resolution advocates.
for my first contention im not advocating that the government sucks i am advocating that vigilantism is justified when the government fails to enforce the law. i give the ideal of social contract and i state that when the government breaks this social contract vigilantism should be allowable to serve justice. and again i do agree that revolution is good, and i give a real life example of how vigilantism effectively "progressed" that revolution.
my opponent is twisting my arguements to a term that i didnt mean to put them, and as i have proven and shown that they are all advocating justice when the government failed to enforce the law. id like to go over the role of the negative which is too prove how vigilantism is not justified. my opponent did not legitimatly show how vigilantism is not justfiable, he gave no real life examples therefor his case is faulty and can be dropped. ive shown how vigilantism is justified and what happens when justice is not uphelp by the government. ive also shown how my opponents case falls and can not be legit in this debate, which is why you should affirm the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by draxxt 7 years ago
draxxt
"my criterion of John Rawls "well ordered society" is upholding my value because in order to have a well ordered society we need to exert justice where justice is needed, and when the government cant uphold justice, and as a last resort without a random means of violence, vigilantism is justifiable"

lolwut...

In LD the criterion is your means of acheiving your value. You state the way to acheive your criterion is through justice, and thus by achieving that we achieve justice. That's the most circular reasoning I've ever seen.
Posted by Mickeyrocks 7 years ago
Mickeyrocks
I really hate 72hr time to post your arguments.
Posted by Humorous_interp_freak 7 years ago
Humorous_interp_freak
sorry just posted my side of the debate. but i would like to thank my opponent for making this debate and i look forward to it.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by porkbunlover 7 years ago
porkbunlover
MickeyrocksHumorous_interp_freakTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by draxxt 7 years ago
draxxt
MickeyrocksHumorous_interp_freakTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
MickeyrocksHumorous_interp_freakTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70